Monthly Archives: November 2020

Juniper (Juniperus communis)

Juniper header

Family: Cupressaceae

Synonyms: Juniper

Aroma: Fresh, warm, rich balsamic, woody sweet pine needle like

Colour: Clear to very pale yellow

Juniper berriesPlant: Small tree that can grow to 12 metres in height with blue green needle like leaves, greenish yellow flowers and small round berries. The same tree carries green unripe one year old berries and blue ripe two to three year old berries.

Main Growing Areas: Northern Italy, Austria, Czech republic, Hungry, Croatia, Serbia and France

Major Constituents: alpha-pinene, beta-farnesene, beta-elemene, camphene, sabinene, myrcene, 1,4 cineole

Interesting snippets: Juniper branches were burned in temples as purifying herbs.

In England juniper branches were often strewn on the floor to sweeten the smell of the room and to cleanse the air of infection and disease

During the 19th century, the berries were burnt in French hospitals to prevent the spread of smallpox.

To the ancient Germans, juniper was the “Tree of Life” and branches were buried with the dead to facilitate their easy passage to their heaven, Valhalla.

ginJuniper berries are used for making gin.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: crushed, dried or partly dried berries/ steam distilled

Therapeutic actions: antiseptic, carminative, diuretic, weeping eczema, acne, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, rheumatism, arthritis, lower back pain, tiredness, poor circulation, cold hands and feet.

Emotional and Spiritual: nervous and intellectual fatigue, lethargy, apathy, negative thoughts, confusion

Fischer-Rizzi writes that psychologically juniper strengthens and uplifts the spirit during times of low energy, anxiety and weakness.

Keim Loughran and Bull state that juniper clears the body/mind/spirit of the damaging perceptions that interfere with our confidence and self-worth. She releases old thoughts, strengthens our intuition and deepens trust in our inner voice.

Robbie Zeck writes when you are feeling distressed and shut off from the experience of joy in your body and in your life, Juniper prepares the way for finding your centre. It brings clarification and stability during times of emotional and spiritual challenge. Juniper reduces the negativity stemming from habits, beliefs and behaviours that rob you of your joy of life.

Gabriel Mojay states that juniper is suited to the type of individual who feels burdened and aloof, deeply absorbed in their own thoughts – thoughts which revolve around worries, pressures and unpleasant memories. Feeling unsupported and misunderstood by others, they tend to withdraw and lose their social confidence. Juniper helps to purge them of the worry and self-absorption that is rooted in a fear of failure. Restoring their determination to overcome life’s obstacles, it replaces stasis and isolation with movement and openness.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:PREPARATION
Prepare for emotional, physical and spiritual challenges ahead. Set your goals and focus on preventing any of life’s little negative surprises. It is only when we are not prepared that we get those “surprises”. Failure to prepare leads to an emptiness and dissatisfied state allowing disappointment, self-doubt, guilt and low self-esteem to creep in. Be prepared and move beyond your limitations.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I cleanse my body, mind and spirit of negativity so I can soar.

Contemplations for the Soul:Are you feeling mentally exhausted due to the never ending thoughts going on in your head about how unworthy you are or the guilt and shame over something you have or haven’t done?
Are you afraid to do something because you feel you will fail or not make the grade?
Are you feeling angry, frustrated, uncertain or confused?
It’s time to cleanse the negativity from your body, mind and spirit and allow clarity and insight to shine through.
Take a shower or bath imaging you are washing away all the negativity. Watch the dirty water and negativity drain away.
Make the decision to meet whatever challenges come your way; ask for support when you need help to overcome them.
Be all you’re meant to be.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic. Skin sensitisation may occur if the oil has oxidised.

Note: Often adulterated with fermented berries. May also be adulterated with pinene, camphene, turpentine oil fractions, juniper wood and twig oils.

There are some trees in the Juniperus genera whose essential oils are called cedars such as Juniperus virginiana known as Virginia cedarwood or cedarwood, Juniperus ashei known as Texas cedarwood and Juniperus procera known as east African cedarwood. True cedarwood comes from the pinaceae family and the genera Cedrus.

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Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy Anointing Oils, Frog Books (2001)
Kerr J, Juniper Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.18 (2001)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
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