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General Information

Juniper is a tree of short to medium height and is native to parts of Northern Europe, North America, and Asia. Juniper extract and oil are used in a variety of perfumery and cosmetics, such as lipstick, bath oils, eye shadow, and hair conditioners. The active ingredients of juniper that give its medicinal properties come from the fruit.

Common Name(s)

juniper, common juniper

Scientific Name(s)

Juniperus communis

Scientific Name(s)

Juniper is taken by mouth and is available as a dried fruit, infusion, fluid extract, and tincture. The usual dose of juniper for adults 18 years and older is 0.3 g to 12 g of dried fruit per day.

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

Juniper has been traditionally used to:

  • increase urine flow (diuretic)
  • relieve urinary tract infections
  • relieve digestive problems (such as gas or heartburn)
  • aid digestion and stimulate appetite

There is insufficient evidence to show that juniper is effective for the above uses.

Juniper should only be used occasionally as a diuretic. Do not use juniper for more than 4 weeks without consulting a health care provider.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

The use of juniper is likely safe in most people when taken in daily recommended amounts. Juniper can damage the kidneys and liver if taken in large amounts. Signs that you are taking too much juniper may include lower back pain, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, blood in the urine, purple urine, and tremors.

Juniper may interact with diabetes medications by further lowering your blood sugar levels.

You should see your doctor before taking juniper if you are breast-feeding, if you have diabetes, high or low blood pressure, bleeding disorders, or gastrointestinal conditions (such as an ulcer or a past history of bleeding in the intestinal tract).

Do not take juniper if you are pregnant or have a kidney condition. Stop taking juniper at least 2 weeks before surgery. Do not take juniper if you are allergic to it or to any plants in the Cupressaceae family.

Consult your health care provider if your symptoms do not go away or if they get worse while you are taking juniper.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist or other health care provider. Tell your health care practitioner about any natural health products you may be taking.


  1. Health Canada. Licensed Natural Health Products. Juniper. Available:
  2. Juniper. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database.

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