Botanical Name Juniperus indica Bertol.
Synonyms Juniperus wallichiana Hook.f. & Thomas. ex Brandis
Family Cupressaceae
Local Name Dhupi
English Name Juniper, Black Juniper

Plant Description

Juniper Berry (Juniperus indica) is a large temporary shrub or small tree whose ultimate branchlets are densely arranged, straight, and usually four-angled. Leaves are both scale-like and awl-like- or needle-like; awl-like leaves (3mm), awl-like leaves (3mm), spreading, present on lower branches; scale-like leaves less than l.5mm, overlapping in four ranks, present on terminal branches.

Seed cone ovoid, 6–13 mm, erect, greenish-brown when young, and later turns blue. Fruiting occurs from May to August. Juniper berry essential oils are one of the most advantageous plants.

Juniperus berry (Juniperus indica) is a Sinu-Japanese element that we can find throughout Nepal within the altitude range of 3300m to 4500m. It prefers open, rocky slopes and sometimes forms pure forests in lower sub-alpine regions.


Juniper berry essential oil is extracted from the steam distillation of leaves, aerial twigs, and berries of Juniperus indica. The yield percentage of Juniper oil ranged from 0.8% to 1.6% in fruits and 0.27% to 0.8% in berries on a fresh weight basis.


Traditionally, fruits and leaves are used in kidney disorders, skin diseases, fever, colds, coughs, and wounds. Leaves are used in diarrhea, constipation, and asthma and are regarded as beneficial to the heart and to relax the mind. Leaves and twigs are highly praised as incense in the monasteries.

Juniper essential oil is an important natural product used directly in fragrance compounding. The oil is used to scent medicinal preparations and in cosmetic products such as soaps, disinfectants, perfumery, etc.

This essential oil is extensively used in many food products, including alcoholic and soft drinks. Juniper berry essential oil is used to flavor the alcoholic beverage 'Gin'. The oil is found to have diuretic and antiseptic properties.

Organoleptic Properties

Appearance: A mobile liquid
Colour: Pale yellow
Aroma: Sweet, fresh,wood balsamic odour.

Active Constituents

Juniper berry oil: Sabinene (19.4-31.3%), (Thujone 25.8%), terpinen-4-ol (3.7-13%), trans-sabinyl acetate (7.6- 24.3%), a-pinene, camphene, myrcene, α-pellandrene, α -terpinene, γ -terpinene, 1,4-cineol, bornyl acetate, and caryophyllene are identified as the major constituents in the Juniper berry oil.

Physico-Chemical Properties

Specific gravity 0.8563 to 0.8731 at 23° C?>
Optical rotation [-] 22° to [-]41.7° at 23° C?>
Refractive index 1.481 to 1.899 at 23°C?>
Acid number 0.5 to 2.5
Ester number 3.06 to 20
Ester number 40 to 65 (after acetylation) (after acetylation)
Solubility Due to altitudinal and regional variation some oils are soluble in 95% alcohol and some are not

Conservation Status

It is listed as lower risk/least concerned species under the IUCN red list.