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Let’s discover the plants and herbs found in Opificio Fred’s products, beginning with juniper: an antiseptic, balsamic, diuretic, and antirheumatic plant, used in Fred’s GIN43, GIN7 Acacia Barrel and in his GIN7 Chamomile. Juniper’s scented berries are what give the gin its characteristic flavour.

Juniper as a Medicinal Plant

Juniper is officially known as a medicinal plant, as recognised in articles 1 and 9 of law n.99 from 6 January 1931, which specifically references the botanical drug that juniper is derived from.

By ‘drug’, we mean the part or organ of the plant – which is dried and conserved – which contains the highest quantity of active principles.

Botanical drugs can be whole, fragmented, or sliced plants in an untreated state, which are usually desiccated and used for medicinal purposes.

Juniper throughout History

The juniper berry boasts a deep-rooted history, with its balsamic and diuretic qualities noted as far back as the Ancient Egyptians.

The Celts found juniper to be protective for many reasons, as well as considering it a useful tool in combatting theft and incantations. It was also an essential ingredient in love filters.

Roman statesman Cato wrote that juniper berries could be used to produce medicinal wine, and that its ripe fruit could be used for spirits, which was said to be a both good diuretic and an efficient remedy for sciatica.

According to Pliny, the bees which fed from juniper sap created a honey that was unique in flavour.

What does juniper look and taste like?

Juniper is a type of plant from the Cupressaceae family; it’s a bush plant which grows both in the mountains and in lowlands. It has needle-shaped leaves, green flowers, and berries which turn dark purple in colour when fully ripened.

Juniper berries are initially sweet in flavour, with a bitter and acidic aftertaste.

Juniper’s Principles

The juniper plant is rich in aromatic oils, which can be found in its berries, its roots and its leaves. When the berries are ripe, they contain an essential oil with diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties. Chewing a juniper berry three times a day was even said to combat bad breath.

How to Use Juniper: Infusions and Liqueurs

Juniper can be used as a diuretic by making an infusion of 4-5 grams of berries in 300g of boiling water.

Juniper berries can be used to create a liqueur which makes a great digestif. Here is Fred’s special recipe for creating Juniper Liqueur:

  • 150g of berries left to soak in 1l of 60% alcohol for 10 days;

  • 8g aniseed;

  • 4g cinnamon;

  • 800g sugar syrup.

In aromatherapy, juniper is considered a purifier of both the physical body and the energetic body. It cleanses any negative vibrations accumulated and opens the mind, removing senses of confusion and inspiring strength.

Be aware of intoxication if juniper essential oil is used excessively and for long periods.

Gin43 Fred Jerbis contains 43 plants, including, of course, juniper. You’ve tried it, right? Add it to your cart now in our online shop!

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