About 50-60 species of coniferous trees and shrubs belong to this genus, which occurs throughout the northern hemisphere. Junipers are popular ornamentals, with a great variety of size, habit, and color. Most have two kinds of foliage: scale-like adult leaves and pointed juvenile leaves. Juniperus communis is a widely distributed and exceptionally variable species; it thrives on both acid and limestone soils. Many of its variants are propagated vegetatively from male plants and do not bear "berries". Juniper is perhaps best known as the principal flavoring of gin; the word "gin", a shortened form of the Dutch genever, is derived from the Latin juniperus. In medicinal terms, it is one of the most effective herbal remedies for cystitis. Various other junipers are used medicinally. Native N Americans treated a wide range of illnesses, from kidney complaints to dandruff and syphilis, with extracts of J. scopulorum (Rocky Mountain juniper). J. virginiana (red cedar) was used for ailments such as coughs and colds, headaches, dysentery, and mumps. Red cedar oil is pleasantly aromatic but extremely toxic. Its use in inducing abortion carries considerable risk. Juniperus sabina (savin) is also considered too poisonous for internal use because it contains podophyllotoxin (as found in Podophyllum peltatum, See, may apple), which destroys cells and hs resulted in fatalities. Prickly juniper (J. oxycedrus) yields cade oil or juniper tar oil, a red-brown to black, oily liquid that controls itching and is used in tropical preparations for eczema, psoriasis, and seborrhea.

Juniper berries are the key flavor ingredient in gin, and indeed the name "juniper" comes from the French word genievre, which means "gin". The ancients recommended that those who indulged in too much gin drink a tea made from juniper berry as a hangover remedy. Juniper is used today as an antiflatulent, diuretic, and treatment for urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal disorders, and inflammation.

The juniper tree is a small evergreen growing to about 9 m with short spiny leaves and berries which are blue-black in color. The berries take about two years to ripen. It is commonly fourn all over Europe in chalky or lime soils.

Upright, spreading, or prostrate shrub with red-brown, papery bark and juvenile foliage only, consisting of whorls of three linear, sharply pointed, dark greed to blue-green leaves, about 1cm (3/8in) long, that have a single white stripe on the inner surface. Tiny ovoid male cones and globose female cones are produced on separate plants, followed on females by spherical

Common Name:
Other Names:
Common Juniper, Enebro, Ginepro, Juniper Berry
Botanical Name:
Juniperus communis
Native Location:
Northern Hemisphere, North America, Northern Europe, Siberia, Southwest Asia
Moist soils in sun or light shade. Tolerates acid and alkaline conditions, dry and wet soils, and exposed positions. Plants may be damaged by various pests and diseases.
By seed sown when ripe; by ripewood cuttings in early autumn. Germination may take up to 5 years.
Fruits are gathered by shaking branches over a groundsheet; they are used fresh for oil distillation, or dried for infusions, liquid extracts, tablets, and tinctures.
0.5-6m (18in-20ft), occasionally 12m (40ft)
1-6m (3-20ft)
Is prostrate, with upturned shoot tips and leaves with very narrow white bands.
Native Location: North America
Height: 60cm (2ft)
Width: 1.5m (5ft)
Parts Used:
Fruit ("berries"), oil.
Magical Purpose:
Inanna, Ishtar
Magical Effects:
Protection, Purification, Healing
Steam distillation
Color and Odor:
The essential oil is colorless and has a fresh, pleasing aroma.
Known by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks and used to combat epidemics. Around the time of the First World War, French hospitals used juniper in the sick wards as incense to combat diseases such as smallpox. Juniper berries are used in making gin.
Magical Influences:
Magical energy, Physical energy, Sex, Love, Money, Courage.
A bitter, aromatic herb that is antiseptic and diuretic, improves digestion, stimulates the uterus, and also reduces inflammation.
Antiseptic, Antirheumatic, depurative, diuretic, detoxifying, emmenagogic, purifying, rubefacient, stimulant, tonic.
Medicinal Uses:
Internally for cystitis, urethritis, kidney inflammation, rheumatism, gout, arthritis, and poor digestion with gas and colic. Externally for rheumatic pain and neuralgia. Combines well with Aphanes arvensis (See, marshmallow) or Zea mays (See, corn). Contraindicated during pregnancy and in kidney disease or kidney infection.
To treat digestive problems, gout, arteriosclerosis, halitosis, and menstrual pain; to regulate menstruation. Germany's Commission E has approved the use of juniper to treat dyspeptic complaints, such as heartburn and bloating.
Typical Dose:
A typical daily dose of juniper may range from 2 to 10 gm of the dried berry or 20 to 100 mg of the essential oil.
Possible Side Effects:
Juniper's side effects include kidney irritation. Topically, juniper can cause eye and skin irritation.
Drug Interactions:
Taking juniper with these drugs may cause or worsen kidney damage:
Etodolac, (Lodine, Utradol)
Ibuprofen, (Advil, Motrin)
Indomethacin, (Indocin, Novo-Methacin)
Ketoprofen, (Orudis, Rhodis)
Ketorolac, (Acular, Toradol)
Meloxicam, (MOBIC, Mobicox)
Methotrexate, (Rheumatrex, Trexall)
Miglitol, (Glyset)
Morphine Hydrochloride, (Morphine Hydrochloride)
Morphine Sulfate, (Kadian, MS Contin)
Naproxen, (Aleve, Naprosyn)
Nitrofurantoin, (Furadantin, Macrobid)
Ofloxacin, (Floxin, Ocuflox)
Penicillin, (Pfizerpen, Wycillin)
Piroxicam, (Feldene, Nu-Pirox)
Propoxyphene, (Darvon, Darvon-N)
Rifampin, (Rifadin, Rimactane)
Stavudine, (Zerit)
Sucralfate, (Carafate, Sulcrate)
Valacyclovir, (Valtrex)
Vancomycin, (Vancocin)
Zidovudine, (Novo-AZT, Retrovir)
Taking juniper with these drugs may interfere with the effects of the drug and increase the risk of hyperglycemia (excessively high blood sugar):
Insulin, (Humulin, Novolin R)
Metformin, (Glucophage, Riomet)
Miglitol, (Glyset)
Pioglitazone, (Actos)
Repaglinide, (GlucoNorm, Prandin)
Rosiglitazone, (Avandia)
Taking juniper with this drug may be harmful:
Lithium, (Eskalith, Carbolith)—may increase the risk of drug toxicity.
Lab Test Alterations:
May confound results of diagnostic urine tests that rely on color change, as large amounts of juniper berry can turn the urine purple.
Disease Effects:
  • May worsen inflammatory or infectious gastrointestinal ailments by irritating the gastrointestinal tract.
  • May worsen seizure disorders.
Culinary Uses:
Juniper berries are used to flavor pickling brine, sauerkraut, stuffings, pâtés, game, ham, and pork.
Economic Uses:
Juniper extracts and oil are used to flavor gin, beers (genevrette), liqueurs (ginepro), and meat products. Oil is also used in spicy fragrances.
Junipers may cause skin irritation and allergic responses.
  • Digestive Sytem—Useful for indigestion, minor stomach upsets, flatulence and colic.
  • Urinary System—Juniper is a strong antiseptic and diuretic for treating cystitis and kidney inflammation. Good for relieving water retention.
  • Respiratory Sytem—A respiratory tract antiseptic, juniper is also good for convulsive coughs.
  • Skeletal System—Arthritic and joint problems, such as gout will benefit from juniper.
  • Skin—Good for disorders of the skin. Cleansing and toning, juniper is especially useful for treating oily skin and acne. Detoxifying for cellulite.
  • Emotions—Useful for treating sleep difficulties due to worry and tension. Juniper strengthens anyone feeling emotionally drained. It is particularly good for cleansing the mind of negative vibes accumulated from others. It revitalizes people who are cold and aloof and feel as though they are misunderstood and unsupported.
Juniper 7 Juniper 6 Juniper 6
Parsley 3 Celery 4 Eucalyptus 3
Fennel 2 Sandalwood 2 Sandalwood 3

Juniper 7 Juniper 6 Juniper 6
Eucalyptus 4 Rosemary 3 Bergamot 4
Chamomile (G) 3 Chamomile (R) 3 Frankincense 2
The Encyclopedia of Herbs by Deni Bown Copyright © 1995, 2005. Dorling Kindersley Limited. pp 247-248
Aromatherapy Blends and Remedies by Franzesca Watson Copyright ©: 1995 Thorsons, Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. pp.116-117
Magical Aromatherapy by Scott Cunningham Copyright © 1989 Llewellyn Publications Inc. pp. 101-102
Wicca, Guide to the Solitary Practioner by Scott Cunningham Copyright © 1988 Llewellyn Publications, Inc. pp. 159-168
The Essential Herb-Drug-Vitamin Interaction Guide by Geo. T. Grossberg,MD and Barry Fox,PhD Copyright©2007 Barry Fox,PhD. Pp.290-291