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Juniper Berry Essential Oil: 10 Uses & Benefits

When it comes to health benefits, juniper berry essential oil has an impressive resume. This essential oil comes from the fresh or dried berries and needles of the juniper plant. The berries, which come in purple, blue, violet, or blackish-brown, are harvested in early autumn. Juniper berries and juniper berry essential oil are used both for culinary and medicinal purposes. (1) For example, if you're looking to protect your skin, prevent or treat UTIs or treat heartburn, you may want to consider giving juniper essential oil a try. Learn more about these and other benefits by reading the section below!

Here are 10 uses and benefits of juniper berry essential oil:

1. Anti-Bloating and Anti-UTI

Juniper berries are antibacterial and antifungal. And while cranberries can help prevent a urinary tract infections, juniper is one of the most popular natural prevention methods and remedies. You can use them for both for urinary tract infections and bladder infections. (2, 3) Furthermore, juniper berries are a natural diuretic. This helps flush excess fluids from the bladder and urethra, which can help reduce bloating. (4)

2. Helps Heal and Protect Skin

Due to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, juniper berry essential oil is a popular remedy for skin irritations and infections. Additionally, you can use it as a home remedy for acne and stretch marks. (5) Before you apply juniper oil topically, however, be sure to mix it with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Use 1 to 2 drops of juniper oil with a carrier oil. Then use it as a gentle astringent or moisturizer after washing your face.

3. Boosts Digestion

Juniper helps stimulate digestive enzymes. This makes it easier to break down and absorb nutrients. (6) However, this theory has not been tested on humans, but in one study, improved digestion was seen in cows with a treatment of juniper berry essential oil and garlic. (7) To try it out as a digestive aid, add 1 to 2 drops of it to a smoothie or your water. However, only do this if you have 100 perfect pure grade therapeutic-grade oil. You may want to consult a medical professional first.

4. Relaxant and Sleep Aid

Stress can be, at times, debilitating. However, using natural therapeutic remedies such as juniper berry essential oil can help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. In fact, it may even help you sleep! One study tested an essential oil fragrance combination. It was a mixture of juniper berry essential oil, sandalwood, rose and orris. Researchers examined its effect on insomniacs who were taking medication for their condition. They found that, when using the essential oil fragrance at night, 26 of the 29 subjects were able to reduce their drug dosage. Additionally, twelve subjects were able to eliminate medications altogether. (8) Melt stress away and promote sleep by diffusing juniper berry oil in your bedroom. Diluted with a carrier oil, you can also dab some on your wrists. For a fun, alluring perfume, add several drops of juniper berry oil to your laundry detergent. The smell will linger on your clothes and linens!

5. Heartburn and Acid Reflex Relief

Another popular use of juniper berry oil is for relief of heartburn and acid reflux. (9) Sooth indigestion by massaging 1 to 2 drops, along with a carrier oil, all over your stomach and chest. Alternatively, you might consider taking it internally. However, be sure to consult with your natural health care provider before doing this.

6. Might Reduce Cellulite

If you’re wanting to reduce the appearance of cellulite, juniper berry oil can help with that. (10) Try mixing it with grapefruit essential oil (and a carrier oil) for maximum benefits. This mixture will not only smell great, but will help reduce the appearance of cellulite as well.

7. Insect Repellent

The summer months can be a nightmare when you have bugs and other pests to contend with. However, juniper essential oil may help in this arena. Similar to citronella oil, the scent of juniper berry oil can repel bugs. Spray it on your clothes instead of using a commercially-produced bug spray. Alternatively, mix it with a carrier oil and massage it into your skin.

8. Natural Antiseptic

Juniper berry oil is fantastic for cleaning, both your body and your home! It’s a great natural household cleaner as well as an effective antiseptic for skin or respiratory infections. Its antimicrobial properties help kill bacteria. (11) In fact, some studies suggest juniper berry essential oil may be effective against bacteria and fungi that are resistant to antibiotics. (12) Furthermore, juniper berry oil has the most potent anti-fungal reaction against the bacteria that causes candida. (13) Ditch harmful chemical cleaners. Instead, spray down your surfaces in your bathroom and kitchen with a mixture of water and juniper berry oil. Additionally, diffuse it to help purify the air your family breathes.

9. Powerful Antioxidant

Juniper berry oil truly is versatile. Not only is it antimicrobial, it also contains antioxidants that help slow age-related degradation as well as prevent disease. (14, 15) Specifically, animal studies have shown this oil increases the activity of three crucial antioxidants in the body, all of which have huge health benefits. In fact, one of them, gluthathione peroixidase is associated with prevention of diseases like cancer and heart disease. (16, 17) This antioxidant is possibly why juniper berry oil has shown anticancer effects against some leukemia cells. (18)

10. Might Help Reduce High Blood Pressure

In correlation with its antioxidant properties, juniper berry oil may help reduce high blood pressure. (19) With lifestyle changes, hypertension is manageable. However, if left untreated, it can lead to heart disease and various other conditions. (20)

Potential Side Effects to Consider

Taking juniper essential oil long-term by mouth may result in serious health issues. These include kidney issues and seizures as well as other possible side effects. If you are using juniper essential oil topically for the first time, proceed with caution. Essential oils can cause irritation as well as, for some people, allergic reactions. This is especially true if the essential oil is not diluted with a carrier oil prior to use. For first-time use, test a small area on the skin. Wait and see if any adverse reactions occur before applying liberally.