Well, Hello there!!! I am so pleased that you stopped by to visit!
For the past many years I have had an interest...no, make that a fascination with herbs, spices and seasonings. - About how they were used by our ancestors centuries ago for a variety of ailments, and how they are used today to enhance your favorite recipe.
With this in mind I am attempting to present a different herb, spice or seasoning for each day of the A-Z Challenge. Please drop by often and perhaps we both will learn something new.
Learn more about these terms;
"J" is for Juniper Berries
A juniper can be a low lying shrub to 30 foot tree. The leaves of the common juniper are long, sharp and needle-like. Female flowers develop into the juniper berries and are used for spices and teas.
Junipers primary food use is a seasoning. It adds spice flavor to sauerkraut and potato salads.
Juniper marinade is excellent for moose, venison, rabbit, and poultry. Vegetarians can also try it with tofu.
In Scandinavian countries seeded juniper berries are made into jam and used with bread or biscuits.
In Britain and France, the berries are a pepper substitute and a base for making beer. In the U.S. and elsewhere, juniper berries are used to give gin its characteristic flavor. The immature female fruits are highest in the desired oils and best for flavoring spirits.
|photo credit: blog.makzine.com|
Although a pleasant nonalcoholic beverage can be made from the berries it is important to note that they should not be taken on a regular basis. When serving juniper tea prepare in and uncovered teapot to allow the potent volatile oils to escape.
Because of its diuretic properties, juniper is used my herbalists for urinary tract and bladder infections.
Because juniper's essential oils can be irritating to the kidneys, the herb is commonly buffered
with herbs soothing and softening to body tissues. Juniper blends are used for a variety of complaints ranging from fluid retention and gas to poor appetite and stomach cramps.
A milder form of the juniper oil .... made by soaking the berries in olive oil... can be used as a massage oil for strained muscles or aching joints.
A word of caution: juniper should NOT be taken internally by pregnant women or by those with kidney problems. Used in moderation, as all seasonings should be, the herb should provide no problems for those in normal health. It is advised to consult a physician before taking this herb for a medical condition.
Source: Raven's Ruff Stuff And Other Things http://arcticrose.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/juniper-berries-traditional-medicine-or-food-use/
(Author's note: Many thanks to the amazing site mentioned above for her knowledge)