What Are the Benefits of the Juniper Berry?

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Perhaps best known for the pine-flavored kick it gives your gin martini, the diminutive juniper berry can do much more than intoxicate you. The fruit of the petite juniper evergreens that flourish throughout North America, Europe, Asia and parts of the Middle East, juniper berries also pack a surprising variety of health and wellness powers.

Treating Urinary Tract Infections

  • Due to the juniper berry’s strong antiseptic nature, it has long been used to treat bacterial infections, particular those that afflict the urinary tract. A natural diuretic, the best way to cure a UTI with juniper is to add the berry’s extract to a beverage—more frequent urination helps to cleanse the bladder and the entire urinary tract.

Digestive Benefits

  • For those suffering from digestive problems, such as gas, upset stomach or indigestion, the powerful oils released by juniper berries can provide a great deal of relief from these symptoms. This is because juniper elevates the stomach’s levels of hydrochloric acid, which helps regulate and stabilize stomach acids.

Anti-Inflammatory Qualities

  • Thanks to the juniper berry’s innate anti-inflammatory traits, juniper can help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with muscle and nerve disorders, arthritis, cystitis, rheumatism, or other joint-related ailments. In addition to juniper supplements, you can also try brushing juniper berry tea over afflicted areas to relieve sore, inflamed and painful muscles and joints.

Antiseptic Capabilities

  • An amazing natural antiseptic, juniper berries can be mashed into a topical paste and applied directly to wounds, cuts and scratches that might otherwise be prone to bacterial infection. In fact, the juice found in juniper berries is a proven and effective remedy for yeasts, bacteria and fungi.

Respiratory Benefits

  • Juniper can be quite effective in the treatment of lingering congestion or respiratory infections, particularly when used in aromatherapy. Thanks to the berries’ unique and stimulant-laden oils, juniper is a natural expectorant and also clears bronchial passages.

Insulin-Related Benefits

  • The juniper berry contains naturally high insulin levels, which can be beneficial for diabetics—especially for those also suffering from pancreatic disorders.

Warnings and Precautions

  • Pregnant women should not use juniper or any juniper berry byproducts, as it has been linked to premature contractions. Individuals with kidney disease should also avoid juniper berries, which can adversely affect renal conditions.

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References

  • Photo Credit Utah Juniper image by Carol Hyman from Fotolia.com woman stomach image by Anatoly Tiplyashin from Fotolia.com medicine spray for treating asthma isolated image by dinostock from Fotolia.com pregnant #8 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com
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