Preparation: Fluid Extract of Juniper
Related entries: Oleum Juniperi (U. S. P.)—Oil of Juniper - Oleum Cadinum (U. S. P.)—Oil of Cade - Oleum Juniperi Virginianae.—Oil of Cedar - Sabina (U. S. P.)—Savine
The fruit (berries) of Juniperus communis, Linné.
COMMON NAME: Juniper berries.
ILLUSTRATION: Bentley and Trimen, Med. Plants, 255.
Botanical Source.—This is a small evergreen shrub, never attaining the height of a tree, with many very close branches, the extremities of which are smooth and angular. The leaves are attached to the stem or branches in threes, in a verticillate manner, linear-acerose, sharply mucronate, entire, shining-green on their lower surface, and channeled and glaucous along the center of their upper surface; they are always resupinate, and turn their upper surface toward the ground. The flowers are dioecious, the males in small axillary aments, with roundish, acute, stipitate scales, inclosing several anthers. The female flowers are on a separate shrub, having a small, 3-parted involucre growing to the scales, which are 3 in number. The fruit is fleshy, roundish-oblong, berried, of a dark-purplish color, formed of the confluent, succulent scales, marked with 3 prominences, or vesicles at top, ripening the second year from the flower, and containing 3 bony, angular seeds (L).
History and Description.—Juniper is common to Europe and this country, growing in dry woods and hills, and flowering in May. The fruit or berries are the medicinal parts; those which are imported from the southern parts of Europe are the best. The American berries possess less medicinal virtue, and are seldom employed. Juniper berries are about the size of currants, of a purplish-black color, shrunken, marked at the top with a triradiate groove, and at the base with the bracteal scales; they contain 3 seeds. Their odor is peculiar, terebinthine, and aromatic, and their taste terebinthine and sweetish, succeeded by some bitterness; these qualities are due to an essential oil, which may be obtained by distillation with water. They yield their properties to hot water or alcohol. An empyreumatic oil—oil of cade (see Oleum Cadinum), or huile de cade, is obtained in France by dry distillation of the wood of Juniperus Oxycedrus, Linné.
Chemical Composition.—According to Schimmel & Co., Juniper berries contain 1.2 per cent of essential oil in Hungarian, and only 0.7 per cent in German fruit (Flückiger, Pharmacognosie, 1891). (Also see Oleum Juniperi.) Steer (1856) isolated from the berries a yellow coloring matter which he called juniperin. It is soluble in 60 parts of water, also soluble in ether, alcohol, sulphuric acid, and in ammonia with golden-yellow color. Two analyses by Ritthausen and Donath (Jahresb. der Pharm., 1877, p. 62), gave the following percentage composition: Moisture 10.77 (recent), 29.44 (dry); ash 3.37 (R.), 2.33 (D.); dextrose 14.36 (R.), 29.65 (D.); water-soluble matter, consisting of formic, acetic, and malic acids and a bitter substance 11.7 (R.), 3.41 (D.); fat, resin, and volatile oil, 12.24 (R.), 11.33 (D.); protein bodies, 5.41 (R.), 4.45 (D.); cellulose, 31.6 (R.), 15.83 (D.); nitrogen-free matter soluble in sulphuric acid and caustic potash (pectin, Donath) 10.55 (R.), 0.73 (R).
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Both the berries and oil are stimulating, carminative, and diuretic. The oil is said to act like copaiba in arresting mucous discharges, especially from the urethra. It is contained in the spiritous liquor called Hollands, one of its best forms as a diuretic. Five minims of the oil, with 1 fluid drachm of nitrous ether, given 3 times a day in any common vehicle, produces diuresis in dropsy when other means fail. Combined with an equal part of watermelon seeds, and made into an infusion, I have cured several cases of ascites occurring in children, having them to make free use of it (King). The berries are employed principally as an adjunct to other diuretics, and have been found efficient in gonorrhoea, gleet, leucorrhoea, cystirrhoea, affections of the skin, scorbutic diseases, etc. Pyelitis, pyelo-nephritis, and cystitis when chronic, and particularly when in old people, are relieved by juniper. Uncomplicated renal hyperemia a is cured by it. The indications are a persistent weight or dragging in lumbar region. Dose of the berries, from 1 to 2 drachms; of the oil, from 4 to 20 minims. The infusion (berries, ℥i; aqua, Oj), may be given in wineglassful doses, a pint being taken in a day. It is very useful in the dropsy following scarlatina, and other infectious diseases, and may be combined with acetate or bitartrate of potassium if desired. OIL OF CADE has been successfully employed in parasitic skin diseases, moist eczema, and psoriasis.
Preparation of Juniper.—HOWE'S JUNIPER POMADE. This preparation is a compound of lard, oil of juniper and Fowler's solution, the proportions of which have been published in the Eclectic Medical Journal. Much pharmaceutical skill is required to blend the ingredients so as to prevent subsequent separation. Juniper pomade is useful in "all forms of eczema or tetter. It allays the itching and destroys the vesicles and scales. The unguent may be used upon all parts of the body, though sparingly upon mucous surfaces. It is employed in the nasal cavities with a camel's hair brush to mitigate the symptoms of catarrh, to arrest hay-fever, to heal nasal ulcers, to arrest ringing in the ears, and to improve states of deafness depending upon thickening of the linings of the Eustachian tubes. Juniper pomade softens the scaly patches oil the face which are often epitheliomatous. It has proved an excellent dressing for tetter of the edges of the eyelids, which leads to 'wild hairs', and induration of the tarsal borders. The pomade is reliable in the treatment of sore nipples in nursing women. and it will cure chapped hands" (Prof. A. J. Howe, M. D.).