Health Care Professional Information

Scientific Name
Chrysanthemum morifolium, Chrysanthemum sinense, Chrysanthemum japonense
Common Name

Mum, ju hua, chu hua

Clinical Summary

Derived from the flower and aerial parts of the plant, Chrysanthemum is used commonly in traditional Chinese medicine to treat hypertension, angina, and fever. In vitro and animal studies indicate cytotoxic (10)(12), anti-inflammatory (13), immunomodulatory (14), and neuroprotective (9) (11) properties. Chrysanthemum was also shown to reverse multidrug resistance in human breast cancer cells (15); and topical application was found effective against atopic dermatitis in mice (16).
Clinical trials have yet to be conducted to determine these effects in humans.

Chrysanthemum is one of the eight components of PC-SPES, an herbal formulation used in trials of prostate cancer.

Purported Uses
  • Angina
  • Common cold
  • Fever
  • Hypertension
Constituents
  • Essential oils: Bornol
  • Alkaloids: Stachydrine
  • Sesquiterpenes: Alantolactone
  • Glycosides: Acacetin-7-rhamnoglucose, cosmosin, acacetin-7-glucose, diosmetin-7-glucose
  • Flavonoids: luteolin-7-O-beta-D-glucoside and apigenin-7-O-beta-D-glucoside
  • Other compounds: Adenine, choline, camphor
    (8)
Mechanism of Action

In vitro studies indicate that chrysanthemum has cytotoxic (4) and antibacterial (6) properties. Extracts of chrysanthemum showed no effect on insulin levels (7). In a study of mice, chrysanthemum significantly decreased serum IgE, IgG1, IL-4, and IFN-γ levels and reduced mRNA levels of IFN-γ, IL-4, and IL-13 in dorsal skin lesion (16).

Chrysanthemum was shown to reverse multidrug resistance in human breast cancer (MCF-7/ADR) cells via an increase in Rh123 accumulation and a decrease of Rh123 efflux indicating a blockage of the activity of P-gp (15). In another study, chrysanthemum induced apoptosis in various tumor cells via inhibition of the JAK1/2 and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling pathways (12).

Pharmacokinetics

A study done in rats showed that Luteolin and Apigenin reached the peak level at 1.1 and 3.9 hours following oral administration of 200mg/kg of Chrysanthemum morifolium extract (CME). Both the compounds were completely excreted in 72 hours after ingestion of CME.
(8)

Contraindications

Patients with allergy to ragweed should avoid this herb.

Adverse Reactions

Reported: Contact dermatitis, hypersensitivity reaction, photosensitivity.
(2) (3)

Herb-Drug Interactions

Antihypertensive drugs: Theoretically, chrysanthemum may have an additive hypotensive effect.
Cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 substrates: Chrysanthemum extract induces CYP3A4 by activating pregnane X receptor (PXR). This may increase the clearance of substrate drugs when used concomitantly (17).

Literature Summary and Critique

Clinical studies have not been performed with chrysanthemum.

Dosage (Inside MSKCC Only)
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References
  1. Huang KC. The Pharmacology of Chinese Herbs, 2nd Ed. New York: CRC Press; 1999.
  2. Sharma SC, Tanwar RC, Kaur S. Contact dermatitis from chrysanthemums in India. Contact Dermatitis. 1989;21:69-71.
  3. Kuno Y, Kawabe Y, Sakakibara S. Allergic contact dermatitis associated with photosensitivity, from alantolactone in a chrysanthemum farmer. Contact Dermatitis. 1999;40:224-5.
  4. Ukiya M, et al. Constituents of Compositae plants III. Anti-tumor promoting effects and cytotoxic activity against human cancer cell lines of triterpene diols and triols from edible chrysanthemum flowers. Cancer Lett. 2002;177:7-12.
  5. Lee JR, et al. A new guaianolide as apoptosis inhibitor from Chrysanthemum boreale. Planta Med. 2001;67:585-7.
  6. Urzua A, Mendoza L. Antibacterial activity of fresh flower heads of Chrysantemum coronarium. Fitoterapia. 2003;74(6):606-8.
  7. Hussain Z, Waheed A, Qureshi RA, Burdi DK, Verspol EJ, Khan N, Hasan M. The effect of medicinal plants of Islamabad and Murree region of Pakistan on insulin secretion from INS-1 cells. Phytother Res. 2004;18(1):73-7.
  8. Chen T, Li L, Lu XY, et al. Absorption and excretion of luteolin and apigenin in rats after oral administration of Chrysanthemum morifolium extract. J Agric Food Chem. 2007;55:273-77.
  9. Kim IS, Koppula S, Park PJ, et al. Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat (CM) extract protects human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells against MPP+-induced cytotoxicity. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Dec 10;126(3):447-54.
  10. Xie YY, Yuan D, Yang JY, Wang LH, Wu CF. Cytotoxic activity of flavonoids from the flowers of Chrysanthemum morifolium on human colon cancer Colon205 cells. J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2009 Sep;11(9):771-8.
  11. Kim IS, Koppula S, Park PJ, et al. Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat (CM) extract protects human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells against MPP+-induced cytotoxicity. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Dec 10;126(3):447-54.
  12. Kim C, Kim MC, Kim SM, et al. Chrysanthemum indicum L. extract induces apoptosis through suppression of constitutive STAT3 activation in human prostate cancer DU145 cells. Phytother Res. 2013 Jan;27(1):30-8.
  13. Lee do Y, Choi G, Yoon T, et al. Anti-inflammatory activity of Chrysanthemum indicum extract in acute and chronic cutaneous inflammation. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 May 4;123(1):149-54.
  14. Cheng W, Li J, You T, Hu C. Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities of the extracts from the inflorescence of Chrysanthemum indicum Linné. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Oct 3;101(1-3):334-7.
  15. Yang L, Wei DD, Chen Z, Wang JS, Kong LY. Reversal of multidrug resistance in human breast cancer cells by Curcuma wenyujin and Chrysanthemum indicum. Phytomedicine. 2011 Jun 15;18(8-9):710-8.
  16. Park S, Lee JB, Kang S. Topical Application of Chrysanthemum indicum L. Attenuates the Development of Atopic Dermatitis-Like Skin Lesions by Suppressing Serum IgE Levels, IFN-γ, and IL-4 in Nc/Nga Mice. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:821967
  17. Xu Y, Zhang Y, Zhou F, et al. Human pregnane X receptor-mediated transcriptional regulation of CYP3A4 by extracts of 7 traditional Chinese medicines. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2011 Jun;36(11):1524-7.

Consumer Information

How It Works

Bottom Line: Chrysanthemum has not been shown to treat or prevent cancer.

Chrysanthemum has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, but very little laboratory research has been conducted. It is thought that the flower causes dilation of the coronary arteries and therefore increases blood flow to the heart, but this effect has not been clearly documented in humans. The mechanism underlying its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and fever-reducing activities is not known. Some studies indicate that chrysanthemum extracts can kill cancer cells in the laboratory setting, but it is not known whether this effect occurs in the human body.

Purported Uses
  • To treat angina
    Chrysanthemum is used to treat angina in traditional Chinese medicine, but research has not been conducted.
  • To prevent and treat common cold
    Although chrysanthemum is used to treat the common cold in traditional Chinese medicine, it has not been studied in humans.
  • To reduce fever
    Chrysanthemum is used as a fever reducer in traditional Chinese medicine but human data are lacking.
  • To reduce high blood pressure
    Although chrysanthemum is used to treat high blood pressure in traditional Chinese medicine, clinical studies have not been conducted.
Research Evidence

No clinical studies have tested chrysanthemum in humans.

Chrysanthemum is one of the components in PC-SPES, which has been used against prostate cancer in clinical trials.

Do Not Take If
  • You are allergic to ragweed.
  • You are taking medication to lower your blood pressure (In theory, chrysanthemum may have an additive effect; use with caution).
Side Effects
  • Contact dermatitis (redness, swelling, and itching of the skin)
  • Hypersensitivity reaction
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight and chance of getting a sunburn
Special Point
  • Chrysanthemum may cause increased sensitivity to light. Patients undergoing radiation therapy should use this herb with caution.
E-mail your questions and comments to aboutherbs@mskcc.org.