Tips for using juniper essential oil in herbal medicine, home remedies, and aromatherapy

Juniper essential oils (made from juniper communis) is good for clearing out acid waste from the body especially when used in massage therapy and the bath. It is recommended for people with lots of cellulite. Use juniper daily for up to four weeks then give it a rest for a month or two. Juniper has been associated with cleansing rituals and purification ceremonies since ancient times.

Juniper berries are harvested on Payne Mountain Farms.
Photo of juniper leaves and berries by Janice Boling at Payne Mountain Farms

Juniper leaves, berries, and roots are useful in herbal medicine. The berries are really cones that take three years to become "ripe".


Juniper essential oil is used for treating water retention, depression, and more.

Juniper can help relieve upset stomach and colic. It is good for treating enlarged prostate, kidney stones, urinary infections, chills, water retention, obesity, painful periods, warts, skin growths, blocked pores, herpes, depression, dandruff, lice, and worms. Juniper helps detox the liver, intestines, and bladder. It regulates the appetite, energizes the body, stops drowsiness, stimulates circulation, clears mucus from the digestive tract, and helps shrink hemorrhoids.

Juniper essential oil has a peppery, fresh aroma.

Juniper essential oil is extracted from juniper berries and leaves by steam distillation. The scent is peppery, clear, fruity, and fresh. Juniper is especially suited for treating prostate problems, urinary disorders, gout, arthritis, and muscle pain.

Juniper essential oil is good for treating acne - dilute with witch hazel.

Juniper essential oil is a mild disinfectant useful for chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Juniper is also good for treating acne. Combine one drop of juniper oil with a half cup of witch hazel and a half cup of rosewater. Apply to skin with cotton balls using a gentle circular motion. Do not scrub.

Use juniper essential oil to stop muscle pain.

Add juniper essential oil to massage rubs and ointments. It helps relieve joint and muscle pain.

Add juniper essential oil to chest rubs.

Juniper essential oil is also added to chest rubs. Mix with thyme essential oil and a good carrier (such as almond oil) for treating coughs, colds, and flu symptoms. For joint pain, mix juniper with safflower (as carrier), lavender, and rosemary essential oils. Rub into affected area as needed for pain.

In aromatherapy, juniper essential oil brings about peaceful, loving feelings.

Juniper oil can help calm the nerves by bringing about feelings of love, peace, health, and tranquility. The aroma relieves stress, anxiety, and mental exhaustion. Juniper may be used in burners and vaporizers, lotions, creams, ointments, massage oils, bath oils, and compresses. For best results, blend with cedarwood, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, bergamot, lime, clary sage, or lemon grass essential oils.

Juniper essential oil is added to soaps and perfumes

Juniper essential oils are added to soaps, perfumes, air fresheners, and incense. Juniper essential oil is even used as a household disinfectant. Dilute with water and use on most hard surfaces. Juniper berries are used to flavor gin. Do not take juniper essential oil internally.

Juniper essential oil helps get rid of fleas and ticks

Juniper essential oil is a good flea and tick preventive for pets. Mix a few drops of juniper and eucalyptus essential oils with water in a spray bottle. Apply to pet and bedding on a daily basis. If your animal has dry scaly skin, add 4 drops of juniper essential oil to the bath water. This will help heal and protect the pet’s coat and skin.

Juniper berries, leaves, and roots are also useful in herbal medicine.

Juniper berries and leaves are very useful when taken in small amounts and can treat many common health problems. If using whole juniper berries, start with 3 or 4 the first day, 6 or 7 the second day, 10 or 12 the third day up to 20 a day. Do not use juniper for long periods! Take for up to a month and stop for at least another month. Juniper berries and leaves can be toxic in large doses! If you experience diarrhea, stop taking juniper berries and juniper leaf tea internally. There are several species of juniper, but the only one I am familiar with is known as Southern Redcedar.

Confusion between junipers and cedars

When immigrants came from the old world, they were familiar with cedars, including the Cedars of Lebanon. They called North American juniper trees "cedars" (the wood of both trees is red). The Eastern Redcedar and the Southern Redcedar are really juniper virginiana! Of the roughly 40 species of juniper, a small number are poisonous. Other junipers, like the Eastern and Southern Redcedars, have small bitter fruits which can be used in herbal medicine put are not as aromamatic as the common juniper. Common juniper (juniperus communis) is used for flavoring and essential oil. When purchasing the oil or plant for medicinal purposes, look for juniper communis.

Native Americans considered juniper the Tree of Life.

Native Americans used the juniper's leaves, bark, berries, and roots. The leaves were made into bedding. The berries, leaves, and roots were used to treat health problems. The bark was used for making canoes and mats. For more information about how the Native American tribes used juniper, visit https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_juvi.pdf.

* Do not use juniper essential oil if you are pregnant or have kidney disease. Do not take juniper essential oil internally. Do not take juniper berries, roots, or leaves internally for more than 4 weeks then give it a rest for at least a month. Do not take any essential oils internally without consulting a qualified professional. Always dilute essential oils with good carrier oil (such as almond) and test on small area of skin before use. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking other medicines.

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Herb Articles by Janice Boling

"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... , herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer

"Ointment and Perfume Rejoice the Heart." Proverbs 27:9

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