A Bit of Juniper Commentary

Culpeper  says of Juniper, “The berries are hot in the third degree, and dry but in the first…” Here, Culpeper states that the herb is very hot, but not overly drying, or at least not in a way that will damage the body unless taken in excessive doses. He also says, “…they provoke urine exceedingly, and therefore are very available to dysuries and stranguaries.” Also, “[the berries] break the stone” This remains a common use of this medicinal today. As noted in the monograph above, Juniper is a very good medicinal for the treatment of turbid dampness in various parts of the body, but is likely most known for treating urinary problems.  In another part of his monograph he says, “… [Juniper] strengthens the stomach exceedingly, and expels wind; indeed there is scarce a better remedy for wind in any part of the body, or the colick, than the chymical oil drawn from the berries.” Also, “procure appetite when lost” While I have not used the oil in this fashion, mainly because that is not part of my training, I can say that the berries serve this function quite well. He also makes a number of references to its possible connection to the treatment of turbid dampness or phlegm with statements such as, “the berries stay all fluxes” “are excellent good for all palsies, and falling sickness” “strengthen the brain exceedingly, help the memory…help the gout….are excellent good in all sorts of agues…and strengthen all the limbs of the body.” Although these statements alone are difficult to evaluate and understand in terms of of turbid dampness or phlegm from the Chinese Medicine point of view, when looking at all of them and keeping in mind the rest of the medicinal’s uses, one can see that there is a strong connection to his use of the medicinal and Chinese Medicine’s understanding of these pathologies.

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