Alpine Juniper


May be analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-infectious, anti-spasmodic, astringent



Latin Name: Juniperus communis subsp. alpina

Traditional Uses:

  • Arthritic, Rheumatic support
  • Diuretic
  • Liver support
  • Lymphatic support
  • Vein Tonic
  • May be analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-infectious, anti-spasmodic, astringent

PLEASE READ!!! Essential oils are SUPER CONCENTRATED!!! and can oils can contain up to 50k chemical compounds, which only a very small percentage can actually be isolated out and researched.

Aromatherapy associations encourage essential oil dilution for external application or diffusion via humidifier etc. Internal use of essential oils is strongly discouraged.

Essential oils are SUPER CONCENTRATED!! Some think of essential oils as “botanical pharmaceuticals”.

Consider a quart of tea (say mint leaves) is made with a ¼ cup leaf matter compared to one drop of essential oil equaling one half gallon (+) of plant material. Imagine steeping ½ gallon of mint leaves and then drinking it – that is what taking one drop of mint oil can be compared to.

Chemical compounds can be separated out from botanical or petroleum distillates by “fractionating” = redistilling the first separation to create a second separation – this can be done many times over in the chemistry lab. Fractionating unfolds the chemical formulas and isolates chemical compounds that can then be used to engineer/re-combine for example; orange flavor, frankincense aromatic, vanilla flavor (either from naturally occurring compounds = “natural flavor/fragrance” or petroleum based = “artificial flavor/fragrance”.)  Both petroleum and botanical distillate fractions can be found throughout the food, wellness/cosmetic and drug industries.

 It is valuable to know where your aromatherapy company sources their essential oils as currently there are no regulations in the U.S. stating what can be called “therapeutic grade” essential oil. Getting to know distillers personally is also a great way to feel safe when engaging with something as potent as essential oils.

Many chemical compounds found in pharmaceutical drugs are modeled after compounds isolated from botanical distillates (essential oils).

Conifer essential oils (as well as many others) can help give one a sense of respiratory support, mental clarity, calmness, focus. Conifer essential oils can also give one the idea that their essential oils can bring relief to inflammation.

Essential oils in general can give one the sense of emotional, mental and spiritual support.

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Latin NameJuniperus communis subsp. alpina


Family: Cupressaceae


Common Names: Common Juniper




General: Coniferous, evergreen shrub, spreading 30-100 cm tall; often mats or clumps


Leaves: Mostly in whorls of 3, sharp needles, 5-12 cm long, whitish above, dark green beneath


Cones: Male and female cones on separate shrubs, in clusters at branch tips; pollen (male) cones round to egg-shaped, about 3-5 mm long; seed (female) cones berry-like, dark blue often with a greyish bloom, round, 8-12 mm long with 3-8 fleshy scales; produced from April to May, seed cones mature in 2nd year


Habitat: Dry, open sites or open forest; plains to alpine; Alaska to New Mexico, generally high-altitude 8,000-10,000 feet

-This species, is over much of the globe, It is the only circumpolar conifer in the northern hemisphere


Traditional Uses and History of Plant:

-This plant was not widely used by native peoples, but Europeans used the berry-like cones medicinally to make teas for aiding digestion and appetite, for stimulating sweating, urination and mucous secretion, for treating diarrhea, heart, lung, and kidney problems, as a wash for swelling and inflammation (Kershaw, MacKinnon, and Pojar, Plants of the Rocky Mountains)

-The Blackfeet used juniper tea to treat lung and venereal diseases (Kershaw, MacKinnon, and Pojar, Plants of the Rocky Mountains)

-Juniper needles were dried and powdered as a dusting for skin diseases, they were also boiled or burned like incense to purify homes and protect the inhabitants from disease and evil spirits. (Kershaw, MacKinnon, and Pojar, Plants of the Rocky Mountains)

-The Navajo burned the juniper to make ‘good luck’ smoke for hunters (Kershaw, MacKinnon, and Pojar, Plants of the Rocky Mountains)

-The ‘berries’ are usually added as flavoring in meat dishes, soups, stews, used like pepper (Kershaw, Edible Plants of the Rockies)

-The oil from the berries was mixed with fat to make salves for protecting wounds from irritation by flies (Kershaw, Edible Plants of the Rockies)

-The berries stimulate and disinfectant urination by irritating the kidneys (Kershaw, Edible Plants of the Rockies)

-Urinary tract herb for cystitis and urethritis (Moore, Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West)

-Stimulate production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and contractions in the uterus and intestines (Kershaw, Edible Plants of the Rockies)

-Some studies have shown berries to lower blood sugar caused by adrenaline hyperglycemia, suggesting that they may be useful in the treatment of insulin diabetes (Kershaw, Edible Plants of the Rockies)

-Berries are anti-septic and studies by the National Cancer Institute have shown that junipers contain antibiotic compounds that are active against tumors (Kershaw, Edible Plants of the Rockies)

-Strong juniper tea was used to sterilize needles and bandages and during the Black Death in the 14th-century Europe doctors held a few berries in their mouth to avoid infection from patients (Kershaw, Edible Plants of the Rockies)

-Juniper smoke or steam was inhaled to relieve colds and chest infections (Kershaw, Edible Plants of the Rockies)

-It was given to women to speed up labor and after birth as a cleansing, healing agent (Kershaw, Edible Plants of the Rockies)

-Cross-culturally from the Letts to the Chinese to the Pueblo Indians the plant/ aromatic qualities have been used against bad magic, plaque, and negative influences, for protection (Moore, Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West)

-The leaves are traditionally carried about in pouches and clothes, often the only protection or medicine carried by the Tewa Indian -Urinary tract herb for cystitis and urethritis (Moore, Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West)

-Juniper needles can be added to a bath water for stimulating effect on rheumatism (Elepls, Botany in a Day)


-Berries are the most disinfectant and the leaves are astringent as they are aromatic (Moore, Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West)

-It appears that the berries and the leaves are used interchangeable for kidney issues; it is not 100 percent clear when they are referring to juniper tea if they are referring to just the berries or the needles or both…it appears that they have overlapping qualities and could both essentially be used.


Part Used: Needles, ‘berries’ (actually fleshy cones)


Flower Essences: Doorway. For renunciation of the past; generosity; relaxation; releases old stress; ancestral patterns; and brings inner versatility (Harvey, Ency. of Flower Remedies)



1st chakra- survival and support, 3rd chakra-personal power (stillpoint)

Warming, grounding and revitalizing, deep remembrance, healing to the past

Aura of Guardian energy, fairy like energy, circles around the base of other conifers, grows in a circle from its central root





-Cellulite or arthritis: rosemary, juniper, and lemon (Rose, The Aromatherapy book)



Astringent, Balsamic, Coniferous, Piney, Pungent, Slightly spicy, Slightly sweet, Warm, Woody


Constituents: Volatile oil, invert sugar, tannins, flavonoids, organic acids, pectin, resin


Major Chemical components, Case History, & Research Facts:



Monoterpenes: are effective airborne deodorizers and purifiers, emotionally uplifting and often provide an analgesic effect where muscle pain and stiffness are present


Safety: Oils high in monoterpenes can cause skin irritation, not water-soluble, avoid in bathtub unless they are well diluted in carrier oil or fatty substance (stillpoint)


Monoterpenols: are effective anti-infectious agents; being anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and/or antiviral, non-toxic, mild on the skin, and mucous membranes. great for long-term use, tonic for the nervous system, support emotional balance, and nourish and strengthen the immune system. (stillpoint)


Esters: antispasmodic, sedative, balancing, analgesic, and soothing, good for digestion, anti-inflammatory, effective on skin rashes and irritations (stillpoint)




Analgesic, Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-rheumatic, Anti-septic, Anti-spasmodic, Anti-viral, Astringent, Diuretic, Liver supporter, Lymph decongest, Lymphatic support, Rubefacient, Sedative, Tonic, Vein tonic (stillpoint)


Expectorant (Rose, 375 Essential oils & hydrosols)


Medicinal Uses and Indications of Oil:

-Detoxification (stillpoint)

-Beneficial for edema and lymphatic issues (still point)- massage, loofa, and then e.o for this manner

-Acne and skin issues (stillpoint)


-Cleansing and purification

-Clarity in confusing situations (Tilgner, Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth)

-Atonic conditions of the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and urinary tract (Tilgner, Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth)

-Painful inflammation in arthritis, gout, and other diseases (Tilgner, Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth)

-Bronchitis, upper Respiratory (Rose, 375 Essential oils & hydrosols)

-Rheumatism (Rose, 375 Essential oils & hydrosols)

-Helps the body release fluids (Rose, The Aromatherapy book)

-Sitz baths for urinary problems, genital warts, itchy vulva or jock itch (Rose, The Aromatherapy book)

-For arthritis or gout make a massage oil with 5 drops juniper oil to 1 ounce olive oile and massage several times a day (Rose, The Aromatherapy book)

-Inhale for memory, combines well with rosemary (Rose, The Aromatherapy book)


Safety: People with kidney problems and pregnant women should never take any part of this plan internally. In Europe, an old name for juniper was ‘bastard killer’ because it was used to produce abortions, sometimes with fatal results for the women (Kershaw, MacKinnon, and Pojar, Plants of the Rocky Mountains)



No FDA Approval! This article is not meant to diagnose or treat any disease or condition. This profile is for education about traditional uses and what scientific research is learning about the complexity of phyto-chemistry. Do not use this document to treat or diagnose any dis-ease.




Kershaw, MacKinnon, and Pojar, Plants of the Rocky Mountains

Moore, Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West

Elepls, Botany in a Day

Harvey, Ency. of Flower Remedies

Still Point Aromatics

Tilgner, Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth

Rose, 375 Essential oils & hydrosols

Rose, The Aromatherapy Book