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2014-05-13 08 32 55 Eastern Red Cedar at South Riding Golf Club in South Riding, Virginia.JPG     

 

NAME: Juniper

SPECIES / FAMILY:  Juniperus Virginiana / Cupressaceae

OTHER COMMON NAME(S):  Pencil Cedar, Silver East, Red cedar, Silver Cedar – Despite these names, a juniper is not a cedar.(2)

CONDITIONS: sun-partial shade
 

PARTS:

EDIBLE cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

TASTE

RAW/COOK

SEASON

All

 

 

 

 

Shoots

 

 

 

 

Leaves

       

Stalk/Stem

 

 

 

 

Buds

       

Flowers

 

 

 

 

Fruits

gin

RAW/COOK

Fall

Pods

 

 

   

Seeds

 

 

 

 

Nuts

 

 

 

 

Roots

 

 

 

 

Bark

 

 

 

 

 

PORTION: very small

 

COMMENT:  Fruit/berry/cone - raw or cooked. A sweetish resinous flesh. They can be crushed and used as a flavouring in soups and stews.(1) The berries are not berries. They are modified cones.  The berries are employed for flavoring, most notably in gin and the French liqueur Chartreuse. It takes the “berries” two to three years to ripen. Mature but still green berries are used to flavor gin. Mature blue berries are used to flavor game. They are also used to flavor stuffing, marinades and stews. In Europe one cannot make authentic sauerbraten or sauerkraut without juniper berries. In the southern Alps a dark syrup is made from the berries and is traditionally eaten as a dessert with cream or hot milk. Some berries are as much as 30% sugar.(2) For more specific preparations: http://www.eattheweeds.com/junipers

 

CAUTION: All parts of plant are toxic, including berries/cones if consumed in quantity.(1) As with many herbs used medicinally or as a spice juniper berries should be used sparingly. Think flavoring, not food. They irritate the kidneys and are diuretic. Juniper extracts should be avoided.(2)

 

NUTRITION/MEDICINAL: Abortifacient;  Anthelmintic;  Antiseptic;  Aromatherapy;  Cancer;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Rubefacient;  Stimulant.(1) Junipers do have the potent antiviral compound deoxypodophyllotoxin (DPT) which has been shown to be effective against viruses that cause the flu and herpes. So maybe juniper tea did have some effect on the intensity or duration of the measles.  The DPT is found in berries and the leaves, aka needles. (2)

·        Also: https://draxe.com/juniper-berry-essential-oil

 

LOOK-A-LIKES:  

 

POISONOUS LOOK-A-LIKES: 

 

OTHER USES: Essential;  Incense;  Insecticide;  Repellent;  Shelterbelt;  Tinder;  Wood.(1) During the Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s, the Prairie States Forest Project encouraged farmers to plant shelterbelts (wind breaks) made of eastern juniper throughout the Great Plains. They thrive under adverse conditions – both drought tolerant and cold tolerant, they grow well in rocky, sandy, and clay substrates. Competition between trees is minimal, so they can be planted in tightly spaced rows, and the trees still grow to full height, creating a solid windbreak in a short time.(3)

 

SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):

  1. https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Juniperus+virginiana
  2. http://www.eattheweeds.com/junipers
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juniperus_virginiana