Season 8 Episode 8: Benefits of Juniper
with Nicole Telkes

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Benefits of juniper with Nicole Telkes

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Episode Summary

It was such a pleasure to sit down with herbalist and teacher, Nicole Telkes, to discuss juniper (Juniperus spp.)! In some bioregions, this plant is hated as a pest in the landscape and a source of misery to seasonal-allergy sufferers. But juniper is full of medicinal gifts! For instance, juniper:

► Supports the kidneys and urinary tract

► Warms cold, cramping muscles and can soothe the pain of osteoarthritis

► Can help to clear fungal infections

► and more

Juniper also gives us aromatic, beautifully-colored and -grained wood and provides habitat and food for a multitude of animals.

There’s a lot to enjoy and appreciate about juniper! 

By the end of this episode, you’ll know:

► Why it’s important to question and observe the role of plants in their environment… and to critically evaluate what you’re going to do with plants before you harvest a single leaf

► Two types of infections it’s really smart to talk with your doctor about before self-treating

► Who needs to be cautious about working with juniper (and why)

► The surprising role of passivity in herbalism

► How to make a juniper infused herbal oil you can massage into sore muscles or cold  joints…or just enjoy as an after-bath oil that will leave you smelling delicious (be sure to download your recipe card!)

For those who don’t already know Nicole, she is an award winning practicing herbalist and RH(AHG). She has a background in botanical studies, plant conservation work, community activism, and herbal first-aid clinics. She wrote the books Medicinal Plants of Texas and Herbcraft: The Complete Guide to 21st Century Holistic Western Herbalism. She lives between Seattle and Austin, supervising over 250 medicinal plants and themed gardens at Bastyr University and is the founder and lead instructor at the Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine. She is best known for her work freeing fire cider.

I’m so happy to share our conversation with you today!

In permaculture, we always talk about turning problem areas into solutions, or things that are looked at as a problem into a solution. I look at invasive and weedy plants and how can we turn them into solutions.


What You'll Learn from This Episode

  • [01:09] Introduction to Nicole Telkes
  • [02:16] Freeing Fire Cider
  • [06:54] Nicole’s path to herbalism
  • [14:42] Why Nicole chose juniper for this interview
  • [27:34] Juniper or cedar?
  • [28:52] Cultural significance of juniper
  • [31:53] Juniper energetics and internal medicinal applications
  • [40:50] Working with juniper externally
  • [46:20] Juniper infused oil recipe
  • [48:05] Connecting to the natural world
  • [50:29] What’s needed to be a successful herbalist?
  • [57:39] Nicole’s current projects
  • [1:01:31] The importance of embracing your own identity as an herbalist
  • [1:05:56] Herbal love letters
  • [1:06:31] Juniper tidbit

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Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Healand co-author of the bestselling book Wild Remedies: How to Forage Healing Foods and Craft Your Own Herbal Medicine. She's a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild and has taught thousands of students through her online courses. Read about how Rosalee went from having a terminal illness to being a bestselling author in her full story here.  

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