Juniper is a short to medium-height tree that grows wild in some parts of Europe, and especially Albania. There are many varieties of juniper, but Juniperus communis is the most common.

Alternative medicine uses the juniper berry to make medicine. Juniper is used for digestion problems including upset stomach, intestinal gas, heartburn, bloating, and loss of appetite, as well as gastrointestinal infections and intestinal worms.

It is also used for urinary tract infections and kidney and bladder stones. Other uses include treating diabetes and free radicals growth.

Modern studies on juniper indicate that it increases the filtration rate of the kidneys, dilutes the urine and disinfects the urinary tract.

Additionally it has been used as a medicinal herb for coughs, bronchitis and upper respiratory infections. Bring to boil 10-15 juniper berries and inhale the steam to help deal with such problems.

In the German Pharmacopoeia the berries are listed as a treatment for complaints such as gas, heartburn, indigestion and flatulence.

The herb has been used topically as a treatment for wounds, muscle aches and lesions. It has been used as a remedy for delayed menstruation because it is thought to stimulate the uterine muscle.

The antiviral compounds of juniper have been found to inhibit the growth of a number of virus strains including herpes and flu strains. The ingredient podophyllotoxin may also inhibit abnormal cell growths.

Juniper has antiseptic and astringent properties, which explains why it has been used to treat acne and other skin blemishes.

Medicinal uses:
Make a tea from the berry: the essential oils come first, and if you have lung troubles your blood supply to the lungs is enhanced, so the juniper extracts vent over those, killing any viruses and bacteria they find. Good for coughs, in other words. If you don't have lung trouble you can give the kidneys a good kick, getting them to work harder, and move on to the bladder, where they'll again take care of bacteria and viruses.

How To Prepare:

Whole, crushed, and powdered Juniper Berry can be used in teas, alcohol extracts, and wine. To prepare a tea, pour one teacup of boiling water over a teaspoon of crushed Juniper Berry. Let the mixture steep for 5 minutes and it ready to drink. Take 3 times daily for 30 days.

Juniper is also used in bath salts as a treatment for rheumatism. Add 30-40 juniper berries to your bath or boil them first for 10 minutes and add their water to your bath. A clean cloth may be soaked in the cooled mixture to create a compress.

Special Cautions:
Protracted use of Juniper Berry can irritate and damage the kidneys because it makes them work harder. That is why a 30-days period is recommended within 4-5 months.

It’s UNSAFE to use juniper if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. It’s also best to avoid using juniper if you are breast-feeding.

Diabetes: Juniper berry might lower blood sugar. There is some concern that it might lower blood sugar too much in people with diabetes.

Culinary uses:
The berries give a special taste to tame. Add a dozen or so berries and perhaps a green juniper twig or two to the stewing mix when you cook your steak until tender.
It's also nice to make a bed of juniper twigs to put your fresh fish, before you bake it in the oven./