Botanical name Juniperus communis L.
Processing Method Steam Distillation
Color/Consistency A thin, colorless to pale yellow liquid.
Aromatic Summary / Note / Strength of Aroma A middle note with a medium aroma, Juniper Berry has a fresh, rich, balsamic scent reminiscent of pine needles.
Juniper berries are a spice used in a wide variety of culinary dishes and best known for the primary flavor. Juniper is a coniferous evergreen shrub that belongs to the pine family and is commonly found on heaths and mountains in Europe, North America, and Southwest Asia. Juniper berries Known as a powerful detoxifier and immune system booster. Juniper berries themselves are high in flavonoid and polyphenol antioxidants that have strong free radical scavenging abilities. It is high in flavonoids and antioxidants so it fights against free radical damage.
Juniper berries, including Juniperus phoenicea and junipers oxycedrus have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs at multiple sites. J. oxycedrus is not known to grow in Egypt, and neither is juniperus excelsa, which was found along with J. oxycedrus in the tomb of tutankhamun.The berries imported into Egypt may have come from Greece; the Greeks record using juniper berries as a medicine long before mentioning their use in food.
The berries are green when young, and mature to a purple-black color over about 18 months. The berries are plucked from the branches of the plant once a year, and dried and ground before distillation. They have traditionally been used as an aromatic aid to meditation, and had remedial applications.
It should be avoided during pregnancy and by those who have kidney problems, and it should always be used in low concentrations.
Manoyl oxide tr–15.8%
a-Terpinyl acetate 0–5.4%
Isopulegyl acetate 0–2.9%
Linalyl acetate 0–2.0%
Hazards Skin sensitization if oxidized.
Cautions Old or oxidized oils should be avoided.
Our safety advice
Because of its high a-pinene content we recommend that oxidation of Juniperus communis L oil is avoided by storage in a dark, airtight container in a refrigerator. The addition of an antioxidant to preparations containing it is recommended.
Adverse skin reactions Undiluted Juniperus communis L oil was moderately irritating to rabbits; tested at 1% on 25 volunteers it was neither irritating nor sensitizing. No phototoxic effects were produced in mice or swine. Autoxidation products of a-pinene can cause skin sensitization.
Acute toxicity Phoenician juniper oil acute oral LD50 in rats >5 g/kg; acute dermal LD50 in rabbits >5 g/kg.
Carcinogenic/anticarcinogenic potential No information was found for Juniperus communis L oil, but it contains no known carcinogens.
Juniperus communis L oil is sometimes confused with savin oil.