Progress in Essential Oils
Juniper berry oil
There are seven varieties recognized for Juniperus communis L. They are: J. communis var. communis, J.
communis var. megistocarpa
Fernald et H. St. John, J. communis
var. depressa Pursh, J. communis
var. charlottensis R. P. Adams, J.
communis var. Jackii Rehdes, J.
communis var. saxatilis Pall. and J.
communis var. nipponica (Maxim.)
E. H. Wilson (Adams 2011).
The complexity associated with
the composition of juniper berry
oil is a combination of varietal
selection although most studies
were performed on berries from
J. communis var. communis and
the maturity of the berries used to
produce the oil. In addition, the oil
composition is also affected by the
other intrinsic conditions, as well
as the extrinsic conditions.
Currently, juniper berry
oils can be found originating
from Albania, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia,
France, Hungary, Italy and Turkey,
while studies on the potential for
commercial production of oil have
been conducted in Finland, Greece,
Lithuania, Montenegro, Norway,
Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia,
Serbia and Spain.
Juniper berries and their oils
are used in seasoning mixtures in
the food industry as flavorings in
marinades for meat and fish, as
well as in beverages such as tea,
beer and brandy (de Groot and
Schimdt, 2016). However, it is well
known that gin and genever could
not exist without juniper berries.
BY BRIAN M. LAWRENCE,