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Although juniper is regarded as safe and is widely used in foods, we don't recommend taking it during pregnancy. (We also recommend not drinking gin.) Remember, juniper was used historically to stimulate menstruation and childbirth. It has also been shown to cause miscarriages in rats. 1 Individuals taking the medication lithium should use herbal diuretics such as juniper only under the supervision of a physician, as being dehydrated when taking this medication can be dangerous. 2 Some texts warn that juniper oil may be a kidney irritant, but there is no real evidence that this is the case. 3 Nonetheless, people with serious kidney disease probably shouldn't take juniper. Safety for young children, nursing women, or those with severe liver disease has also not been established.
Interactions You Should Know About
If you are taking lithium ,do not use juniper except under the supervision of a physician.
- Agrawal OP, Bharadwaj S, Mathur R. Antifertility effects of fruits of Juniperuscommunis. Planta Med. 1980;(suppl):98–101.
- Pyevich D, Bogenschutz MP. Herbal diuretics and lithium toxicity [letter]. Am J Psychiatry. 2001;158:1329.
- Newall C, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. London, England: Pharmaceutical Press; 1996:176.