The benefits and harms of alcoholic beverages from juniper and the features of their preparation
Juniper is a coniferous evergreen shrub, a distant relative of firs and pines. The plant is a frequent settler of household plots, where its presence alone is already beneficial, purifying the air from harmful microorganisms. But not only this is known for juniper - for centuries it has been used to make healthy tinctures and other alcoholic beverages, which surprise with its healing properties.
Juniper Alcohol Properties
Juniper has been used in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages since ancient times. Even in the XV – XVI centuries, people discovered that the plant produces a powerful aroma that perfectly “clogs” the unpleasant smell of bad alcohol. In addition to such a beneficial property, alcohol from juniper is also able to benefit the human body, providing a healing effect.
Drinks such as vodka, moonshine or juniper-based liquor (using all fragments of the bush, including branches and roots) acquire all the qualities inherent in the plant itself. The culture has a rich chemical composition, which includes vitamins, minerals, essential oils, organic acids, tannins. Due to this, juniper has antibacterial functions, biliary and diuretic action.
It also contains saponins - substances that increase sexual activity. They contribute to the restoration of spermatogenesis, the production of hormones, as well as the activation of blood circulation in the pelvic organs.
Important! For culinary purposes, you can use only common juniper (blue berries) and prickly (red-brown fruits), since all other varieties contain poisonous sabine oil.
- The benefits include juniper drinks, such as:
Regular, but moderate, taking drinks based on juniper helps to eliminate toxins, cleanse blood vessels, and normalize digestion.Juniper based infusion is used in the treatment of pulmonary diseases, pneumonia and bronchitis. It is also widely used in cosmetology to improve the structure of hair and skin.
Harm and contraindications
Speaking of harm, you should first of all remember the culture of drinking alcohol. Alcohol abuse and overdose adversely affect the human body: cause disorders of the nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, increase pressure, which can lead to strokes. In addition, excessive drinking can provoke depression and panic. Alcohol is strictly not recommended for women during pregnancy and lactation, as well as for children.
In addition to the harm of alcohol, in medicine there are some contraindications regarding the use of products based on juniper. At risk are, again, pregnant women. For them, the use of juniper can threaten a miscarriage, since the product has the property of enhancing blood circulation.
- Also, you can not use it in food for people suffering from diseases such as:
- acute gastritis;
- stomach ulcer and 12 duodenal ulcer.
The product may cause individual intolerance and an allergic reaction. If you have not had to consume juniper fruit before, do a test to get started: apply the product on the inside of the elbow and hold for 20 minutes. If during this time redness, rashes and itching do not appear, then everything is in order.
Since there are not so many contraindications for taking alcohol from juniper, and it brings considerable benefits, many people have invented many recipes for this product. In addition to tinctures, vodka, liqueur, drinks that are less familiar to Russian people are prepared, such as gin.
Moreover, gin is considered the most enjoyable for consumption, during the production of which juniper is added to the drink before distillation - then the final product acquires not only a pleasant aroma, but also a good tangible taste.
Did you know? Juniper gin was invented by the Dutch physician Franciscus Silvius in the 16th century as a medicine for improving digestion.
Another alcoholic drink, which is added to the juniper - mulled wine. The name of alcohol is fully justified, because it is obtained by heating red wine and adding various spices. Even in ancient Rome, mulled wine was popular, and even in the Middle Ages, knights with the help of a drink relieved fatigue after battles.
Over the years of its transformation, the drink was constantly replenished with new ingredients. Not without juniper berries, as it was believed that they are the best way to protect the body from diseases associated with the common cold.
To prepare homemade tincture of juniper, you need its root, which contains a lot of substances useful for the body. It should immediately be noted that such a drink is suitable exclusively for medical and cosmetic purposes.
For cooking, you will need the following ingredients:
- juniper root - 1 pc.;
- vodka (moonshine or alcohol) - 0.5 l.
The method of preparing the infusion is very simple:
- Place the dried root in a blender and chop.
- Put the crushed powder in a bottle and pour in alcohol.
- The container must be closed and left for 10-12 days in the room. Choose a place so that bright light does not get on the bottle.
- Shake the container periodically, and after the set time, open and strain the liquid through a sieve.
You need to store the juniper tincture in a closed container in a cool place. Apply it externally. To prepare a remedy for internal use, instead of the root, you need to take 15 berries, chop, and then follow the general recipe.
Juniper vodka is easy to make at home. She will not be ashamed to put it on the festive table, delighting guests with an unusual drink. Such alcohol is also useful for medicinal purposes, having an auxiliary effect in a number of diseases, and women can use it in cosmetic procedures.
To make a drink, you will need:
- dried berries - 12 pcs.;
- vodka (moonshine) - 0.5 l;
- lemon - ½ pcs.;
- sugar to taste:
- water - 80 ml.
Before you start cooking, grate the zest from half of the lemon. Sugar is added at will, as it is needed in order to soften the tart flavor. It can be replaced with honey, but you need to consider that in a duet with juniper honey can give a rather specific taste that not everyone will like. Water in this recipe is used solely in order to slightly remove the fortress, more often in cases where moonshine serves as the alcoholic base. If you decide to add it, do it at the very beginning of cooking. If you dilute an already prepared drink, it may become cloudy.
Juniper vodka is prepared as follows:
- Berries must be carefully crushed in a mortar and put into a container in which the infusion process will take place. It is better to use glassware: a bottle or a jar.
- Pour berries with vodka, add lemon zest.
- Cork the bottle tightly and place in a dark place for 2 weeks. The room temperature should be at room temperature. Every 3-4 days you need to shake the container, but do not open.
- After 2 weeks, the vodka needs to be filtered through a fine sieve (you can use gauze in several layers). There, squeeze the berries.After that, it is advisable to try and, if you find the drink very tart, you can add a sweetener (sugar or honey).
The drink is bottled and closed. It must be stored in a cool place: a small amount can be placed in the refrigerator, and if you are busy preparing juniper vodka on a large scale, find her a place in the cellar, where the air temperature should be around + 3 ... + 5 ° С. The drink is saved up to 5 years.
Those who prefer home-made alcohol to purchased drinks can be offered to “refine” the drink, make it more aesthetically attractive and also useful.
For cooking you need the following ingredients:
- moonshine - 1 liter;
- juniper berries - 20 pcs.;
- cinnamon - 3 g (ground) or ½ sticks;
- zest - from one lemon;
- aniseed seeds - 3 pcs.;
- ground coriander - 3 g.
- Pour berries, lemon zest and spices into the bottle.
- Pour the mixture with moonshine, close and shake well to mix the ingredients.
- Leave the container in a warm place for 7-10 days.
- Filter the moonshine using cotton pads or coffee filters.
Juniper liqueur has a particularly pleasant sweet-tart taste. At the same time, it is rather easy to drink, since even when using 40% alcohol for the preparation, the final drink will have a strength of about 27-30%.
To make liquor, you need the following products:
- berries - 150 g;
- vodka - 0.5 l;
- sugar - 150 g (you can and more to your taste);
- water - 100 ml;
- zest - from ½ orange;
- cinnamon - 1 stick.
Important! If the finished alcoholic beverage from juniper has become cloudy, it needs to be additionally filtered 1-2 times. It is better to use cotton wool.
- The berries are crushed and put in a container for insisting.
- Add orange zest and cinnamon.
- Pour the contents of the container with vodka, clog and insist 20 days, periodically shaking.
- After the allotted time, filter the infusion and squeeze the berries.
- In a saucepan, dilute the water with sugar, bring to a boil, boil for 5 minutes, removing the foam, remove from the stove and cool.
- Mix sugar syrup with tincture of juniper, bottle and place in storage in a dark place.
It turns out that such a favorite tonic drink as beer, too, can acquire many healing properties if made from juniper.
To do this, you need the following ingredients:
- berries - 200 g;
- water - 2 l;
- honey - 50 g;
- yeast - 25 g.
- Place the berries in a pan, add water and cook for 30 minutes.
- Strain the broth and cool to a temperature of about + 20 ° C.
- Add honey and yeast to a slightly warm broth, mix thoroughly and leave for fermentation.
- When the yeast rises, the mass must again be stirred, bottled, tightly corked.
- Tanks with future beer should be left in a cool place for 5-7 days, after which you can start tasting.
As in the case with any healing agent, the use of tinctures has its own characteristics, which depend on the nature of the disease. In addition, the tool is used in cosmetology, where various masks for skin and hair are prepared from it.
In folk medicine
In medicine, tincture from juniper can be applied externally (from the root) or internally (from berries). Baths from it are useful for neurological abnormalities. When treating bruises, abrasions and bruises, it is useful to make compresses - a cotton swab moistened with plenty of tincture and applied to a sore spot. Upstairs, it is advisable to put a cling film or bag, and then wrap everything with a warm cloth.
Did you know? Centuries ago, in France, to control the plague and smallpox epidemics, the hospital premises were fumigated with the smoke of burnt juniper.
Tincture can be used as an effective means for inhalation for colds. To do this, in a glass of boiled water, you need to dilute 2 tbsp. lmeans, mix and breathe over it alternately with your mouth and nose.
For internal use, use tincture on berries. Doses are prescribed in accordance with the severity of the disease, but on average the daily norm should not exceed 3 tbsp. For example, with urolithiasis or cystitis, you need to take medicine for 1 tbsp. 3 times a day, and for the treatment of colds, coughs - 1 tbsp. twice a day. Usually, the product is dissolved in water, since it does not have the most pleasant taste.
Tincture helps to get rid of irritations of the skin, acne, acne, boils. To do this, it is necessary to treat the affected skin areas daily, preferably at night. The addition of freshly squeezed juice of viburnum and onion gruel will help to improve the effect. In this case, all the ingredients must be mixed until a uniform mass is obtained, which is then applied to the face in the form of a mask. They hold it for about 20-30 minutes, after which they are washed off with warm water.
Masks are used to treat the scalp, fat, and hair loss., which, in addition to tincture of juniper, includes garlic. 2-3 teeth need to be crushed using a special crush and add to 100 g of tincture, mix. The product is rubbed into the scalp, wrapped with a towel and kept for half an hour, then washed off.
Juniper fruit is a great spicy ingredient that not only gives the alcoholic drink a very unusual taste, but also turns it into a medicine. However, do not forget that the abuse of alcohol, even containing medicinal components, will adversely affect health.