Tavares, W.R. & Seca, A.M.L. (2018) The current status of pharmaceutical potential of Juniperus L. metabolites. Medicines, 5(3), 1-24. DOI:10.3390/medicines5030081.
Background: Plants and their derived natural compounds possess various biological and therapeutic properties, which turns them into an increasing topic of interest and research. Juniperus genus is diverse in species, with several traditional medicines reported, and rich in natural compounds with potential for development of new drugs. Methods: The research for this review were based in the Scopus and Web of Science databases using terms combining Juniperus, secondary metabolites names, and biological activities. This is not an exhaustive review of Juniperus compounds with biological activities, but rather a critical selection taking into account the following criteria: (i) studies involving the most recent methodologies for quantitative evaluation of biological activities; and (ii) the compounds with the highest number of studies published in the last four years. Results: From Juniperus species, several diterpenes, flavonoids, and one lignan were emphasized taking into account their level of activity against several targets. Antitumor activity is by far the most studied, being followed by antibacterial and antiviral activities. Deoxypodophyllotoxin and one dehydroabietic acid derivative appears to be the most promising lead compounds. Conclusions: This review demonstrates the Juniperus species value as a source of secondary metabolites with relevant pharmaceutical potential.