Juniper

Issue published February 2017

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Letter from the editor

Juniper is an ancient medicine that has been used around the world, wherever its various species grow. Many people use this tree for healing, and the indications seem to be consistent and specific throughout history. You find, across many indigenous cultures, that it is used commonly for a few things: to improve digestion, for relief of respiratory ailments, and as a urinary tract remedy for anything from UTIs to gout caused by uric acid buildup. What I find most interesting, though, is that the smoke of juniper is considered protective on an energetic or spiritual level. Many distinct cultures, separated by oceans and thousands of years, all have felt that the smoke and volatile oils of juniper can protect a person from negative or evil influences.
I find that many sacred smokes used during the plague and other highly contagious disease outbreaks in the times before antibiotics became available tend to have a significant influence on microbes, and juniper is no exception. It is antiviral and antibacterial. I also use it as a part of an antifungal blend, as well as a spray for mold. It hasn’t been proven to be effective against fungi, it seems to be effective when blended with other helpful antimicrobial plants.
This ancient tree is tough and sure of itself, and it offers a wealth of knowledge. Junipers can live thousands of years, adjusting to their environment, and tenaciously surviving where very little else does. This plant is a wonderful teacher and friend.

Articles

Juniper Herbal Monograph
Recognizing Junipers
Grandmother Juniper
History of Juniper
The Aromatic Smoke of Juniper
Juniper in Cuisine
Recipes for Medicine Making

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