Therapeutic Properties Described in The Aromatherapy Literature
From The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy1:
- Antiseptic, Antirheumatic, Antispasmodic, Astringent, Detoxicant, Stimulant, Tonic
- Recommended on joints for rheumatic or arthritic pain
- Warming and stimulating effects
- Long associated with purification
From Aromatherapy: Scent and Psyche2:
- Useful for conditions related to kidney disturbances
- Useful as a household disinfectant
- Refreshing and stimulating effects against apathy and depression
Juniper in Research
Scientific studies have brought to light numerous potential therapeutic benefits of juniper. These studies have reported finding significant antioxidant3, antibacterial4, antifungal4, anti-inflammatory5, memory improving6, anti-diabetic7, and mosquito repellent8 activities of juniper extracts and essential oil.
Summary of Research Studies
- Juniper extract showed significant antioxidant reducing power and free radical scavenging activity in vitro.3
- In a study testing the antimicrobial activity of juniper essential oil, it was found to have strong activity against multiple strains of bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and dermatophytes.4
- Juniper essential oil exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity in human skin cells in vitro. The authors take these findings to suggest that juniper essential oil "is a promising therapeutic candidate for inflammatory conditions in the skin."5
- Inhalation of juniper oil was shown to improve working memory and spatial memory formation in a rat model of Alzheimer’s disease.6
- A decoction from juniper berries was found to lower blood glucose levels in rats with induced diabetes.7
- Juniper oil had significant mosquito repellent activity against adult yellow fever mosquitoes, comparable to the repellency of deet.8
Juniper essential oil is a non-irritant, non-sensitizing and generally non-toxic, although it stimulates the uterine muscle and could induce labor, so it SHOULD NOT be used during pregnancy. It also has a nephrotoxic effect and therefore should not be used by those with any kidney issues. Use in moderation.
1 Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. International Centre of Holystic Aromatherapy, 2003.
2 Damian, Peter, and Kate Damian. Aromatherapy: Scent and Psyche. Inner Traditions/Bear & Co, 1995.
3 Elmastaş , Mahfuz, et al. “A Study on the In Vitro Antioxidant Activity of Juniper (Juniperus Communis L.) Fruit Extracts.” Analytical Letters, vol. 39, no. 1, 2006, pp. 47–65., doi:10.1080/00032710500423385.
4 Pepeljnjak, Stjepan. “Antimicrobial activity of juniper berry essential oil (Juniperus communis L., Cupressaceae).” Acta Pharmaceutica, vol. 55, 2005, pp. 417–422.
5 Han, X., & Parker, T. L. “Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Juniper (JuniperusÂ Communis) Berry Essential Oil in Human Dermal Fibroblasts.” Cogent Medicine, vol. 4, no. 1, 16 Mar. 2017, doi:10.1080/2331205x.2017.1306200.
6 Cioanca, Oana, et al. “Improvement of Amyloid-β-Induced Memory Deficits by Juniperus Communis L. Volatile Oil in a Rat Model of Alzheimer's Disease.” Farmacia, vol. 62, no. 3, 2014, pp. 514–520.
7 De Medina, F., et al. “Hypoglycemic Activity of Juniper ‘Berries.’” Planta Medica, vol. 60, no. 03, 1994, pp. 197–200., doi:10.1055/s-2006-959457.
8 Carroll, John F., et al. “Essential Oils of Cupressus Funebris, Juniperus Communis, and J. Chinensis (Cupressaceae) as Repellents against Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) and Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) and as Toxicants against Mosquitoes.” Journal of Vector Ecology, vol. 36, no. 2, 30 Nov. 2011, pp. 258–268., doi:10.1111/j.1948-7134.2011.00166.x.