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Drugs and Health Products

Monograph: Juniper

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Date: 2008-04-21


Juniperus communis (USDA 2008)

Proper Name(s)

Juniperus communis L. (Cupressaceae) ( USDA 2008 )

Common Name(s)

Source Material

Fruit ( Bradley 2006 )

Route Of Administration


Dosage Form(s)

Those suited to the allowable route(s) of administration. This monograph is not intended to include food-like dosage forms such as bars, chewing gums or beverages.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)

Statement(s) to the effect of:



Preparation: Dry, Powder, Decoction & Infusion + All Non-Standardised Extracts

Dose(s): 0.3 - 12 Grams per day, dried fruit

See Appendix 1 for examples of appropriate dosage preparations and frequencies of use, according to cited references. The purpose of Appendix 1 is to provide guidance to industry.

Duration of use

Diuretic: For occasional use only  (Berardi et al. 2002, CPA 2002)
Urinary tract antiseptic: Consult a health care practitioner for use beyond 4 weeks  (ESCOP 2003, Brinker 2001)
Relief of digestive disturbances: Consult a health care practitioner for use beyond 4 weeks  (ESCOP 2003, Brinker 2001)
Aid digestion/stimulate appetite: Consult a health care practitioner for use beyond 4 weeks  (ESCOP 2003, Brinker 2001)

Risk Information

Statement(s) to the effect of:

Caution(s) and Warning(s):
  • Consult a health care practitioner if symptoms persist.
  • Consult a health care practitioner if symptoms worsen.
  • Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are breastfeeding  (Mills et al. 2006)


Known Adverse Reaction(s):
No statement is required

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current Natural Health Products Ingredients Database and must meet the limitations outlined in the database.


  • The finished product specifications must be established in accordance with the requirements described in the NHPD Quality of Natural Health Products Guide.
  • The medicinal ingredient must comply with the requirements outlined in the Natural Health Products Ingredient Database (NHPID).
  • The medicinal ingredient may comply with the specifications outlined in the Juniper Monographs published in the European or British Pharmacopoeias.

References cited

  • Berardi RR, DeSimone EM, Newton GD, Oszko MA, Popovich NG, Rollins CJ, Shimp LA, Tietze KJ, editors. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs: An Interactive Approach to Self-Care, 13th edition. Washington (DC): American Pharmaceutical Association; 2002.
  • Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, editors. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston (MA): Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.
  • Bradley PR, editor. British Herbal Compendium: A Handbook of Scientific Information on Widely Used Plant Drugs, Volume 2. Bournemouth (UK): British Herbal Medicine Association; 2006.
  • Brinker F. 2001. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, 3rd edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications.
  • CPA 2002: Canadian Pharmacists Association. Patient Self-Care. Helping Patients Make Therapeutic Choices. Ottawa (ON): Canadian Pharmacists Association; 2002.
  • ESCOP 2003: ESCOP Monographs: The Scientific Foundation for Herbal Medicinal Products, 2nd edition. Exeter (UK): European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy and Thieme; 2003.
  • Felter HW, Lloyd JU. 1983. King's American Dispensatory, Volume 2, 18th edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications [Reprint of 1898 original].
  • Grieve M. 1971. A Modern Herbal, Volume 1. New York (NY): Dover Publications [Reprint of 1931 Harcourt, Brace & Company publication].
  • Hoffmann D. 2003. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester (VT): Healing Arts Press.
  • McGuffin M, Kartesz JT, Leung AY, Tucker AO, editors. 2000. Herbs of Commerce, 2nd edition. Austin(TX): American Herbal Products Association.
  • Mills E, Dugoua J, Perri D, Koren G. Herbal Medicines in Pregnancy and Lactation: An Evidence-Based Approach. London (UK): Taylor and Francis Medical; 2006.
  • USDA 2008: ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville (MD). [Accessed 2008-01-21]. Available at
  • Wichtl M, editor. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals: A Handbook for Practice on a Scientific Basis, 3rd edition. Stuttgart (D): Medpharm GmbH Scientific Publishers; 2004.

References reviewed

  • Barnes J, Anderson LA, Philipson JD. 2007. Herbal Medicines, 3rd edition. London (GB): Pharmaceutical Press.
  • Robbers JE, Tyler VE. Tyler's Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals. New York, NY: The Haworth Herbal Press, 1999
  • Sanchez de Medina F, Gamez MJ, Jimenez I, Jimenez J, Osuna JI, Zarzuelo A. Hypoglycemic activity of Juniper berries. Planta Medica 1994; 60: 197-200.

Appendix 1: Examples of appropriate dosage preparations, frequencies of use and directions for use

Dried fruit:

  • 2-3 g, 3-4 times per day (Bradley 2006)
  • 2-10 g, per day (Blumenthal et al. 2000)


  • 2-3 g dried berry, 3-4 times per day (Bradley 2006; ESCOP 2003)
  • 2.5 g dried berry, 3 times per day (Hoffmann 2003)
  • 2-10 g dried berry, per day (Blumenthal et al. 2000)

Directions for use:

Pour 150-250 ml (1 cup) of boiling water over dried berry. Infuse for 20 minutes in a covered container (Hoffmann 2003; Blumenthal et al. 2000).
1 tsp = 2.5 g (Wichtl 2004)


  • 2-3 g dried equivalent, 3-4 times per day
    (1:1, 25% alcohol, 2-3 ml) (Bradley 2006)
  • 2-3 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day
    (1:1, 2-3 ml) (Blumenthal et al. 2000)


  • 0.2-0.4 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day
    1:5, 45% alcohol, 1-2 ml) (ESCOP 2003)
  • 0.1-0.2 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day
    (1:5, 40% alcohol, 0.5-1 ml) (Hoffmann 2003)