View Full Version : Herbal Study Group...Juniper
keeping with the pungent-smelling herbs...
I love Juniper! there's that wonderful sweet piney scent, that just makes me think of camping, and communing with nature. It is outdoorsy,and relaxing for me...and I like to burn Juniper along with sage in smudges.
Juniper is one of those plants that it is difficult to find the essential oil for. I used to have a source, that has since gone out of business...and so now I hoard the little oil I have left!
I remember a time when Juniper berries were sold in jars along with other herbs and spices in the supermarket. I know my Grandma used to make a pork roast with juniper berries...and they taste so good! Like munching on sweet pine needles!
As far as magickal uses...Gerina Dunwich says that burning a juniper healing candle helps with Neuralgic pains, rhematism, and swellings.
And I know it's not just the ritual uses...It is safe to use Juniper tea as a cold compress to reduce swelling. And I bet it is used in herbal suppliments for the above mentioned things.
Juniper has been a fascination for me since I was small because it shows up in stories.
I had a tiny book called "Juniper" when I was a kid, about a lonely bunny named Juniper who liver inside a sugar egg.
And there's this wonderfully dark Brother's Grimm tale called "the Juniper Tree" about murder, rebirth, and justice. One of my secret favorite fairy tales because there is nothing fluffy about that story!
I have misplaced my book on planetary influences ans herbs, so I will do some more hunting.
I'm at work and don't have access to my herbal books :(
I know I have some beauty recipes, I'll post those later.
Take Juniper's dry berries and wear them as a charm to attract lovers.
You can add Juniper to love mixtures.
Carry the berries to increase male potency.
Grilling meat with a Juniper branch or two on the coals will give the meat a rich flavor.
Folklore and Stories: One folklore says that burning juniper during childbirth will prevent fairies from substituting your newborn with a changeling.
According to a Welsh story, to dream of a juniper tree means that you may experience a decline in luck; while dreaming of juniper berries foretells success.
When I was visiting the Dineh (aka Navajo) reservation in New Mexico I was told that juniper seed necklaces protect the wearer and keep you healthy, or assist healing if you are sick. Though I've heard that they are for love, too. ;) I have one of the necklaces and also collected some fresh berries from juniper trees on the rim of Canyon de Chelly. I love the smell.
Planet ~ Sun
Element ~ Fire
Magical effects ~ Protection, Purification, Healing
Here are a few uses that I read about.
Berries were used for kidney and bladder trouble.
American Indians drank a tea of the berries for fever and they steamed the green boughs of the Juniper to ease the pain of arthritis.
They also drank a tea made of the root as a method of birth control.
And used the berries to dye hair and fabric.
Makes me think about all the amazing knowledge that has been lost over time.
I truly believe that there is a plant on this earth to cure every disease.
Just a little bit for now (I will drag out my College notes and post for here and lavendar as well...)
I love Juniper, burning it on a charcoal piece, yum the smell is so beautiful, Great for Illness and Psychic Energy.
Juniper Essential Oil is fantastic for cellulite and fluid retention, don't apply directly to the skin (of course!), use a carrier oil and take a break every 1-2 weeks, due to high potency of oil and potential kidney damage, for those with weak kidneys esp.
Juniper scent is so wonderful, but the tree itself I'm not so crazy about! Kind of weed-like here in MO. But all of these good ideas about its uses will make me think better of it! :)
Do the berries have a scent too? Compared to the twigs, I mean. Is it the same scent? (Sometimes the 2 forms can have differences.)
Gosh I feel like I have been missing something here.
I guess I have been taking this one for granted.. I knew it was a tree and that is just about it. So net hunting I go, since I don't have a Cunninghams for this ;). Here is some technical stuff I found.
"Juniper has diuretic, antiseptic, stomachic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antirheumatic properties.
The tree's therapeutic properties stem from a volatile oil found in the berries.
This oil contains terpenes, flavonoid glycosides, tannins, sugar, tar, and resin. Terpinen-4-ol (a diuretic compound of the oil) stimulates the kidneys, increasing their filtration rate. The flavonoid amentoflavone exhibits antiviral properties. Test tube studies show that another constituent of juniper, desoxypodophyllotoxins, may act to inhibit the herpes simplex virus.
The resins and tars contained in the oil benefit skin conditions such as psoriasis."
And the list goes on and on.. so I thought to include the web pages for you http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/g2603/0004/2603000468/p1/article.jhtml?term= .
I do remember my mom mentioning Juniper berries, but I cannot remember in what context.
And acutally, after surfing the net, I found some pictures that look suspiciously like some trees on our property.. I will have to take a closer look in the thickets.
It's very likely you've got some "out back"! The tree likes to grow in groups (latin name is Juniperis communis ;) ) and is the first tree to grow in an open spot (like a former pasture or other disturbed spot) that's allowed to regrow.
Forgot what time of the year berries appear, I think it's late summer. Birds might like to eat them and squirrels maybe and probably deer too, so by now there may not be many of them left. I'm not at home in the country right now, so can't just step out to check for you!
Let us know what you find :)
In the Eastern and midwest U.S., the common juniper is the red "cedar", Juniperus virginiana. In Virginia, where it is abundant in old fields, people cut it for Christmas trees and wreaths. It has tiny blue berries that make delightful incense (more fruity than the twigs). The twigs, like those of other junipers, can be hung in the house or used as smudge sticks for purification and chasing away the baddies, whether you call them "evil spirits" or "negative energy."
Juniperus communis is a creeping arctic shrub found in Canada, Europe, and Russia. In the U.S. it grows wild only in the northern tier of states and on high mountains with northwoods-type climates. BUT it's cultivated everywhere and there are some very pretty nursery varieties.
Here in the SW, juniper is usually found with its companion, pinon pine. The AZ desert has 2 junipers: One-seed (small berries) and Alligator-bark (big berries and rough, brick-like bark).
Thanks for pointing out the difference ... we call them "cedars" here, but I confused the latin a bit, didn't I? :)
Found this great database at Uni Bonn (http://www.botanik.uni-bonn.de/conifers/cu/ju/virginiana.htm) which straightened out my botany!
Cedars!!! Ok now don't I feel silly, (I should have surfed more) yup, we had a couple of those. the "boys" decided to cut one down last year when they went on a tree trimming frenzy. Along with a humongous Black Walnut (that I begged them to leave alone).