• What You Need to Know About Juniper Berry Essential Oil

    **Important note if you think this looks awfully familiar: Yes, it was just over a week ago that this showed up in your inbox or social media feed. But… that was right smack dab in the middle of the week in which I changed hosting companies for my website. When all was said and done, and properly moved to the new host, this post had disappeared. That happens sometimes. So, here it is again.

    It’s actually fitting that an article about Juniper, was the one that went missing. You see, Juniper is one of the many ingredients that are used to make gin, and there were several times during the changing of hosts that I was frustrated enough to want a little nip of something. Although I’m not a gin drinker, there were a couple times that I’d have probably drunk some if it was the only thing available. Thankfully, all the frustrations are behind me and I’m now enjoying all the benefits of my new web host, including one you may have noticed… the website loads a whole lot faster now.

    juniper bush with berries

    A Little About Juniper

    Juniper bushes can grow to be six feet tall when cultivated, but up to 30 feet in the wild. Wild juniper thrives in cold climates.

    For an evergreen, it’s pretty colorful:

    • The branches are a reddish color
    • The needle-like leaves are green
    • The flowers are yellow
    • The berries are blue-black

    What’s Juniper Essential Oil Good For?

     

    Juniper has only a few widespread uses

    • Stimulating and strengthening to the nerves
    • Energizing
    • Antiseptic – both topically and airborne (diffused)
    • Supports the spirit in challenging situations
    • Energetically clears the atmosphere (like sage or smudge does)
    • Helps you center yourself and draw in loving energy
    • Helps ease arthritis and rheumatism symptoms

    What Should I Blend With Juniper Essential Oil?

    Juniper smells especially good when blended with:

    • Benzoin
    • Bergamot
    • Cedarwood
    • Cypress
    • Frankincense
    • Geranium
    • Grapefruit
    • Lemongrass
    • Lime
    • Melissa
    • Orange
    • Rosemary
    • Sandalwood

    Precautions When Using Juniper Oil

    Do not use while pregnant – Juniper is an emmenagogue, which means it promotes and regularizes menstrual flow. This type of oil is historically* avoided during pregnancy. *Modern researchers find no evidence of miscarriage or fetal harm from juniper essential oil.

    Historically it’s been treated as being a potential source of kidney damage or irritation, but Robert Tisserand (THE safety guy for essential oils) has found no proof of this. Still, best avoid if you have kidney disease.

    Juniper Trivia and Interesting Facts

    There’s not much myth out there regarding juniper, but there are some very interesting bits of history regarding juniper. For instance:

    • Prior to the advent of modern medicine and antibiotics, it played a role as a remedy for and protection against cholera and typhoid fever.
    • It was valued by medics for its antiseptic properties in ancient Greece, Rome and Arabia.
    • It was given to women at the onset of labor in Mongolia.
    • It was hailed as a cure for bites in the 15th and 16th centuries.
      • The Celtic word juneprus means acrid or biting. A bit ironic, no?
    • It was once thought to cure diabetes. Spoiler: It doesn’t
    • It’s ability as a stimulant is mentioned (inferred, really) in the bible when an exhausted Elijah slept under a juniper tree.
    • It is one of the many ingredients used to make gin. (I thought it’d be nice to end where we began)