What is juniper?
It is a plant of the perennial type, belonging to the cupresáceas family (tree with abundant wood, branches and leaves and very aromatic.
Juniper produces some fruits or berries that have been used to combat pain in the body, as well as to strengthen it; it is the only part of the plant that is used medicinally.
The name juniper is used to identify the different species of the same genus, but which stand out for their youthful appearance in their foliage (branches and leaves).
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Origin of juniper
Juniper, It is a species of plant native to Europe, requires a cold and humid climate, present in Asia and North America; It comes from the Mediterranean and Arctic region of Russia and Norway.
It is currently cultivated and grown throughout the Northern Hemisphere, because it requires freezing climates to maintain itself.
Juniper has been used as a protective and highly beneficial plant over the years. In ancient times, fresh roots were burned and the divinities of hell were said to be kept away.
When someone died, the fruits or berries were burned to ward off evil spirits; housewives also used to burn it to keep their houses clean of undesirable spirits. A belief that remained in force for many centuries during popular culture.
It is said that, with its burning, the contagion of epidemic fevers or plagues was avoided. It was considered one of the favorite plants of Medea, who used it in spells and witchcraft.
Christian legend has it that when Mary and Jesus (child) fled from Egypt, Herod’s guards were about to capture them, he wanted to hide among the trees, but a juniper bush spread its branches allowing it to hide Jesus, diverting the attention of the guards. That is why it is said that juniper branches are hung in stables at Christmas time.
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Juniper is a tree with very leafy branches, whose leaves are similar to needles, of a bright green color, grouped in three groups, in a spiral shape.
It is a dioecious tree, that is, there are female and male, the difference is given by the type of plant.
The flowers of the male plant bloom in the spring, while in the female they appear in the fall.
Juniper fruits or gallbules (badly called berries) appear after three years, green in color when ripe and when they dry the hue is purple to black. These are the ones that are used for consumption, that’s where liquor such as gin is made.
Juniper scientific name
Juniper is known by the scientific name of “Juniperus Communis L.”, which comes from the Celtic language juneprus = rough, referred to by the texture of the fruit.
Juniper chemical composition
Acetic, chlorogenic, ascorbic, formic, glucuronic, glycolic, torulosic (fruits), L-maleic acids. Terpenes: alpha-pinene and beta-pinene, alpha-humulene, phelandrene, copaene, alpha-terpinene, geranyl acetate, borneol, cedar, delta-cadinene, limonene, myrcene, P-cymene, sabinene, nerol (fruit), eucalyptol , ferruginol (wood), terpinen-4-ol (oil from the leaves and fruits). Terpenoids: camphor (fruits).
Menthol- juniperine (fruits) resin (fruit and wood); fructose and glucose carbohydrates (fruits); flavonoids; catechins, epicatechins, gallocatechins, apigenin (fruits). Tannins (fruits) gallotannins (Wood), fiber; Minerals: calcium, chromium, cobalt, iron, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, zinc; Vitamins C, B3, B1 (fruits).
Juniper active ingredient
Among the active principles of juniper are: from the fruit terpenes such as pinene or juneno; juniperine an astringent substance.
Monoterpenes by almost 90% and sequiterpenes and esters between 1-5%.
Juniper is a slow-growing, perennial plant, up to 7 meters tall, but commonly not exceeding 2 meters high, the stem is a reddish-brown color, which easily tends to crack.
It is a very appreciated plant for decorating gardens, which has led to its cultivation spreading to homes due to its pleasant aroma and showiness.
For its reproduction it is through cuttings, that is, a few are extracted from the same branches, they are used and sown, as long as they are in the same season of the year.
Juniper plants are usually very resistant to very frosty areas, however, it requires sunlight. In times of drought, it also survives, so irrigation can be moderate.
Juniper Uses and Benefits
Juniper fruits have long been attributed uses as a condiment for sauces, fillings and meats, so it is necessary that they be dry, because when ripe they are very bitter. Juniper can be ground, although specialists in the kitchen prefer to grind it before using it, thus preserving its best aroma.
Similarly, it has been used for hundreds of years to treat ailments; According to its properties, it is considered an excellent diuretic that promotes kidney function, facilitating urination.
Thanks to its analgesic properties, it helps treat diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. For hypertension, through infusions, it allows a better elimination of fluids, which in turn helps to lower blood pressure.
Juniper induces the production of gastric acids, which helps to promote good appetite and digestion. It offers benefits against anorexia, acts against heartburn and dyspepsia.
It is considered an effective expectorant so it helps when you suffer from colds, flu or cough.
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What are the benefits for the skin?
Juniper is classified as a skin renovator, because thanks to its antiseptic, astringent and healing benefits, it helps in the treatment against acne, eczema, dermatitis, it prevents wounds from becoming infected, it favors a better appearance of the skin, it is In other words, in case of vitiligo it helps the skin tone to balance.
It acts as a rubefacient, that is, it increases blood circulation, giving the skin that healthy red tone; as well as eliminates fungus or athlete’s foot.
It has many properties for the hair
Juniper helps in good hair health, because it controls excess oil on the scalp, prevents the formation of dandruff, as well as prevents hair loss.
Prevents lice from lodging in the hair leather, keeping it free of grease, clean and healthy.
Is it good for losing weight?
Juniper is favorable in the process of losing weight, because due to its diuretic effect it allows to eliminate toxins that are in the body, as well as retained or accumulated fluids, through urine.
Additionally, it promotes better digestion because it regulates the digestive system, that is, it helps the metabolism work properly in the burning of natural fats and calories.
Important supplements in the treatment to lose weight with juniper.
Pregnancy and juniper
According to some components that juniper has, it is not recommended during pregnancy because it can cause abortion.
Can it be used while breastfeeding? Why?
The effects that the use of juniper may cause during breastfeeding are not known for sure, so its use is not recommended.
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Juniper and allergies
Juniper acts as an antispasmodic and expectorant, which allows to control coughing attacks or bronchial symptoms. Sometimes these conditions are caused by allergies; so it can be said that it is used for allergies in an inhaled way.
However, allergy sufferers do not recommend its use because it can complicate its action.
Gardening and juniper
Of the juniper plant there are approximately 400 species, thanks to its great beauty that its foliage gives it, as well as its aromatic smell, its use in gardening has become very common, thanks to its ability to resist different climates. allows to adapt to any ecosystem.
Juniper and the bible
In the sacred scriptures (old testament), the juniper was mentioned as the safeguard of the prophet Elijah, who escaped being persecuted by King Ahab, because it is said that ” he fell on the roots of juniper.”
Juniper infusions, what are they for?
Juniper infusions have great therapeutic properties, to prepare it, you only need the dried, crushed berries, boil water and place the berries, leave them for 5 minutes, then let it rest and strain.
This drink can help when you have gas discomfort, indigestion, heartburn, loss of appetite; in case of suffering urinary infections, bladder or kidney stones, fluid retention, menstrual pain or intestinal parasites.
It should be taken 2 to 3 daily rates, without exceeding that dose.
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Esoteric uses of juniper
It is said, from very ancient times, that the juniper provided protection, by hanging a branch on the doors of the houses, it drives away evil forces, protects from accidents and attacks, mixed with incense and another essence, it recharges the virile force; favors psychic powers and drives away bad energies.
Juniper in gastronomy
The fruits or berries of juniper have been used in the culinary area as a companion in sauces, soups or stews, for white meats, game, or in desserts, as well as condiments, they grind the dried berries and it is used as an ingredient to season . Gin is made from this fruit, as well as it serves as a good companion in this drink, because it gives it a pleasant flavor and aroma.
Some tribes use these berries to make flour and make bread, as well as being a good substitute for coffee.
Juniper cosmetic uses
Juniper, according to its therapeutic properties, collaborates in the cosmetic area to treat cases of acne, eczema, helps in the treatment against cellulite, it can be used for all skin types because it provides natural care to give a healthy appearance, stimulates the blood circulation, with this it helps to give a better natural red tone to the skin.
Eliminates the fungi that cause athlete’s foot, providing better health to the feet, as well as collaborating in oral conditions, as well as avoiding the formation of dandruff and seborrhea, controlling the functioning of the sebaceous glands, to maintain healthier hair.
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Juniper medicinal uses
- It acts as a good diuretic, stimulates the better functioning of the kidneys by increasing urine production.
- Because of its analgesic properties, juniper is indicated to treat rheumatic pain.
- Helps in the treatment of hypertension.
- It stimulates the appetite, ensuring good digestion and controls heartburn.
- It is an excellent expectorant, because it helps in the treatment of respiratory diseases, rhinitis, pharyngitis, asthma, bronchitis.
- Relieves muscle and joint pain.
Juniper Household Uses
To use juniper in the domestic area, it is recommended as a room flavoring, insect repellent, as well as in home infusions to treat any ailment related to any of its properties, as well as a seasoning to season foods.
Juniper contraindications and risks
The use of juniper is not recommended in patients with kidney diagnoses, intestinal diseases, diabetics because it is high in sugar and can cause hypoglycemia.
Pregnant women should not consume it, because it has abortive effects because it causes alterations in the uterus.
In the lactation period it is not recommended because it could cause allergic reactions in children.
It should not be consumed for a long time, because it can cause kidney problems.
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According to its properties and studies carried out, it has not been determined that juniper is toxic; It is to be considered that the recommended dose should not be exceeded, nor in patients with a reaction to some of its components, or with kidney, diabetic, digestive diseases because it could aggravate their condition.
Juniper nutritional value
Juniper contains vitamins C and B1 (thiamine) provides energy to the body and B3 (antioxidant), calcium, fiber, iron and potassium, beneficial to the health of the body and organism.
Juniper technical sheet
- Common name: Juniper
- Scientific name: Juniperos communis L.
- Botanical family : Cupresácea
- Chemical composition: acetic, chlorogenic, ascorbic, formic, glucuronic, glycolic, torulosic (fruits), L-maleic acids. Terpenes: alpha-pinene and beta-pinene, alpha-humulene, phelandrene, copaene, alpha-terpinene, geranyl acetate, borneol, cedar, delta-cadinene, limonene, myrcene, P-cymene, sabinene, nerol (fruit), eucalyptol, ferruginol (wood), terpinen-4-ol (oil from the leaves and fruits). Terpenoids: camphor (fruits). Menthol- juniperine (fruits) resin (fruit and wood); fructose and glucose carbohydrates (fruits); flavonoids; catechins, epicatechins, gallocatechins, apigenin (fruits). Tannins (fruits) gallotannins (Wood), fiber;Minerals: calcium, chromium, cobalt, iron, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, zinc; Vitamins C, B3, B1 (fruits).
- Uses and benefits: diuretic, antiseptic, appetite stimulant, expectorant and antispasmodic because it relieves respiratory, bronchial diseases, anti-inflammatory to soothe muscular and rheumatic pain, helps to expel kidney stones, control tension, offers benefits for the skin, against acne, eczema, improves hair health.
- Precautions: the recommended dose should not be exceeded, it is not exempt from the fact that it may be toxic to any of its components.
- Contraindications: do not use during pregnancy, lactation period, kidney, digestive, diabetic, allergic problems.
Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.