Juniper Berries

Juniper_berriesJuniper berries are the female seed cones produced by various species of junipers. It is not a true berry but a cone with fleshy and merged scales, giving it a berry-like appearance. The cones from a handful of species, especially Juniperus communis, are used as a spice, particularly in European cuisine. Juniper berries also give gin its distinctive flavor. Juniperus communis berries vary from 4 – 12 millimeters in diameter.  Unlike the separated and woody scales of a typical pine cone, those in a juniper berry are fleshy and merge into a unified covering surrounding their seeds. The berries are green when young, and mature to a purple-black color.

There is a wide array of medicinal uses of juniper berries.  Juniper can be utilized medicinally as teas, extracts or ground up (capsules make this form easy to ingest).  Juniper can be used for digestive problems including: upset stomach, intestinal gas, heartburn, bloating, and even loss of appetite. Juniper has also been found beneficial for treating gastrointestinal (stomach and intestinal) infections and intestinal worms. Juniper is quite effective for alleviating symptoms associated with urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney and bladder stones.

Magickal associations for Juniper include:  Masculine; Planetary influence – Jupiter; Element – Fire; Colors – green, purple and royal blue; Cast for – purification, protection, prosperity, expansion, healing, health and elevating one’s station in life.  Juniper is believed to be a very effective protector, as well as, as a guardian between the threshold of the realm of the living and the deceased.  Due to this association it was (and often still is) commonly planted at burial sites.  Juniper also protects oneself against theft and evil forces, particularly if worn around the neck or hung above a door or window.
Juniper Berry Tea: Excellent for use in a multitude of ailments – digestive issues, urinary tract infection symptom relief, general detoxification.

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon Juniper berries

Add the 1 tablespoon of juniper berries to boiling water. Shut off heat. Allow to steep for 20-30 minutes. Juniper berries have a relatively bitter taste; sweeten with honey or your choice of sweetener. Best to consume twice a day.

Juniper Berry Supplements for Urinary Tract Infection:

  • Ground Juniper Berries
  • Ground Uva Ursi (Bearberry)

Mix equal parts of juniper berry and uva ursi. Add to your choice of capsule (I prefer vegetable capsules). Take 2 – 3 capsules every 4 – 6 hours for symptom relief. As always, consult a medical provider to ensure proper treatment, urinary tract infections can travel deep into the urinary system.

– Ruth David
Utopia’s Path Tea Shoppe & Apothecary

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