CEDAR BERRY/ JUNIPER BERRY (Juniperis monosperma)

Cedar/ Juniper Berry

In Utah and lower states of the Mountain West, there is a squatty little evergreen tree that most native call a cedar. It has scale- like foliage similar to the cedar, but it is really a Juniper. The pioneers and the old-timers used this tree mainly for cedar posts. If the center core of the post is red, it will last as a post many, many years. The berry and fruit on this particular tree have only one large stone, similar to that of the cherry. That is why the real name of this tree is Juniper monosperma, meaning one or mono stone. The fruits on most other Juniper trees have three, five or seven small stones in them.

When I was studying with Dr. Christopher, he would tell the story about a man who had a kidney problem. He told the man to take some juniper berries every day and it would help his kidney problem. The man said, “We have a Juniper tree in our back lot, I’ll get some and take them.” A few weeks later, the man came in and said, “These juniper berries haven’t helped my kidneys a bit.” Dr. Christopher said, “That is strange, juniper berries always help the kidneys—are you sure you were taking juniper berries?” The man said, “Yes, I’m sure. I will have some right here in my pocket,” and he pulled some berries out of his pocket. Dr. Christopher said, “Those aren’t juniper berries, they are cedar berries.” The man said, “I’d like some juniper berries, but I’m going to keep taking these cedar berries, ‘cause since I have been taking them I have been able to cut down on my insulin.” Dr. Christopher said, “Do you really mean that by taking these cedar berries you have been able to cut down in you insulin?” The man said, “Yes, that’s right. It seems to be helping my pancreas.”

Through this incident, it was learned that cedar berries along with goldenseal, licorice root and other herbs will help the pancreas. These herbs are used in many pancreas formulas including Grandma’s herbal Pancreas-Aid.

The large “cedar” in the southern part of Utah State has had an impact on the state. From it, they have named a town Cedar City and a scenic area is called Cedar Breaks National Monument, and another town is called Cedar Fort.

Most “cedar” trees will grow between 10 and 20 feet tall and will cover an area about 20 feet in diameter. It appears that the tree has little or no trunk and the big basal branches seem to grow out of the ground. The bark is shaggy and soft. The fruit is small and green with nodules on it and when it is ripe, it turns a purplish brown. The stone is large so the fruit has very meat.

Dr. Christopher told of a middle-aged brother and sister in a family with a history of diabetes. The sister was diabetic and was taking ninety units of insulin. Her brother had acute low blood sugar to the point of schizophrenia and working was impossible for him. They started taking cedar berries and other herbal supplements. They changed their diet to small meals of fruits and vegetables and stayed away from sugar and sweets. They went on some cleanses to help get rid of the toxins in their bodies. Within one year they both enjoying good health, with few mental depressions, or any other problems
The cedar boughs can be steeped into a tea that is somewhat cleansing to the system and contains vitamin C. The same tea concentrated can be used for poultices for rheumatic pains. It is also used for foot-baths and hand-baths.
So now we know the lowly cedar tree is good for more than just cedar and firewood.

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