How to Use Juniper: From Bath to the Infusion

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The juniper is a small conifer, which usually does not exceed 2-3 m in height: unmistakable for the needle-shaped leaves, stiff and sharp, and the characters like soft fruits, such as galbule or snuggle.
They mature in 2 years, are rounded, have a 5-8 mm diameter, and a strong and pleasant aroma. When ripe, they are of a blue-blackish color, are frequently used in herbal medicine as natural remedies for urinary tract problems and particularly for cystitis.

Common Juniper and Dwarf Juniper

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The common juniper is found everywhere, almost throughout Italy, from the coastal areas (it is frequent in the Mediterranean scrub) to the mountain resorts. However, the mountain variety at considerable altitudes, the dwarf juniper, characteristic for its creeping and prostrate posture, with a plant height that does not reach one meter.

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Where to Plant the Juniper

Juniper grows everywhere, in the plains as in the mountains, on medium-textured and loose soils or even on dry, stony, and very permeable ones. It resists heat and cold, wind and snow, fog, and dryness. The idea is to pin the plant in full sun or partial shade as for exposure.

The plants’ distance should be 1-2 meters for the dwarf variety and 3-4 meters for the common variety.

How Juniper is Grown

Juniper generally propagates by seed. If it interests the collection of berries, it must be borne in mind that it is a dioecious species (therefore, it is advisable to plant at least one couple: a male and a female plant). The plants, which you can place in a pot or the garden, take on a bushy and compact habit, sometimes conical or jagged. When they are small, they should be watered often. Once they have grown up, they are enough twice a week.

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How to  Use Juniper

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The leaves dry in the shade, stirring them often; the fruits, on the other hand, dry in the sun and are kept in glass containers. The juniper is stimulating, anti-rheumaticdiureticpurifying, and balsamic: you can be used to make an infusion or a balsamic bathroom.
In the first case, infuse 30 grams of berries in a liter of boiling water for ten minutes. Let it rest for ten minutes, strain, and drink. The infused juniper immediately eliminates bad breath.
For a balsamic and purifying bath, just a handful of crushed berries and infused in hot water. Due to its high potassium content, the use of juniper-based preparations is not recommended for people suffering from kidney problems.
Adapted and translated by The Cop Cart Staff
Sources: Non Sprecare
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