Did you know that juniper berries aren’t berries? Rather, they are the female seed cones of the juniper tree, a cone-bearing, coniferous plant. The seed cones look much like berries, however, hence their misleading name. Regardless of their classification, juniper berries have been used for their health benefits, specifically detoxification, for centuries. They can also promote the health of the skin and the digestive system.
Helps prevent diseases
Juniper berries contain a lot of antioxidants. These are very beneficial to the body because they can help prevent diseases. They can also fight diseases by relieving oxidative stress caused by the free radicals in the body. Juniper berries also contain flavonoids and bioflavonoids. These are important compounds that give foods their antioxidant supply. In fact, juniper berries contain 87 different antioxidant compounds. They occur more frequently in ripe berries than in unripe ones. Juniper berries also promote the activity of catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase. These are the vital antioxidants in the body. When these antioxidants don’t function well, you’ll become more prone to various diseases.
Keeps the heart healthy
Another benefit of juniper berries is that it helps to keep the heart healthy. This may also be because of the high antioxidant contents. They can help enhance the functions of the heart. It does this by regulating blood pressure and lowering high levels of triglycerides. Juniper berries can also work as anticholinesterase agents. These help build the acetylcholine in the body’s nervous system. Then it will result in a slower heart action, enhanced blood flow, and stimulation of heart contractions. So if you want to keep your heart healthy, consider taking juniper berries regularly.
Serves as a natural antiseptic
Juniper berries have antifungal and antibacterial qualities. This is why you can even use the essential oils from the plant as a natural cleaning agent for your home. The berries have powerful effects on different strains of fungi and bacteria. In fact, some studies suggest that they can be a significant part of the treatment for respiratory and skin infections. The compounds in the berries can also fight off the candida fungus which causes different kinds of infections. They can also reduce inflammations in the mouth as effectively as dental drugs sans the harmful side effects. There is some evidence that claims that the berries can fight bacteria that resist common antibiotics.
They’re beneficial for diabetics
There have been a lot of studies made about juniper berries. This is because of all the potential they have in terms of health benefits. Another benefit of these berries is that they can have a positive effect on diabetics. Also, the essential oil of juniper berry can limit the production of malondialdehyde. Although the role of this compound in diabetes isn’t completely understood, its concentration in the body is much higher for people who have diabetes.
Help treat skin conditions
One of the most common uses and benefits of juniper berry is that it can help treat skin conditions. These include eczema, rashes, and more. Once again, this benefit may come from the antioxidant content of the berries. These can promote the healing of wounds along with the anti-inflammatory benefit. Also, some studies have shown that the extract of juniper berry may help treat vitiligo. You can also use juniper berries to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Although this is a harmless cosmetic problem, people who have it keep looking for ways to get rid of it.
Contains a lot of antioxidants
Most of the health benefits of juniper berries come from the fact that they contain a lot of antioxidants. In fact, this is a benefit in itself. The antioxidants in juniper berries can benefit your body in different ways. Also, the berries contain vitamin C, polyphenols, and flavonoids. Juniper berries come in different forms. There are essential oils, extracts, supplements, and more. All these forms of juniper berries contain powerful antioxidants which can keep you healthy and disease-free. They can help reduce the risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer too.
In folk medicine, juniper berries have frequently been used as a digestive aid. According to studies, berries can help enhance digestive behaviors. The berries also work as diuretics. This means that they can also help relieve bloating. They’re a natural remedy that can help reduce the retention of excess water which, in turn, can aid in weight loss. Juniper berries can also help enhance the flow of your digestive fluids. This improves digestion and also helps eliminate stomach cramping and gas. So regularly taking juniper berries can help alleviate digestive issues. Also, the berries can help relieve pain and reduce congestion.
Aids in keeping the kidneys healthy
The berries can also help keep your kidneys healthy. Modern herbalists use juniper berry diuretics as part of their herbal formulas. They make these formulas to treat infections of the bladder. The essential oil from juniper berry plants can increase the rate of your kidney’s filtration. This increases the flow of urine which will help you wash out bacteria more effectively. Some studies have shown that juniper berry does help increase the volume of urine. But it doesn’t cause the loss of electrolytes like potassium. So those experiencing kidney problems can take juniper berry to improve their condition.
Better quality of sleep
Another benefit you can enjoy from juniper berries is a better quality of sleep. A lot of natural health practitioners recommend the essential oil of juniper berries as a relaxant. They believe that the oil has a positive effect on the brain’s chemistry which then encourages you to rest. There have been studies done about the effects of therapeutic fragrances on insomniacs. The patients were taking medication for the disorder too. They received therapeutic fragrances such as sandalwood, orris, rose, and juniper berry. Results showed that the patients were able to decrease their medication and have a better quality of sleep by the end of the study.
Maintains the health of the urinary and reproductive systems
Finally, juniper berry is also very beneficial to maintaining the health of your urinary and reproductive systems. You can use it as part of the treatment for infections in your bladder, prostate, and urinary tract. Also, the antiseptic properties of the berries can help eliminate toxins and wastes from the body. This will stimulate a defense mechanism against different infections affecting these systems. So include this beneficial food in your routine if you’re looking to become healthier.