Juniper Tea, The Ultimate Winter Ally

herbs water element recipe water element water element Dec 13, 2021

Simmer a small handful of dried Juniper berries in 1 quart of water for 15 minutes. Strain and sip as a warming tonic and perfect preparation for meditation or Dao Yin Yoga Practice  

Enjoy with Juniper pine syrup for a sweet indulgence! Try the simple homemade recipe here and bless your holiday tea or coffee with bliss filled tastes of winter.  

In winter juniper tea is a wonderful simple remedy to support over all water element balance.  considered to be bitter, pungent & sweet, which correspond with the Chinese energetic framework heart/pericardium, lungs/large intestine & stomach/spleen. Their energetic temperature is warm & drying.  Juniper works well to support cold, damp conditions that can lead to stagnation - the specific the energetic quality of Winter. 

Winter is a time or reprieve an rest, Juniper is the perfect ally to aid us during this time 

While the body is more at rest there is less energy (qi) available to circulate & the metabolic processes of the body can lag, leading to accumulation of excess, toxicity and lethargy & depression. Juniper acts as a tonic to stimulate the metabolic processes (‘warm the body’) and move fluids to maintain healthy currents & cycles. Allowing for supported rest and a harmonization of energies necessary for the kidneys & whole system to regenerate.

Juniper contains up to 100 medicinal constituents that vary by ripeness, species, location & age.

The medicinal compounds are concentrated in the berries with concentrations of volatile oils ranging from .2 - 3 percent volatile oils. Its actions are

  • antiseptic
  • bitter
  • carminative
  • circulatory stimulant
  • diaphoretic
  • diuretic
  • emmenagogue

In traditional Chinese medicine its tastes are considered, Bitter, Pungent, Sweet, which correspond with the heart, lungs, large intestine & stomach/spleen. It is considered energetically hot & drying, making it useful for warming up formulas, as many bitters are energetically cooling.

Juniper is indicated in conditions of cold/depression of the system: Cold hands / Feet, low / slow pulse. Pale dull complexion, low libido, thick white tongue coating, a tendency to have trouble sweating, edema, poor circulation. Especially cold depression in the liver - poor metabolism, low production of bile, deficiency of nutrients, and a tendency towards the emotional states of despair.

The medicinal use of juniper is widespread among indigenous, particularly North American, cultures, with citations of effect ranging from contraception to treatment of urinary tract infection to stimulation of insulin production and as a general restorative. 

Juniper is a powerful anti-fungal. The leaves, branches or berries as a wash can aid in the mending of foot fungus. Infused in vinegar, and used to clean house mold. The berries and twigs are diuretic & antibacterial, so it’s used for UTIs. It helps the body to push out bad bacteria while also killing back that bad bacteria. 

Juniper berries are bitter and act on the bitter receptors, increasing digestive capacities of the body & stimulating appetite. Juniper is a general tonic and digestive aid, especially for poor digestions of fats, Can be eaten a few a day for short periods of time for resistance to illness. Antimicrobials can affect the microbiome balance when administered for long periods of time so should only be used for short periods.

Shown to be an effective antiseptic useful for topical skin conditions & as an inhalant for respiratory conditions also as a gargle, The compound pinine (also found in pine trees) can be mildly stimulating to the respiratory tissue & act as an expectorant. Steam for bronchitis and other lung infections.

Will relieve muscles aches caused by excess lactic acid, Infusion has been used for gout. Used to treat rheumatism both internally & externally, Taken internally & applied topically its anti-rheumatic effects are likely due to its diuretic ability. 


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