Thursday, November 1, 2012


Juniperus communis
Family: Cupressaceae

Many of my neighbors have juniper. It seems to be everywhere. It's recognizable by the pokey, fleshy, faintly blue tinged "berries" that come on in the fall. They're actually cones.

I see no reason to keep one of my own, although it's nice to know it's available if necessary (and I do have seeds, JIC).

The first thing to remember is that Juniper is poisonous. For the most part it's used internally for infections or intestinal pain, but I can't see that there's any point to that when it can cause intestinal and kidney inflammation.

I think this will have to be one of those things I don't touch unless I have an herbalist who can tell me how it's supposed to be used. Maybe as I become more comfortable with herbs in general I'll be more willing to experiment.

One of the more interesting possible uses is to help with the symptoms of diabetes, but since I'm not diabetic I've never tried it. Studies support its ability to lower blood sugar.

Juniper also seems to have potent anti-viral properties.

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