A juniper berry is the female seed cone produced by the various species of junipers. Juniper “berries” are actually not berries at all, but tiny pine cones from the juniper bush.
Juniper berries have a pungent, pinelike flavor and are used to spice up many cuisines, including European and Indian recipes, along with game dishes. Juniper berries were used in ancient Greece as a medical remedy, and reported health benefits live on today.
A study from the Universite Tunis El-Manar in Tunisia published in “Natural Product Research” in 2011 tested the chemical makeup of juniper berries and concluded they may be useful against diseases of the brain and blood vessels. This potential is due to the berries’ high levels of unsaturated fats and antioxidants. Another report from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Iran, published in “Pharmacognosy Research” in 2010, found juniper berries’ essential oil possesses impressive antioxidant effects and the ability to sweep up damaging free radicals.
Along with antioxidant powers, juniper berries may also have antibacterial properties. A German study published in the international peer-reviewed journal “Natural Products Communications” in 2010 analyzed the chemical composition of several essential oils, including oil from juniper berries. The antibacterial elements of the oils were tested against several different strains of bacteria, including that from spoiled food, food-poisoning-related bacteria and both animal- and plant-based pathogens. Juniper oil inhibited bacteria’s activity, showcasing its potential as an effective antibacterial tool.
Chiro Web notes long-term use of juniper can cause kidney problems, so limit your use to six weeks, and avoid the berries if you have kidney problems. Consult your doctor before starting any supplement.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with JUNIPER
Juniper might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking juniper along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
Water pills (Diuretic drugs) interacts with JUNIPER
Juniper seems to work like “water pills” by causing the body to lose water. Taking juniper along with other “water pills” might cause the body to lose too much water. Losing too much water can cause you to be dizzy and your blood pressure to go too low.
Some “water pills” include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, Hydrodiuril, Microzide), and others.
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Source: LiveStrong, http://www.livestrong.com/article/357364-juniper-berries-and-health-benefits/