Juniper was widely used by Native Americans as a medicinal plant. It was used to treat colds, as a cough medicine or as an aid to respiratory ailments by creating various decoctions made from the needles, twigs, or bark. Among the Cree, a poultice was made from the bark and applied to wounds for its believed antiseptic properties.
Ceremonially, it is reported that the Cheyenne burned it as an incense to remove fear of thunder beings and also at childbirth to promote delivery. The Arapaho are said to have used a variety of juniper as a fragrance, grinding the needles for their scent.