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In the past, Italian families used to grow a Juniper plant near their homes as it defended against snakes and wild animals due to its pointed leaves. Juniper wood, for example, is used for carving tools and utensils and for smoking certain foods as it is very fragrant. Its purplish coloured berries are known for their sour and very aromatic taste, and for this reason they are often used in cooking to flavour dishes, herbal teas, distilled spirits and alcoholic beverages.

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