This essential oil has been used for centuries as an antiseptic, diuretic, in purification rituals and remedies as well as a wide variety of other medicinal uses. Use it in a diffuser to lift your mood, control your food cravings and provide relief from stress after a hard day at work. Here is a little guide on why this essential oil should be a part of your aromatherapy collection.
History of Juniper Leaf
Juniper shrub belongs to the pine family and is believed to have antiseptic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
The berries are used to make gin and were also sometimes roasted and brewed as a coffee substitute. Infused in water, the berries were used as an antidote for poisonous bites. In Europe, Juniper was helpful to expel worms and for cholera and typhoid.1
It was well regarded as a disinfectant and also believed to improve mental clarity and memory as well as reduce stress and uplift one’s mood.
For the American Indians, every part of the tree was used as an antiseptic. They made tea from the twigs and berries which was very high in Vitamin C. This was applied for many ailments, including stomach aches, colds, as a blood tonic, and applied topically to stop bleeding and heal wounds.2
The branches were burned during and after illnesses to cleanse the living spaces. Inhalation of the smoke was believed to help respiratory problems.
In ancient times, the Juniper sprigs were placed in hives in order to protect the bees from diseases. These springs have also been used to ward off plague during different epidemics.
The Juniper shrub can be anywhere between 1 to 3 m tall. The smaller variety is native to North America and the taller variety is commonly found in Europe. The evergreen juniper tree has smooth and slender twigs with needle-like leaves. The berries of Juniper tree are shaped like cones around 1 cm in diameter. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, carminative, antiseptic, astringent, detoxifying, expectorant, antispasmodic, and, neurotoxic properties.
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The essential oil is obtained through steam distillation of the wood, berries, and leaves of the Juniper tree. As far as the main components are concerned, it contains alpha-terpinene, bornyl acetate, para-cymene, myrcene, camphene, sabinene, beta pinene, gamma terpinene, cineole, alpha-pinene, alpha-phellandrene, beta phellandrene, terpineol, and caryophyllene along with trace amounts of nerol, borneol, linalyl acetate, linalool, camphor and limonene.
Importance of Juniper Leaf Essential Oil
This essential oil has a wide variety of uses and has been used for its various beneficial and medicinal properties for thousands of years. In fact, it is also mentioned in the Bible.
The leaves and berries of the tree have been used for thousands of years to help with digestion and to prevent bladder issues. Herbalists commonly recommend drinking juniper tree oil to flush out the remaining toxins in the body as well as an aid to support normal metabolic functions.
Common Uses of Juniper Leaf Essential Oil
Who doesn’t want a glowing skin? A healthy glow does not come without proper oxygenation of the skin which means adequate blood circulation is the key to maintain that glowing skin. Proper oxygenation is not only necessary for healthy and glowing skin but it also affects the overall health. Good blood circulation keeps you healthy and prevents a variety of illnesses and fatigue.
Juniper essential oil is an excellent toner and has astringent and antiseptic properties. It is widely to treat a variety of skin ailments including eczema, psoriasis, and acne. It is also beneficial for individuals with oily skin as it helps in unclogging skin pores. It also contains a variety of useful nutrients that help in strengthening the collagen fibers which means it can be used as an anti-aging agent to provide relief from fine lines and wrinkles.3
It can also be used as a tonic to boost the immune system, internally as well as externally. This essential oil may be added to body oils and butter in order to prevent skin sagging. It is also helpful in aiding your respiratory, excretory and digestive systems.
Due to its antioxidant and antibacterial properties, it can also be used for the treatment of dry scalp that often produces dandruff. It can be combined with carrier oils and used for increasing the keratin content of your hair and for preventing dandruff. To use it as a conditioner, mix it with lavender extract and make a home-made conditioner. On application, it will hydrate the hair follicles and provide the essential fatty acids as well as other nutrients that are necessary to improve the quality of your hair. Along with jojoba oil, it can also be used for promoting hair growth.
You can use this essential oil for providing relief from anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Studies suggest that the juniper essential oil can help in increasing the secretion from endocrine gland which is known to promote a healthy nervous system function. It also enhances the activity of neurons in your brain. Needless to say, healthy neuron activity in your brain is essential to prevent a variety of mental disorders as well as memory loss issues.4
Prevention of Arthritis
Many studies have proven that juniper oil has been found to be beneficial for the prevention of arthritis, gout and other such diseases. Inflammation is the root cause of a wide variety of diseases including arthritis and joint pains. Some skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis are inflammatory by nature. Juniper essential oil can be used to calm the inflammation. Presence of excess uric acid, as well as accumulated toxins in the body, may lead to severe inflammation in the body. Juniper essential oil can help calm the inflammation and flush the accumulated toxins and uric acid.5
Treatment of Muscular System
Due to its analgesic properties, it can be used for providing relief from sprains and other muscle issues. As it is an amazing toner for your body, athletes can use it for toning the body muscles to maintain a steady blood flow that helps in burning excess calories and in lowering the cholesterol levels in the body.6
Juniper essential oil can be used for easing toothaches, strengthening gums and preventing teeth from falling out or loosening. Due to its astringent property, it may also be used for tightening loose muscles and providing a feeling of youth and firmness to the body. This is the reason it is also used as a cure for diarrhea. The main benefit of this essential oil as an astringent is its ability to contract the blood vessels which helps in reducing the chances of hemorrhaging.7
The juniper essential oil helps in neutralizing acidity in your body which means it helps in preventing ulcers in your stomach that is caused by an imbalance of acids in the stomach.
It is a diuretic and promotes frequent urination, getting rid of excessive water retention in the body. This facilitates the removal of accumulated toxins and helps in preventing the buildup of excessive protein and calcium which may lead to kidney or gallbladder issues. It also works great for people who are trying to lose weight because excess fat can be flushed out of the body through urine and sweat.
Juniper essential oil has sudorific properties which means it helps in increasing sweating in the body. Since sweating is used by the body to regulate internal temperature and to get rid of harmful toxins from the body, use of juniper essential oil makes your body feel lighter, makes your skin hydrated and enhance the blood circulation.
The juniper essential oil also works great as a blood purifier or as a detoxifier. In simple terms, human body regularly accumulates various toxins such as uric acid, various polluta, ts and heavy metals along with certain hormones and compounds. If these toxins remain in the blood, it affects the blood circulation and may also lead to other health issues. Due to its ability to get rid of these toxins and enhance the blood circulation,
A carminative agent is defined as an agent that helps in getting rid of excessive gas from your intestine. Your stomach produces many different gases during various biological functions and these trapped gases can be extremely uncomfortable. The accumulated gases may cause uneasiness, indigestion, chest pain, and also lead to acute stomach aches. Juniper essential oil can help a lot in getting rid of the accumulated gases. That’s why juniper essential oil is recommended for people suffering from chronic gas issues.
It has strong antiseptic properties and for this reason, has been successfully used as a natural healing essential oil for injuries. In traditional folk medicine, juniper essential oil was widely used for providing relief from injuries suffered by women during childbirth. Similarly, it was also used by athletes and warriors to promote quick healing and keep their wounds and injuries safe from bacterial infections.
Many people are surprised when they discover that the juniper essential oil can also be used for the purposes of weight loss. It works as an appetite suppressor. Many people gain weight not because they eat unhealthily but they don’t know when to stop eating the foods they crave. So, whenever you are craving unhealthy food, just rub a few drops of this essential oil on your chest or use in a diffuser and your craving for food should subside.
Juniper essential oil also has several psychological benefits. For instance, it has been successfully used for the treatment of addiction and has been found helpful for individuals who have developed a feeling of worthlessness or are depressed. This essential oil can also be used for coping with various negative feelings such as restlessness, fear, guilt and obsessive thoughts. It is used in aromatherapy to treat anxiety and nervous tension.
Safety and Precautions
While it has a ton of beneficial uses, you need to adhere to certain precautions while using Juniper Leaf essential oil. The long-term use of Juniper oil may lead to seizures or kidney problems as well as a variety of other medical issues. In fact, long-term topical use of Juniper oil may lead to redness, burning, skin irritation or swelling, and it’s not recommended to use it for treatment of large wounds.
Ingestion of large amounts of Juniper oil may lead to stomach and intestine irritation. Similarly, overuse may lead to blood in the urine, diarrhea, kidney pain, intestinal pain.
Juniper is known to stimulate contractions and therefore, it is not recommended for pregnant women to use Juniper. Also, it should not be used while breastfeeding. Diabetics should not use Juniper oil without consulting their doctor as it may increase the levels of blood sugar.8
It’s not recommended to use Juniper oil in case you are trying to become pregnant. It might interfere with fertility or may also cause a miscarriage. Since it might affect blood sugar levels, it is not recommended to use Juniper oil for at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Overall, it is safe for most adults when inhaled as a vapor produced by a room diffuser or when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts for a very short-term.
Final Thoughts About Juniper Leaf Essential Oil
Overall, juniper leaf essential oil has a variety of uses as evident from the information shared above. It can be used topically for treatment of a variety of skin issues such as oily skin, eczema, dandruff, psoriasis, acne and skin infections. It can also be used in a portable essential oil diffuser or vaporizer to relieve stress and to provide relief from fatigue, fear, and nervousness. You can use it to get relief from muscle cramps, gout, and pain due to arthritis. This essential oil can also be used as a massage oil as it promotes emotional wellness and helps in getting rid of stress.
In simple terms, the juniper essential oil should be a part of your essential oil collection and you should use it regularly to get relief from stress and boost your immune system. However, do not forget to pay attention to the precautions mentioned above and do not use it for long-term as long-term usage also has some well-known side effects.