OMG! Juniper berries are the most vile tasting berries alive. Who ever invented such a thing?
I have mountain cedars (juniper) growing all around me. They are all over central Texas. When the male trees bloom and shoot out their pollen, it can be mistaken for smoke or dense fog. Very, very many people, in this area, have cedar fever.
Why do I care? Well, the berries are ready for harvest now in October. There are very few birds that get them. I don't blame them. The deer will eat as many as they can reach; but heck, they will even eat the leaves. A lady once told me that if you have cedar fever, now is the time to start harvesting the berries, put them in hot water and steep like tea. Then drink daily to train the immune system to deal with cedar fever later in the spring. Kind of homeopathic. OK. I tried. I'd almost rather have cedar fever.
So, I looked up what benefits there are to juniper berries. This is what I found.
Juniper has been used in traditional herbal medicine to treat juniper berries, including gout, warts and skin growths, cancer, upset stomach, and various urinary tract and kidney diseases.
Juniper has been used to clear uric acid from the body. It is high in natural insulin, and has the ability to heal the pancreas where there has been no permanent damage. The antiseptic volatile oil is excreted in the urine which disinfects the urinary tract as it passes through. This action is enhanced by a diuretic effect which dilutes the urine. It is useful for all urinary infections and for water retention problems. Juniper is used externally as a compress to treat acne, athlete's foot, and dandruff. The antiseptic action of Juniper on the urinary tract is used in herbal medicine to help treat cases of cystitis and urethritis. Juniper has properties that help to reduce flatulence or wind and colic and assist digestion.
Juniper berry is used for indigestion and digestive disorders such as belching, heartburn, and bloating, as well as menstrual problems and diabetes. Juniper warms to the digestive system and increases the production of stomach acid, stimulates the appetite, settles the stomach, and relieves gas. Juniper may relieve gastrointestinal complaints that are related to low stomach acid levels by promoting the secretion of stomach acid.
Infusions of juniper berries have been used as Antibiotics when treating various sores or wounds, including eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions.
Juniper's anti-inflammatory properties help to relieve the inflammation, stiffness, and pain that are present in conditions like arthritis, rheumatism, and gout.
The diuretic action of Juniper helps to reduce this fluid retention around the joints.
Diluted essential oil is used on the skin to help promote the removal of waste products from underlying tissues. Cade oil hair rinse is effective on Psoriasis of the scalp, and is made by adding a few drops of oil to hot water and leaving on the hair for fifteen minutes before rinsing off.