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Juniperus communis L.
This plant is very common in Nova Scotia and the Maritime provinces. The Micmac used the juniper for many reasons. The gum was used to heal cuts, sores, burns, sprains and to treat colds and influenza. The tips of the juniper were steeped in water to make a beverage drink. The underbark and juice were used to treat stomach ulcers. It would be steeped in water and taken as a tea.
Juniper roots were referred to as "rheumatism roots", and were considered very effective for treating the problem. The roots were probably steeped in water and the liquid rubbed on the rheumatic area, or mixed into a sauve for this purpose. It was also used to treat kidney ailments and as a urinary tract medicine.
A Micmac woman at Shubenacadie related that juniper tea was a good all-purpose tonic drink. She said the entire plant should be steeped in water and that it is best to get the plant in autumn, near apple picking season. Steep it until the water turns colour.
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