JUNIPER BERRY ESSENTIAL OIL: USES, BENEFITS, AND RECIPES
- Juniper is an evergreen shrub that is a member of the cypress family Cupressaceae. It is believed to be native to the mountains of Southwest Asia, Europe, and North America.
- Juniper is a slow-growing evergreen shrub with slender, smooth twigs and needle-like leaves groups in whorls of three.
- The leaves, branches, and berries of the Juniper shrub have been used for thousands of years for medicinal and spiritual purposes. However, the Essential Oil is mostly extracted from the berries since they release a higher quality oil.
- Juniper Berry Essential Oil is known for its woody, spicy, and slightly camphoraceous aroma. In aromatherapy, this oil is believed to provide a grounding and calming effect that can help balance emotions and support mental health.
- As a reputed natural antiseptic, Juniper Berry Oil is used in low dilutions for skin care purposes such as treating acne, dermatitis, and eczema.
HISTORY OF JUNIPER BERRY ESSENTIAL OIL
The Juniper Berry, along with its leaves and branches, have been used for centuries to serve spiritual and medicinal purposes. In ancient times, Juniper was believed to act as a protector from evil spirits, negative forces, and illnesses. It has been referenced often in the Old Testament, namely in Psalms 120:4, a verse that describes the burning of a deceitful person with ill intentions with the coals of the broom tree, a species of the Juniper shrub that grows in Palestine. One of the many interpretations of this passage views the burning as a metaphor for cleansing, purifying, and eliminating false and negative energies with Juniper.
Juniper Berry has an extensive history of medicinal uses in numerous ancient civilizations. In ancient Egypt and Tibet, Juniper was highly regarded as medicine and as an integral part of religious incense. In 1550 BCE, Juniper was discovered to be an effective treatment for tapeworms on a papyrus in Egypt. The crop was also important amongst Indigenous people of many different cultures, having been used for medicinal treatments for urinary infections, respiratory conditions, arthritis symptoms and rheumatic conditions. Indigenous people also burned Juniper Berries to cleanse and purify the air.
BENEFITS OF JUNIPER BERRY ESSENTIAL OIL
The main constituents of Juniper Berry Essential Oil are a-Pinene, Sabinene, B-Myrcene, Terpinene-4-ol, Limonene, b-Pinene, Gamma-Terpinene, Delta 3 Carene, and a-Terpinene. This chemical profile contributes to Juniper Berry Essential Oil's beneficial properties.
A-PINENE is believed to:
- Act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
- Aid sleep in traditional medicine.
- Improve mental health due to its link to sleep quality.
- Have neuroprotective properties.
SABINENE is believed to:
- Act as an anti-inflammatory compound.
- Possess antioxidant properties, protecting the skin and hair from oxidative stress.
- Emit powerful antifungal and antibacterial properties when in contact with gram-positive bacteria.
B-MYRCENE is believed to:
- Reduce inflammation throughout the human body.
- Potentially ease pain in muscles and joints.
- Release antioxidants that prevent free radical damage.
- Possess antioxidants that protect the skin and produce a healthy glow.
TERPINEN-4-OL is believed to:
- Perform as an effective anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory agent.
- Possess antifungal and antiviral properties.
- Be a potential antibacterial.
LIMONENE is believed to:
- Act as an antioxidant that absorbs and removes free radicals from the body.
- Increase product shelf life by protecting formulas from lipid oxidation.
- Improve the scent and taste of personal care formulations.
- Act as a soothing ingredient.
B-PINENE is believed to:
- Possess anti-inflammatory properties, similar to those of a-Pinene.
- Potentially ease symptoms of anxiety (when diffused and/or inhaled).
- Help ease areas of physical pain when applied topically.
- Have positive effects on mental health.
GAMMA-TERPINENE is believed to:
- Slow the spread of bacteria and fungus.
- Support relaxation and sleep.
- Act as an effective antioxidant, preventing damage to cells throughout the body.
DELTA 3 CARENE is believed to:
- Help stimulate and improve memory.
- Relieve inflammation throughout the body.
A-TERPINENE is believed to:
- Act as a potential sedative, promoting relaxation of the body and mind.
- Contribute to the pleasant scent of Essential Oils used in Aromatherapy.
- Have effective antimicrobial properties.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, Juniper Berry Essential Oil is highly beneficial for use on skin that is troubled by inflammation. Antioxidants such as a-Pinene, b-Pinene, and Sabine act as a natural healer that detoxifies congested skin. Meanwhile, the antibacterial properties of Juniper Berry Oil can reduce the appearance of blemishes, absorb excess oil, and help control breakouts triggered by hormonal imbalance. Juniper Berry can also improve the appearance of stretch marks. Along with its powerful antioxidant profile, Juniper Berry aids in slowing the signs of aging by encouraging water retention in the skin, resulting in a supple and glowing complexion. Overall, Juniper Berry Essential Oil's abundance in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties makes it an effective treatment while also protecting the skin's barrier from environmental stressors.
In Aromatherapy, Juniper Berry is one of the most popular Essential Oils for meditation and other spiritual practices. Constituents such as a-Terpinene, a-Pinene, and b-Pinene may contribute to Juniper Berry's soothing and relaxing scent, while aiding in balancing emotions. Diffusing Juniper Berry Essential Oil can help melt away mental stress and create a positive atmosphere.
CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY JUNIPER BERRIES
As a pretreatment, the Juniper seeds require at least two days of soaking before being sown into soil that is rocky and dry or medium-dry. The crop thrives best in full to partial sun exposure and a slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil pH (between 6.0 and 8.0). Juniper Berries take between two and three years to ripen, resulting in a plant possessing both underripe green berries and ripened dark blue variety. The size of a mature shrub will be between 12 and 50 feet tall, with a width of 10-40 feet.
Mature Juniper Berries are harvested in the autumn, where the branches are gently beaten with sticks to release the berries. The berries are then spread out in small layers in the shade, so that they dry without fermenting.
EXTRACTING JUNIPER BERRY ESSENTIAL OIL
Juniper Berry Essential Oil is steam-distilled from the berry part of the plant. Once ripe, the berries are placed in a chamber where steam is emitted to encourage oil release. The steam and oils are moved to a condenser, where the cooling action separates the Essential Oil from the steam and transforms the steam into water.
The needles and twigs also release an Essential Oil, although it is not as aromatic or as effective as the oil extracted from the berries.
COMMON USES OF JUNIPER BERRY ESSENTIAL OIL
Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich chemical profile, Juniper Berry Essential Oil is commonly used in Aromatherapy, massages, during meditation and spiritual practices, and in skin care formulations. Juniper Berry is especially versatile amongst skin care purposes because of its astringent properties. It can be used as a spot treatment, as a toner, or as a serum. Simply dilute the Essential Oil with your choice of Carrier Oil prior to applying to the skin.
Juniper Berry's historical association with spirituality makes this Essential Oil a popular choice for use in meditation. The oil is believed to possess grounding and relaxing properties that can set the perfect tone for any meditation practice. Regarding aromatherapy, Juniper Berry's chemical profile is believed to be beneficial in supporting cognitive function and overall mental health. Its calming scent is also believed to produce sedative effects. Diffusing Juniper Berry Essential Oil during meditation or prior to sleep may help one feel calm and relaxed.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil is believed to provide an effective cleanse when applied topically. This, along with its soothing qualities, makes Juniper Berry an effective oil for a cleansing and relaxing massage. Blend Juniper Berry Essential Oil with Fractionated Coconut Oil to enhance its abilities to rejuvenate the skin, calm the mind, and relax the muscles.
JUNIPER BERRY ESSENTIAL OIL RECIPES
1. COLD CREAM WITH FRANKINCENSE AND JUNIPER BERRY (source: Under a Tin Roof)
- 2 oz beeswax
- 1 cup Carrier Oil of choice
- 4 tbsp distilled water
- 1 tbs bentonite clay powder
- 3 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
- 3 drops Juniper Berry Essential Oil
- Melt the beeswax and Carrier Oil in a double boiler.
- Over medium heat, place the water and bentonite clay powder in a separate pot and heat up the mixture. Stir with a whisk until a paste forms.
- Remove the beeswax and Carrier Oil mixture from the heat. Add the clay paste and stir until combined.
- OPTIONAL: to create a whipped texture, add the mixture to an electric mixer. Whip the mixture until it cools and thickens up, about 10 minutes.
- Once the cream is fully whipped, add the Essential Oils and mix thoroughly.
- Scoop the cold cream into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one month.
- Apply to the face or to an area of the skin that is particularly dry, such as the elbows or knees.
- The cold cream can be left on or applied as an overnight cream that can be washed off in the morning.
- This formula can also be used in place of makeup remover. Simply rub onto the skin, then follow up with a cloth or cotton pad to remove the makeup in seamless sweeps.
2. JUNIPER BERRY AND LAVENDER BATH SOAK (source: mommypotamus)
- 3 cups Epsom Salt
- 16 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 10 drops Juniper Berry Essential Oil
- Juniper Berries, Lavender, Rose Petals, or dried Rosemary (for visuals and texture)
- Add the Essential Oils to the Solubilizer and stir.
- Pour the mixture into the Epsom Salt and stir until combined.
- Add the flower petals or dried herbs if you are using them.
- While filling your bathtub, add 1.5 cups of bath salt. Swish with your hand until salt dissolves. Soak for 20-30 minutes.
3. CYPRESS AND JUNIPER BERRY FOAMING WASH (source: Jenni Raincloud)
- 20 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 15 drops Juniper Berry Essential Oil
- 5 drops Cypress Essential Oil
- 1 tbsp Liquid Soap 105N
- 1 tbsp Aloe Vera Gel
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Glycerin
- Hydrosol or Distilled Water
- Foam dispenser bottle
- Add all the ingredients to the bottle. Replace the pump and shake.
- Dispense 2 pumps of the foam wash into your hand and massage over wet skin in circular motions.
- Rise with warm water. Pat the skin dry with a towel.
- Follow with your choice of toner, serum and/or moisturizer.
4. JUNIPER MUSCLE RUB (source: Loving Essential Oils)
- 9 drops Juniper Berry Essential Oil
- 6 drops Helichrysum Essential Oil
- 6 drops Copaiba Essential Oil
- 3 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- 1/4 cup Jojoba Carrier Oil
- Add ingredients into a 2 oz lotion bottle with pump.
- Rub on sore muscles whenever tension or pain flairs up.
A GUIDE TO JUNIPER BERRY ESSENTIAL OIL VARIETIES
JUNIPER BERRY (HUNGARY) ESSENTIAL OIL
Botanical Name: Juniperus communis L. cupressaceae.
Obtained From: Berries
Extraction Method: Steam distillation
- Balance emotions by easing symptoms of anxiety and stress.
- Possess mildly astringent properties and act as an antiseptic, making it an effective treatment for acne and eczema.
- Possess mild analgesic properties that can ease general muscle aches and pains.
JUNIPER BERRY ESSENTIAL OIL (INDIA)
Botanical Name: Juniperus communis
Obtained From: Berries
Extraction Method: Steam distillation
- Act as a sleep aid, relaxing the body and mind.
- Possess powerful antioxidant properties that protect the skin and the hair from oxidative stress.
- Act as a natural antiseptic when in contact with bacteria.
JUNIPER BERRY ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL
Botanical Name: Juniperus communis L.
Obtained From: Berries
Extraction Method: Steam distillation
- Act as an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
- Be a stimulating oil with potential cleansing and purifying properties, making it ideal for decongesting the skin.
- Possess potential sedative qualities that can help ease symptoms of anxiety, as well as help the body relax prior to sleep.
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR ESSENTIAL OILS
As with all NDA products, Juniper Berry Essential Oils is for external use only, and is not recommended to be ingested. Although it is rare to experience adverse effects from using Essential Oils, possible symptoms of negative side effects include rashes and/or gastrointestinal distress (such as stomach pain, nausea, and hyperacidity).
Pregnant women are strongly advised against using certain Essential Oils due to their potential emmenagogue effects. If you are pregnant or nursing and insist on using these oils, it is recommended that you seek the medical guidance of a physician prior to use. The oil should always be kept out of reach of children.
New Directions Aromatics Inc.
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