杜松籽 (dù sōng zǐ)
With over 50 different species in its family, Juniper is a tough shrubby conifer that requires a little care and not much sunshine. Juniper prefers Northern climates, but can be found in vast territories from Polar zones to mountain tropics.
The most valuable part of the plant is its berry of blue-black color and sweet and spicy flavour. The berries have a strong cedar-like or pine-like aroma.
The berries and branches have been valued since ancient times for their purifying and cleansing properties. They have been used for flavoring of food and drink, as a folk medicine and for protection from evil spirits.
Juniper has been known for centuries as a sacred plant to cleanse body and spirit and to scare off the evil spirits. In medieval times due to its air-purifying strong fragrance, juniper branches were burned to disinfect rooms and protect against epidemics of plague and smallpox. Ancient Greeks and Romans considered juniper to be a strong antidote for snake bites. Avicenna prescribed crushed berries with honey for healing of wounds.
In time this plant has gained a really sacred and magical reputation. Travelers would take a small branch of juniper with them to be protected during a long journey. A juniper planted near the front door was said to keep the witches away. The North American Indians burned juniper branches to protect themselves from powers of nature and to bring good luck in hunting.
Northern and Eastern Europe, North Asia, North America.
Juniper is widely used as a spice for food and in baking, as a traditional medicine and as flavoring for alcoholic drinks, particularly gin.
The furniture made of juniper tree is durable, long-lasting and aromatic. In Russia Juniper resin has been used for varnishing violins and other musical instruments.
In cooking juniper berries are particularly popular for spicing and marinating wild meat and cured sausages in the countries of Eastern and Northern Europe. This spice gives the food an exotic aroma of pine trees. However, juniper berries should be used with caution in very small amounts, as overloading them can be toxic.
Medically, Juniper berries are full of tonic, anti-bacterial, anti-spasmodic and antiseptic properties. They have proven to have a strong diuretic effect and are used for treating kidney problems and flushing out toxins. Also throughout Europe the berries and particularly their essential oil have been used to alleviate rheumatism, arthritis, joint and muscle pain.
Juniper also is a strong stimulant for appetite, treating various digestive disorders.
Juniper berries contain a number of acids, flavonoids (related to antioxidants), tannins (astringents) and volatile oil, which is mainly responsible for juniper’s diuretic properties.
Due to its tonic effect, the juniper berries enhance overall immunity and alertness.
Antibacterial and antiseptic juniper berries have healing effect on acne and are useful for balancing oily skin. Due to the fresh, woody aroma, the berries are especially popular in men’s skin care products.
Massage oil infused with juniper berries is excellent for treating cellulite and toning the skin.
Its fresh, invigorating and calming aroma refreshes the mind and eases stress.
Not to be used by pregnant women and people with serious kidney problems.
Essential oil, condensed tannins, flavonoids, resins, diterpenes/
Try the refreshing and stimulating action of fresh Juniper Berries in our Burdock & Camellia Tea Seeds with Juniper Berries & Detox Oils Elixir treatment from the Summer Detox & Purify Menu.