Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Juniper berry essential oil

Juniperberry (juniper berry) essential oil, juniperus communis, is steam distilled from the berries or a combination of berries and twigs which produces a pungent, herbaceous, peppery, pine like and camphor like aroma. Juniper berry oil used in massage oils, liniments, and baths because of its ability to treat pain and inflammation or arthritis, rheumatism, and varicose veins by warming and relaxing the muscles. It increases circulation and helps relieve fluid retention during PMS. Juniper berry is also used in cosmetics for acne and eczema and in shampoos for oily hair and dandruff. It can be used in closets and drawers to repel wool moths. May cause irritation of sensitive skin. Will over stimulate the kidneys and should be avoided by those with kidney disease, inflamed or infected kidneys.
Juniper is an evergreen shrub or tree up to 6m high with bluish-green stiff needles. It has small flowers and berries which are green in the first year, black in second and third. Essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the berries. Although these valuable berries are produced from a native shrub, the berries used for commercial purposes are chiefly collected from plants cultivated in Hungary. Sunny slopes are likely to be the best places to cultivate the shrub for the berries. The yield of oil, however, varies considerably in different years.
Juniperberry essential oil, juniperus communis, blends well with following essential oils: bergamot, citrus oils, cypress, geranium, lavender, rosemary, and sandalwood.
Juniper berry oil cautions - Non-sensitizing, may be slightly irritating, non-toxic. Stimulates the uterine muscle and must not be used during pregnancy. Should not be used by those with kidney disease due to its nephrotoxic effect.
Juniper berry oil properties - antiseptic, antitoxic, astringent, depurative, emmenagogue, nervine, parasiticide, sedative, tonic, vulmerary.

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