Juniperus berry oil (Juniperus communis)
Juniper (Juniperus communis) is a coniferous evergreen shrub that belongs to the pine family (Cupressaceae) and is commonly found on heaths and mountains in North America, Europe and Southwest Asia.
Juniper essential oil is traditionally steam-distilled from the needles, twigs, wood and berries. However, juniper berry oil, which is extracted solely from the berries, is superior in quality. It's a pale oil with a watery viscosity and a fresh, clear and slightly woody and fruity fragrance.
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.
Uses of Juniper Berry Oil
The fresh and calming aroma of juniper berry oil is widely renowned for relieving stress and anxiety. When diffused, it can also cleanse and purify the air. If you want to use juniper berry oil to get its healing and calming effects, try these methods:
•Vapor therapy. Use a burner or vaporizer to diffuse the oil, which helps relieve emotional issues, such as addiction, nervous tension and hangovers.
•Massage oil or added to bath water. This works well for pain relief, such as for arthritis, pain in passing urine, swollen joints, gout and muscle fatigue.
•Add to lotions and creams. Try this for skin-related problems, such as oily skin, acne, dermatitis, psoriasis and weeping eczema.
•Use in a compress. Ideal for eczema, arthritis and general infections.
Interesting Juniper Berry Essential Oil Information:
The juniper fruit is in fact not a berry at all but is derived from a portion of the juniper cone, which takes three years to mature. Juniper was commonly burned as incense and as a fumigant by ancient Greeks. The berries have been used traditionally by the Zuni Indians to assist in childbirth, and have also been employed by Tibetans and Native Americans for ceremonial purposes. Juniper essential oil is used as a culinary fragrance component and is the main aromatic agent in gin. All parts of the juniper bush may be distilled; however, the ripe berries are considered the most therapeutic part of the plant.