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Edition 13: November 2009

Edition 13: November 2009

Essential Oil of the Month
Juniper
Activating oil strengthens spiritual will

JUNIPER Oil is known as a tonic, because it tones up everything, including muscles, tissues, skin as well as the body functions; helping to retain youthfulness and proper health.
Use Juniper oil regularly for treating cellulite and fluid retention. It is very beneficial for those who are suffering from accumulation of water in the body, swelling etc. (Often due to chronic renal failure).
Diuretic in nature, Juniper promoties and increases frequency of urination. It is helpful when the prostate gland is enlarged and is used to help with the inability to pass urine, in cases of cystitis and kidney stones.
Juniper oil is an excellent all-round stimulant, for all the activities inside the body. This can help overcome fatigue, dizziness and depression.
It stimulates the brain, the nervous system and the endocrine system, encouraging the flow of milk, sebum, sweat, tears, urine and menstruation. It also stimulates the digestive and excretory system, ensuring proper flow of bile, gastric juices, neutralising acids in the stomach. In this way it helps stomach ulcers.
Juniper oil activity as a digestive is particularly useful in cases of obesity, over-indulgence of food and premenstrual bloating. Juniper effectively removes trapped gas in the intestines relieving acute stomach aches, chest pains, indigestion and uneasiness. Used in an abdominal massage it can also prevent gases from forming. 
This eliminating oil helps in losing weight (because each time you urinate, some fats are lost from the body), reducing blood pressure, plus removing extra sodium and toxins from the body. In this way, juniper is very helpful for rheumatism, arthritis and gout, relieving swollen aching joints by improving circulation and helping remove uric acid from the tissues. As a superb detoxifier, it removes from blood the regular toxins such as heavy metals, pollutants and certain compounds and hormones produced by the body itself, as well as other foreign toxins that get into blood accidentally.
As an anti spasmodic, juniper essential oil relieves cramps, be they muscular, intestinal or respiratory.
Juniper: clears stagnation from body and mind
Throughout history, juniper was a much-used antiseptic for wounds and injury and it still does effectively protect wounds from infection. As an effective astringent it can cause blood vessels to contract and reduce or check haemorrhage. Its astringency is also helpful for toothache and strengthens the grip of the gums on teeth. It astringes the scalp, preventing falling hair, and gives a feeling of firmness and fitness to flabby muscles.
The oil acts as a sudorific promoting sweating; this cleans the skin pores and openings of sweat and sebum glands and keeps away acne. It alleviates inflammation and is effective for eczema, oily skin, weeping eczema, psoriasis and dandruff.
Juniper oil can help nervous tension and mental exhaustion; it flourishes when the mind needs a “spring clean”.
Juniper was originally believed to have magical powers and was consequently used to protect against evil; it has also been used as incense in ceremonies to purify and stimulate. Indeed Juniper is a wonderful cleanser and detoxifier of both the physical and subtle bodies. Juniper can be employed to cleanse rooms and buildings of unwanted energy; burning or diffusing the oil to pervade the area with a cleansing aura will purify and create a benign space.
This oil will effectively banish the build-up of negative energy that accumulates when we mix with people with whom we do not resonate. On an impersonal level, it protects us in crowded public spaces such as public transport - when contact with other’s ill-will and negative thought patterns is unavoidable. It works to break through psychological stagnation and fortify will-power accelerating our journey along the path of openness and self-realisation. 
Juniper purges us of worries and obsessions with the past; for those carrying shame and a sense of uncleanliness from regretful past actions; these detrimental feelings can be cleared from deep layers of our subtle body.
Juniper gets things moving by shifting the resulting contraction and rigidity that is manifested in the physical body, and decongesting the mind of impurities.
It helps shed unwanted “watery” emotions; especially when we become too sentimental and lose sight of our ideals. This oil helps dissolve our emotional attachments and the self- absorption that is rooted in fear of failure.


Origins
Juniper is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 10m (30ft) in the wild, but is cultivated to a height of 2m (6ft) and has blue-green needle-like leaves, small yellow flowers and the female tree produces a blue/black fruit (berry). Juniper oil can be extracted from the berries, as well as the needles and wood. Oil extracted from the berries is considered a superior essential oil.


Fact File
Name: Juniper
Latin: Juniperus communis
Therapeutic properties: Antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, depurative, diuretic, rubefacient, stimulating, stomachic, sudorific, vulnerary and tonic.
Aroma: Fresh, clear but slightly woody, with turpentine top notes and smoky, balsamic undertones. It is pale in colour with a watery viscosity.
Juniper oil blends well with: Cedarwood, cypress, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, lavandin, bergamot, lime, vetiver, clary sage and lemongrass.
Precautions: Considered non-toxic, but as it can stimulate the uterine muscle it should not be used during pregnancy or by people with kidney problems.


 

What Herb is That?
Shepherd's Purse
'Useless weed' emerges as vital herb to stop bleeding

MORE THAN 300 years ago, Nicholas Culpepper wrote: “Few plants possess greater virtues than this, and yet it is utterly disregarded”.
Indeed, physicians dismissed it as a useless weed, yet modern studies have revealed Shepherd’s purse as having remarkable potential for treating bleeding and inducing labor. 
Shepherd's purse was introduced into North America by the pilgrims where it quickly became a weed, one that folk herbalists relied on to stop bleeding.  During World War One when coagulants were scarce, wounded soldiers were treated with this herb as a tea.
Shepherd's purse is still used to stop heavy bleeding and hemorrhaging, particularly from the uterus. When taken internally, shepherd's purse can reduce heavy menstrual periods and it has also been used to treat postpartum hemorrhage. It has a considerable effect over the uterus, adjusting the menstrual cycle, reducing uterine bleeding due to the presence of a fibroid tumor and preventing anaemia through heavy blood loss.
Shepherd's purse has also been used internally to treat cases of blood in the urine and bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract, such as with bleeding ulcers.
People with ulcers, colitis, Crohn’s disease, or bleeding disorders might try this herb in consultation with a herbalist. It is a gentle diuretic for water retention due to kidney problems.
Prolonged treatments with the tea or tincture are recommended to prevent nasal haemorrhoids and abundant menstrual bleeding, especially in the cases of hypertensive women or those suffering from obesity.


 Shepherd's purse tea can be obtained by boiling a spoonful of the herb finely cut in a cup of water. It is then strained and consumed 2-3 cups a day.


An astringent agent, shepherd's purse constricts blood vessels, thereby reducing blood flow.
Shepherd's purse causes the uterine muscle to contract, and is useful in childbirth to trigger labour (but not during pregnancy).
Women with swollen breasts during breast-feeding should heat up water containing shepherd's purse and apply it on their breasts in small amounts.
Shepherd's purse is anti- inflammatory when applied topically to skin injuries, lacerations, eczema and rashes; it will stop bleeding and promote healing. This also applies to bleeding haemorrhoids where small intestinal enemas or bath water containing lukewarm infusions of shepherd's purse are an effective treatment.
This medicinal herb has good results in dealing with muscle-related illnesses.
In cases of muscle atrophy it is recommended to rub the spots with shepherd's purse tincture and to drink four cups of tea made of lady's mantle herb. This treatment can also be applied in cases of hernias, with professional guidance.
Tincture from shepherd's purse is prepared only from the freshly cut herb dissolved in alcohol heated to 60degC. It is then left to macerate for 10 days after which three spoonfuls of infusion, water with lemon drops and honey are administrated.

What is it?

Shepherd's purse is a perennial herb with leaves very similar to the dandelion. The fruits are wedge shaped seed pods, containing thousands of yellow seeds.
 It has small heart shaped leaves on its stem which bear a likeness to the knapsack that shepherds once wore in Europe. This is how it got its name and it can be found almost anywhere in the world, donning its white flowers throughout the year. Shepherd's purse is quite foul smelling. The young leaves have a peppery taste and may be added to stews and soups or eaten like spinach. Harvest the leaves and flower tops as the flowers open.


Fact File

Name: Shepherd’s Purse
Latin: Capsella bursa pastoris
Properties: Diuretic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, haemostatic, vasoconstrictor and it can be used to treat all types of bleedings: nosebleeds, stomach bleeds, and menorrhagia. Induces labour  
Warning:  Shepherd's purse is not a toxic herb, however it is recommended that this herb is avoided during, pregnancy, breast feeding, cortisone treatments, birth control pill and treatments for epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, paralysis and leukaemia. Not for children under two years.

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