Bringing in the New Year With Aromatherapy
Quirks

Spotlight: Juniper Berry Essential Oil (Juniperus communis)

Juniper Berries
Juniper berries sprinkled between malachite, sage and carnelians.  
The New Year is a time that many like to start fresh and renew themselves. AromaTalk's Bringing in the New Year With Aromatherapy post highlights the use of Lime Essential Oil for cleansing, uplifting and renewing the spirit. Another spiritually cleansing and purifying essential oil that is not popularly discussed in common aromatherapy literature for that purpose is Juniper Berry Essential Oil. The branches and berries of the Juniper, a coniferous tree, have been used for medicinal and spiritual purposes since ancient times.

The Old Testament includes several references to the juniper tree including Psalms 120:4. This verse references burning a person with a false, deceitful tongue with the coals (perhaps burning branches/logs?) of the broom tree, an ancient name for a variety of juniper shrub that grows in Palestine. This passage can be looked at in several ways, one being that the juniper was used to cleanse, purify and eliminate that which is false and negative.

Native Americans use juniper berries for medicinal applications and burn the berries to cleanse and purify the air. I dabble in making natural forms of incense and include juniper berries and Juniper Berry Essential Oil in several of my personal recipes. Some involved in energy work and crystal healing use Juniper Berry Essential Oil to cleanse and clear crystals.

Juniper Berries
  Juniper berries still on the branch.
Juniper berries are a natural antiseptic, as is the essential oil. It can help combat acne when used at low dilutions in skin care applications. A room mist/air freshener made with Juniper Berry Essential Oil may help to kill airborne germs.

AromaWeb's basic Air Freshener Recipe can be used to make an aromatic and purifying juniper berry room mist. Instead of following the blend ratios shown on the page, use 30 drops of Juniper Berry Essential Oil.

Emotionally, Juniper Berry Essential Oil is calming and helps to ease stress without imparting the sedative effects that clary sage and the chamomiles are known for. Spiritually, Juniper Berry Essential Oil used in a room mist, diffuser or candle burner cleanses and purifies the air. It is a good choice for use during prayer or meditation. I prefer to use Juniper Berry Essential Oil in a candle diffuser instead of a nebulizer.

Juniper berry essential oil has a distinctive aroma that is woody, sweet, fresh and crisp. Juniper Berry Essential Oil blends well with wood oils like cedarwood, sandalwood and rosewood and other conifers like cypress and fir needle. I also enjoy it blended with clary sage, or the grounding base notes of vetiver or patchouli. I also enjoy juniper berry blended with citrus oils including orange or grapefruit.

Juniper berries are responsible for giving gin its distinctive flavor. The name gin is a loose dirivative of the word juniper. Jenever, a Dutch predecessor to today's gin was named from Jeneverbes, the Dutch word for juniper.

For more information regarding Juniper Berry Essential Oil, see AromaWeb's Juniper Berry Essential Oil Profile.

Comments

Sheryl Karas

Thanks for a nice article about an essential oil rather helpful to me right now. I just moved to the Arizona high desert under traumatic and still challenging circumstances and found myself surrounded by miles of juniper trees. I became very curious about the oil because of this and discovered to my surprise that it was exactly what I need right now -- to cleanse away emotional toxicity and negative influences. I took a bath with juniper oil added and it helped right away. Later I added it to one of my own custom blends and like how it complemented the formula I had previously made. I highly recommend it!

I have a photograph of juniper trees in this habitat I live in now and a blog about juniper oil's potential use in helping people through the economic crisis we face today at http://healingcommunication.blogspot.com/2008/12/desert-light.html . Maybe readers of this blog will enjoy that one, too.

Wendy

Hi Sheryl,

Thank you for your comment and link. I can certainly relate on a personal level to why Juniper Berry Essential Oil is the oil of choice for you right now. I'm a spiritual person and am never out of awe for how we often are given or shown exactly what we need, when we need it. I've never picked and dried fresh juniper berries, but is something I'd love to do someday during future travels. I purchase dried juniper berries and use them in a variety of ways including as an ingredient in natural incense - see http://www.aromaweb.com/articles/incense.asp

I skimmed your Desert Light blog post and am impressed by your thoughts and captivating language. I'm brain dead at the moment from wrapping up long hours of working on AromaWeb over this weekend, but look forward to reading it slowly and thoroughly later. Your photo is a beautiful complement to your post. My best to you in your present journey and circumstances.

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