Juniper berry has four essential uses. These uses include; as a spice, as a beverage, as wood for smoking meat for preservation, and as an essential oil. But since we are looking at the juniper berry – which is not a real berry but for a fact a cone, we will constrict our argument on the alternatives in the beverage, essential oils, and as a spice.
1. Bay leaves
Bay leaves can be used as a spice in place of juniper berries. The leaves are found naturally grown. However, you cannot use them in this state until they are dried. Raw leaves have a characteristic pungent smell, and they are very bitter. However, dried leaves smell of floral extracts.
Bay leaves are said to have flavors like oregano – a known herbal agent. Also, it is recommended as the closest substitute for juniper seeds as an essential oil.
Rosemary is a herbal spice that has been in the market for the longest time. It is used in medication as well as in spices. Its flavor is the closest alternative to juniper berries. It can be used in meaty dishes.
Additionally, juniper berries are used as essential oils. Rosemary can as well help in healing as the berries do. They are said to be strong antioxidant agents.
3. Black pepper
Black pepper has been used as a spice for thousands of years. The Romans used juniper berries as n alternative for black pepper due to its price back then. However, the berries became fewer, and black pepper had to take its place as a substitute instead. Therefore, the history of these two spices goes a long way. They can also alternate in amounts of use.
4. Lingonberry juice/tea
Lingonberry juice is not that common, but it is used in the Scandinavian countries as a common drink. However much they are not close supplements; they can be used in place of juniper berries beverage.
Lingonberry can also be used to make tea flavors that are used as beverages. And just like juniper berries, they are used to heal body infections, especially in the urinary tract.
5. Apple cider/tea
Juniper berry juice can easily be alternated with cranberry juice, and you won’t notice. It is one of the closest substitutes. The name is cranberry-apple cider juice. It is basically a cider. However, it has a tart and sweet taste that reminds you of its mighty smell.
Cranberry tea and juice have different methods of making them. But, they are used for similar purposes. By extension, juniper berries help in healing infections that are related to the urinary tract.
The bottom line
The Juniper plant has many benefits, both healing and domestic such as food preservation. However, when the focus is turned on the berries, the benefits of the berries are limited to beverages, spices, and essential oil.
Bay leaves and rosemary are both regarded as herbal extracts. But, in other forms, they can be used for flavoring food. On the other hand, cranberry-apple cider and lingonberry are suitable substitutes for juniper for making beverages and in this case, juices and teas.