Health Benefits Of Juniper Berry Essential Oil: The Biblical Bush
I’m almost certain that we’ve all heard of or perhaps even encountered a Juniper bush or berry at some point in our lives. They were very popular during the middle-ages and were used as far back as the years before Christ (they were mentioned quite often in the Bible as a matter of fact). The tree (or shrub as it usually occurs) is one of the most widely spread plants on the planet and grows in just about every type of climate, from the dry deserts of the Middle East, to the frigid cold mountains of the Himalayas -- it’s a tough plant with tonnes to offer for those who know what to look for.
In the modern era, most of us tend to spend large portions of our hard-earned income on a variety of different products to help treat our skin -- whether it’s general skin care, specialized acne treatments or anti-aging creams and lotions. They come in all manner of intricate and elaborate packaging, cost a small fortune and usually promise quick and noticeable results. This often allows us to justify spending as much money as we do on them. However, I like to believe that people are slowly starting to pull back the veil from their eyes and take a closer a look at what these products really are.
What do I mean by this? Well, firstly I am not trying to imply that you should go home and clear out your cupboards or cabinets. Just pay more attention to what you’re buying when you’re shopping next time. A lot of these products contain amazing natural ingredients that are really great for for your skin, hair and general health when used alone. However, these products often contain lists of other chemical ingredients that may have seriously adverse effects on our skin or health overall.
So perhaps the answer lies in finding a way to use only the natural ingredients without having to contaminate ourselves with the chemicals -- but how are we to do this? I’m glad you asked -- because that’s exactly what essential oils are for! They are all natural extracts that can be used to treat a wide variety of issues, from skin and hair care to boosting our immune systems and keeping us healthy -- without the downside of chemically induced side-effects. They are basically nature’s cure-all and are fast gaining traction as a healthy alternative form of medicinal treatment in our fast-paced, consumer-culture lifestyle.
What is Juniper Berry Essential Oil?
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, Juniper Bushes are one of the most widely grown plants in the world -- and have been for a very long time. There are many different species of Juniper in the world, some of which actually produce fruits (seeds coated in a fruity flesh that resemble berries) which are poisonous to man when ingested. However, in the modern era iJuniperus Communis are the most widely cultivated form of the Juniper, the fruits of which are entirely safe to ingest i.e. non-toxic. It is thought that the berry bearing bushes originated from Bulgaria and their healing properties have been known to man for centuries.
The berries of the Juniper bush contain high levels of potent natural antioxidants that help to flush bad bacteria and free-radical agents from the blood stream. This helps to boost our immune system levels as well as combat the effects of an infection during times of illness. Essential oils have formed a large part of ancient and alternative medicine over time and have been produced for hundred if not thousands of years. Today, the oils are still largely produced via the same method that they were during times of old. This method is known as steam distillation.
The process is favored by distillers because it produces the purest form of the extract, free of any chemical additives or impurities that may contaminate the oil. Juniper berry essential oil is produced from the berries and leaves of the Juniper bush. Because most varieties of the bush are evergreen, the oil can be made all year round -- making it readily available most of the time. The organic matter is usually crushed in order to stimulate the release of the chemical compounds and help produce a richer finished product.
The organic material is then placed in a large metal vat which is filled with water. The water is generally heated before the organic parts of the plant are added as this makes the extraction process more effective. The steam produced by the hot water helps to extract the chemicals from the organic matter as well as the essence or scent (hence the term ‘essential oils’). This steam is then channeled up through a funnel and gathers in a separate chamber, where it cools and condenses to form droplets. The droplets gather at the base of the chamber, which is connected to a flask or a dispenser tap and the finished product is what we know as essential oil.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil for Cellulite
For most of us, cellulite is a normal occurrence although many would seek to avoid it as it’s a common sign of aging skin. So if you’re one of those people, then you’re probably aware of the countless costly treatments that are available on the market. From laser treatments, liposuction and chemical injections, to pills, lotions and creams that all basically promise to get rid of the lumpy, wrinkled skin that we refer to as cellulite. They generally come with other strings attached though, such as side-effects and possible long-term health defects. However, before you decide to spend a fifth (or more) of your income on one of those treatments, let’s look at what actually causes cellulite, and see what we can do with natural products first as it’s a cheaper and safer way to tackle the issue.
Cellulite generally occurs on women’s skin more so than men and can be caused by a variety of reasons. However one of the main causes of cellulite is the buildup of fat deposits around the areas of our body such as the thighs, hips and the buttocks which then distort the connective tissues beneath the skin. This leads to the ‘orange peel’ appearance of cellulite on the surface of the skin. So by understanding this, it’s important to note that avoiding cellulite is best done by maintaining a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
However, most women are actually susceptible to the hereditary formation of cellulite. In this case you’ll need to do a bit more to treat the ailment. I recommend investing in a few different vials of essential oil in order to treat your skin over time. You can mix these oils together to form a massage oil which will help to keep your skin smooth and supple and lessen the immediate signs of wrinkles. You can add them to your bath as well. My preferred combination of oils for treating cellulite is:
You can simply stir the oils into your carrier oil (in this case the Almond oil) or heat your carrier oil slightly and then add the drops in order to produce a more effective treatment that will penetrate the skin deeper and help to moisturize and protect your skin from the inside.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil for Skin Care and Acne Treatment
The same rich antioxidants and phytochemicals that make Juniper berry essential oil so effective at keeping our bodies free from infection and disease, are the same active ingredients that make the oil such a great skin care treatment. Some of the main chemical compounds that occur in the extract are alpha pinene, borneol, camphor and a variety of naturally occurring acetates which are all ingredients that are commonly found in most mass-manufactured skin care products.
The question I posed in the beginning of the article was about how to get rid of the chemical ingredients that commonly occur in our skin care products. I’ll explain why essential oils are the answer to the problem in brief.
Acne prone skin types are usually oily or combination skin types that regularly produce excess amounts of oil. This oil is important for keeping our skin hydrated and moisturized -- too little, and your skin becomes dry and flaky. Too much though, and it will clog and block your pores, causing inflammation and blemishes -- otherwise known as acne. Acne can also be caused by a genetic disposition we may have towards the condition as well as other factors such as stress and hormone imbalances -- common to teenagers.
The chemical compounds found in Juniper Berry essential oil work like natural skin toners and will help to cut through and remove the excess oil from the surface of your skin, as well as getting rid of any bacteria that may cause further inflammation or irritation. This is one of the most important parts of getting rid of acne as the bacteria that generally gets trapped in the pores or spread on the skin surface is what worsens the condition.
The oil also has natural astringent properties, which means that it helps to strengthen and promote tightening of the skin cells and can reduce the signs of aging on the surface of your skin by minimizing the occurrence of wrinkles. By massaging small amounts of the oil into your skin, you will also increase the flow of cells to the area where the oil is applied. This will help give your skin a brighter complexion and nourish areas that seem dry or even discolored (for instance, dark rings under the eyes).
The natural antioxidant properties of the oil also help to get rid of free radical molecules on the surface of our skin, as well as internally flush them out. Free radicals generally bond with other molecules in our bodies and cause chain reactions that can lead to serious cell damage or degeneration -- one of the leading causes of the signs of aging. They can be caused by air pollutants, fatty or oily foods and certain types of medication as well as overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays.
The antioxidants capture these molecules and remove them from your body when you go to the bathroom or sweat (that’s why exercise is important). This means you can slow the aging process dramatically over time as well as reduce the immediate effects that aging has on your skin.
Essential oils are very effective skin care treatments and are contained in most of the products you see on the shelves. In some form or another. So it makes sense to use them in their natural state as they’re healthier and more effective like this, and will save you lots of money in the long run.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil for Hair Care
The skin on our scalps is very similar to the skin that we have on the rest of our bodies -- except for the fact that the scalp is generally more sensitive as it doesn’t get as much exposure to the elements due to our hair -- depending on your hair type and style that is! So treating our scalps means that we need a product that is suitable to sensitive skin, yet effective enough to keep the area clean and free of bacteria as well as moisturize the skin. Yet again, essential oils work wonders on our hair and scalp because they are exactly that -- strong and effective, yet gentle enough for use on sensitive skin types.
Juniper Berry essential oil in particular is a fantastic means of treating inflammation and dryness on the scalp -- basically how dandruff occurs on our heads. Most anti-dandruff shampoos contain natural extracts, that much is true, but they also have loads of hard to pronounce chemicals that can really mess up our hair’s natural oil balance as well as leave it feeling dry. With Juniper Berry essential oil, you can either mix the oil directly onto the surface of the scalp by massaging it in, or add a few drops to your normal herbal shampoo to help strengthen its anti-dandruff properties.
Other than treating the source of the dandruff (inflammation and dryness), it will also help to remove any dead skin cells that may line your hair as well as balance out your hair’s natural oil production with continued use. This will give your hair more volume and body over time without the need for blow-drying or chemical additives. This will also help to maintain and promote strong hair follicles -- so you won’t have to worry about seeing as many hairs collect in your drain over time any more.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil for Weight-Loss
Weight-loss is a challenging process for almost everyone. Sometimes we starve ourselves on strict diets, or exercise regularly only to find that we’re hungry after exercising and we wind up eating more calories than we managed to avoid over the course of the day. Some of us just have slow metabolisms and seem to gain 3 pounds for every 1 that we manage to lose. So there’s no doubt that losing weight is a constant uphill struggle for most of us -- and anything that can give us the edge (without affecting our health negatively) is worth a try.
Essential oils are a definite addition to any fat-fighter’s arsenal as they can help in a variety of ways. By blending 10 drops of Juniper Berry essential oil with 40 drops of Mandarin (or Orange), Peppermint and Lemon essential oil, you can make a strong natural appetite suppressant. Inhale directly whenever you feel hungry (but know you’ll go over your calorie count) or add to a diffuser to help quell your appetite over the course of the day. This means your body will be able to burn more fat as your intake will be lessened.
Oils can also be used as natural anxiety and stress remedies -- another leading cause of why many gain weight. Stress also has a negative effect on our heart health, so treating the issue won’t only help you lose weight, but could seriously increase your general well-being. Finally, another leading cause of rapid weight gain or a slower metabolic process in our bodies is caused by sleep loss.
When we sleep, our body has time to regenerate our cells, balance our hormones and digest our food. When our sleep pattern is disturbed -- so are all of those processes, which can lead to a slower metabolism and thus excess fat. By adding 10-15 drops of Jasmine oil to a warm bath, or some boiled water and inhaling the steam, you can stimulate the release of serotonin in your brain -- basically imitating the effects of harmful chemical sedatives, without the downside of addiction. Getting 8 hours of sleep a night is important if you’re trying to lose weight, and if you’re having trouble sleeping -- then Jasmine oil is definitely most suited to you.
— Ett Bättre Liv (@ettbattrelivnu) July 19, 2017
Ultimately, essential oils have been used to treat our health issues for a long time for one reason -- because they work. Unlike other dated forms of medicine or medical practices that we now consider outlandish -- such as blood-letting, essential oils are seeing a strong sense of revival in our modern day era.
Many forms of medicine today inevitably make us more sick in the long run -- or come with other, more immediate side-effects that can really worsen our state of mind as well as the quality of our treatment. The holistic option is becoming a realistic option yet again, as people seek to treat not only the symptoms of their disease, but rather find and treat the root cause of the issue.
I think it’s plain to see that essential oils have always been nature’s cure-all, and contain all the (good) chemicals that are found in our normal, pharmaceutical treatment, the only main difference being that they’re in their natural form and are free of any side-effects.
If you’re looking to make the switch to a more holistic lifestyle or are simply tired of having to spend as much money as you do on treatments and products that require more money over time, then I think essential oils are one of the best products for you to start with. Jasmine oil in particular is a potent yet sweet smelling oil which is great for those who are new to essential oils and is definitely one to start a collection with. It would also make an invaluable addition to experienced collectors such as myself.