The juniper is an evergreen tree native to Europe, Asia, and the northern parts of North America and it is especially abundant in central Texas and Eastern Oregon. The history and folklore concerning the juniper tree is long reaching. The first recorded mention of use is in an Egyptian papyrus from 1500 B.C.E. Juniper was the symbol of the Canaanites fertility goddess Ashera. Western European folklore tells that is a juniper tree is planted by the door to your home, a witch cannot enter. Juniper incense has also been used by the Scottish to ward off the evil eye, and by the Tibetans to remove demons. The purple, blue, violet, or blackish-brown fruits are harvested in early autumn for culinary and medicinal use
Juniper berries themselves are high in flavonoid and polyphenol antioxidants that have strong free radical scavenging abilities. As protectors of health both emotional and physical in the medieval times, juniper berries were believed to help ward off witches. And for years, French hospital wards burned juniper and rosemary to help protect patients against lingering bacteria and infections.