Oil Summary: Juniperberry essential oil is steam distilled from the ripe berries of the juniper shrub. Known for its ability to treat colds, flu and general inflammation, it is also used topically as an antiseptic or in cosmetic preparations. Juniper exudes a medium-strength middle fragrance note that is familiar, fresh, sweet, slightly fruity, balsamic, woody and coniferous, presenting as a colorless or slightly green liquid. There are more than 87 active chemical components in juniper berry essential oil that provide therapeutic benefits, including sabinene, a-pinene, and myrcene, with limonene, r-cymene, g-terpinene, b-pinene, a-thujene, and camphene to a lesser degree. Small amounts of the sesquiterpenes, oxides and some esters are also present, including linalool, linalyl acetate and nerol. Juniper is cultivated all over the northern hemisphere, but the highest quality juniper berries for essential oils are coming from Italy, Austria, Sweden and Canada.
Odor and Appearance: A colorless faintly greenish or yellowish liquid with a characteristic odor and an aromatic bitter taste.
Country of origin: Austria
Botanical name: Juniperus communis
Contraindication: Some varieties of juniperberry (specifically Juniperus sabina) are thought to stimulate the uterine muscle, though this is not the variety used for essential oil production (Juniperus communis). However, if you are pregnant or think you may be, you may want to avoid it if you are unsure about the species of source. Similarly, if you have kidney disease, juniper berry essential oil should be avoided as the sabina species is a nephrotoxic – in other words, it can cause further damage to the kidneys, and may inhibit the elimination of urine and other body wastes. It can also cause severe skin irritation: heed all recommended dilution factors and test on a small area of skin to see how well you tolerate it. Undiluted internal use of essential oils is never advised unless you are under the direct supervision of a practitioner who is qualified in aromatherapy.