1. Short description
Juniper essential oil is extracted from Juniperus communis, of the Cupressaceae family and is also known as common juniper.
2. Long description
This crisp essential oil is used in aromatherapy to help stimulate and strengthen the nerves and bolster the spirits in challenging situations, while helping to relieve urine retention. It is used for treating rheumatism, arthritis and gout, as well as cellulite, acne, dermatitis, blocked pores, psoriasis and weeping eczemas.
Juniper oil can be extracted from the berries, as well as the needles and wood. The oil extracted from the berries is a more superior essential oil than that extracted from the twigs and needles. It has a fresh, clear but slightly woody aroma, and is a pale oil with a watery viscosity.
It is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 10 meters (30 feet) in the wild, but is cultivated to a height of 2 meters (6 feet) and has blue-green needle-like leaves, small yellow flowers and the female tree produces a blue/black fruit (berry).
As a herb it has great medicinal value and was used against contagious diseases, such as cholera, typhoid fever and the plague in Tibet and in Europe. It was given to Mongolian women at the beginning of labor, and in Yugoslavia it was looked upon as an all-cure. It was burnt in French hospitals, to clear the air and is also very well known as the flavor ingredient of gin.
Juniper oil is extracted from dried, crushed or slightly dried ripe fruit by steam distillation and yields 0.2 % - 2 %.
The main chemical components of juniper oil are: a-pinene, camphene, b-pinene, sabinene, myrcene, a-phellandrene, a-terpinene, y-terpinene, 1,4-cineole, b-phellandrene, p-cymene, terpinen-4-ol, bornyl acetate, cayophyllene and trace amounts of limonene, camphor, linalool, linalyl acetate, borneol and nerol.
It is considered non-toxic but since it can stimulate the uterine muscle it should not be used during pregnancy, nor by people with kidney problems. It is non-sensitizing, but some people do have a reaction to it, and it is generally wise to use this oil in moderation.
The therapeutic properties of juniper oil are: antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, depurative, diuretic, rubefacient, stimulating, stomachic, sudorific, vulnerary and tonic.
Juniper oil can help calm the nerves, relieves anxiety, nervous tension and mental exhaustion. It is helpful when the prostate gland is enlarged and is used to help with the inability to pass urine, in cases of cystitis and kidney stones.
It is also helpful for cellulite and fluid retention. Juniper oil generally helps with the digestive system, particularly in cases of obesity, over-indulgence of food and premenstrual bloating.
For the liver, it has a tonic effect and helps regulate the menstrual cycle and eases painful period pains. It assists with the elimination of uric acid and therefore relieves pain in cases of gout, rheumatism and arthritis. Apart from this, juniper oil is also very effective for acne, eczema, oily skin, weeping eczema, psoriasis and dandruff and alleviates inflammation.
Physical Benefits and Effects
For additional physical benefits, juniper oil can help reduce indigestion, flatulence, and can even alleviate pains associated with menstrual cramps.
Clears, stimulates and strengthen the nerves. Very strong diuretic and antiseptic, valuable in cystitis, cellulite and fluid retention. Detoxifies and cleanses the body. Eliminates uric acid and helps in cases of arthritis, rheumatism and gout.
A tonic for oily and congested skin, easing acne, blocked pores, dermatitis, weeping eczema, psoriasis and swellings.
Provides the energy necessary to give up bad habits and begin better ones. Removes emotional toxins.