Juniperus communis L. represents a multi-purpose crop used in the pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic industry. Several studies present the possible medicinal properties of different Juniperus taxa native to specific geographical area. The present study aims to evaluate the genoprotective, antioxidant, antifungal and anti-inflammatory potential of hydroalcoholic extract of wild-growing Juniperus communis L. (Cupressaceae) native to Romanian southern sub-Carpathian hills.
The prepared hydroethanolic extract of Juniperus communis L. was characterized by GC-MS, HPLC, UV-Vis spectrometry and phytochemical assays. The antioxidant potential was evaluated using the DPPH assay, the antifungal effect was studied on Aspergillus niger ATCC 15475 and Penicillium hirsutum ATCC 52323, while the genoprotective effect was evaluated using the Allium cepa assay. The anti-inflammatory effect was evaluated in two inflammation experimental models (dextran and kaolin) by plethysmometry. Male Wistar rats were treated by gavage with distilled water (negative control), the microemulsion (positive control), diclofenac sodium aqueous solution (reference) and microemulsions containing juniper extract (experimental group). The initial paw volume and the paw volumes at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 24 h were measured.
Total terpenoids, phenolics and flavonoids were estimated to be 13.44 ± 0.14 mg linalool equivalent, 19.23 ± 1.32 mg gallic acid equivalent, and 5109.6 ± 21.47 mg rutin equivalent per 100 g of extract, respectively. GC-MS characterization of the juniper extract identified 57 volatile compounds in the sample, while the HPLC analysis revealed the presence of the selected compounds (α-pinene, chlorogenic acid, rutin, apigenin, quercitin). The antioxidant potential of the crude extract was found to be 81.63 ± 0.38% (measured by the DPPH method). The results of the antifungal activity assay (for Aspergillus niger and Penicillium hirsutum) were 21.6 mm, respectively 17.2 mm as inhibition zone. Test results demonstrated the genoprotective potential of J. communis undiluted extract, inhibiting the mitodepressive effect of ethanol. The anti-inflammatory action of the juniper extract, administered as microemulsion in acute-dextran model was increased when compared to kaolin subacute inflammation induced model.
The hydroalcoholic extract obtained from wild-growing Juniperus communis native to Romanian southern sub-Carpathian hills has genoprotective, antioxidant, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.