Yield, Chemical Composition and Bioactivity of Essential Oils from Common Juniper (Juniperus communis L.) from Different Spanish Origins uri icon


  • Essential oils (EOs) obtained from Juniperus communis L. are frequently used in the production of bioproducts. However, there are no studies regarding industrial crops' production, allowing for better control of the quality and production of juniper EOs. To select the plant material for developing future crops of this species in northern Spain, four locations where this shrub species grows in the wild were selected and samples of both genera were collected. The EOs were obtained by steam distillation, and their chemical composition and bioactivity were evaluated. The results showed that the yield of EOs from male and female samples were within the usual reported ranges, varying between 0.24 and 0.58% (dry basis, d.b.). However, limonene content in three locations varied between 15 and 25%, which is between 100% and 200% higher than the values usually reported for other European countries. The antibacterial activity was determined by broth microdilution and showed that gram-positive bacteria were more susceptible to the tested EOs since, in general, lower MIC values were obtained compared to gram-negatives. The EOs from location 1 (L1F) and 2 (L2M) inhibited the growth of six out of the eight clinical strains tested. Samples from location 1 were particularly effective, exhibiting MBC against two gram-negative (E. coli and P. mirabilis) and one gram-positive bacteria (E. faecalis). Moreover, the majority of the EOs tested showed anti-inflammatory activity. Cytotoxic effect has been demonstrated in tumor cell lines, with the best results observed against gastric carcinoma (AGS) cells (GI(50) between 7 to 77 mu g/mL). Although generally presenting higher GI50, most samples also inhibited the growth of non-tumoral cells, particularly hepatocytes (PLP2 cells). Therefore, its use for their anti-proliferative activity should consider specific conditions to avoid damaging normal cells. Finally, the results and conclusions obtained led to the selection of the female shrubs from location 1 (L1F) as the plant material to be propagated in order to produce plants for a future juniper crop.

publication date

  • January 1, 2023