Junipers (Juniperus) and humans go way back and are likely, also, to go way forward. Employed medicinally and as fuel and lumber since very ancient times, this vigorous, fragrant, and beautiful little evergreen appears in a number of climates and fulfills countless ecological functions.
Blood Sugar and Appetite Regulation
According to an article in the medical journal Diabetes Care, some Navaho Indians employ juniper to treat their diabetes. Juniper’s wisdom is certainly both healing and balancing, and it would be wise to sit in quiet contemplation with a juniper when it’s your intention to balance your blood sugar, regulate your appetite, or work with your body’s wisdom to help prevent or alleviate diabetes or hypoglycemia. Diffusing essential oil of juniper berry can also be helpful for these purposes.
According to author Andrew Chevallier in Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, three cups of an infusion of juniper berries, cornsilk, and marshmallow (five grams each) can be a useful antiseptic for healing urinary infections when drunk throughout the day. Juniper is also said to alleviate digestive discomfort, relieve water retention, and help with arthritis. In fact, some people consume raisins soaked in gin (a beverage that contains and is named after juniper) as a simple home remedy for soothing arthritis.
The essential oil of the berry can also be helpful: according to the book Aromatherapy for Everyone by PJ Pierson and Mary Shipley, you might add a few drops to an ounce of carrier oil (such as sweet almond or jojoba) and rub on the skin over the womb area to alleviate menstrual cramps. When you or someone you love is experiencing a cold or a flu, diffuse essential oil of juniper berry to help purify the environment and promote a robust immune response. Diffusing the essential oil can also help heal headaches. In Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, Gabriel Mojay states that “juniper oil’s warming, invigorating effect benefits chronic tiredness, cold hands and feet, lower backache, and oedema (fluid retention).” Please note that juniper should not be used during pregnancy.
Traditionally, juniper is employed for protection against all number of things (including but not limited to negativity, stagnant energy, ghosts, demons, intruders, challenging childbirth experiences, animal attacks, illnesses like the bubonic plague and leprosy, and people with malevolent intent), but I think this aspect of juniper’s magic would be better described as survival. Indeed, in addition to protecting against a variety of challenges relating to or potentially causing death or dire injury, juniper has been a pillar of habitable human ecosystems for millennia. Not to mention, junipers are survivalists themselves: some species grow in extremely cold climates, while others can thrive in desert sands, and still others can live as long as a thousand years or more. No matter where they are, they bring benefits to the entire ecology, protecting from erosion and providing nourishment for birds and certain species of moth larvae, some of which will eat nothing else.
Beautifully, in A Natural History of Western Trees, author Donald Culross Peattie writes this about Utah junipers in the Grand Canyon:
…when you step gingerly to the edge and look down into the vast emptiness, you see this juniper far below you, dotting the bridle trail, clinging to perilous ledges, springing out of crevices in the rocks…a symbol of undefeated life in an abyss of death.
More proof of juniper’s alignment with survival: the Chinese juniper is often used in the bonsai tradition and is associated with surviving for a particularly long period of time (also known as longevity). Additionally, juniper berries were found in King Tut’s tomb, possibly to promote survival into the afterlife.
Aromatherapeutically, juniper gets our energy moving, breaks us out of ruts, and infuses us with fresh perspective: important aspects of survival of all varieties.
Carry juniper berries or employ any part of the tree in charms created for the purpose of survival. Plant juniper near your home to promote the longest, healthiest possible lives for all residents.
Speaking of survival, according to a direct intuitive communication I received from the tree, juniper is aware of the potential need for terraforming other planets (i.e., making them habitable for humans), and he wants us to know that he is here to help. So if you’re a scientist who works in this arena or you know someone who is, please spread the word and pass along juniper’s desire to volunteer for the job. His adaptability to a number of climates and multidimensional support of other organisms makes him quite the desirable candidate.
Planet: Gliese 667 Ce (a potentially habitable planet
in the Alpha Centauri solar system)