The multiple advantages of juniper berries can be ascribed to their nutrient-dense nature. The evergreen plant Juniperus communis bears these delicious berries. They have an earthy, woody scent and a sour flavor, and they’re utilized in cooking. Asia, North America, and Europe are all home to juniper berries. Let’s take a closer look at the multiple benefits, nutritional information, and potential adverse effects of juniper berries. Scroll down to find out more.
In addition to potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, calcium, limonene, iron, copper, and chromium. There are some dose instructions whether you plan to take a supplement or increase your diet of these berries.
Juniper Berries Nutrition Facts
What Is Juniper Berry?
The male and female blooms of the juniper tree grow on different plants, making it dioecious. The cones produced by the male juniper plant are smaller than those produced by the female juniper plant. Because they are small pollen bags, the male plant’s cones are inedible. Female cones, on the other hand, are more significant than male cones and develop into what we know as juniper berries.
These green cones mature into round and oval-shaped juniper berries that are dark blue and have a white-ish waxy coating on their skin after around 18 months. Although most juniper berries are edible, Juniperus oxycedrus and Juniperus sabina should not be eaten.
What Are the Health Benefits of Juniper Berry?
For centuries, juniper berries’ astringent and antibacterial characteristics have been employed in traditional medicine. Here are a few more possible and emerging juniper berry health benefits.
Highly Rich in Nutrients and Powerful Compounds
Juniper berries are high in vitamin C, which is essential for your immunity and the creation of collagen in your body. Vitamin C also protects your skin from photodamage caused by the sun, and it’s a powerful antioxidant that keeps your cells safe from free radicals. Flavonoids, abundant in these berries, have many health advantages.
You may be able to protect yourself from chronic heart disease by integrating a flavonoid-rich diet. The effects of flavonoids on diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and brain disease were investigated in a study. Flavonoids were discovered to help alleviate some of the symptoms of various disorders when ingested in their natural state or manufactured. The study also said that more research is needed before clinical trials of flavonoids in treating specific disorders.
Juniper berries have anti-inflammatory qualities due to their essential oils and antioxidants. These essential oils have also been used medicinally and for flavor.
They aid in preventing cell oxidation, which causes rapid cell damage, and protects cells against free radicals, which cause tissue damage. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, juniper berry oil has been utilized in skincare and cosmetics. Juniper berry oil has been shown in studies to help with chronic inflammation and fibrosis.
Juniper berries have long been used to treat diabetes in traditional medicine. A study tested the anti-diabetic activity of juniper berry extracts on rats. During the study, rats with diabetes were fed extracts of juniper berries for 21 days, and their blood glucose levels were much lower.
The research confirmed that juniper berry extracts have anti-diabetic effects and could be utilized to treat type 2 diabetes. However, more research is needed to determine whether they have the same impact on the human body.
May Protect Your Heart Health
Juniper berries may help your heart health by increasing HDL levels while decreasing LDL levels. High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is also known as good cholesterol. Excess cholesterol is absorbed by HDL and sent to the liver, and it’s processed by your liver and flushed out of your system.
Higher HDL cholesterol levels are beneficial since they lower your heart disease and stroke risk. Low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol, is an acronym for low-density lipoprotein. High LDL cholesterol levels are dangerous for you since they increase your chances of heart attack or stroke.
Antibacterial, Antifungal, and Good for Your Gut
Because of a molecule called terpenes, the essential oils of juniper berries are also known to have similar qualities. The essential oils of the juniper berry contain terpenes, which act as a diuretic, and this aids in the improvement of kidney and intestine function.
How to Use Juniper Berries?
Juniper berries are employed in cooking and a few alcoholic beverages and their therapeutic applications. They have a robust flavor and perfume that goes well with marinades and meat recipes. Slice the berries in half and add them to your sauce for a more robust flavor and taste.
If you like a light flavor, roast the berries first, then crush them into a coarse powder before adding them to your sauce or marinade. Mutton (lamb), wild boar, hog, and venison all benefit from the use of juniper. The medicinal effects of the oil extracted from dried juniper berries have been exploited in the cosmetics business.
Can You Drink Juniper Tea?
Tea made from juniper berries has been drinking for thousands of years. Drinking juniper berry tea has numerous advantages. It’s not only a delicious and refreshing drink, but it also has numerous health benefits. Juniper berries are the fruit of the Juniperus plant and are cones of the female plants, not berries.
They are a dark blue/purplish tint when fully mature. Because juniper berries are what give gin its flavor, if you’re familiar with the alcoholic beverage gin, you already know what they taste like. However, juniper berry tea can be made by steeping these berries in hot water.
Side Effects of Eating Juniper Berries
Because there aren’t enough research and clinical trials on juniper berries, you should proceed with caution because there could be adverse side effects. Here are a few possible juniper berry side effects.
- Oral consumption of juniper berries is relatively safe for most adults. However, if consumed in excessive quantities or over a long period, they can be harmful to the kidneys, and they may also irritate the gut, resulting in gastrointestinal problems.
- You may recall reading earlier in this article that juniper berries contain anti-diabetic properties and could be used to treat type 2 diabetes. However, another study indicated that taking high amounts of juniper berry extracts over a lengthy period can significantly reduce blood pressure in people with diabetes.
- A study was carried out to see if the chemicals found in juniper berries could create difficulties in cows during pregnancy. The substance isocupressic acid, recognized as an abortifacient, was discovered in juniper berries.
- When applied to the skin in concentrated form, the essential oils from juniper berries can cause irritation, rashes, and even blisters. It can also cause rashes and nasal blisters in certain people.
Safety Precautions to Be Considered Before Taking Juniper Berries
When ingested orally in modest amounts, juniper berries are harmless, but they should still be consumed cautiously.
- Pregnant women should not consume juniper berries or juniper berry extracts because they can harm the unborn child by causing the uterus to contract. It should also be avoided by people who have kidney problems because it can harm them.
- Avoid using concentrated juniper berry extracts on your skin since they might produce rashes or, in severe circumstances, blistering dermatitis.
Finally, juniper berries are an evergreen shrub found in Europe, North America, and Asia. These berries have long been used in traditional medicine to cure various diseases. They have both positive and negative health consequences. Given how little is known about these berries, consuming them without first learning about them could result in health problems. Uniper berries have a fresh, woodsy, and highly green flavor that reminds me of pine. There’s also a dash of spiciness and a delicious citrus flavor. Overall, the juniper berry has a solid but agreeable flavor.