Juniperus spp.

Family: Cupressaceae (Cypress family)

Deities: Osain, Nana Buruku

Element: Air

Juniper leaves are burned to get rid of evil spirits and the berries are used to make evil spirits (called “gin”).

Medicinal Uses: Juniper berries are an excellent diuretic and are used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and bloating due to periods. In Germany, juniper is also used to treat arthritis and gout due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Juniper berries also help to relieve gas.

Note: Don’t use if you have kidney disease.

Spiritual Uses: Juniper is great for getting rid of negative energies or unwanted energies. As it has a wonderfully protective spirit, juniper can help you keep your home or person safe from spiritual harm. Juniper is also associated with increasing male potency (probably due to the ginormous amounts of pollen it produces).

Native to both Europe and North America, Juniper is an evergreen with sharp needle-like leaves and reddish-brown bark. Junipers can range in size and form from large shrubs to tee sized. Junipers are dieoecious with the male trees producing large amounts of pollen, which get blown by the wind to the female trees, which produce the small, dark hard berries following pollination.