Information on Juniper Berries


Juniper berries are from Juniperus communis. It is an evergreen shrub tree with slow growth and a medium texture. Juniper berries have many uses in cooking and in aromatherapy.

Juniper is used for its berries and for bonsai. image by "Hollywood Juniper Forest" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: sheilaellen (Sheila Thomson) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.


Juniper berries begin green and become bluish black when ripe. There is a flowery scent and bittersweet piny flavor. Dried berries are still soft.


Berries can be pureed, dried or crushed. A little goes a long way in that 1 tsp. of crushed berries can serve four persons. Store in an airtight container in a cool location.

Culinary Usage

Juniper berries can flavor game or pork. They mix well with spices such as sage and bay leaves. Other uses include in marinades, home pickling or fruit dishes.

Medicinal Usage

Green fruits have been used for urinary tract issues, kidney problems and maintaining blood pressure. Juniper berries have antiseptic properties and are used for treating infection. They can also reduce congestion in the common cold.

Fun Fact

Juniper berries were an early medicine and have a mention in the Bible. Renaissance medicine men used them for plague, pestilence and snake bites.


  • UConn Horticulture
Keywords: juniper, juniper berries, juniper berry spice

About this Author

T.M. Samuels has been a freelance writer since 1993. She has published works in "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living" and "Mature Years," and is the author of a gardening book. Samuels studied pre-medicine at Berry College.