Updated: Nov 24, 2019
Also called juniper bush, ginepro, enebro, common juniper, and zimbro.
Juniper is a coniferous evergreen with needle-like and/or scale-like leaves widely distributed throughout africa, asia, and in the mountains of central america. Junipers vary in size and shape from tall trees to low spreading shrubbery with lengthy branches. The seed cones contain a flesh dark berry considered juniper berry.
Applicable parts used
Bark, berries, and leaves
Organs or systems affected
Genitourinary/ renal (bladder & kidneys)
Helps to release ancestral patterns and excess fluids
Mechanism of action
Diuretic, diaphoretic, stimulant, carminative, analgesic, antibiotic, emmenagogue, anti fungal, and hypoglycemic
Pungent, aromatic, bitter, sweet
Essential oil, flavonoids, resin, tannins, bitters, acids, calcium, magnesium, vitamin c, podophyllotoxin, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, and lignans
Orally, juniper has been used for heartburn, gas, heartburn, bloating, loss of appetite, urinary tract infections (utis), poor urine flow, mental fog, kidney stones, stomach infections, high blood sugar, and poor immunity.
Topically, juniper is used for pains in joints and muscles, inflammatory diseases, and wounds.
Aromatherapy, the essential oil of juniper is used as an analgesic for pain and for bronchitis as an inhaled vapor.
Precaution & adverse reactions
Avoid long-term use. Stop use after 6 weeks.
Those suffering from kidney disease should not take juniper because it may be too stimulating.
Anti diabetics (juniper lowers blood sugar) and diuretics.
Pregnancy and lactation
Avoid during pregnancy. Juniper may increase uterine tone, interfere with fertility and implantation, and encourage miscarriage.
Fresh application 3 to 5 berries, eat to reduce stomach upset
Herbal infusion: ½ to 1 teaspoon crushed berries in 8 ounces water, steep 1 to 3 hours, 1 to 3 cups per day
Tincture: 1 or 2 dropperfuls, 3 times per day
Dyspepsia: 20-50 mg of the berry essential oil, two times per day has been used. This is usually taken as juniper berry tea.
Pursell, jj. The herbal apothecary: 100 medicinal herbs and how to use them (p. 119). Timber press. Kindle edition.