Juniper essential oil is a high value wild crafted essential oil with its amazing medicinal and aromatic values. The essential oil of juniper is obtained through steam distillation of the needles, leaves, wood and powdered fruits of juniper. Fresh leaves and fruits of Juniper are collected from juniper forest in the Himalayan districts of Nepal. Juniper oil is used in many industries, as well as to flavor alcoholic beverages like gin. Juniper essential oil is mostly used for its properties as an antiseptic, sudorific, ant-rheumatic, depurative, antispasmodic, stimulating, stomachic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, rubefacient, vulnerary and tonic substance.
Juniper essential oil contains ά- pinene, sabinene and ά- terpinene as major components and others are camphene, β- pinene, δ-3-carene, myrcene, limonene, β-phellandrene, γ-terpinene, p-cymene, terpinolene, trans-3-ethoxy-p-menth-1-ene, campholenic aldehyde, camphor, ά-copaene, bornyl acetate, terpinen-4-ol, caryophyllene, ά-terpineol.
Juniperus indica which is the plant of juniper essential oil is a large gregarious shrub, or small tree that grows up to 20 m tall with largely horizontal branching. Its leaves are dark grey-green, dimorphic, with adult plants having mostly scale-like leaves 1-3 mm long, while young plants have mostly needle-like leaves 5-8 mm long, but needle-like leaves can also be found on shaded shoots of adult plants. The leaves are borne in whorls of three on strong stout main stem shoots, and opposite pairs on thinner, slower-growing shoots. It is dioeciously, with male (pollen) and female (seed) cones on separate plants. The mature seed cones are ovoid, berry-like, 6-10 mm long, glossy black, and contain a single seed; the seeds are dispersed by birds which eat the cones, digest the fleshy cone pulp, and excrete the seeds in their droppings.
Juniper Essential Oil is mostly used for its properties as an antiseptic, sudorific, ant-rheumatic, depurative, antispasmodic, stimulating, stomachic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, rubefacient, vulnerary and tonic substance. Juniper fruits are stomachic, diuretic, emmenagogue, carminative, stimulant and used in cutaneous disease. Wood yields cedar oil and is used to cure chronic disorders of the urogenital tract. Poultice made up of needles is applied on wounds; berries are used in aphonia, laryngitis, pulmonary catarrh and asthma.
Its astringent blue-black seed cones (juniper berries) are too bitter to eat raw and are usually sold dried and used to flavor meats, sauces, and stuffing’s. Since juniper berries have a strong taste, they should be used sparingly. They are generally used to enhance meat with a strong flavor, such as game, including game birds, or tongue. The cones are also used to flavor certain beers and gin.