Juniper tonic, traditional Labrador natural health remedy

I’m back in St. Lewis for the long weekend, which is very quickly coming to a close. I’m off again to Goose Bay tomorrow morning. It was a quick trip, but a great one all the same. The weather was foggy and misty, but it didn’t stop me from hitting up the old stomping grounds on Shoal Point, or from visiting my grandmother and aunts.

While I was on Shoal Point this time around I remembered something that my grandparents used to make when I was younger. They’d send me down to shoal point with a pair of shears and a plastic bag to get some juniper boughs..”the one’s with the little green berries.”

Juniper boughs can be added to boiling water and steeped for, well, as long as you like. I boil them just long enough for the water to change to a medium-to-dark yellow color, and then strain the water into a mug. You can add sugar to taste, but I like it as is.. or “raw” as my pop used to say.

Juniper tonic, or “juniper juice” is good for a number of ailments, including: asthma, bladder infections, inflammation, acne, blood purification, and countless other things. And honestly, it tastes amazing. I have a full bag to take back to Goose Bay with me. It keeps well frozen, or you can boil it all down and store it in mason jars in the refrigerator and warm as needed.

Well, I’ve gotta pack up my things and get ready for another long 6 hour drive on the Trans Labrador Highway tomorrow with juniper boughs, fresh and smoked salmon, and a trunk fulla goodies in tow.

There’s no place like home.

M.

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