This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
A volatile oil distilled from the fruit (berry) of Juniperus communis Linne (nat. ord. Coniferae).
North America throughout Canada, the Northern United States, and in the Rocky Mountains south to New Mexico.
A colorless or faintly greenish-yellow liquid, becoming darker and thicker by age and exposure to air, having the characteristic odor of Juniper, and a warm, aromatic, somewhat terebinthinate and bitterish taste. Sp. gr., 0.850 to 0.890.
In about 4 times its volume of Alcohol.
Oil of Juniper is composed chiefly of terpenes, which are mostly Pinene and Cadinene.
Dose, 2 to 10 m.; .12 to .60 c.c.
1. Spiritus Juniperi. - Spirit of Juniper. Oil of Juniper, 50; Alcohol, 950.
Dose, 30 to 60 m.; 2. to 4. c.c.
Dose, 1 to 4 fl. dr.; 4. to 15. c.c.
Oil of juniper has much the same action as oil of turpentine; but it is not so liable to upset the digestion; and although it is a powerful renal stimulant and diuretic, it does not easily cause haematuria and albuminuria. Because of its antiseptic properties it is employed for the preservation of cat-gut.
Occasionally it is given as a pleasant carminative and stomachic, but its main use is as a diuretic in heart disease, hepatic ascites, and chronic Bright's disease. It must not be given in the acute form, and should always be combined with other diuretics. It certainly markedly increases the quantity of the urine, which it causes to smell like violets. As it is a constituent of Holland and other gins these are good forms of alcohol for persons suffering from the above diseases.