Juniperus communis L.: A review of volatile organic compounds of wild and cultivated common juniper in Lithuania

  • Asta Judžentienė
Keywords: Juniperus communis L., essential oils, α-pinene and its enantiomers, sabinene, myrcene, β-phellandrene, longifolene, longiborneol, β-caryophyllene and its oxide, 1-epi-cubenol, δ-cadinene, nootkatone


Juniper (Juniperus communis L.) is a common wild or cultivated plant, mainly distributed in the Northern hemisphere. The plant, being one of three natural conifers in the countries of the Baltic Sea region, grows separately or forms stands in Lithuania. It is an evergreen, long-lived shrub or a small tree. Juniper synthesizes various (quantitatively and qualitatively as well) volatile organic compounds depending on the plant origin, organ and developing stage. Essential oils are prepared from different parts of juniper. Juniper berries, the fruit of J. communis, perhaps the most valuable part of the plant, are rich in essential oils. Preparations of them are used traditionally in folk medicine and veterinary as antiseptic, diuretic, anti-helminthic, anti-fungicidal, anti-rheumatic, antibacterial, tonic and anti-inflammatory remedy. This paper reviews the published information concerning data on the chemical composition of essential oils obtained from various plant organs (sprouts, shouts, ripe and unripe berries, leaves, wood and bark) of junipers wild growing (or cultivated) in different localities in Lithuania. Alfa α-pinene is the most common constituent determined in Lithuanian juniper essential oils. This monoperpe hydrocarbon was evaluated as a predominant compound in most of investigated oils, obtained from juniper shoots, sprouts, needles and cones (both unripe and ripe ones).
Analytical Chemistry