benefits of juniper

Surprising Health Benefits of Juniper Berry Tea

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Juniper berry tea is a delightful herbal infusion with many potential benefits. In this piece, I’ll explore some of the positive aspects of juniper berry tea as well as the benefits of juniper and how it can enhance well-being.

During the winter months here in the Northeast, I enjoy foraging for juniper berries when they’re perfectly ripe. These berries add a unique flavor to food, and I also incorporate them into tea blends, either on their own or mixed with other wild herbs. Their flavor is robust, so a small amount can impart plenty of taste.

I usually gather just enough berries each winter to last my household for the entire year, ensuring we have a fresh supply on hand.

benefits of juniper

What is juniper berry tea?

Juniper berry tea is a drink that has been consumed for thousands of years. There are many benefits of juniper and drinking juniper berry tea. It’s not just a tasty and refreshing beverage, but it also offers lots of health benefits. 

Juniper berries are the fruit of the Juniper tree (Juniperus plant) and are actually not berries at all, but the cones of the female plants.  When ripe, they are a dark blue/purplish color.

If you’re familiar with the alcoholic beverage gin, then you already know what juniper berries taste like, since this is what gives gin its flavor.  But these berries can also be steeped in hot water to make juniper berry tea. 

benefits of juniper

What are the Health Benefits of Juniper Tea?

Juniper, a wonderful gift from nature, offers a variety of wellness benefits, especially when enjoyed as juniper berry tea. This delightful brew is packed with antioxidants, which help combat oxidative stress in the body. It’s also a rich source of vitamin C, an important nutrient that supports the immune system, assisting in fending off colds and supporting the body’s ability to fight infections.

Moreover, juniper tea contains essential minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, which contribute to overall health. Additionally, juniper berries provide thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin, along with other essential minerals like iron and chromium. The presence of flavonoids and naturally occurring compounds with beneficial properties in juniper further enhances its wellness-promoting qualities, making it a holistic choice for those interested in natural remedies and well-being.

Here are a few more health benefits of juniper and reasons to enjoy juniper tea:

1) Treating Common Cold & Cough:

The University of Connecticut recently did a study on natural remedies and herbs that fight off the flu. Guess what? By taking ginseng, juniper, and ginger at least three times a week, you can cut your chances of getting the flu by 65%! That’s a huge number!

Juniper berries contain an antiviral compound (deoxypodophyllotoxin) that can be helpful for upper-respiratory-tract infections, colds, and flu. Try steeping a handful of juniper berries in hot water before bedtime. 

2) Treating Stomach problems:

Delving into the wonders of juniper, we discover that these robust berries offer relief for common digestive discomforts. They have been traditionally used to ease issues like upset stomach, heartburn, gas, bloating, decreased appetite, and gastrointestinal upsets. Juniper berries support stomach health by encouraging the production of bile and digestive juices, which in turn aids the body’s natural digestive processes.

3) Diabetes prevention:

Some studies have found that juniper berries can decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes , by regulating blood sugar levels and making them more stable. 

*The consumption of juniper might lower blood sugar too much in a people taking medication for diabetes because it may cause a further decrease in blood sugar to very low levels. 

4) Treatment for gout:

Gout, a specific type of arthritis, often targets a single joint and is more prevalent in men than women, typically affecting those over 40 years of age. This condition can manifest as sporadic flare-ups or evolve into a chronic issue, leading to severe pain, stiffness, swelling, and redness in the affected joint.

In the realm of natural remedies, the benefits of juniper are particularly notable in easing the discomfort of gout. Juniper berry tea, known for its diuretic properties, is commonly used in this context. Research indicates that juniper berries enhance urine production, and may aid in the elimination of uric acid from the body. This process effectively alleviates the symptoms associated with gout, offering a natural and holistic approach to managing this painful condition.

5) Treatment for Kidney Stones:

Drinking juniper berry tea may also be effective against kidney stone formation. The Juniper Berry is notably abundant in volatile oils, especially terpinen-4-ol. This component is known for its potential to enhance kidney filtration rates, thereby boosting urine flow. This process is crucial in effectively flushing out bacteria from the kidneys and bladder, ensuring a healthier urinary system.  

Studies show that juniper berries are a diuretic and stimulate increased production of urine, thereby helping to flush out toxins and waste products from the body. In addition, they help prevent the formation of kidney stones by increasing the production of bile, which removes substances that could cause them.

6) As a Treatment for UTIs

If you’re suffering from urinary tract infections, juniper berries might be able to help you find relief. Studies show that the antibacterial and antiseptic properties of juniper berries combined with its diuretic effect makes it a potential herbal ally for combating UTIs.

juniper

How is Juniper Berry Tea Made?

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp of dried juniper berries (Juniperus communis)
  • 1 cups of boiling water
  • 1 tsp of honey or sweetener of choice

Directions

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, light crush the dried berries to get out all the benefits of juniper berries and its flavors.
  2. Add the dried juniper berries to a tea ball and place in a large mug (alternatively, put the berries directly in the mug). 
  3. Pour the boiling water into the mug. Let steep for 15 minutes. Strain the berries or remove the tea ball.
  4. Enjoy as is or with a teaspoon of raw honey.

Where to Buy Organic Juniper Berries

If you don’t have access to local or homegrown herbs, I highly recommend purchasing them from Mountain Rose Herbs. They are my favorite place to buy high-quality, organic dried herbs and herbal products. As a company they believe in people, plants, and planet over profit and only ever source their herbs ethically and sustainably. It is through this ethical, responsible sourcing, that they are able to offer one of the largest selections of certified organic herbs, spices, and botanicals in North America.

Side Effects and Precautions of Juniper Berry

Consuming juniper berry is generally considered safe, but there can be allergic reactions, as well as drug interactions and possible toxicity when consumed in large quantities.

Despite its many benefits, there are also precautions and downsides to consuming juniper berries. Pregnant and breastfeeding women with urinary tract or kidney problems should avoid drinking juniper berry tea as it might cause contractions.

Also, consuming large of amounts of juniper berries (uncommon) has been proven to be toxic.

As with any other unusual and unfamiliar health supplement, it is important to consult your doctor about its use and possible side effects before delving into it.

Concluding thoughts

Hopefully, I’ve provided some information to both encourage and inform you about the health benefits of juniper berry tea. Juniper berries, as well as juniper berry tea, can be a great addition to your health routine. However, as it is with anything in life, you should consult with a health professional before beginning any type of health care treatment.

Disclaimer:

The Outdoor Apothecary website is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is the reader’s responsibility to ensure proper plant identification and usage.

Please be aware that some plants are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. We are not health professionals, medical doctors, or nutritionists. It is essential to consult with qualified professionals for verification of nutritional information, health benefits, and any potential risks associated with edible and medicinal plants mentioned on this website.

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4 thoughts on “Surprising Health Benefits of Juniper Berry Tea”

  1. thank you for this information regarding juniper berries. You mentioned that it was helpful in preventing UTIs. Then you said people with UTIs should not consume juniper berry tea. I’m not sure which is correct that is a bit conflicting. Can you please clarify?

  2. I recently found my potassium blood levels are elevated. Additionally, I am retaining fluid and experiencing a higher than normal BP.
    Many juniper trees grow on our land and I have begun to drink 2 cups of juniper berry tea per day in an effort to eliminate fluid which should help with the BP and potassium levels.
    I crush lightly with a pestle, barely cover with ACV, and steep about 20 minutes.
    Great article. Thanks.

    1. I’m glad you found the article helpful:) Just a friendly reminder to consult with your healthcare provider or a clinical herbalist (I am not) about this approach to ensure it aligns with your overall health management plan, especially considering your elevated potassium levels. They can provide valuable insights and make sure it’s a safe addition to your routine.

  3. I planted some junipers along one side of my house 28 years ago…I still remember they were $1.97 each. I love that I have no weeding or work on that side of the house where they were planted…but sadly I do not know the variety. Does it matter? Are there any juniper berries one would not use for tea?

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