Juniper berries have lots of benefits, including detoxifying the kidneys, bladder, and prostate of toxic waste. It's also useful for fighting urinary infections, much like Echinaeca. Like Ginger root, it too is helpful for improving digestion. Modern herbalist suggest the use of these berries for relieving gout, arthritis, and painful joints. Historically, the Navajo people realized the fruit is an herbal remedy for diabetes. Certain American tribes would infuse the berries with Berberis root, in a special herbal blend used as medicine. The Native Americans also used them as a female contraceptive.
Are Juniper Berries Edible?
The answer is yes, of course. The thing is there are over 40 species of it, and a small portion of those are poisonous. So, you must know what you are doing if you attempt to identify them in the wild. The ones discussed on this page are obviously not poisonous and actually have many benefits to human health. Only one variety is used as a food, to make Jam, medicine, etc. It's best to either know how to identify them, grow them yourself, or get them from a reputable supplier.
Aside from the discoveries of the Natives, they were also an ingredient in the ancient Mumio incense recipe developed in Russian folk medicine. We can see that multiple cultures from around the world have found a use for this plant. On one study, the essential oil of Juniper was studied for its possible antimicrobial and antifungal qualities. I hope to see even further studies conducted on them in the near future by other phytochemical researchers.
Are Juniper Berries Poisonous Pets?
There seems to be contradictory information regarding this question. It has been suggested that they may not be toxic to dogs. It's also been stated that they may inducing vomiting in dogs. To be safe, I would not allow any pet to consume these berries. A good rule of thumb is, if there is any doubt, then there is no doubt. Use it my friends, because it seems to be pretty solid vice to live by.
Juniper berries contain Vitamin A, B, C, D & E. They also contain other phytochemicals. Phytochemistry is a branch of chemistry, that seeks to understand these remedies from a scientific stand-point. They isolate chemicals from plants that posses pharmacological value. This type of scientific inquiry has given us a solid understanding of how these remedies carry out their benefits on our health. It has also been exploited by big pharmaceutical companies. The natural synergy of a plant based medicine vs. pharmaceutical drugs, are two completely different stories.
Precautions: Pregnant women should avoid use of these berries and those with kidney problems. Do not consume them if you have diabetes, bleeding disorders, or after surgery.
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