Juniper berry (Juniperi fructus)

Published December 5, 1984.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)


Name of Drug

Juniperi fructus, juniper berry.

Composition of Drug

Juniper berry is the ripe, fresh or dried spherical ovulate cone ("berry") of Juniper communis L. [Fam. Cupressaceae], as well as its preparations in effective dosage. Juniper berry contains at least 1 percent (v/w) volatile oil in reference to the dried drug.

Main ingredients of the volatile oil are terpene hydrocarbons such as a-pinene, ß-pinene, myrcene, sabinene, thujone, and limonene. Also contained are sesquiterpene hydrocarbons such as caryophyllene, cadinene, and elemene and terpene alcohols such as 4-terpineol.

Furthermore, juniper berries contain flavonoid glycosides, tannins, sugar and resin- and wax-containing compounds.




Pregnancy and inflammation of the kidneys.

Side Effects

Prolonged usage or overdosing may cause kidney damage.

Interactions with Other Drugs

None known.


Unless otherwise prescribed:

Daily dose:

2 to a maximum of 10 g of the dried juniper fruit, corresponding to 20 - 100 mg of the essential oil. Mode of Administration Whole, crushed, or powdered drug for infusions and decoctions, alcohol extracts, and in wine. Essential oil. Liquid and solid medicinal forms only for oral application.

Warning: Combinations with other plant drugs in teas and similar preparations for treating bladder and kidney diseases may be helpful.


Animal experiments have shown an increase in urine excretion as well as a direct effect on smooth muscle contraction.