Juniper Berry Essential Oil: Uses, Benefits, and Precautions
Juniper berry essential oil (Juniperus communis) is a steam-distilled oil from the berries and needles of the juniper plant. The best oils are sourced from Bulgaria, their indigenous region, and take a full THREE years to ripen to maturity. The aroma is somewhat sweet, balsamic, and (obviously) very similar in smell to the juniper shrubs in my friend's yard growing up. We used to pick from them to make our "witch's brew" as little girls. (See, even then I knew Nature was the answer to all your woes! I was a genius, I tell ya.)
It's mostly frequently used for the urinary system, skin, digestive system, and nervous system. It can also be used to support cleansing and detoxifying.
- Supports healthy kidney and urinary function
- May benefit problematic skin areas
- Acts as a natural cleansing and detoxifying agent
- Helps relieve tension and stress
Juniper berry essential oil is one of my favorites for emotional support. It's said to have an encouraging and supportive affect on the emotional and spiritual aspects of a person, particularly helping a person navigate fears and resistance to the type of digging deep necessary for healing. It's even said to help a person overcome nightmares, especially those with deeper unconscious meaning, and help gain more restful sleep.
Children might find this oil beneficial when they are afraid of the dark, helping them to find the courage to face their fears and scare off the monsters under the bed. It can allow them to learn there is nothing to fear when they have the courage to be themselves out there in the world.
For adults, juniper berry essential oil helps us do the deep and dirty work of spiritual healing, especially from trauma or pain we're afraid to look at, or beliefs we don't want to examine because we fear they might be true (such as "I'm unlovable"). By facing our fears, we can begin to dismantle and become free of them.
Depending on your uses for this oil, substitutes may include Lemon essential oil.
How to Use Juniper Berry Essential Oi
Traditionally, juniper berry essential oil uses these application guidelines. Click the banner to understand what each symbol means and to learn how each is used safely and effectively:
Precautions of Juniper Berry Essential Oil
Always test for skin sensitivity prior to widespread use and use on the feet when possible. Excessive use of any oil can lead to skin sensitization. Keep out of eyes, ears, or nose. Not all oils are created equal, so test brands carefully, and never use an oil in a way not recommended by its maker.
Popular Uses of Juniper Berry Essential Oil
- Add 1–2 drops to water or citrus drinks as part of a natural cleansing regimen.
- Apply 1 drop to problematic skin areas to promote a clear, healthy complexion.
- Diffuse with citrus oils to freshen and purify the air and to lessen stress.
- For better rest, place 1-2 drops of juniper berry essential oil in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together, and inhale for up to 30 seconds or more several times a day, or in times of stress and tension. Also consider diffusing in the work space or home throughout the day.
- To relieve childhood fears, in a small non-plastic (metal or glass) spitz bottle, mix 4 drops of juniper essential oil to every ounce of water and use as a room and pillow spray. You can also apply a drop to the bottom of the feet or back fo the neck (avoid hands that might end up rubbing eyes).
Inspiration for Using Juniper Berry Essential Oil
For joint support: Add 4 drops Juniper Berry, and 3 drops each Peppermint, Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Helichrysum, and Ginger essential oils to a 5 ml roller bottle. Top with fractionated coconut oil.
Foaming face wash: In a foaming soap dispenser mix 1 TB liquid castile soap, 1 TB witch hazel, 10 drops Juniper Berry essential oil. Top with distilled water.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON QUALITY
Not all oils are created equal. Because of a lack of industry standards and a lack of regulation on terms such as "natural" or "pure", much of what you find at the drug store is NOT a therapeutic grade of essential oil and may lack real quality or even contain contaminants or adulterants (way more common than you'd think).
A LOT goes into creating a high quality essential oil. A good brand should follow these guidelines:
- Proper plant varieties
- Each plant grown indigenously for the healthiest plant
- Grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides, etc
- Harvested with precise timing to ensure peak properties
- Extracted with proper temp and pressure to preserve oil molecules
- Third-party testing of every batch
- Stand behind the internal use of their oils