benefits of juniper

Surprising Health Benefits of Juniper Berry Tea

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benefits of juniper

Juniper berry tea is a wonderful herbal tea that can be used to treat a variety of ailments. This article will reveal some of the health benefits of juniper berry tea and how you can use it to improve your health. 

Juniper berries are one of the herbs I enjoy foraging during the winter months here in the Northeast because this is the time that they are at their peak of ripeness.

In addition to using them to flavor food, I also use them in tea by themselves or in wild tea blends for their medicinal properties. Their flavor is intense, so a little bit goes a long way. 

I typically only harvest a few cups every winter which is plenty to last my household for the whole year. 

What is juniper berry tea?

Juniper berry tea is a drink that has been consumed for thousands of years. There are many benefits to 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 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?

There are many health benefits of juniper as well as many associated with drinking juniper berry tea. It is very high in antioxidants and vitamins A and C. Antioxidants help fight free radicals in your body, which can cause cancer and heart disease. Vitamins A and C help strengthen your immune system to prevent colds and boost your body’s ability to fight off any infections you may have contracted.

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:

Another benefit of juniper berries is that they can be used to treat stomach problems by aiding digestion the same way many other herbs and spices do. They increase bile and digestive juices by increasing glandular function.

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 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 is a form of arthritis that typically affects a joint. It’s more common in men than in women and usually afflicts people over 40 years of age.

It can begin as an isolated flare-up or become a chronic condition, resulting in periods of intense pain, stiffness, swelling, and redness around the joint.  

For treating gout, juniper berry tea is used as a diuretic. Juniper berries increase urine output and thus help to flush uric acid from your body, relieving the symptoms of gout.

5) Treatment for Kidney Stones:

Drinking juniper berry tea can also be effective against kidney stone formation due to its ability to increase urine flow. 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 can help you get relief. The antibacterial property of juniper berries combined with its diuretic effect makes it ideal 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.

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 and people 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- I am not a medical professional. All information shared here is for information and entertainment only. Do your own research and consult your health care provider before treating yourself with any product, plant or mixture. 

As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Author

  • The Outdoor Apothecary

    Barbi Gardiner is a bioregional herbalist, gardener, forager, modern naturalist and creator from the “quiet corner” of Connecticut in what is known as The Last Green Valley - the largest stretch of dark night sky in the Northeast megalopolis corridor. She is of Chaubunagungamaug Nipmuck, Polish, and Scandinavian descent and is committed to reviving the plant knowledge of her ancestors. The Outdoor Apothecary aims to inspire people to return to their roots, rewild themselves with nature, and rediscover the joy of living a simple life.

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