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Juniperus species have been used by many people around the world, but have also been recognized as toxic plants. Juniper is a flavoring in gin and other drinks and is used as a spice in small amounts. The plant displays significant toxicity to the kidneys and skin, which limits its use in medicine, except in small amounts. Juniper is safely used as a fragrance in soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, sachets and other products.
Juniper has been used in dyspepsia (upset stomach) as a berry tea, in eczema and other skin diseases as cade oil or juniper oil. Juniper is thought to be more effective and less irritating when combined with uva ursi, manzanita or pipsissewa. There is a long history of juniper use in Europe and China, but no published clinical trials.
There is no proven safe or effective dose for juniper. Tinctures, tablets, capsules and other forms of berry extracts are commercially available. As an infusion, 2-3 grams of dried berries in 150mL of hot water, has been taken by mouth 3-4 times daily. For dyspepsia, 20-50 milligrams of the berry essential oil has been taken twice daily (for up to a maximum of 100 milligrams). This is usually taken as juniper berry tea.
Cade oil (juniper tar) or juniper oil has been typically used pure or partially diluted. It should be noted that application to the skin may be irritating or toxic to the skin. Volatile oil has been applied on the skin three or more times per day.
There is no proven safe or effective dose for juniper in children, and use is not recommended
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