What we commonly know as juniper berries are not berries at all, but a seed cone displayed on the branches of the female juniper shrub, which has the botanical name Juniperus communis.

Juniper has a history that stretches from antiquity until now. The berries were discovered inside Egyptian tombs and thousands of years later Native Americans used juniper as a holistic tonic for many conditions. Juniper essential oil is extracted from dried, crushed or slightly dried ripe berries by steam distillation. While the berries are blue in color, the essential oil has more of the sepia color of old manuscripts and has a slight woody aroma. Linguists have traced the name juniper berry to the French word “genièvre,” which is where we get the word gin and is the substance that gives the distinct flavor to gin. Juniper was used by French physicians during World War ll to ward off diseases and as an aid for purifying hospitals.

Modern researchers have confirmed its strong antiseptic properties. The antiseptic properties help aid in the removal of waste from the body and help fight against bacterial infections. Pinene, terpineol, and terpineneare are three main constituents of juniper essential oil and are the reasons why it can be helpful in treating most health issues and skin issues. Juniper essential oil is known today as a detox oil; a helpful diuretic used to remove excess water retention and works to combat cellulite. It is vital in skin care because it helps oily and sluggish skin. Adding this oil to your night cream will not only help you rest well, but works wonders overnight to give good face in the morning.

Bringing you peace

Juniper can help calm you and give you peace. The essential oil has a positive effect on the nerves and can help elevate our emotional state removing melancholy. It works on a soul level (which is the highest level; it’s our core). The soul embodies the “why” of a thing’s existence. Juniper essential oil, like frankincense, helps us go deep to heal; to really heal!

Blends well with cedarwood, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, pine and sweet orange, but as a single note it carries its own.

Did you know?

The highest-known Juniper forest occurs at an altitude of 16,000 feet (4,900 m) in south-eastern Tibet and the northern Himalayas, creating one of the highest tree-lines on earth.

Juniper is one of the plants used in Scottish saining (to consecrate) rites, where the smoke of burning juniper is used to cleanse, bless, and protect the household.

Juniper berries are a common ingredient in German food.


Quick Tips/Recipes

It has been said that if you are having digestion problems, chewing on one juniper berry can ease gas and stomach cramps without causing a loss of electrolytes.

Let me see you sweat! Juniper essential oil has powerful sudorific properties – it helps remove toxins, excess salt, and water through sweating.

Detox Scrub

15 drops juniper (Juniperus communis)
8 drops lemon (Citrus limon)
7 drops lavender (Lavender angustifolia)
1 teaspoon juniper powder
2 Tablespoons “Thayers” original witch hazel
8 ounces sea salt (fine)
¼ cup sesame seed oil
(1) 16 ounce PET Jar

Mix together in a 16 oz. PET jar. In the shower or bathtub use a small amount, pat the mixture and gently massage over your body. Rinse off with warm water, then cold water.

Cellulite Blend

4 drops juniper
¼ cup sesame seed oil

Blend ingredients well. Before taking a shower, massage the affected areas with a skin brush. Shower and apply the blend to the flushed areas; massage the area in a circular motion.

Counteracts cellulitis and firms the connective tissue

Diffuse Juniper

4 drops in a diffuser

– The great thing about juniper is you can diffuse it anytime of day.

Note: Because some individuals experience seasonal allergies, there is a common misconception surrounding juniper and the issue of pollen. It is important to know that female juniper berry trees are not known to produce any pollen at all. Only the male evergreen cedar trees produce pollen and juniper essential oil is produced from the non-pollen producing female berries.

Do not take any essential oils internally.

Do not use essential oils without a carrier (base) oil.

Aromatherapy is a Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) and is not meant, in any form, to replace medical care. Information and statements made are for educational purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.

References (4)
Keville, K. Aromatherapy, A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, The Crossing
press, USA, (1995).
Mojay G. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, Henry Holt and Company Inc.,
England, (1996).
Schnaubelt K. Advanced Aromatherapy, The Science of Essential Oil Therapy,
Healing Arts Press, USA, (1998).

Aromatherapy Thymes magazine at barnesandnoble.com