How to Make Juniper Berry Ointment for Joint, Muscle and Arthritis Pain Relief

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+
arthritis pain relief

I have already written about arthritis pain relief using natural remedies, as well as massage oil using dandelion for joint pain relief. But not long ago I heard about another remedy that can relieve these symptoms using juniper berries.

With their warming, stimulating, and anti inflammatory properties, juniper berries have many medicinal uses. This time I would like to concentrate on the link between juniper berry and joint, muscle and arthritis pain relief.

The juniper berry has anti-inflammatory properties and it’s of great help to those suffering from arthritis, gout and other diseases such as rheumatism and pain in the joints and muscles. These joint related ailments occur because of the fluid retention around these joints, and the juniper berry with its diuretic action relieves this pressure considerably. Juniper also helps in reviving the muscle tone and significantly reducing the effects of aging for most people.


Juniper seems to be safe for most adults when taken short-term, but don’t use it for longer than four weeks. Long-term use can cause kidney problems. Juniper also seems to be safe when applied to the skin in small areas. However this ointment shouldn’t be used by pregnant women because it can stimulate the uterus.

Juniper Berry Ointment Recipe

1 cup ripe juniper berries
distilled water
2 cups oil (such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil)
2 – 3 Tbsp. beeswax


Soak the juniper berries in distilled water for several hours or overnight.

Lightly crush the berries and place them and oil in the top of a double boiler (bain-marie) over low heat.

Bring the water to a simmer for several minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the juniper berries. Discard the berries and preserve the oil.

Put the strained juniper berry oil back in the double boiler and put it back on a low heat. Stir in the beeswax and allow it to melt.

Pour the juniper berry ointment into sterilized airtight jars and allow to set. Massage the juniper berry ointment as needed into sore joints and muscles.

If you suffer from arthritis, you may find these natural remedies helpful as well:

Natural Remedies for Arthritis

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+


54 Responses to How to Make Juniper Berry Ointment for Joint, Muscle and Arthritis Pain Relief

  1. Elizabeth Deuson says:

    I want to make sure the Junipers available to me are the right ones. Can you help me identify the right Junipers? I love your posts and make quite a few.
    Thank you.

  2. Fran says:

    Can I make this using Juniper essental oil instead of berries?

    • Jenny says:

      Yes you can(10-12 drops per 1 ounce of carrier oil).

      • Maria says:

        Are you using “regular” olive (table) oil? Or should I get a carrier oil (more expensive) from an essential oils company?

        You said you can use 10 drops of juniper oil per ounce… So you need 160 drops for the two cups? Seems a lot!!! I just wanted to make sure! Thank you!

        • Jenny says:

          Hi Maria, regular olive oil can do the job as well. As for your second question: A quantity of 10 drops per ounce is correct. For 1 cup (8 oz) it will be 80 drops, and so on. This is a large quantity of EO, however 1 cup is quite a large quantity, unless you use it for a large area.

      • mag says:

        Which ounce are you referring to, please? Imperial or US or fluid, etc. Thank you! How much in grammes or milliliters would that be?
        Many thanks!

  3. Lidia Lau says:

    Then if I use the juniper essential oil instead of the berries, all I have to do is mix it with the melted beeswax?

    • Jenny says:

      No. If you use essential oil you still need the carrier oil, as you need to dilute the essential oil and not apply it directly on your skin. The guideline is usually 10-12 drops per 1 ounce of carrier oil.

  4. kelly says:

    where do I fine these berries!?????

    • Jenny says:

      If you cannot find them in your area, you can buy dried ones online or in health food stores, or use juniper essential oil instead (10-12 drops per 1 ounce of carrier oil).

  5. Karen Wilkie says:

    Can you use dried juniper berries for this? I have some that I bought from Mountain Rose Herbs.

    • Jenny says:

      Yes you can use dried berries, but the amount should be smaller (about half or third of the fresh amount) as dried herbs are more concentrated in their properties.

  6. Ruth says:

    Can I add a scented oil – such as lavender or rose ?

  7. Grace Tiedeman says:

    can you mix dandelion oil and juniper oil recipes?

    • Jenny says:

      I wouldn’t do it. Each one is separate recipe and they were not meant to be mixed.

      • Tina says:

        Do YOU just prefer not to mix oils, or is there a reason you don’t? With anything I’ve ever made, the more oils I put in, the more benefits I get. Some oils just work better when mixed….like comfrey and calendula.

        • Jenny says:

          One of the questions was whether to mix the recipe of the dandelion oil and this recipe of the juniper oil. There are no “set” rules of “do” or “don’t”. Because these are separate recipes, I think one should try one and see if it works for him/her and if not, he/she can try another recipe. However I don’t believe there is any damage in mixing the oils if you want to do so.

  8. Renee Strange says:

    Can this ointment be used on swollen ankles, and is it critical to add the beeswax?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Renee, you can try to see if it works for your swollen ankles. As for the beeswax – you don’t have to add it, and then you will get a massage oil. Adding the beeswax giving it a consistency of ointment.

  9. Regina Zaring says:

    Is there a shelf life on this?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Regina, the shelf life is quite long and can be several months, and even up to a year if kept in the fridge. If you make a batch of it, keep only the jar you are using out, and store the rest in the fridge. Using small containers helps to make sure it doesn’t sit out too long.

  10. Becki says:

    Doing this in the next few days. Sorry to be so dense, but do I discard the distilled water that I soak the berries in or crush them in the soak water? Thanks

    • Jenny says:

      After soaking the juniper berries overnight, you use only the soaked berries without the water, and then lightly crush them.

      • Darlene Sallie says:

        I know this is a long time after original posts but I have dry berries, do I still soak overnight?

        • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

          You can use dried berries, but the amount should be smaller (about half or third of the fresh amount) as dried herbs are more concentrated in their properties. If they are very hard, or if you want to use them in a recipe that calls for fresh berries, you should rehydrate them first. Let them soak in hot water to soften them. By the time they rehydrate, they should double in volume so there is 1 cup of berries.

  11. Melissa says:

    Hi, I’m going to make this in the next few days and was wondering how much distilled water I use for one cup of berries. I don’t want to soak them in too much or too little! Thanks 🙂

    • Jenny says:

      There is no exact amount – you just need to cover the berries with water. Nothing will happen if you put a bit too much water.

  12. Melissa says:

    Also, when you say don’t use juniper for more than four weeks, does this mean this ointment as well? Do the kidney problems occur from putting it on the skin? I’m making this for my boyfriend who has arthritis as well as joint pains. The areas which he has these pains vary from his back, to his hip, to his leg/foot. Would it be bad to use it all at once on all of the areas? We’re looking for something natural to help with his pain, but something that could be used (almost) on a daily basis.

  13. Susie says:

    Can I use unrefined shea butter instead of beeswax?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Susie, I’ve seen references of a people who used shea butter as a substitute for beeswax with good results, but shea butter is much softer than beeswax at room temp so the consistency of the ointment will be more runny. Also don’t heat the shea butter as it can change its consistency. It’s best to add it towards the end when the product is no longer on direct heat.

  14. Michael says:

    Is there a way to make it so you don’t have to refrigerate it?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Michael, you don’t have to refrigerate it, although refrigerating extends the life shelf. If you make a larger batch of it, keep only the jar you are using out, and store the rest in the fridge. If you use smaller containers it will help to make sure it doesn’t sit out too long.

  15. Melissa says:

    How would this work using the dried juniper berries?

    • Jenny says:

      You can use dried berries, but the amount should be smaller (about half or third of the fresh amount) as dried herbs are more concentrated in their properties.

  16. Latasha says:

    Do I soak the dried berries overnight as well? Do i need to crush them?

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Yes, soak them several hours or overnight. Then after soaking them, crush them just before adding them to the oil.

  17. Jennifer says:

    Could this be made using Juniper Berry Essential Oil, Almond Oil & Shea Butter??

  18. Lewis Penning says:

    My wife had the forethought to plant two junipers in front of our house when we bought the land. Now I have a 12 foot tall male and female (evidently), as one put out thousands of berries. I only use the black ones and have made tincture and am working on salve and ointment. I love doing this.

    Is it true that Cade oil, which comes from the wood and leaves, is present in the green berries but not so much in the darker, aged berries?

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Lewis, I don’t know the answer, so I looked at several references but I couldn’t find any information regarding the presence of cade oil in the berries themselves, so I’m not really sure. The only comment I’ve found was in WebMD: “Don’t confuse juniper berry oil with cade oil, which is distilled from juniper wood (Juniperus oxycedrus)”.

      • Lewis Penning says:

        Thank you, Jenny. That’s what I thought.
        It appears that Cade oil, or juniper tar, is similar to Pine tar but not as easy to obtain.
        I’ll stick to black juniper berries, just because.

        This summer I collected pine tar- I guess because it’s so easy to find in Montana.
        Purifying it is a little bit of trouble, but I got good at it. Now I have 12 pint jars of golden pine tar.
        I use it mostly to treat bare wood to make it water proof. It seriously brings out the beauty.
        Thanks again, Jenny.
        Keep warm. Winter is going to show up – sometime.

  19. Jolene says:

    hi i’m not able to use beeswax due to allergies. what else can i use

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Jolene, you can replace it with cocoa butter or shea butter. Cocoa butter has a pleasant smell whereas shea butter smell is not so nice, but they are both good options. You can even omit the beeswax from the recipe and them the consistency will be of an oil rather than an ointment/salve.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *