An evergreen shrub or tree up to 6m high with bluish-green stiff needles. It has small flowers and berries which are green in the first year, black in second and third. Essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the berries. Although these valuable berries are produced from a native shrub, the berries of commerce are chiefly collected from plants cultivated in Hungary. But the rise in the price of foreign oil of Juniper berries since the outbreak of war has directed attention to the possible extended production of the oil either in Great Britain or Europe or Canada. Sunny slopes are likely to be the best places to cultivate the shrub for the berries. The yield of oil, however, varies considerably in different years.
The therapeutic properties of juniper oil are antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, depurative, diuretic, rubefacient, stimulating, stomachic, sudorific, vulnerary and tonic.