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Juniperus communis

Juniper is used for digestion problems including upset stomach, intestinal gas (flatulence), heartburn, bloating, and loss of appetite, as well as gastrointestinal (GI) infections and intestinal worms. It is also used for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney and bladder stones. Other uses include treating snakebite, diabetes, and cancer.

Some people apply juniper directly to the skin for wounds and for pain in joints and muscles. The essential oil of juniper is inhaled to treat bronchitis and numb pain.

Juniper may be used to stimulate menstrual flow, to relieve menstrual cramping and other PMT related symptoms. Juniper is very energizing and restoring and can help coping with nervous exhaustion, mental fatigue, angst and other stressful conditions.

 Avoid during pregnancy.

In foods, the juniper berry is often used as a condiment and a flavoring ingredient in gin and bitter preparations. The extract and essential oil are used as a flavoring ingredient in foods and beverages.

Juniper is not frequently encountered in the kitchen these days, though previously it was a common spice, particularly for flavoring greasy meats.
According to some paleoethnobotanists Juniper has been our closest magical plant ally since Neolithic times. Juniper was already mentioned in the ancient Egyptian papyri; its fragrant wood, needles and berries were used as incense and medicine.

 Juniper is said to have the power to ward off evil. No demons or devils could withstand its power, not even the demons of disease: fumigating a space with Juniper will kill off germs and purify the air in a sick room. When the Black Death ravaged Europe, Juniper was one of the most promising and effective protectors. Yet, it was also considered a guardian of the threshold between this world and the next. Like Yew, it was thought to nurture the souls of the dead until they were ready to reincarnate. For this reason they were often planted on graves.

 In Egypt they also played a role in the mysteries of the dead. Juniper berries were found in the sarcophagi and even in the hand of one of the pharaohs, as if he had intended to pay the ferry man with these seeds.

Country folk respected Juniper so highly that they would tip their hats in passing. All sorts of magical powers were ascribed to it: It was said to retrieve lost objects, protect against venomous beasts and guard against spells of faintness and weakness, to name but a few. Some of these old folk uses certainly are based on empirical evidence.

Juniper is a purification plant par excellence. It can be used to cleanse ritual spaces or magical tools. It is strongly protective and dispels negative energies and entities. It is often used as incense in healing rites and to purify the sick room. During meditation it helps to focus and concentrate.
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