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One of Monty Python’s greatest gags comes from their classic feature film Life of Brian. In the scene, Brian (played by the late Graham Chapman) causes a solitary man (the incorrigible Terry Jones) to yell out loud in pain, break his 18-year-long vow of silence, and then rush to protect his juniper bushes from the clutches of a mob which was following Brian as if he were the messiah. The man says that he had lived on juniper berries for the past 18 years. That movie is probably my favorite Monty Python film.
Well, I don’t honestly know if you could live solely on juniper berries for 18 years, but on the other hand I am inclined to agree with just about anything the Pythons have to say.
All joking aside, juniper berries do have some exceptional health benefits, and we can all enjoy them, regardless of our physical or spiritual state. One of the best ways to enjoy juniper power, is using it in the condensed form of essential oil.
What Is Juniper Berry Essential Oil? Where Does It Come From?
The common juniper bush (Latin name Juniperus communis) is a plant which can be found in many locations. The plant has about 60 species spread out all over the world – from the cold regions of the Arctic, through the tropical woods of Central America, and reaching even Tibet and the Middle Eastern deserts. The juniper bush is mentioned several times in the bible, and – as you can tell from its origin – it can grow in many different, sometimes harsh, climates.
Junipers produce fleshy seed cones, which are commonly referred to juniper berries. Some species of juniper produce berries which are poisonous, but the common juniper produces fruit which is edible.
The essential oil of juniper berries is produced by means of steam distillation, and it is a most rich and fragrant oil. It is the berries and leaves of the juniper bush which are used in the oil-making process.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil For Skin
First, let’s get this out of the way: the best and most effective method of maintaining young-looking, healthy skin – and consequently preventing many skin-related conditions – is by eating right and exercising regularly. This is the number one method, bar none.
Now, as we all know, there are tons of treatments out there, which all claim to help with skin-related issues like acne, cellulite, and blemishes. Some of these treatments can be very expensive, and some carry possible side-effects.
If you want to try a more natural method, before turning to things like liposuction, lasers, injections, and chemically-laden creams, then juniper berry essential oil could be your safest, cheapest, and best bet.
Juniper oil contains antioxidants and plant-based chemicals, which help to keep the skin tight, smooth, and free of diseases or infections. When applied topically – after being diluted with almond oil, or a similar carrier – it can provide your skin with a protective layer, working from the inside out. It absorbs easily, and if you choose to heat up the carrier oil a bit before applying, you will find that it penetrates the skin deeper and faster when it comes into contact with it. Though it is by no means a prerequisite for applying juniper oil.
— Balance Me Beautiful (@BMeBOfficial) June 28, 2017
Juniper Berry Essential Oil For Hair
Many hair issues stem from the scalp. The skin that covers our heads is very similar to the skin which exists on the rest of our body, but it does have some differences, primarily due to the hair which covers it.
Essential oils are a great way to keep the scalp fresh and clean, and to stave off well-known enemies of the scalp: dryness, irritation, and inflammation.
A clean scalp will many times translate into clean hair as well. Looking to get rid of dandruff? To stop itchiness? To put an end to dry, brittle strands of hair? Juniper berry essential oil can probably help you out with that. Add a few drops to your favorite herbal shampoo, or even massage it directly onto your scalp (with or without a carrier, your call, but it is best to dilute).
Juniper oil will promote a cleaner scalp and mane. With continued use, the oil will also provide your hair with more body. No blow-drying or harsh chemicals needed, when you have Mother Nature by your side.
This doesn’t apply to everyone, but as far as I am concerned – hair matters. I don’t mean that in a shallow way. I mean to say that having a healthy and full head of hair can help you to look good, raise your self-esteem and boost your confidence.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil For Weight Loss
I am one of those (seemingly) rare individuals which others love to hate. I can eat anything and everything, and I Do. Not. Gain. Weight.
I am on a strict vegetarian diet for reasons not related to weight, but I do believe I could eat basically anything and still remain thin. I am actually in the process of finding ways to gain weight. That’s right, I said it.
My own physical journey notwithstanding, I am well aware of the fact that most people who are out to lose weight are in a real struggle. Some people starve themselves throughout the day, some exercise in a way which only amplifies their appetite, causing them to eat more than they would have had they not worked out. Some have a certain genetic disposition, such as a slower metabolism. Some just aren’t sleeping enough (do not underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep!). Some gain weight due to stress and nerves. The reasons are many and varied, as are the results.
Essential oils are a powerful weapon to have, if you are trying to lose weight in a balanced and more natural way. Juniper berry essential oil can be burned or inhaled directly. It can also be blended with others and be made into an appetite suppressor which suits you and your personal preferences.
Juniper certainly isn’t the only oil which is related to weight-loss, but it is one of the more popular ones.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil Scent
The sense of smell is a highly subjective one. Although, in all honesty, the title of ‘highly subjective’ could probably be assigned to any of the senses. They are all subjective by nature. Still, there is something about the smell of things which taps into different areas of the mind and evokes emotions, memories, and also actions.
I feel that the scent of juniper berry essential oil resembles pines and maybe even lemon a little bit. I actually went and searched around a bit, looking for a way to phrase it. I found there are many opinions pertaining to this particular scent. Some say it is a bright, uplifting, and fresh smell, while others claim it is a bitter and resinous one, closely resembling tree sap.
My favorite way of taking this unique scent into my system is burning the oil. I put a few drops in a diffuser with just a bit of water, light a tealight under it, and breathe in deep as I lay on my bed. I don’t get to perform this personal ritual too often, but whenever I do, it is therapeutic and relaxing.
Can You Blend Juniper Essential Oil With Other Oils?
Juniper oil blends very nicely with many other essential oils. Obviously, you need to be aware of any oil which you don’t vibe with, and keep away from them. Juniper blends well with lavender, tea tree, lemongrass, sage, and wood oils (like sandalwood and cedarwood).
Monty Python are still performing, and people are still into essential oils. I take so much comfort in knowing that those two seemingly-unrelated ideas have found a common ground in me. I think about that scene when I spark up the tealight under the diffuser, and it never fails to make me grin while the yells of “he IS the messiah!!” echo in my brain.
Juniper berry essential oil is a substance which can affect your mind, body, and spirit. In other words, it has the ability to penetrate easily and become a part of your system. If you let it, it can make things better, give you focus, and make you stronger in the long run. For me, personally, incorporating essential oils into my already-pretty-healthy lifestyle was certainly a step in the right direction.
Remember that essential oils are highly potent and strong. Please use only as directed, and consult your physician before treating any kind of medical condition with oils. Better safe than sorry, right? This especially pertains to the elderly, young children, and expecting or nursing women. Those groups are considered to be more sensitive, which is why it is important to get the green light from your healthcare professional.
Juniper has uses in medicine, cosmetics, and therapy. Want to find out what it can do for you? Just make it happen!