What is Juniper?
Aside from being the main flavor in gin, juniper berry is an evergreen shrub/tree that is commonly found in Canada, the U.S., Europe, and Northern Asia.  It takes three full years for a juniper bush to reach maturity. 
Most people recognize the juniper bush by sight as it is a common ornamental shrub in the suburbs. If the shrubs are not pruned, the shrubs can actually grow quite tall into trees, approximately 25 feet tall.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the name “juniper” comes from “genievre,” the French word for “gin?” This berry is actually the key flavor ingredient of gin and has been used to flavor alcoholic beverages since medieval times. 
We don’t hear much about juniper berry in the essential oil world as much as we do lavender, peppermint or frankincense.
With that in mind, my goal in this article is to provide you with the history, benefits and uses, best ways to use juniper berry as well as my favorite brands. You should walk away from this article feeling like you can answer all the basics of this beauty!
What to Know About Juniper Berry?
Well to start, you should know there are two different types of essential oils in regards to juniper berry. There is juniper essential oil and juniper berry essential oil (JBEO).
Juniper essential oil is made from the steam-distilled needles, wood, sticks and berries. 
Juniper berry essential oil is made from, you guessed it, just the berries. This is considered the higher quality oil with high concentrated properties. The berries only grow on the female bushes so if you find a juniper bush with no berries, know that you are on the right track by finding its male counterpart.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil Benefits
Let’s go through some of the amazing benefits of juniper berry oil.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil for Skin and Hair Care
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Essential oils are also one of the most popular natural products, with one of their main applications being for their use in dermatology.” 
Let’s take a look at what juniper berry essential oil can do for you and the largest organ of your body.
Berries for Bumps
Juniper berry oil works as an antiseptic, and as an astringent (when diluted properly). If you know anything about acne, you know it involves bacteria. And while half the battle of acne can be attributed to diet, the other part involves topical skin care.
This can be a huge benefit to someone with acne as a low dissolution of juniper berry used as an astringent can help with acne. It is also considered a rubefacient meaning it takes the redness out of the skin when applied topically.
The National Library of Medicine also reported “Skin infections constitute one of the five most common reasons for people to seek medical intervention and are considered the most frequently encountered of all infections.”
In a research article from the National Library of Medicine, juniper berry was also found to be effective in use against blocked pores, cellulite, dermatitis and weeping eczema. 
Your Berry Best Hair
Juniper berry is gaining in popularity in the DIY home remedy for hair loss.
Juniper contains potassium, zinc, B vitamins, calcium and beta-carotene, all of which your hair is thirsty for. With its anti-inflammatory properties, it is suggested JB oil stimulates blood flow to the scalp.
Its antimicrobial and astringent properties are thought to help clean and clear the scalp allowing for new hair to come in.
There is not much scientific research around juniper berry essential oil and cellulitis.
Juniper berry essential oil is sudorific, which means it makes your body sweat out the excess fluids along with the toxins. 
The buzz among my essential oil reps and frequent EO users all have something to say about using JBEO for reducing cellulite visibility. You will also find if you google it, there are plenty of websites that offer their own take on JBEO and cellulite along with a DIY recipe.
Juniper berry also acts as a diuretic and helps with fluid retention so it would make a natural go-to for reducing cellulite. For those of you who are fans of dry-brushing your skin, adding a DIY juniper berry rub or lotion would be a great addition to your routine.
Joy with Juniper
We have established juniper berry as a great addition to our skin and hair care but it is also a great addition to your aromatherapy needs and routines as well.
Juniper berry’s emotional support include relaxing and grounding the mind. If anxiety, stress, or fatigue are something you experience, simply inhaling the scent of this essential oil can help re-center your focus. This essential oil can also help promote restful sleep in individuals who suffer from insomnia. 
It’s even said to help a person overcome nightmares, especially those with deeper unconscious meaning, and help gain more restful sleep. 
Best Juniper Berry Essential Oils
We all have our favorite brands of oils and I am fairly consistent in either buying from DoTERRA or YoungLiving. Sometimes, I will venture outside of my buying comfort zone to see what else is out there quality wise but economical as well.
Here is a list of my top four Juniper Berry Essential Oils.
The latter two can be found at a fraction of the cost on Amazon. This is a great way to start if you are new to the essential oil world, are on a budget or just want to dip your toe in the juniper berry world.
DoTERRA Juniper Berry
YoungLiving Juniper Berry
NOW Juniper Berry
GYA Labs Juniper Berry
Juniper Berry Essential Oil Uses
There are standard ways of using essential oils through diffusing, lotions, and orally. For the purposes of what we have highlighted with juniper berry essential oil, we are looking at just the external ways of best using JBEO.
Juniper Jump Starts the Air
Most people enjoy using juniper berry in their diffuser. Juniper berry has a crisp, clean, woodsy aroma that pairs well with lavender, bergamot, cypress, geranium, and melaleuca as well as all citrus scents.
Because of these fresh, awakening like scents, using this oil along with its complimentary blends, it makes a fantastic way to spring clean the air in your home after a long winter of being closed up.
Juniper is mentioned frequently in websites and EO recipes for hair growth. How you go about applying the JBEO is up to you.
One way is to add five drops of juniper berry oil per ¼ cup of shampoo.
Another way is to make a 1-3% blend of JBEO and a carrier oil, massage it in to your scalp about 30-40 minutes prior to take your shower and shampoo as normal.
(1%-3% blend = 1-3 drops JBEO per 1 teaspoon of carrier oil)
Shedding Water Weight
Whether you are retaining water due to medications, pre-menstrual syndrome, or maybe you had too much salt the day before, doing a 30-minute aromatherapy with juniper berry is suggested to be a pillar of assistance in pulling off the puffy.
Breathing in JBEO through a diffuser of your choice is a commonly suggested practice when looking to release the water.
After a night of too much salt and then a heavy workout the day after, my ankles and calves were swollen with sodium retained water from the day before along with my super hydration at the gym.
Organic Daily Post.com had a solution that I found worked well. It had this to say, “You can also massage the 1% to 3% blend into your ankles, legs, backside and abdomen to facilitate the secretion of excess water. Rubbing it on your skin will give you the added benefit of firming and toning your skin as you expel the fluids, thanks to its astringent properties.” 
Does juniper berry help with stomach issues?
Juniper berry has been suggested to improve digestion, relieve constipation, as well as reduce and heal hemorrhoids. The scientific research on this is very limited and is more based on user testimonials.
While I could not find any moderate or serious side effects related to juniper berry, it is always best to do a skin and smell test first as well as discuss adding juniper berry to your diet as a support for any medically diagnosed issues you may have going on.
The suggested uses and applications are to inhale for digestion, apply a rub to the belly for digestion and apply topically to the lower back for management of hemorrhoids.
There are a few sites that say you can take one drop of juniper berry with one eight-ounce glass of distilled water for digestive relief as well.
Does juniper berry help with arthritis?
Again, the scientific research on this is slim to none. However, it is something you can try to see if it works for you. You can make a stronger concentration of a rub, like 10-20%, with your favorite carrier oil.
This would look like 10 to 20 drops of JBEO to every one teaspoon of carrier oil. You can also create your own blend and add peppermint for additional pain relief or an anti-inflammatory like frankincense or lavender to help with the pain.
This would be a great rub to use for sore muscles after the gym or when you have the aches and pains from illness particularly since juniper berry has been noted for its secondary property of pain reliever.
NOTE – Please do take care and consult with your physician prior to ingesting any essential oils particularly if you are on prescription medication. Know your body first.
Fun Fact: If taken orally, juniper berry oil may cause your urine to smell like violets. If you notice this effect, it means that you’ve been using the herb for too long and should consider stopping. After you laugh at your pee smelling like violets because come on, that’s funny. 
Jumping for Juniper Berry!!
I have to be totally transparent with you all, I was not that well versed in the land of juniper berry and all that it has to offer.
However, upon my research I found there was a lack of research but there was no lack of testimonials to how juniper berry has helped and worked.
It feels a bit like one of the sleepers of the essential oil world that has not been fully exploited for its potential due to its “commonality.” I for one, have put it on my list of every day uses for hair care and muscle relief.
I’d like to invite you to giving juniper berry essential oil a try in your EO world and see where and how well it works for you!
Feel free to shoot me an email or comment on how JBEO has impacted your life and share your blends!