Juniper is an evergreen, dioecious, highly branched shrub from the Cypress family, up to 4 m tall. Its shoots are blackish-brown, and the older branches are gray-brown. The leaves have pointed awl-like tips and have a whitish band. They are grouped in bundles, 3 in each. Juniper flowers are cones, dividing into female and male. Females are composed of three fruiting scales, which join when ripe and become fleshy, and males are composed of numerous scaly stamens, each of which has 3-7 anthers. The fruits are 6-9 mm in diameter, spherical in shape, covered with a wax coating and bluish-black in color. Each fruit contains 3 grey-brown seeds covered with a resinous substance. Blooms April-May.
Juniper grows in the Northern Hemisphere, which includes parts of Europe, North America and Asia. In Bulgaria, it is found in mountainous areas, on stony and dry slopes, at an altitude of 1700 meters.
The fruits contain essential oil, bitter substance, pectin, terpene junene, tannin, xylose, fructose, resin, invert sugar, fat, acetic, glucuronic, formic and malic acids. Unripe fruits contain pectins, acetic, formic and malic acids, waxes, tannins, vitamin C, fatty oil, etc. The leaf mass contains arbutin, umbelliferone, xylosides and flavones. Sesquiterpenes, carene, cymol, longifolene and cis-methane were also found in the bark.
Usable part of the plant
The fruits. Harvesting time The fruits are collected after they are ripe, in September-November. It should be borne in mind that the fruits ripen in the second year, because of this there can be both green and ripe fruits on the same plant.
Method of picking
Ripe fruits are collected by shaking the plant on a tarp.
Method of drying
They are dried in the shade or in a dryer, up to 35° C, with good ventilation. Well-dried fruits are violet-black on the outside and dark green on the inside.
Juniper acts as diaphoretic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, soothing, warming, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, aromatic, tonic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. It facilitates digestive processes and disinfects the urinary tract. Juniper is used for urinary disorders, sand and stones in the kidneys and bladder, cystitis, insufficient menstrual flow, white discharge, rheumatism, chronic rheumatism, joint pain, flatulence, gout, liver diseases, chronic bronchitis, neuralgia, hemorrhoids, skin diseases, digestive problems, upset stomach, flatulence, decreased appetite, colic, bad breath, neuroses, gingivitis, pancreatic diseases and neoplasias.
It should be used by pregnant women and people with kidney inflammation. Urinary tract irritation, diarrhea and kidney infection may occur with prolonged use. He should be taken internally over 40 days.