Baie de Genévrier, Common Juniper, Common Juniper Berry, Enebro, Extract of Juniper, Extrait de Genévrier, Genévrier, Genévrier Commun, Genievre, Genièvre, Ginepro, Huile de Baies de Genévrier, Huile de Genévrier, Juniper Berry, Juniper Berry Oil, Juniper Extract, Juniper Oil, Juniperi Fructus, Juniperus communis, Oil of Juniper, Wacholderbeeren, Zimbro.
Juniper is a short to medium-height tree that grows wild in some parts of Europe, North America, and Asia. There are many varieties of juniper, but Juniperus communis is the most common in North America.
People use the juniper berry to make medicine. Medicinal preparations include the extract of juniper berry, as well as the essential oil of juniper berry. Don't confuse juniper berry oil with cade oil, which is distilled from juniper wood (Juniperus oxycedrus).
Juniper is used for digestion problems including upset stomach, intestinal gas (flatulence), heartburn, bloating, and loss of appetite, as well as gastrointestinal (GI) infections and intestinal worms. It is also used for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney and bladder stones. Other uses include treating snakebite, diabetes, and cancer.
Some people apply juniper directly to the skin for wounds and for pain in joints and muscles. The essential oil of juniper is inhaled to treat bronchitis and numb pain.
In foods, the juniper berry is often used as a condiment and a flavoring ingredient in gin and bitter preparations. The extract and essential oil are used as a flavoring ingredient in foods and beverages.
In manufacturing, the juniper oil is used as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.
Juniper extract and juniper oil are used in cosmetics including lipstick, foundation, hair conditioners, bath oils, bubble bath, eye shadow, and many other products.
How does it work?
Juniper berries contain chemicals that might decrease inflammation and gas. It might also be effective in fighting bacteria and viruses. Juniper might also increase the need to urinate.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Upset stomach.
- Loss of appetite.
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Kidney and bladder stones.
- Joint and muscle pain.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Juniper, juniper berry, and juniper extract are LIKELY SAFE when consumed in normal food amounts.
Juniper is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts short-term, when inhaled appropriately as a vapor, or when applied to the skin in small areas. Using juniper on the skin can cause some side effects including irritation, burning, redness, and swelling. Avoid using it on large skin wounds.
Taking juniper by mouth long-term or in a high dose is LIKELY UNSAFE as it can cause kidney problems, seizures, and other serious side effects.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE to use juniper if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Juniper's effects on the uterus might interfere with fertility or cause a miscarriage. It's also best to avoid using juniper if you are breast-feeding. Not enough is known about how juniper might affect a nursing infant.
Diabetes: Juniper berry might lower blood sugar. There is some concern that it might lower blood sugar too much in people with diabetes.
Stomach and intestinal disorders: Juniper berry might irritate the stomach and intestines, making disorders in these organs worse.
High blood pressure, low blood pressure: Juniper berry might affect blood pressure and could make blood pressure control more difficult.
Surgery: Juniper might affect blood sugar levels, making blood sugar control more difficult during and after surgery. Stop using juniper at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Juniper might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking juniper along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
Water pills (Diuretic drugs)Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Juniper seems to work like "water pills" by causing the body to lose water. Taking juniper along with other "water pills" might cause the body to lose too much water. Losing too much water can cause you to be dizzy and your blood pressure to go too low.
The appropriate dose of juniper depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for juniper. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Adams, R. P. Systematics of Juniperus section Juniperus based on leaf essential oils and random amplified polymorphic DNAs (RAPDs). Biochem.Syst.Ecol. 7-1-2000;28(6):515-528. View abstract.
Asakura, K., Matsuo, Y., Oshima, T., Kihara, T., Minagawa, K., Araki, Y., Kagawa, K., Kanemasa, T., and Ninomiya, M. omega-agatoxin IVA-sensitive Ca(2+) channel blocker, alpha-eudesmol, protects against brain injury after focal ischemia in rats. Eur.J Pharmacol. 4-7-2000;394(1):57-65. View abstract.
Barrero, A. F., Arseniyadis, S., Quilez del Moral, J. F., Herrador, M. M., Valdivia, M., and Jimenez, D. First synthesis of the antifungal oidiolactone C from trans-communic acid: cytotoxic and antimicrobial activity in podolactone-related compounds. J Org.Chem. 4-19-2002;67(8):2501-2508. View abstract.
Bisset, NG. Juniperi fructus. 1994;283-285.
Bouhlal, K., Meynadier, JM, and Peyron, JL. Le cade en dermatologie. 1988;73-82.
Cool, L. G. and Adams, R. P. A pregeijerene isomer from Juniperus erectopatens foliage. Phytochemistry 2003;63(1):105-108. View abstract.
Gardner, D. R., Panter, K. E., James, L. F., and Stegelmeier, B. L. Abortifacient effects of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and common juniper (Juniperus communis) on cattle. Vet.Hum.Toxicol. 1998;40(5):260-263. View abstract.
Grainger Bisset, N. Max Wichtl herbal drugs and phytopharmaceuticals a handbook for practice on a scientific basis. 2000.
Janku, I., Hava, M., and Motl, O. [Diuretic substance from juniper (Juniperus communis L.)]. Experientia 6-15-1957;13(6):255-256. View abstract.
Johnson, W. Final report on the safety assessment of Juniperus communis extract, Juniperus oxycedrus extract, Juniperus oxycedrus tar, Juniperus phoenicia extract, and Juniperus virginiana extract. Int J Tox 2001;20 (sup 2):41-56.
Johnston, W. H., Karchesy, J. J., Constantine, G. H., and Craig, A. M. Antimicrobial activity of some Pacific Northwest woods against anaerobic bacteria and yeast. Phytother Res 2001;15(7):586-588. View abstract.
Koruk, S. T., Ozyilkan, E., Kaya, P., Colak, D., Donderici, O., and Cesaretli, Y. Juniper tar poisoning. Clin.Toxicol.(Phila) 2005;43(1):47-49. View abstract.
Lasheras B and et al. Etude pharmacologique preliminaire de Prunus spinosa L. Amelanchier ovalis Medikus, Juniperus communis L. et Urtica dioica L. Plant Med Phytother 1986;20:219-226.
Leitner, J., Hofbauer, F., and Ackerl, M. [Poisoning with a podophyllin-containing wart-treating tincture]. Dtsch.Med Wochenschr. 7-12-2002;127(28-29):1516-1520. View abstract.
Martin, A. M., Queiroz, E. F., Marston, A., and Hostettmann, K. Labdane diterpenes from Juniperus communis L. berries. Phytochem.Anal. 2006;17(1):32-35. View abstract.
Nakanishi, T., Iida, N., Inatomi, Y., Murata, H., Inada, A., Murata, J., Lang, F. A., Iinuma, M., and Tanaka, T. Neolignan and flavonoid glycosides in Juniperus communis var. depressa. Phytochemistry 2004;65(2):207-213. View abstract.
Stanic, G, Samarzija, I, and Blazevic, N. Time-dependent diuretic response in rats treated with juniper berry preparations. Phytother Res 1998;12:494-497.
Tabacik C and Poisson, C. Diterpenes de Juniperus phoenicea: constituants mineurs. Phytochemistry 1971;10:1639-1645.
Topcu, G., Erenler, R., Cakmak, O., Johansson, C. B., Celik, C., Chai, H. B., and Pezzuto, J. M. Diterpenes from the berries of Juniperus excelsa. Phytochemistry 1999;50(7):1195-1199. View abstract.
Anon. Final report on the safety assessment of Juniperus communis Extract, Juniperus oxycedrus Extract, Juniperus oxycedrus Tar, Juniperus phoenicea extract, and Juniperus virginiana Extract. Int J Toxicol 2001;20:41-56. View abstract.
Buckle J. Use of aromatherapy as a complementary treatment for chronic pain. Altern Ther Health Med 1999;5:42-51. View abstract.
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182
Filipowicz N, Kaminski M, Kurlenda J, et al. Antibacterial and antifungal activity of juniper berry oil and its selected components. Phytother Res 2003;17:227-31. View abstract.
Mascolo N, Autore G, Capassa F, et al. Biological screening of Italian medicinal plants for anti-inflammatory activity. Phytother Res 1987:28-31.
Robbers JE, Tyler VE. Tyler's Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals. New York, NY: The Haworth Herbal Press, 1999.
Salido S, Altarejos J, Nogueras M, et al. Chemical studies of essential oils of Juniperus oxycedrus ssp. badia. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;81:129-34. View abstract.
Sanchez de Medina F, Gamez MJ, Jimenez I, et al. Hypoglycemic activity of juniper "berries." Planta Med 1994;60:197-200. View abstract.
Swanston-Flatt SK, Day C, Bailey CJ, Flatt PR. Traditional plant treatments for diabetes. Studies in normal and streptozotocin diabetic mice. Diabetologia 1990;33:462-4. View abstract.