Savin, the Juniper Savin (Sabina), or Saffern, is a herb which

grows freely in our bed of garden Simples, if properly cared for, and

which possesses medicinal virtues of a potential nature. The shrub is

a native of southern Europe, being a small evergreen plant, the twigs

of which are densely covered with little leaves in four rows, having

a strong, peculiar, unpleasant odour of turpentine, with a bitter,

acrid, resino
s taste. The young branchlets are collected for

medicinal use. They contain tannin, resin, a special volatile oil, and

extractive matters.

A medicinal tincture (H.) is made from the fresh leaves, and the

points of the shoots of the cultivated Savin. But this is a powerful

medicine, and must be used with caution. In small doses of two or

three drops with a tablespoonful of cold water it is of singular

efficacy for arresting an active florid flux from the [494] womb at

the monthly times of women when occurring too profusely, the

remedy being given every two, three, or four hours. Or from one to

four grains of powdered Savin may be taken instead of each dose of

the tincture.

The stimulating virtues of Savin befit it for cleansing carbuncles,

and for benefiting baldness. When mixed with honey it has removed

freckles with success; the leaves, dried and powdered, serve, when

applied, to dispel obstinate warty excrescences about the genitals.

Rubbed together with cerate, or lard, powdered Savin is used for

maintaining the sores of blisters, and of issues, open when it is

desired to keep up their derivative action.

The essential oil will stimulate the womb to functional activity

when it is passively congested and torpid. As to its elementary

composition this oil closely resembles the spirit of turpentine; and

when given in small well diluted doses as a tincture (made of the oil

mixed with spirit of wine), such medicine does good service in

relieving rheumatic pains and swellings connected with impaired

health of the womb. For these purposes the ordinary tincture (H.) of

Savin should be mixed, one part thereof with nine parts of spirit of

wine, and given in doses of from six to ten drops with a

tablespoonful of water. Dr. Pereira says about the herb: According

to my own observation, Savin is the most certain and powerful

stimulator of the monthly courses in the whole of our Materia

Medica; and I never saw any ill effects result from its

administration. The essential oil may be preferred in a dose of from

one to four drops on sugar, or in milk, when this functional activity

is sought.

Savin was known of old as the Devil's Tree, and the Magician's

Cypress, because much affected by witches and sorcerers when

working their spells.