Juniper has been used in ancient Greece and Egypt to combat the spread of disease and was still being used by hospitals in France during the First World War. The warm, woody-scented essential oil is extracted from juniper berries, as well as the needles and wood of the bush. It is said to help in cases of skin problems and hair loss. The essential oil promotes scalp health and moisturizes hair naturally.
Properties and uses
Skin problems such as weepy eczema and acne respond well to juniper oil’s astringent and antiseptic properties. More therapeutic properties of the oil are anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, depurative, diuretic, rubefacient, stimulating, sudorific, vulnerary and tonic.
Juniper oil can be used in cases of nervous tension and anxiety, for the urinary tract, for over-eating and obesity, for eliminating uric acid and for skin and hair care. Juniper is also good for hemorrhoids and assists with wound healing. It helps to detoxify the body of harmful waste products that contribute to problems such as rheumatism, arthritis and gout. In aromatherapy, the oil is used to stimulate and strengthen the nerves.
Juniper hair and scalp tonic recipe
Blend 10 drops juniper, 8 drops rosemary, 7 drops cedarwood essential oils with 45 ml (3 tablespoons) olive oil and massage into the scalp and hair before washing. Wrap hair in a warm, clean towel and leave for at least 2 hours. Wash with a natural shampoo, taking care to remove all the oil before rinsing. Massage helps to stimulate circulation to the scalp, promoting scalp health, while the tonic moisturizes the hair and scalp.
Use 10 drops juniper oil to 3 tablespoons of jojoba oil and massage into the scalp to promote hair growth and treat dandruff. Allow to remain on the scalp for 30 minutes, then shampoo as usual.
Blending juniper oil
Although essential oils normally blend well together, juniper oil blends particularly well with pine, lavender, cypress, sage, sandalwood, bergamot, benzoin, rosemary, fennel, geranium and citrus oils.
Juniper oil can be used in burners and vaporizers for nervous tension, added to bath water for conditions such as cystitis or gout or added to carrier oils for inflammatory skin ailments. It can be diluted and used on a compress for eczema or arthritis. Use oil sparingly and check with a qualified medical professional first before self-administering, especially for serious conditions.
Juniper oil is considered non-toxic, but since it can stimulate the uterine muscle, it should not be used during pregnancy nor should it be used by people with kidney problems. Some people may have a reaction to it, and it is generally wise to use this oil in moderation. Use therapeutic grade essential oil only – avoid cheap, adulterated oils.
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