Juniper is an evergreen shrub native to a wide array of climates in the northern hemisphere. It has small, waxy blue-green needle-like fragrant leaves and grows in a shrub form to a typical height of 12 meters. The berries typically take 3 years to come to maturity and produce significant aroma compounds.
About The Oil
Juniper Berry essential oil is a clear liquid with a fresh, woody-balsamic, slightly sweet aroma. Juniper berries are the common source for the oil; when distilled from the needles and twigs, it is not as uplifting an aroma, and does not seem to be considered as therapeutic. The bright, forest-like scent of this Juniper blends well with many oils, and has been noted to evoke feelings of love, health, and peace.
A Note About The CO2 Distillation
We have a brilliant cold-distilled variety wild grown from India. It is more viscous than most Juniper berry essential oils, with a slowly-releasing, full Juniper aroma. While some Juniper essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and twigs, the best quality is derived from partially dried, ripened berries. This essential oil is made by cold pressing and distilling the ripe berries of Juniper plants. Carbon dioxide is used in the distillation process to naturally retain the delicate aromatic compounds that heat and oxygen can break down and alter.
The juniper fruit is in fact not a berry at all but is derived from a portion of the juniper cone, which takes three years to mature. Possibly the oddest historical use is that of bundles of Juniper berries hung over doorways to ward off witches during medieval times.
Other than warding off witches during medieval times, the berries of Juniper have a long history of traditional herbal uses. Medicinally, the ancient Greeks, Romans and Zuni Indians used them. Juniper was commonly burned as incense and as a fumigant by ancient Greeks. It has also been employed by Tibetans and Native Americans for ceremonial purposes. Currently, Juniper essential oil is used as a culinary fragrance component and is the main aromatic agent in gin.