Magic Berries: The Healing Power of Juniper
Could one unsuspecting shrubbery be the source of the fresh, transcendent flavor of gin? (Or perhaps two shrubberies?) While it may not look like much, the juniperus communis, or common juniper plant is the hero of the gin making process, lending subtle notes of resin and pine to every well balanced gin.
Juniper plants are needled and coniferous and thanks to their resilience are able to grow in some of the most remote corners of the world including the Himalayas, the Arctic, and you guessed it, the Highlands of Scotland.
Without juniper there would be no gin. Without gin, though, juniper would still be in the running for MVP (most valuable plant).
For over 3500 years, cultures have explored the benefits of juniper plants for healing, cooking, and faith rituals. Right about now you may be wondering, who was the first loony to plop a few dusty berries into his goblet? Didn’t his mom ever tell him? Pottage Stew = good, Wild Berries = bad. Well, lucky for him and all who benefit from his discovery, here are just a few of this magical shrub’s most notable benefits:
Promotes youthfulness and healthy skin
Soothes internal pains and aches - arthritis, muscle and joint injuries, swollenness
Reduces restlessness and night terrors
Treats acne, stretch marks, and skin blemishes
Promotes liver health
Treats trauma, stress, anxiety and panic attacks
Naturally preserves foods
Acts as natural antiseptic
Halts hair loss
Increases brain activity, minimizing effects of fatigue and depression
Speeds up healing of internal and external cuts and wounds
The list just goes on!
So there you have it, juniper is a wonder plant. As you digest (hah) this ever growing list of juniper superpowers, take a moment of silence for the unfortunate soul who taste-tested poison ivy in hopes of the same results.