Juniper Berries

Asked October 23, 2014, 6:44 PM EDT

I have recently moved to Oregon and found a recipe that calls for Juniper Berries My home backs onto BLM land and I have a number of wild Junipers out my back door (not planted by man, non-ornamental) Are these berries edible?

Deschutes County Oregon food safety food preparation

1 Response

Juniper berries have been used for medicinal purposes by native Americans and others. They can be toxic and some people are allergic to them. They are sometimes used as flavoring in very small amounts. Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis‎) is found in central and eastern Oregon, and those berries are edible.

I would only recommend using them in small amounts and avoid adding them to foods that are consumed by people in the at risk group especially pregnant women.

You might check for sure with the Forestry Department in the Deschutes County Extension Office to see if your type of Juniper berries edible.

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Nellie Oehler