I love the scents of the season from times past, as we make preparations to celebrate the Longest Night of the Year…
Winter Solstice is a celebration of the new solar year and the completion of a cycle. It’s when the sun is farthest south, and we in the northern hemisphere, have the shortest day and longest night of the year.
In ancient times, the Romans honored the god Saturn with a “Saturnalia” celebration. Winter Solstice and Christmas still use some of those same traditions; such as exchanging gifts and decorating with mistletoe, holly, ivy, cedar boughs, and pine cones. (Early Pagans used “The Holly and The Ivy” to represent the masculine and feminine energies). And, of course, the food!
I love the scents of the season, whether from burning candles or from diffusing essential oils. The holiday scents of Mandarin, Cedarwood, Pine, and Juniper Berry are some of my favorites.
Juniper Berry (Juniperus Communis) is an evergreen shrub that grows to approx. 6 ft. tall. It has bluish-green needles with small white flowers. The green berries change to a dark blue color after 2-3 years. The essential oil is steam distilled from the crushed, partly ripened berries and has a sharp, almost piney scent. Most of Juniper Berries come from France, northern Italy, Austria, and Croatia.
Juniper Berries were burnt by the ancient Greeks to combat epidemics. and as a cheaper alternative to using Frankincense and Myrrh as incense. The Europeans thought of Juniper oil as a cure-all for cholera and typhoid. Tibetans used it for incense and North American indigenous people burned Juniper in their cleansing ceremonies. Juniper Berry was used in the 10th century by the Vikings to make a type of beer and by the Dutch in the 17th century to make gin.
Juniper Berry adds a crispness to the sweeter floral and citrus essential oil blends. My Winter Solstice blend has traditional holiday oils like Scotch Pine, Cedarwood, and Frankincense, but the addition of Mandarin and Juniper Berry that adds a freshness that balances the blend.
This time of year brings out the best in people, as we give of ourselves to our family, our friends, and to our community. It is also important that we take a moment to nurture our own spirit. To find the balance…
If you are feeling stressed, anxious or a little run down check out the properties of Juniper Berry essential oil.
- Juniper Berry is contraindicated if you are pregnant, or have kidney issues.
My Blog is for information only & is not meant to Replace Medical Advice.
Essential Oils are not for ingestion & should always be diluted before topical use.
- Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition, The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003
- Davis Patricia. Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition, Vermilion, an imprint of Edbury Publishing, a Random House Company, 2005
- Tisserand, Robert, & Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition, Churchill Livingstone, 2014
- Lawless. Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Thorsons, 2002