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What Is Juniper Berry Used for Today?
Contemporary herbalists primarily use juniper as a diuretic ("water pill") component of herbal formulas designed to treat bladder infections . A typical combination might include goldenrod , dandelion , uva ursi , parsley , cleavers, and buchu. The volatile oils of juniper reportedly increase the rate of kidney filtration, 1 thereby increasing urine flow and perhaps helping to "wash out" offending bacteria. However, there is no direct scientific evidence that juniper is effective for bladder infections. Only a double-blind placebo-controlled study can prove a treatment effective, and none have been reported with juniper
Recently, gin-soaked raisins have been touted as an arthritis treatment. This is probably just a fad, but some weak evidence suggests that juniper may possess anti-inflammatory properties. 2 Also, in test tube studies , certain constituents of juniper have been found to inhibit the herpes virus. 3 However, it is a long way from such studies to the conclusion that juniper is helpful for herpes infections .
- Newall C, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. London, England: Pharmaceutical Press; 1996:176.
- Mascolo N, Autore G, Capasso F, et al. Biological screening of Italian medicinal plants for anti-inflammatory activity. Phytother Res. 1987;1:28–31.
- Markkanen T, Makinen ML, Nikoskelainen J, et al. Antiherpetic agent from juniper tree ( Juniperus communis ), its purification, identification, and testing in primary human amnion cell cultures. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1981;7:691–697.