Fresh plant press juice

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

All authors of this article

Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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pressed juice; Pressed juice; Succus

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Fresh plant press juices are naturally pure aqueous extracts from fresh plants, which contain all the active ingredients of a plant in their natural form.

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Fresh plant press juices are recognised as a separate group of medicines in naturopathy. They are described in Section 44(2) of the German Medicines Act (AMG) of 1976 as "pressed juices from fresh plants and parts of plants may be released for sale outside pharmacies provided they have been prepared without solvents other than water".

The regulatory status of individual pressed juices is inconsistent: some of the fresh plant pressed juices on the market are medicinal products with a marketing authorisation according to § 105 AMG, whose fields of application correspond to the specifications of the Commission-E or an ESCOP monograph.

In detail, the fresh plant or plant parts are washed, crushed and then cold or hot pressed. The pressed plant juice is centrifuged or filtered. In the case of hot pressing, the drug is first treated with steam and then filled into bottles. With cold pressing, there is no need to heat the drug plant. For preservation, the obtained pressed juice is either pasteurized (heated) and/or stabilized with alcohol (ethanol).

After opening the drug, the shelf life is limited. Depending on the type of storage (refrigeration is recommended), the shelf life is a few days.

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According to AM Beer, the following press juices have proven themselves (exemplary):

  • Artichoke (weakness of fat digestion, feeling of fullness, stimulation of bile production)
  • Valerian root (Valeriane radix) (restlessness, nervous disorders of falling asleep)
  • Betulae folium (birch leaves) (to increase diuresis, flushing therapy)
  • Urticae radix (nettle herb) (diuretic, flushing out)
  • Potentillae anserinae herba (silverweed) (antispasmodic, astringent, antidiarrhoeal)
  • Farfarae folium (hoof leaf) (soothing, anti-inflammatory: bronchial catarrh)
  • St. John's wort (calming, antidepressant: nervous exhaustion)
  • Taraxaci radix cum herba (dandelion root with herb) (choleric, diuretic, stimulates appetite)
  • Mistletoe see below Mistletoe preparations (blood pressure-regulating: for mild forms of hypertension)
  • Melissa (feeling of fullness, flatulence)
  • Echinaceae purpureae herba (purple coneflower) (immunomodulating, strengthening the immune system: recurrent infections of the upper respiratory tract and the urinary tract)
  • Millefolii herba/flos (pungent yarrow herb) (choleretic, antibacterial, astringent, spasmolytic: dyspeptic symptoms, loss of appetite)
  • Raphani sativi radix (black radish root) (stimulates secretion, promotes motility, antibacterial,: digestive disorders, catarrh of the upper airways)
  • Rosmarini folium (rosemary leaves) (support of the Hartz cycle function)
  • Plantaginis lanceolatae herba (ribwort herb) (soothing, antibacterial, astringent: liver dysfunction, catarrh of the upper respiratory tract)
  • Thymi herba (thymeherb ) (bronchospasmolytic, expectorant, antibacterial for diseases of the upper airways)
  • Crataegi folium cum flore (hawthorn leaves with flowers) (positively inotropic, increases coronary and myocardial blood flow: to strengthen the so-called old-age heart which is not yet in need of digitalis)
  • Onion (antibacterial, blood pressure lowering, inhibition of platelet aggregation)

Pregnancy/nursing period
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Restrictions for use by pregnant women, nursing mothers and children: The instructions for use must advise against "use in pregnancy and lactation because of insufficient research", although preparations made from medicinal plants have traditionally been used by pregnant and nursing women. The warning must be justified by the fact that there are no clinical studies proving its safety in pregnant and lactating women. A similar warning applies to applications in childhood and adolescence.

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Production process: The industrial production process begins in detail with the cleaning of the delivered fresh plant material and the removal of existing foreign components. The raw material is then crushed, treated with steam and pressed at pressures of up to 250 bar. The emerging fresh juice is centrifuged to remove suspended solids. HPLC investigations show that centrifugation removes mainly dietary fibre, but no secondary constituents described in the pharmacopoeia monograph of the respective plant. The fresh plant juice is then sterilized by means of ultra-hightemperature heating (up to 130 °C) and filled hot (about 85 °C) in sterile bottles. A long shelf life (depending on the product, the shelf life is 3-5 years) is essential for fresh plant press juices as they can only be produced at harvest time and many raw materials are only harvested once a year.

From "field to bottle": As only fresh plants and no dried drugs are used for the production of pressed juice, the plant material has to be cultivated or collected near the production site. The principle is that the pressed juices of plants ready for harvesting should be transferred from the "field to the bottle" in one day. This is to prevent microbiological decomposition of the raw material before production begins.

Shelf life: Due to the absence of preservatives, fresh plant press juices have a limited shelf life after opening. They must be kept in the refrigerator and consumed within 2-3 weeks.

Flavour Corrections: The "original" sometimes unpleasant taste of fresh plant press juices can be softened by mixing the drug with tea or fruit juice (currant juice).

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  1. Bauer R (1997) Standardization of Echinacea purpurea press juice to chicory acid and alkamides. Z Phytother 18: 270 - 276.
  2. Beer AM (2012) Fresh plant press juices, in: Beer AM u. Adler M. (Ed.) Leitfaden Naturheilverfahren für die ärztliche Praxis. Urban & Fischer Munich S.205-208
  3. Kraft K et al. (1997) Planning, execution and evaluation of application observations. Recommendations of the Society for Phytotherapy (GPHY) Pharm Ind 59: 755-759.

  4. Schilcher H (2010) Fresh plant press juices, in: Hoppe B (ed.). Handbook of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Production, Vol. 2. Bernburg p. 319 - 330.
  5. Wegener T (2009) Pressed juice from nettle herb - successful application in everyday practice. Z Phytother 30: 243 - 248.
  6. Winter Y et al (2009) Artichoke press juice successfully tested for gastrointestinal complaints. Z Phytother 30: 111 - 116.

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