You might not be familiar with juniper berries. Juniper tree is an evergreen shrub growing in many parts of the world, specifically in North America, Asia and Europe.
Juniper trees produce seed cones that are commonly known as juniper berries. The colors of the berries vary, however, most of them are deep blue. They also have woody or spicy aroma.
Juniper berries have been used for many purposes, including culinary and medicinal purposes since long time ago. Current research also suggests that they may offer several health benefits.
Get ready to enjoy these 6 health benefits of juniper berries.
- Rich in Antioxidant
Juniper berries are rich in antioxidant phytochemicals including alpha-pinene, cadinene, limonene, myrcene, borneol, caryophyllene and germacrene. There are more than 87 antioxidant compounds found in these berries.
Some of the antioxidant compounds are vital to protect our body from free radical damage. Free radicals can cause havoc in the body, leading to a whole host of health problems.
Antioxidants also help maintaining skin health, enabling you to have youthful and healthy skin. They are able to fight wrinkles as they aid cell regeneration and reduce inflammation.
Antioxidants can be found in several food, such as taro root. Read more about it in benefits of taro root for cancer.
- Help Preventing Cancer
Do you know that the extract of juniper berries can help prevent cancer? They have apoptotic properties. They have compounds, such as apigenin, quercetin, isoscutellarein, and hypolaetin which can activate apoptotic cell death in neuroblastoma cells.
If you’re looking for something for preventing cancer, you can consider reading these benefits of tempeh for cancer. Tempeh is not only beneficial for your health, it is also quite cheap and full of nutrients!
- Act as Natural Skincare
Juniper berries can act as natural skincare product which can help reduce inflammation and pain caused by several skin problems, such as psoriasis, acne, and rosacea.
- Stimulate Digestion
If you have some digestive problems, then consume juniper berries. They are known to stimulate digestion and has been used as laxative and diuretic in some medical practices. They also help cut down on constipation and bloating.
- Help Promote Heart Health
Juniper berries are also beneficial to promote heart health. They do it by improving HDL (the good cholesterol levels) and reducing the high triglyceride levels as well as the LDL (the bad cholesterol levels).
Find some other ways to get health benefits of barley seeds which are also perfect for maintaining heart health.
- Act as “nature’s insulin”
Juniper berries are sometimes called as “nature’s insulin” because they have been shown to contain natural insulin. It can work in the body just like its pharmaceutical counterpart. There is an animal research shows that the berries contain compounds that are able to increase the production of insulin.
Therefore, these compounds help lowering blood sugar levels. No wonder, juniper berries are considered as a powerful ally when addressing diet controlled (type 2) diabetes.
- Act as Natural Antiseptic
Juniper berry is rich in antifungal and antibacterial properties. These properties are the reasons why juniper berries (in the form of essential oil) have been suggested as a natural household cleaning agent. They have compelling effects on many strains of bacteria and fungi.
- Give you a Restful Sleep
There are many natural practitioners who recommend juniper berry essential oil as a relaxant and believe that it has a positive impact on brain chemistry. Therefore, it encourages restful sleep.
There was a study which investigated the effects of a therapeutic fragrance, including juniper berry essential oil as well as sandalwood, rose and orris, on people who suffered from insomnia. 26 out of the 29 participants were able to achieve restful sleep after diffusing the fragrance during the night.
If you are suffering from insomnia, consider consuming lemongrass. Benefits of lemongrass for insomnia cure will open your mind about the other way to cure it.
Despite all the amazing effects of juniper berries, there are some precautions you need to pay attention to. Firstly, pregnant women are not allowed to consume juniper berries, either in the form of essential oil or as a whole.
It may potentially cause damage to the unborn child as well as forcing uterine contractions. Instead of consuming juniper berries, you can consider consuming blueberries as you will get these health benefits of blackberries during pregnancy.
Secondly, it is also possible for anyone to develop an allergic reaction to juniper berries. There might be some side effects, such as rash or breathing issues. If you like berries, make sure you also read health benefits of golden berries.