Since ancient times, juniper was one of the first exploited plants for medicinal effects. Its antiseptic and antibacterial qualities were really strong. This made people use juniper extracts to ward off epidemics. Dioscoride would suggest juniper extracts for the treatment of coughs and urinary problems. Today, Juniper essential oil uses and benefits surpass the old ones.
They surpass the old ones simply because, scientifically speaking, we know more about its abilities. That is what I intend to do here. I will give you all the practical uses of Juniper essential oil in the second chapter. But first, I will tell you a lot about this oil and its characteristics.
These details will help you choose the right type of essential oil. The right type matters greatly if you want to use it for therapeutic purposes. Along with all these details, you will also find out how to use the oil safely.
Before I conclude the article, I will give you a few Aromatherapy blends as well. After seeing its many uses and benefits, you’ll probably want to try it too.
Did You Know?
- Juniper leaves, when crushed, will emit a scent that resembles lemons or apples.
Know Your Juniper Essential Oil and How to Use It Safely
Botanical name: Juniperus communis
Texture: thin oil
Color and Aroma: clear with a pale yellow tinge, with woody/earthy notes. There’s also some sweetness and crisp notes in its fragrance.
Juniper essential oil is extracted by steam distillation, from the berries of the juniper shrub. It is an evergreen shrub that belongs to the pine family. This shrub thrives in mountain areas in Europe, Southwest Asia and North America.
Its berries come from the cones of the little tree. Male junipers yield more berries because they ripen within 1 ½ years. Female junipers take longer to ripen (between 2 and 3 years).
The cone berries are harvested between October and November. It takes approximately a hundred kilos (220 lbs) of cone berries to yield about 1, 5 kilos (3.30 lbs) of essential oil.
Essential oils are extracted from all the parts of the juniper shrub. But those extracted from the berries are considered superior. However, essential oils extracted from the twigs of the juniper are similar to those extracted from berries.
If we are to refer to the correct botanical name of this oil we would have to say Juniperi pseudo-fructus. Because the tree is the most common species of juniper, we recognize it by the Juniperus communis botanical name.
There are six varieties of Juniper oil:
- Juniperus communis var. erecta
- Juniperus communis var. alpina
- Juniperus communis var. sabina (very toxic, so you’ll not find it easily)
- Juniperus communis osteosperma (from Utah)
- Juniperus communis scopulorum (from the Rocky Mountains)
- Juniperus oxycedrus aka Cade or Prickly Juniper oil (highly toxic if it’s unrectified)
Respectable essential oils producers will specify the exact species used in the distillation process of their oils. Even though they are all different, their main constituents are the same. The only difference is the amount in which we find certain constituents in each oil. These amounts make the oils distinct and more suited for certain treatments.
Juniper essential oil contains:
- Alpha and beta-pinene (20 – 50%) and Limonene. They all help stimulate the vital processes and act as decongestants too. They also give the oil antiviral and anti-tumor effects.
- Camphene. Helps the tissue to regenerate faster.
- Borneol. Gives the oil antimicrobial, antispasmodic and antiseptic properties.
- Terpinene. This constituent gives the oil diuretic effects by stimulating the kidneys.
- Sabinene (less than 20%).
- Junipene and juniperol.
Precautions for Juniper essential oil
- Don’t use it undiluted and test it first for possible allergies.
- This oil is not recommended to people suffering from serious kidney problems.
- Make sure you don’t use Juniper oil in case of urinary stone crisis.
- Pregnant women should not use this oil, neither should children.
- Do not use this oil in treatments for more than 4 weeks in a row. It may cause kidney problems.
- An overdose may cause high blood pressure and even seizures.
- Also, do not use Juniper oil with diabetes medication.
How to Enjoy the Uses and Benefits of Juniper Essential Oil Safely
First of all, avoid using this oil for children under 18 years old. Then you should only use it in blends and skin applications. This way you’ll benefit from its properties fully and limit any trace of toxicity.
Normal Juniper oil is not toxic. However, if the oils come from Spain for instance, they might be contaminated with the berries from the sabina variety.
The difference between the two fruit varieties is very hard to spot and sabina berries are highly toxic. There are serious safety precautions taken during the harvest, but it’s better to be safe. That’s why Juniper essential oil should be used mostly on skin applications.
You could also diffuse it but only 2 – 3 drops for 15 – 20 minutes every few hours, in a well-ventilated room.
The usual Aromatherapy dosage is:
- 6 – 12 drops of EO (essential oil) per Oz. carrier oil for face blends.
- 15 – 30 drops of EO per Oz. carrier oil for body blends.
Now, on to the uses and benefits of Juniper oil, but first…
Did You Know?
- Juniper gives flavor and aroma to drinks like gin and bitter.
10 Juniper Essential Oil Uses and Benefits
Among its many qualities, this oil can disinfect and soothe inflammations of all sorts. It can also relieve spasms and cramps and is a great detoxifying agent. It stimulates the circulation and all the vital processes in the body.
All in all, Juniper oil is one of the best oils out there. It is very potent and it has a long history in medicinal uses throughout the millennia.
Now, let’s see how exactly we can enjoy its qualities too.
(1) Juniper oil can improve the circulation underneath the skin.
This quality makes the oil great at improving the aspect of cellulite. It can also be used in blends for cold feet and hands caused by a poor circulation. Another great way to enjoy this stimulant quality is to rub it in a special blend for hair care.
(2) Improve the aspect of psoriasis, dermatitis, and acne.
You can either use it alone or combined with other potent essential oils here. Dilute the oil in a carrier oil for your skin type and problem, and apply twice a day to the affected areas. It is useful because of its strong disinfectant and regenerative effects over the tissue.
(3) Relieve rheumatic pain, or joint pain and even toothaches.
Juniper essential oil uses and benefits rely on its ability to kill the pain. This oil can be mixed with Tamanu oil and massage the affected areas. You can also combine it with Frankincense essential oil for more power and coverage. Or you can add it in a cup of milk or bath salts in your bath water to soothe the pain and inflammation.
(4) Give your immune system a boost.
The oil of Juniper has strong antiviral and antibacterial effects. This fact makes it very useful in the purification and disinfection of the air. By killing germs and viruses that linger in the air, you can prevent flu epidemics and infections. At the same time, this oil can also help with fatigue and strengthen the immune system.
(5) Improve your digestion.
Another one of the best Juniper essential oil uses and benefits is its ability to help with digestion. It can stimulate the bile to produce more gastric juices, and relieve from gas. Massage a blend with this essential oil on the stomach area with clockwise movements.
(6) Prevent or treat urinary infections, or kidney stone formation.
For this condition, you should only apply a moderate amount to the kidney area and massage gently. Do not take juniper orally without the consent of a doctor. Also, consult your doctor before using the oil if you’re already following a treatment for diabetes or kidney problems. See the precautions above!
(7) Repel bugs naturally.
There are many essential oils that can repel bugs, and Juniper is one of them. Among all the Juniper essential oil uses and benefits you can count on it to do this job too. You can massage your skin with a blend to protect against insect bites or diffuse the oil to keep the bugs away.
(8) Natural cleanser and detoxifying agent.
Juniper oil has this ability to drain out toxins from the tissue and body. How does it do that? First, it stimulates the kidneys to produce more urine. Through frequent urination, you can eliminate toxins, uric acid and certain fats from your body and skin.
It can purify the skin because it also stimulates the production of sweat. More sweat means less salt and water in the tissue and body, as well as toxins.
(9) Relieve headaches and anxiety or stress.
Inhale from cupped hands or diffuse 3 drops of Juniper oil to get rid of stress and headaches, and relax. You can also make a blend in a roll-on bottle and keep it with you at work or anywhere else. Massage a small quantity on your temples and the back of the head. You could use 12 drops of EO in a 10 ml roll-on bottle of carrier oil.
(10) Prevent hair loss and strengthen hair roots.
Juniper is good at stimulating the circulation, clearing toxins out and killing germs. We’ve seen that! But these three qualities can greatly benefit your scalp and hair too. This is one of the important Juniper essential oil uses and benefits.
Without dandruff, your hair can get all the nourishment it needs. A better blood circulation underneath the scalp can also stimulate the hair to grow easier.
Add 4-5 drops in the quantity you normally use in shampoo and conditioner. Leave the shampoo on for as long as you can before washing it off. Wash your hair normally, insisting with a light massage of the scalp.
Aromatherapy Blends with Juniper Oil
Now that you’ve seen what it can do, would you try a blend to test its abilities? If so, then let me help you with a couple. One will address the problem of cellulite. The other recipe will help you relieve rheumatic pain. Of course, the possibilities are endless and you could come up with your own recipes.
# Cellulite Blend
- Juniper essential oil: 25 drops
- Atlas Cedarwood essential oil: 20 drops
- Orange essential oil: 9 drops
- Helichrysum essential oil: 9 drops
- Geranium essential oil: 9 drops
- Hazelnut oil: 2 Oz. (60 ml)
- Avocado oil: 1 Oz. (30 ml)
Blend well all the oils and shake the blend before each use. Apply this blend only at night if you intend to expose yourself to the sun. If not, you can use the blend morning and evening for at least 4 weeks. You can then take 5 days break before re-applying the lotion again.
# Rheumatic Pain Relief
- Juniper essential oil: 10 drops
- Lavender essential oil: 9 drops
- Wintergreen essential oil: 5 drops
- Tamanu oil: 2 Oz. (60 ml)
Mix all the oils together and apply to the painful areas with gentle massage movements. You can also dilute 2 teaspoons of this blend with some milk and add it to hot bath water. Sit there for about 20 minutes or until the pain diminishes.
Juniper oil is indeed great! All those things it can help make it one of the must-have oils in our cabinets. You now know how to choose the right type of oil for the benefits you’re looking for. As long as you take into consideration all the precautions in this article, using the oil of Juniper should be a breeze and a delight!
Enjoy all the Juniper essential oil uses and benefits wherever you are! Make yourself a nice blend to help you unwind and relax, and prevent many illnesses. Or maybe you are already doing it? How do you like your Juniper oil? Please do share so we can all learn new things.