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Family Cuppressaceae
Juniperus chinensis L.
Yuan bai

Scientific names Common names
Juniperus barbadensis Thunb. [Illegitimate] Chinese juniper (Engl.)
Juniperus cabiancae Vis. Chinese pyramid juniper (Engl.)
Juniperus cernua Roxb. Juniper (Engl.)
Juniperus chinensis L.  
Juniperus dimorpha Roxb.  
Juniperus flagelliformis Loudon  
Juniperus fortunei Carriére  
Juniperus gaussenii W.C.Cheng  
Juniperus jacobii Beissn.  
Juniperus japonica var. pyramidalis Carriére  
Juniperus keteleeri (Beissn.) Prop.-Giesel.  
Juniperus reevesiana Endl.  
Juniperus shepherdii Beissn.  
Juniperus sphaerica Lindl.  
Juniperus struthiacea Knight  
Juniperus thunbergii Hook. & Arn.  
Juniperus virginica Thunb.  
Sabina cabiancae (Vis.) Antoine  
Sabina chinensis (L.) Antoine  
Sabina dimorpha (Roxb.) Antoine  
Sabina gaussenii (W,C.Cheng) W.C.Cheng & W.T. Wang  
Sabina sphaerica (Lindl.) Antoine  
Sabina struthiacea (Knight) Antoine  
Juniperus chinensis L. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CZECH: Jalovec cinsky.
DUTCH: Chinese jeneverbes.
FRENCH: genévrier de Chine.
GERMANY: China-Wacholder, Chinesische Wacholder, Chinesischer Sadebaum.
HUN: Kínai boróka.
JAPAN: Ibuki, Ibuki-byakyshin, Byakushin, Kamakura-byakushin.
KOREA: Kong nam somg, Hyang-na-mu.
RUSSIAN: Mozhzhevel'nik kitajskij plakuchij.
SPANISH: Sabina de China, Sabina de jardin.

Juniper is a dioceious evergreen tree growing to a height of 15 to 20 meters. Leavers are opposite and obtuse, dark green, needle-like and spiny when young, adult ones are scale-like. Female cones are subglobose, 5 centimeters in diameter, with 2 seeds.

- Cultivated and grows well in Baguio gardens.
- Does not thrive well the in lowlands.
- Widespread in temperate countries.
- Native to northeast Asia. Found in China, Mongolia, Japan, and Korea.

-Studies have yielded sterols (sitosterol, campesterol), lignins, polyprenols (buttuprenol), hydrocarbons, polyphenols, essential oils (sabinyl acetate, bornyl acetate), monoterpenes, and fatty acids.
- Study of leaf volatile oil yielded thirty-three components. Major components were sabinene (19.8%), elemol (18.6%), bornyl acetate (17.5%), and limonene (14.2%).
- An n-BuOH fraction of heartwood yielded quercetin, naringenin, taxifolin, aromadendrin, and isoquercitrin. (see study below) (6)

- Heartwood yielded a bisnorditerpene, 14 diterpenes, and 12 sesquiterpenes, together with a new diterpene (15-hydroxylabda-8(17),11E,13E-trien-19-oic acid), and three new sesquiterpenes (cedr-3-en-15-01, junipercedrol and cc-longipinen-12-01).
- Leaves yielded umbelliferone, 13 lignans, and an unusual compound 2-(3,4 methylenedioxyphenyl) propane-1,3-diol.
- Study of heartwood yielded five new cis-Himachalane-type sesquiterpenes from J. chinensis var. tsukusiensis: ar-hi- machalene (1), 2-himachalen-6-ol (2), 3-himachalen-6-ol (3), 2a,6a-epoxy-3-himachalene (4), 2a,6a-epoxyhi- machalan-3b-ol (5), and chinensiol (6).
- GC-MS analysis evaluated the essential oil constituents of needles, twigs, and berries of J. chinensis from Korea. Essential oil yield by steam distillation were 0.34, 0.11, and 0.12% v/w, respectively. The plant parts yielded 36 different compounds, which were mostly monoterpene hydrocarbons (42.05-49.15%), followed by oxygenated monoterpenes (28.53-39.92%). Of the 36 components, 17 were identified in all three essential oils, of which major components were bornyl acetate (2.85 - 20.70%), sabinene (10.23 - 18.13%), α-pinene (5.80 - 16.26%), terpinen-4-ol (5.98 - 31.10%), limonene (3.98 - 6.96%), β-pinene (3.05 - 4.39%), γ-terpinene (2.24 - 8.36%), α-elemol (1.74 - 4.77%) and α-cadinol (2.49 - 3.39%). (15)
- Study of bark yielded a new labdane-type diterpene, methyl 14,15-dihydroxy-8(17),12E-labdadien-19-oate (1a), along with nine known compounds, trans-communic acid, cis-communic acid, 15,16-bisnor-13-oxo-8(17),11E-labdadien-19-oic acid, sandaracopimaric acid, 7-oxosandaracopimaric acid, sugiol, 7-oxototarol, α-cedrol and β-sitosteryl-1-O-β-glucopyranoside. (16)

- A popular Korean folk medicine considered anti-tumor, antibacterial, antifungal, abortifacient, anti-platelet, vasorelaxant, and antiviral.
- Studies have suggested antiobesity, antioxidant, antiproliferative, apoptotic activities.

Parts used
Stems, fruits, leaves, roots.


- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In China, used for common colds, pulmonary tuberculosis, urinary infections, rheumatic arthritis. Liquor brewed from fresh leaves is used as tonic and to treat coughs with bleeding.
- In Korea, used for dysentery, hemorrhage, leukorrhea.
- Stems used in treatment of parasitic skin problems.
- Fruit used for convulsions, excessive sweating and hepatitis.
- Root used for burns and scalds.
- Resin, mixed with resin of Pinus species, used as resolvent on tumors.

Anti-Metastatic / Galectin-3 Inhibition:
Study evaluated the anti-metastatic effect of J. chinensis extract in a mouse model bearing colon 26-M3.1 lung carcinoma. The extract showed significant anti-metastatic activity. Results show J. chinensis to be a potent inhibitor of galectin-3 expression, and presents a promise for use in inhibiting metastases induced by elevated expression of galectin-3. (3)
Anti-Obesity Effect: Study evaluated the protective effect of J. chinensis hot water extract against high fat diet-induced obesity and its molecular mechanisms in the visceral adipose tissue of rats. Results showed an anti-obesity effect in the rodent model with HFD-induced obesity through an enhanced gene transcription of the uncoupling protein as well as elected AMPK protein expression and phosphorylation in the visceral adipose tissue.(4)
Leaf Volatile Oil: Study of leaf volatile oil yielded thirty-three components representing 94.8% of the oil. Major components were sabinene (19.8%), elemol (18.6%), bornyl acetate (17.5%), and limonene (14.2%).
Free Radical Scavenging: Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of J. chinensis heartwood using DPPH assay. A methanolic extract of heartwood showed strong antioxidant activity, with a BuOH soluble fraction showing stronger antioxidant activity. (6)
Widdrol / Anti-Cancer / Antiproliferative / Apoptotic: Study reported the cytotoxic activity and the apoptotic activity of widdrol extracted from J. chinensis against the human colon adenocarcinoma cell line HT29. Treatment of HT29 cells with various concentrations of widdrol showed inhibition of growth and dose-dependent induction of apoptosis. (9)
• Natural Dye / Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis / Heartwood: Study evaluated the potential of the methanol extract of Juniper chinensis heartwood as natural dye for the treatment of atopic dermatitis induced in NC/Nga AD mice model by topical administration of DNCB. The heartwood extract improved skin lesions as evidenced by decreased epidermal thickness and mast cell count. Results suggest potential application as natural dye for treatment of AD. (13)
• CBT-143-S-F6F7 / Antiangiogenic / Antihepatocellular Carcinoma: A screening study of a panel of plants found that J. chinensis exhibited antiangiogenic and anti-HCC activities. The active ingredient CBT-143-S-FgF7 was investigated both in vivo and in vitro. Results showed significant antiangiogenic activity in various assays, including HUVEC tube formation and migration, CAM, and Matrigel plug assays. In vivo assays showed significant repression of subcutaneous Huh7 tumor growth and prolonged survival of .tumor bearing mice. Study suggests further evaluation of CBT-143-S-F6F7 as a new anti-HCC drug. (14)
• Antimalarial: Study investigated the anti-malarial activity of J. chinensis by in vitro and in vivo systems using Plasmodium falcifarum chloroquine-sensitive (3D7) and PF chloroquine-resistant (S20) strains. According to cytotoxicity test on NIH 3T3 cells, the EtOH and EtOAc fraction and aqueous fraction possessed significant antimalarial activity against both 3D7 and S20 strains with IC50s of 37 + 2 µg/ml and 36 ± 6 µg/ml. In animal testing using PF infected human erythrocytes, the EtOAc fractions significantly inhibited parasitaemia in mice in a dose dependent manner. (18)
• Tick and Aedes aegypti Larvae Repellent / Wood Oil: Study of J. chinensis wood oil yielded cuparene (11.3%) and delta-pinene (27.0%) as major components. The oil showed repellency against lone star tick, Brambly americanum (0.917 mg oil/cm2) and mild ability to kill Ae. aegypti larvae at 80 and 100% at 125 and 250 ppm, respectively. (19)

- Wild-crafted.
- Cultivated.
- Seeds in the cybermarket.

Updated March 2019
March 2013

IMAGE SOURCE: File:Jun chin shoot.jpg / Juniperus chinensis shoot, showing juvenile (needle-like) leaves, adult scale leaves, and immature male cones / MPF at en.wikipedia / 2004.09.30 / Creative Commons Attribution / Wikipedia Click on graphic to see original image
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Juniperus chinensis var. procumbens / Juniperus chinensis shoot, showing juvenile (needle-like) leaves, adult scale leaves, and immature male cones / Kenpei / 25 Nov 2006 / GNU Free Documentation License / Wikipedia Click on graphic to see original image

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Juniperus chinensis
/ Common names / Conifer Database / Catalogue of Life: 2012
Juniperus chinensis / Chinese names and synonyms / Catalogue of Life, China
Anti-Metastatic Activity of Juniperus chinensis Extract by Galectin-3 Inhibition / Lee, Keyong Ho ; Rhee, Ki-Hyeong / The Korean Journal of Food And Nutrition, Volume 25, Issue ,4, 2012, pp.713-718
Anti-obesity effects of Juniperus chinensis extract are associated with increased AMP-activated protein kinase expression and phosphorylation in the visceral adipose tissue of rats. / Kim SJ, Jung JY, Kim HW, Park T. / Biol Pharm Bull., 2008 July; 31(7): pp 1415-1421.
Essential oil composition of Juniperus chinensis from the plains of northern India / V. K. Raina, S. K. Srivastava, K. V. Syamsundar / Flavour and Fragrance Journal, Dec 2004; 20(1): pp 57-59 / DOI:10.1002/ffj.1366
Free radical scavengers from the heartwood of Juniperus chinensis. / Lim JP, Song YC, Kim JW, Ku CH, Eun JS, Leem KH, Kim DK. / Arch Pharm Res., 2002 Aug; 25(4): pp 449-452 / DOI: 10.1007/bf02976600
LIGNANS FROM LEAVES OF JUNIPERUS CHINENSIS / JIM-MIN FANG, CHING-KUO LEE and Yu-SHIA CHENG* / PhytochemistryV,ol. 31, No. 10, pp. 3659 -3661, 1992
Widdrol from Juniperus chinensis induces apoptosis in human colon adenocarcinoma HT29 Cells
/ Hyun-Ju Kwon, Eun-Woo Lee, Yun-Kyung Hong, Hee-Jung Yun, Byung-Woo Kim / Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering, February 2010, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 167-172
Five New cis-Himachalane-Type Sesquiterpenes from the Heartwood of Juniperus chinensis var. tsukusiensis
/ Lung-Lin SHIU, Wen-Ching CHEN, and Yueh-Hsiung KUO* / Chem. Pharm. Bull. 47(4) 557—560 (1999)
Northeast Asia / Juniperus chinensis / / Takeatsu Kimura / Google Books
Juniperus chinensis / Plants For A Future
A study on natural dye having the effects on the atopic dermatitis — Juniperus chinensisheartwood extract / Ki Yeon Nam, Young Eun Go, Sun Young Lee, Jung Soon Lee / Fivers and Polymers, Dec 2013; 14(12): pp 2045-2053
Antiangiogenic and antihepatocellular carcinoma activities of the Juniperus chinensis extract / , , and BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2016; 16:277 / https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-016-1250-6
Comparative analysis of the composition of essential oils from the needles, twigs and berries of Juniperus chinensis L. in Korea / Kandhasamy Sowndhararajan, Min Seo, Songmun Kim / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science, August 2016; 6(8): pp 122-126 / DOI: 10.7324/JAPS.2016.60819
A new labdane-type diterpene from the bark of Juniperus chinensis Linn. / Chi-I Chang, Wen-Ching Chen, Yi-Yuan Shao, Guey-Ru Yeh, Ning-Sun Yang, Wenchang Chiang et al / Natural Product Research, 2008; 22(13) / https://doi.org/10.1080/14786410601132444
Juniperus chinensis / Synonyms / The Plant List
In vitro Anti-malarial Activity of Juniperus Chinensis Extract
/ Lee, K.H., Kim, B.S., Choe, Y.H., Rhee, K.H. / Korean Journal of Pharmacognosy, Sept 2012; 43(3): pp 239-242 / DOI: http://dx.doi.org
Activity of Cupressus funebris, Juniperus communis, and J. chinensis (Cupressaceae) Essential Oils as Repellents against Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) and as Repellents and Toxicants against Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) / N Tabanca, DE Wedge, JF Carroll, M Kramer, NM Elejalde, UR Bernier, M Coy, JJ Becnel, B Demirci, KHC Baser, J Zhang, S Zhang  / Planta Med 2011; 77 / DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1273571

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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