What is Juniper Berry?
Juniper is a short to medium-height tree that grows wild in some parts of Europe, North America, and Asia. There are many varieties of juniper, but Juniperus communis is the most common in North America.
People use the juniper berry to make medicine. Medicinal preparations include the extract of juniper berry, as well as the essential oil of juniper berry. Don’t confuse juniper berry oil with cade oil, which is distilled from juniper wood (Juniperus oxycedrus).
Health Benefits of Juniper Berry
It disinfects air and helps cure kidney stones, inflammation, urinary tract infections, acne, eczema, skin diseases, dandruff and enlargement of the prostate gland.
Antirheumatic: Juniper essential oil promotes and improves blood circulation. It also helps in the removal of toxins like uric acid from the body. Both of these properties help fight ailments like rheumatism, arthritis, gout, and renal calculi, which are related to improper circulation and the accumulation of toxins in the body. This essential oil also relieves swelling.
Vulnerary: If a diluted solution of this oil is applied on wounds or blended with a skin cream and applied, it helps your wounds heal faster and keeps them protected from infections. This oil is equally beneficial in healing internal wounds, cuts and ulcers.
Astringent: Being an astringent, juniper essential oil helps cure toothaches, stops hair loss, strengthens the grip of gums on your teeth and protects them from loosening or falling out. It also tightens loose muscles and gives a feeling of firmness, fitness and youth. This property can also be used to cure diarrhea as well. The most important benefit of this property is in the fact that as an astringent, it can cause blood vessels to contract and reduce the chances of hemorrhaging.
Antispasmodic: Juniper essential oil is also effective on nearly all forms of cramps, whether it is muscular, intestinal, respiratory or any other area. It relaxes muscle cramps and helps cure spasmodic cholera as well. Being an antispasmodic, it helps cure many of the other problems related with cramps or spasms.
Sudorific: A sudorific substance is an agent which can bring about heavy sweating or perspiration. This is nothing to get annoyed at. The occasional perspiration makes you feel lighter, healthier, and helps in the removal of toxins, excess salt, and water through the sweat. This cleans the skin pores and openings of sweat and sebum glands, which prevents acne and other skin diseases. Juniper oil has powerful sudorific properties.
Stimulant: Some of the properties of juniper oil like its abilities as an Emenagogue, Galactogogue and Diuretic substance result from a single property of this oil as a Stimulant. Being a stimulant, it stimulates all the activities within the body. This stimulating effect also helps overcome fatigue, dizziness and depression. It increases the activity of the brain and neurons, nervous system, secretions from the endocrine and exocrine glands, which includes secretion of milk, sebum, sweat, tears, urine and discharges during menses, digestive system and the excretory system.
Antiseptic: Juniper essential oil used to be a well known antiseptic in the past and people wounded or injured in wars or athletics were treated with it. It was even used in injuries sustained by both the mother and child during difficult labors. It efficiently protects wounds from becoming septic or developing tetanus.
Uses of Juniper Berry
With its ability to cleanse and purify the air, the fresh aroma of Juniper Berry essential oil can produce a calming, grounding effect
Some people apply juniper directly to the skin for wounds and for pain in joints and muscles. The essential oil of juniper is inhaled to treat bronchitis and numb pain.
Juniper extract and juniper oil are used in cosmetics including lipstick, foundation, hair conditioners, bath oils, bubble bath, eye shadow, and many other products.
Juniper is used for digestion problems including upset stomach, intestinal gas (flatulence), heartburn, bloating, and loss of appetite, as well as gastrointestinal (GI) infections and intestinal worms. It is also used for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney and bladder stones. Other uses include treating snakebite, diabetes, and cancer.
In foods, the juniper berry is often used as a condiment and a flavoring ingredient in gin and bitter preparations. The extract and essential oil are used as a flavoring ingredient in foods and beverages.
In manufacturing, the juniper oil is used as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.