Juniper not your usual berry

Everyone has probably eaten their fair share of blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. But have you ever heard of cedar berries?

Also known as the one-seed Juniper, Cherrystone Juniper, Redberry Juniper, and many other aliases, cedar berries grow in trees of the same name which can be found in the Southwestern United States, mostly in New Mexico. These trees often thrive in places with poor soil, sustaining life where other trees cannot be flourished.

Cedar berry trees have two types, the male and the female, wherein both can bear flowers but only the latter can produce berries. These grape-like sprouts, and sometimes also the leaves and twigs, have been found to be beneficial for the Native Americans’ medical needs (due to their antiseptic and antibiotic properties) in the past.

Cedar berries are usually used as a flavoring agent for food and tea. They can also be eaten fresh or dried, and they are sometimes used in the manufacture of health supplement capsules.

The nutrients that can be found in this tiny fruit are vitamin C, glycosides, resin, sugar, tannins, flavonoids, cadinene, podophyllotoxin, alcohols, and volatile oils.

Here are some of the benefits of this berry, especially when it is consumed in tea form:

  • Prevents diabetes
  • Improves pancreatic and digestive systems
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Fights stiff muscles
  • Lowers the risk of tumor development
  • Relieves menstrual cramps
  • Relieves joint pains caused by rheumatism and arthritis
  • Cures the common cough and other respiratory problems

Cedar berries are known to regulate blood sugar levels and filtration of the kidney to lower the chance of contracting diabetes. For those already suffering from the disease, it is recommended to put one to three drops of cedar berry extract in juice to be drunk two to three times a day.

Aside from their many health benefits, cedar berries have other applications. Their leaves may be burned for purifying air in a room.

Despite its many benefits, there are also precautions and downsides to consuming cedar berries. Pregnant and breastfeeding women and people with urinary tract or kidney problems should avoid drinking cedar berry tea (It might cause contractions, especially among those belonging to the former category.). Also, consuming large of amounts of cedar berries has been proven to be toxic.

Like with any other unusual and unfamiliar health supplement, it is important to consult your doctor about its use and possible side effects before delving into it.

Cedar berries may be difficult to find. It is also something different and exotic. Nonetheless, it is very helpful in curing certain ailments. Who knew a tiny berry was capable of doing so much?

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