Juniper berry
(Juniperus communis)

Family: Cupressaceae
Description: Juniper is a small tree with needle-type leaves, greenish-yellow flowers and small berries. The essential oil is steam-distilled from the crushed and partly dried berries.
Countries of origin: France, Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Serbia, Croatia
Characteristics: Juniper berry has clean, fresh, turpentine top notes and smoky, balsamic, woody, peppery undertones. It blends well with most other woods and citruses, and also with frankincense, nary sage, lavender, geranium, rose and benzoin.
Main therapeutic properties: Anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, anti-toxic, aphrodisiac, astringent, carminative, cicatrizant, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, nervine, rubefacient.

 

Juniper is the purifying essential oil. On a physical level, this quality manifests as a powerful cleansing and tonic action, making juniper good in lymphatic drainage massage and in helping the body to eliminate toxins. It is also excellent when used for psychic and spiritual purifying. Overall, juniper is cleansing, tonic and restorative.

One of the best essential oils for cystitis and urinary—tract infections, juniper is good blended with bergamot in a local wash, gentle local massage and hot compresses over the lower abdomen. Juniper helps to alleviate nervous tension, intellectual fatigue and anxiety. Used in small amounts, juniper is good in skin care, especially for oily skin and when the skin is affected by toxins such as acne.
Psychologically, juniper is purifying, clearing and fortifying. Traditionally it was burned to protect from evil spirits and drive out negative energies, and this quality is still effective today. A couple of drops rubbed between the palms and brushed over the aura is purifying and protecting. Juniper is good in meditations, especially when the mind needs a spring-clean. Used in a burner, it dispels the psychic presence of other people.

Contraindications: Avoid during pregnancy and do not use if you have kidney disease. Use carefully in small amounts.