Juniper - genus of evergreen coniferous trees and shrubs belonging to the cypress family.
There are as trees and shrubs. The area of distribution extends to the kind of Eurasia - from the mountainous regions of the subtropics to the Arctic, and in North America - from the mountainous regions of northern Mexico to Alaska. An exception is the East African juniper, common in the mountainous regions of Africa.
Fields of application juniper
Due to its medicinal properties juniper known since the days of ancient Greece and Rome. In ancient times, juniper berries put in wine and used as a diuretic and against snake bites.
Today, the scope of the plant is not limited to the field of medicine. It is used for decorative purposes, shelterbelts and afforestation for slope stabilization.
From needles and juniper wood oil is extracted.
The wood used for the manufacture of various products - dishes, toys, jewelry, pencils and stands.
In cooking, used needles and juniper berries. As spices are added in the preparation of many dishes. Shishkoyagody also used for the production of alcoholic drinks - gin, juniper vodka and beer. Dried juniper berries prepared coffee substitute sugar and juniper.
The chemical composition of juniper
In shishkoyagody contain carbohydrates (40%), wax, resins, tannin and coloring matter, volatile oil (2%), organic acids (malic, acetic, formic) and a plurality of vitamins, macro- and trace elements: aluminum, copper, iron manganese etc.
The composition of essential oils contained in the juniper berries, are camphene, terpenes, cadinene, terpineol, pinene, borneol.
The juniper needles contained ascorbic acid, and in the cortex - tannins and pigments, resins, oils and saponins.
Medicinal properties of juniper
The plant is best known for its phytoncide properties.
According to some scientists, the daily per hectare planted with juniper evaporates about 30 kg of volatile production. This amount is enough to clear the atmosphere of a large city on the disease-causing organisms.
In medical practice is widely used shishkoyagody. Preparations based on fruit prescribed as a diuretic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, disinfectant, cholagogue, as well as diseases of the bladder and kidneys, flatulence and diarrhea.
Juniper essential oil has a strong disinfectant properties. It is used for trichomonas coleitis, neuralgia, rheumatic pain and sciatica, pain in muscles and joints, while arthritis.
Medicinal properties of juniper used in diathesis, allergies, eczema and herpes, dermatitis.
Roots drugs used for treating pulmonary tuberculosis, various skin diseases, bronchitis, and gastric ulcers.
From wood by dry distillation juniper - turpentine oil, which is used externally as a painkiller.
In folk medicine into use shishkoyagody malaria, edema, rheumatism, gout, diseases of the kidney. The plant is a member of mixtures used in metabolic arthritis.
Outwardly shishkoyagody used for scabies and wet shingles. Decoction of juniper berries rinse in inflammation gums.
The plant is toxic in large doses, so treatment should be done only under medical supervision.
The plant is contraindicated in pregnancy, severe high blood pressure, inflammation of the kidneys and in the case of individual intolerance.