FINDING JUNIPER IN IRELAND

Thinking about the glorious sunshine 2 weeks ago while climbing Lackavrea Mountain in Connemara, Co. Galway.   It is midway between Maam and Maam Cross.  I have eyed it up for many many years so I was delighted when a friend suggested it for our once a month stomp.

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Translated from Irish Leic Aimhréidh, meaning rugged rock-slab (mountaineering.ie).  There is indeed a lot of slab and rock allowing for plenty of pools to refresh hot doggies!

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This kind of terrain is also preferred by one of my favourite botanics, Juniper and it was with great excitement I found my first Juniper growing wild in Ireland.  I think it looks splendid here in this photo accompanied by the splash of colour from the heather.  On pressing the leaves we enjoyed the vibrant aromatic molecules that were released into the air.

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The essential oil is steam distilled from the ripe Juniper berries.   The aroma is lively, fresh and pleasing.

It blends well with:

Rosemary

Black Pepper

Sweet Marjoram

I have used the above blend with great results for chillblanes which were the bane of my teens.    You could include Ginger for added effect.  Juniperberry oil is a good choice in a blend for persons suffering with poor circulation.

It also blends well with some slightly taller members of it’s family, Cuppressacea:

Cedarwood

Cypress

Juniperberry is known to have a diuretic action so if a person is embarking on a detox routine it would be a good addition due to the cleansing action.  Use sparingly with anyone suffering from compromised renal function (kidney problems).

Juniperberry is said to be cleansing to the lymphatic system.  Often found in blends for cellulite combined with Grapefruit and Lemon Oil.

Lemon-Tree

A recent workshop by the inspiring Christine Courtney, principal at Obus School of Healing Therapies in Dublin (www.obus.ie) highlighted the benefits of essential oil use for people of senior years.  The focus was on the importance of supporting the cleansing systems of the body, especially the lymph and blood.

We know that ‘senior’ encompasses an ever growing age group, this blend is not age specific but beneficial as a blend for those growing older.

1

 Senior Support Blend

5 drops Angelica Root

20 drops Cypress

10 drops Sweet Fennell

15 drops Juniperberry

5 drops Rosemary ct camphor

5 drop Helichrysum

20 drops Lemon or Grapefruit

20 drops Carrot seed

For a healthy senior add the above into 100 ml Carrier.

For a more frail individual half the quantity of essential oils and dilute in 100 ml Carrier.

This blend can be applied to arms, shoulders, legs as a general body oil or as a massage oil regularly.

This blend is for general health and wellbeing and does not purport to treat any specific illness or ailment.  Consult with a qualified practitioner with regard to using essential oils for complex health issues or if you are on medication.

The drops above are based on a small dropper insert dispensing small drops of oil e.g. you can count the drops quite easily coming from the bottle as opposed to an almost stream of oil which comes from some larger droppers and in my opinion are unsuitable for diluting accurately and safely .

Some photos courtesy of Mary Duffy.
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