Contrary to their name, juniper berries aren’t actually berries. They are instead tiny little pine needles from the juniper bush.
Most people know it for its piny flavour, often used to accompany gin. But what most people don’t know is the many medicinal benefits that juniper berries have.
Antioxidant /depurative properties
One benefit of juniper berries is its function as an anti-oxidant. When a food has high levels of anti-oxidants, they help to neutralise free radicals in the body. This acts as a blood detoxifier and purifier from substances that can often lead to diseases like arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
Juniper berries also aid digestion. Many people are often put off by the juniper flavour, which is sometimes bitter. But it is exactly this property that helps digestion within our bodies. The bitter flavour stimulates the production of saliva, which mean that the digestive enzymes and stomach acid secretions increase. As a result of this increase, the body finds it easier to break down food.
The antispasmodic properties of juniper berries mean that they are effective on nearly all forms of cramps. Whether these cramps are muscular, respiratory, intestinal or any other area, juniper berries relax the muscles cramps. This eases the pain we all know too well.
As a result of its astringent properties, juniper oil, once it is extracted, can help cure toothache and stop hair loss. It also strengthens the gums, which protects them from loosening or even falling out. It does this because the astringent properties cause the blood vessels to contract.