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Herb of the Week: Juniper Berries

January 25, 2012

So this week’s herb of the week (based on the whopping three votes I got) is Juniper Berries.

Berries on the shrub

Dried Berries

In magick, juniper berries are masculine, ruled by the Sun, and are associated with the element of fire. They are used as household protection, seeing ghosts, protection, and health. You can use them in incense to increase one’s power to see spirits or for smudging. Watch out though because juniper berries produce a lot of smoke when burned due to their high oil content.

Medicinally, they are used as a mild diuretic to treat edema, kidney disease, and lower back pain. Their detoxifying properties can aid in the treatment of gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Juniper berries also help prevent build up of uric acid and can help clear congestion. You can use juniper berries as a tea, tincture, or as a spice in recipes. They are also used to make gin (not that gin is very medicinal.)

You can also soak juniper berries in olive oil overnight to make a massage oil or soak them in everclear or witch hazel  to make an astringent to use on sore or aching muscles.

Juniper berries are not to be used by pregnant women or those individuals with serious kidney problems.

So next week, I have decided to do something a little different. Instead of an herb, you will be voting for a resin. It will be a fun and exciting post, no matter which one you pick.

 

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