The common juniper is a small evergreen, common in many regions of the world. The wood or branches have been used for millennia in many cultures as an incense for religious and medicinal properties. Tisserand points out in his writings that the French, in earlier times, burned juniper and rosemary twigs in hospitals where used to purify the air. The essential oil of a Juniper Berry is usually made from the small berries of this shrub. At maturity the berries have ripened from a green to a deep purple color.
Those discussing the properties of Juniper Berry Essential Oil point out that it is helpful for urinary tract infections and one of the most effective diuretic essential oils. Arthritis and diabetes are mentioned by Valnet. Early writers also list a number of menstrual conditions benefiting from Juniper Berry Essential Oil. Open wounds along with stomach and digestive conditions, including flatulence, are almost universally noted as being helped by this oil.
The Old Testament includes several references to the juniper tree including Psalms 120:4. (Click HERE to read more about Essential Oils in the Bible) This verse references burning a person with a false, deceitful tongue with the coals (perhaps burning branches/logs?) of the broom tree, an ancient name for a variety of juniper shrub that grows in Palestine. This passage can be looked at in several ways, one being that
……the juniper was used to cleanse, purify and eliminate that which is false and negative…
Juniper berries are a natural antiseptic, as is the essential oil. It may help combat acne when used at low dilutions in skin care applications. A room mist/air freshener made with Juniper Berry Essential Oil may help to kill airborne germs.
Emotionally, Juniper Berry Essential Oil is calming and helps to ease stress without imparting the sedative effects that clary sage and the chamomiles are known for. Spiritually, Juniper Berry Essential Oil used in a room mist, diffuser or candle burner cleanses and purifies the air. It is a good choice for use during prayer or meditation.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil has a distinctive aroma that is woody, sweet, fresh and crisp. Juniper Berry Essential Oil blends well with wood oils like Cedarwood, Sandalwood and Rosewood and other conifers like Cypress and Fir Needle. I also enjoy it blended with Clary Sage, or the grounding base notes of Vetiver or Patchouli. I also enjoy juniper berry blended with citrus oils including Wild Orange or Grapefruit.
Juniper berries are responsible for giving gin its distinctive flavor. The name gin is a loose derivative of the word juniper. Jenever, a Dutch predecessor to today’s gin was named from Jeneverbes, the Dutch word for juniper.
Common Health Concerns that Juniper Berry is known to help:
- Digestive conditions
- Kidney stones
- Urinary Tract Infection
Juniper Berry Essential Oil Properties:
Avoid using Juniper Berry when and if pregnant, and for those with kidney problems