Natural Healing Guide - Kristi

it's good for you juniper berries vitamins Nov 01, 2022

What is Good for You?

Most of us probably think we have a pretty good idea of what’s good for us.

My entire life I’ve been aware that some things were good for me, and some things weren’t. One of my earliest memories is of my mom trying to get us kids to eat homegrown cauliflower she’d steamed for dinner. Steamed cauliflower - generally not super enticing to kids. When we gave push-back she encouraged us with “it’s good for you” - an obvious incentive to eat up?! We complained and slouched at the table - refusing to be motivated. Not one of us wanted to eat that cauliflower – good for us or not. It looked weird and it made the house smell funny. We did all the things kids do to get out of eating something they don’t want to eat. When we complained about the smell – she rolled her eyes. When we said it looked gross - she pooh-poohed us. When we moaned there were bugs on it - she told us it was pepper. But, that last complaint got dad’s attention, prompting a skeptical look at the cauliflower. The “pepper” indeed had legs.  We claimed a small victory that day - because bugs in your food overrides having to eat anything good for you. 😊

This experience, and I’m sure countless others, reinforced the idea that “good for me” equates to bad smells, bland taste, funny textures, negative feelings, and loads of vitamins. (Like broccoli. The texture takes some getting used to. I threw it up once just because of the texture.)


I took loads of vitamins growing up. In middle school, I brought a very small manilla envelope of about a dozen vitamins in my lunch. I even took them! I took vitamins 3 times a day! My mother wanted to make sure we were getting all the essential nutrients. When I got a little older the vitamin consumption waned – I couldn’t tell if it was doing any good or not.  But, by the time I had my own children, that mother instinct kicked in, and I too wanted to ensure my children had all the vitamins and nutrients needed to be healthy. However, instead of a dozen vitamins at mealtime, they got a gummy, …. when I remembered. I think for me vitamin supplements represented some kind of health insurance. If my kids ate too many treats or wouldn’t eat healthy foods, at least they were taking their vitamins. I didn’t worry so much about the boxes, bags, and packages that filled their stomachs.


It wasn’t until my kids started leaving the nest that I became aware my perception of what was good for me might be misguided. I’d raised my kids on typical kid food (hot dogs, fishy crackers, loads of milk, boxed macaroni and cheese). If it didn’t look like a dessert item it probably wasn’t so bad. We limited soda and sugary cereals to special holidays and rarely frequented fast-food restaurants.  

Throughout my life, I, like you, have made a whole lot of choices based on what I thought was good for me. The funny thing is, that the benchmark for what is supposed to be good for me seems to always be changing – partly because science is always changing, but also because of misunderstandings.

A flash of hindsight reveals some of these changing health admonitions:

  • Low-fat; low cholesterol
  • No eggs; eggs!
  • High fat; high protein!
  • Calorie counting
  • Low carbs
  • Intermittent fasting

When the food pyramid changed from a pyramid to “My Plate” my “Good for You” foundation was pretty shaken. It seemed like everything I’d been taught was turned upside down. What I thought was absolute truth had been radically altered. I did my best to reconstruct a new “good for you” foundation.

A Plant that Heals

Then I had an experience that really rocked my world.

About 9 days in on a two-week bus tour my husband’s ankles became swollen, red, and splotchy. When he pressed his finger into them, an indentation the shape of his finger remained. It appeared to be edema. Under normal circumstances, we would have gone to urgent care, but because we were stuck on this bus tour with our kids, our options were limited. I racked my brain. I had no idea what to do for him. We couldn’t feasibly leave the tour bus. We’d have to forfeit the rest of the trip.

Then I remembered a woman on the bus who seemed to be something of an herbalist. I’d been half-listening to her wild stories of herbal benefits since the tour began. As a last-ditch effort, I told her what was going on with my husband. She smiled and seemed to be mulling this over as we got off the bus for a nature walk. When we returned from the nature walk, she proffered a hand full of hard little purple berries and asked if I thought my husband would eat them. I laughingly said “no” but said she could ask him! She told him to crack 4 or 5 berries in his mouth 3 -4 times a day and swallow them. I couldn’t have imagined stranger advice. And I knew for certain my husband wouldn’t do this - but he did. 24 hours later the symptoms were noticeably better, and 36 hours later all symptoms and discomfort were gone.

And I said - what were those purple berries?!

Juniper. They were juniper berries.

I recognized that name and thought I might even recognize the plant if I saw it. I was stunned! Something in nature as common as juniper had medicinal benefits. Without being processed or extracted or synthesized. Just, raw nature, in its whole form.

Learning More

This was a catalyst moment for me. I witnessed the immediate effects of how the body reacts to what is put into it. I became so curious and interested in the way things interact with our bodies, the food we eat, the medicines we take, the air we breathe. As it turns out, all of these things have a powerful effect on our bodies.

I began reading and researching and learning all I could. And at almost every step along the way, I continued to be amazed!

I had been so ignorant for so long. I really thought that science had discovered every vitamin and mineral and nutrient in our food there was. I mean, we live in a day and age where science is doing really amazing things.  How could they have not discovered all of the components in our food?!

The truly amazing thing is, there are thousands of nutrients in our food yet undiscovered and unresearched. Thousands! If there are thousands of undiscovered and unresearched nutrients in our food, how do we know what those nutrients do for our bodies? And what happens to our bodies when they are removed from our diet? If your diet mainly consists of foods that come out of a package, drive-through, or vitamin bottle, you are missing out on these undiscovered nutrients. 

I started paying attention to how my body reacts to what I put into it. Those random aches and pains I’d attributed to the wonders of aging - actually went away when I changed what I was eating. How could food have such a dramatic effect on how I felt physically?

There are so many health nuances that make understanding what is actually “good for you” challenging. There are so many! The more I’ve learned the more disappointed I became that I didn’t already know this stuff. Why aren’t we all taught this in school? Understanding how to navigate health, which, by the way, is very connected with all aspects of your wellbeing, shouldn’t be so hard.  

My Quest for Health

And this is why I’m here. I’ve learned so many amazing things about what really is good for you, that I think everyone should know. My quest for health and healing knowledge is also shared by my sisters.  I  became a Clinical Herbalist, then a Master Herbalist. My sisters have also pursued a study of health and herbs. We’ve made so many wonderful discoveries - and we want to share them, with you. We are going to cover a lot of topics and highlight anything that contributes to overall health. So, tie your shoes and hold on to your hats because – Here, We, Go!


Kristi Taylor is a Master Herbalist, Clinical Herbalist and Natural healing Guide®. She endeavors to share her knowledge and passion of natural healing with whomever will listen – because nature’s wisdom never ceases to delight and amaze!


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