Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Juniperus communis

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juniperus communis


L. juniperus (cf. Fr. genièvre, Sp. enebro, Port. zimbro, It. ginepro), of uncertain origin, perhaps related to junco "reed." Applied to various N.Amer. species from 1748. In the Bible, it renders Heb. rethem, the name of a white-flowered shrub unrelated to the European evergreen.


Traditional name

engl: juniper

Used parts

The fresh, ripe berries, are pounded to a pulp and weighed. Then two parts by weight of alcohol are taken, the pulp mixed thoroughly with one - sixth part of it, and the rest of the alcohol added.


Plantae; Spermatophyta, Gymnospermae; Coniferopsida - Conifers; Coniferales; Cupressaceae



Original proving

Description of the substance

Juniper is found in Europe, southwestern Asia up to the Himalayas, and North America, where it grows from southern coastal sites to more northerly moorland and mountainous regions. The fruit (berries) is gathered when ripe in autumn.

The Juniper is a small shrub, 4 to 6 feet high.  Numerous varieties of Juniper are distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere.  Small yellow flowers bloom every spring, but it takes two years before the berries can be picked.  The ripe blue berries have a tangy aroma and a tangy-sweet, then bitter taste. Oil extracted from Juniper berries is the main flavoring agent in gin.

J. communis, the common juniper (see fig.), and several other species, belong to the section Oxycedrus. The common juniper is a very widely distributed plant, occurring in the whole of northern Europe, central and northern Asia to Kamchatka, and east and west North America. It grows at considerable elevations in southern Europe, in the Alps, Apennines, Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada (4000 to 8000 ft.). It also grows in Asia Minor, Persia, and at great elevations on the Himalayas. In Great Britain it is usually a shrub with spreading branches, less frequently a low tree. In former times the juniper seems to have been a very well-known plant, the name occurring almost unaltered in many languages. The Lat. juniperus, probably formed from junicrude form of juvenis, fresh, young, and parere, to produce, ti represented by Fr. genievre, Sp. enebro, Ital. ginepito, &c. The dialectical names, chiefly in European languages, were collected by Prince L. L. Bonaparte, and published in the Academy (July 17, 1880, No. 428, p. 45). The common juniper is official in the British pharmacopoeia and in that of the United States, yielding the oil of juniper, a powerful diuretic, distilled from the unripe fruits. This oil is closely allied in composition to oil of turpentine and is given in doses of a half to three minims. The Spiritusjuniperi of the British pharma copoela is given in doses up to one drachm. Much safer and more powerful diuretics are now in use. The wood is very aromatic and is used, for ornamental purposes. In Lapland the hark is made into ropes. The fruits are used for flavouring gin (a name derived from juniper, through Fr. genievre); and in some parts of France a kind of beer called genvrette was made from them by the peasants.

Il ginepro è un arbusto o un piccolo albero sempreverde, molto ramificato fino dalla base, con foglie aghiformi e bacche (galbule) autunnali, aromatiche, di colore bruno-nere. Il nome Juniperus da "jumenta" (giumenta) e "parere" (generare) ricorda l'uso antico di facilitare il parto del bestiame con i frutti del ginepro. Fin dalla antichità le bacche di ginepro furono utilizzate per la loro attività tonica, antisettica, anticatarrale, diuretica ed antireumatica (Dioscoride, S.Ildegarda, Dodoens, Chomel). Secondo un'antica tradizione popolare si avvolgono i pazienti reumatici in un mantello impregnato dalle sostanze liberate dalle bacche di ginepro, bruciate sopra la brace. Il ginepro spesso è indicato come complementare dell'eucalipto nelle affezioni respiratorie e dell'erica negli stati infiammatori delle vie urinarie.

Il ginepro comune è un arbusto di qualche metro, folto, a forma di cespuglio, si trova nelle radure, nelle lande, nei pascoli, lungo i costoni incolti. E'comune in tutto l'emisfero boreale. Albero resistente al freddo ed al calore, è indifferente alla natura del suolo. Fa parte della vegetazione mesoxerofila dei prati, delle lande, inoltre talvolta lo troviamo nel prebosco xerofilo calcicolo.