Juniperus communis, or juniper, is an evergreen shrub and part of the cupressaceae family. The shrub can grow to 9m by 4m. The leaves are green all year round with fruit that ripens in October. Juniper is found in a variety of climates and geographical regions, though it prefers light to no shade and drier soils.
Juniper is commonly used as an herbal medicine, a household remedy, and is also found in some commercial preparations. It can be used to treat digestive issues, as well as problems with the kidney and bladder. Externally it can be applied as an essential oil, which has a soothing effect on arthritic joints. The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked and is often added to sauerkraut and stuffings. Juniper is also an essential ingredient for gin. Additionally a decontation made with the branches can be used as an anti-dandruff shampoo and the dried branches make a decent insect repellent.