Common Names

  • Mum
  • Ju hua
  • Chu hua
  • Gujulcho
  • Kikuka

For Patients & Caregivers

How It Works

Chrysanthemum has not been shown to treat or prevent cancer.

Chrysanthemum is a flowering plant from the sunflower family. It has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, but little research has been conducted. Lab studies suggest it may be useful to develop as a therapy for bone diseases and diabetes. Some studies indicate that chrysanthemum extracts can kill cancer cells in the lab, but it is not known whether this effect occurs in the human body.

Patients receiving drugs to suppress the immune system should avoid this botanical as it may increase the adverse effects associated with these drugs.

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.
  • To reduce inflammation
    Laboratory studies suggest a variety of properties in chrysanthemum, including anti-inflammatory effects, but human studies are lacking.
Do Not Take If
  • You are taking drugs to suppress the immune system: A kidney transplant recipient who drank a tea that contained chrysanthemum was found to have toxic blood levels of these drugs, and lab analysis confirmed chrysanthemum was likely a contributing factor.
  • You are taking Cytochrome P450 3A4 or P-glycoprotein substrate drugs: Chrysanthemum may alter their effects.
  • You are allergic to ragweed.
Side Effects
  • Redness, swelling, and itching of the skin
  • Allergic reaction
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight and chance of getting a sunburn

Case Reports
Skin rash:
With occupational exposures to chrysanthemum.
Toxic blood levels of immunosuppressive medications: In a kidney transplant recipient, that occurred after consumption of a “24-flavours” tea. It was determined that one of the key compounds in the tea, chrysanthemum, inhibits the enzyme that metabolizes these drugs.

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For Healthcare Professionals

Scientific Name
Chrysanthemum morifolium, Chrysanthemum sinense, Chrysanthemum japonense, Chrysanthemum zawadskii Chrysanthemum indicum, Chrysanthemum zawadskii, Chrysanthemum boreale, Chrysanthemum coronarium
Clinical Summary

Chrysanthemum is a perennial flowering plant from the Asteraceae family that is native to Asia and northeastern Europe. The flower and aerial parts of many species are used in traditional medicine to treat hypertension, angina, fever, and various inflammatory diseases.

In vitro and animal studies indicate cytotoxic (4) (10) (12) , antioxidant (18) (19) (20), antibacterial (6) (21) (22), anti-inflammatory (13) (23), immunomodulatory (14) , antiosteoporotic (24) (25) (26), and neuroprotective (9) (11) properties. Various species also have antidiabetic (27) (28) (29) (30) (31) (32), antihyperlipidemic (33), and anti-atherosclerotic (34) effects.

In laboratory studies, Chrysanthemum reversed multidrug resistance in human breast cancer cells (15) . This botanical or its constituents have also displayed anti-angiogenic (35) and antiproliferative activities (20) (36) (37). In animal models, C. morifolium displayed benefits against cachexia (38). Clinical trials have yet to be conducted to determine these effects in humans.

Purported Uses
  • Angina
  • Common cold
  • Fever
  • Hypertension
  • Inflammation
Mechanism of Action

Antioxidant effects have been attributed to various constituents, including phenolic compounds and chlorogenic acids (18) (38) (39). Anti-inflammatory mechanisms include inhibition of nitric oxide production and tumor necrosis factor-alpha secretion (40). In vitro, anti-osteoporotic activity of phenolic and flavonoid compounds from C. indicum flowers was linked to tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) activity (26). Another C. indicum extract inhibited formation of TRAP-positive mature osteoclasts, disrupted bone resorption, and enhanced primary osteoblast differentiation via upregulation of alkaline phosphatase expression and extracellular calcium concentrations (25). A C. zawadskii ethanol extract inhbited osteoclastogenesis through suppression of ERK activation and other mechanisms to negatively regulate osteoclast differentiation. In diabetes-associated bone disease, C. zawadskii attenuation of dRib-induced cell damage in MC3T3-E1 osteoblastic cells was attributed to antioxidant activity and effects on differentiation related to bone recovery (30).

In animal models, handelin from C. boreale produced anti-inflammatory effects that were linked to downregulation of NF-kappaB signaling and pro-inflammatory cytokine production (23). A polyphenol-rich C. morifolium extract inhibited hyperlipidemic fatty liver in mice through the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-alpha-mediated pathway (33). 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 lesions (16) .

Chrysanthemum reversed multidrug resistance in human breast cancer cells via inhibition of P-glycoprotein activity (15) . It induced apoptosis in various tumor cells via inhibition of JAK1/2 and STAT3 signaling pathways (12) . Antiproliferative effects in lung cancer cells were attributed to suppression of the Akt-dependent signaling pathway by the constituent linarin (37). In animal models, C. morifolium demonstrated anti-cachectic effects by acting as a PPAR-gamma ligand that attenuated skeletal muscle changes in tumor-bearing mice (38).

  • Patients with allergy to ragweed should avoid this herb (2) .
  • Transplant patients should avoid this botanical, as it may increase the blood levels of, and risk of toxicity from, immunosuppressive agents (41) (42).
Adverse Reactions

Contact dermatitis, hypersensitivity reaction, photosensitivity (2) (3)

Case Reports
Airborne dermatitis: With occupational exposures to chrysanthemum (43) (44).
Toxic blood levels of immunosuppressive agents: In a kidney transplant recipient, that occurred after consumption of a “24-flavours” tea. Subsequent analysis determined that among the constituents in the tea, the strongest inhibitor of CYP3A4, the enzyme by which these drugs are metabolized, was chrysanthemum (41) (42). Other constituents that also had an inhibitory effect included dandelion, liquorice and bishop’s weed.

Herb-Drug Interactions

Cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 substrates: Chrysanthemum extracts are known to induce (17) and inhibit CYP3A4 activities (41) (42) resulting in changes in blood levels of substrate drugs.
P-Glycoprotein (P-gp) substrates: Chrysanthemum inhibited P-gp, resulting in increased intracellular concentrations of substrate drugs (15).

Dosage (OneMSK Only)
  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. Lee JR, et al. A new guaianolide as apoptosis inhibitor from Chrysanthemum boreale. Planta Med. 2001;67:585-7.

  4. Urzua A, Mendoza L. Antibacterial activity of fresh flower heads of Chrysantemum coronarium. Fitoterapia. 2003;74(6):606-8.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Lin HH, Charles AL, Hsieh CW, et al. Antioxidant effects of 14 Chinese traditional medicinal herbs against human low-density lipoprotein oxidation. J Tradit Complement Med. Jan 2015;5(1):51-55.

  13. Kim KS, Lim DJ, Yang HJ, et al. The multi-targeted effects of Chrysanthemum herb extract against Escherichia coli O157:H7. Phytother Res. Sep 2013;27(9):1398-1406.

  14. Gu DR, Hwang JK, Erkhembaatar M, et al. Inhibitory Effect of Chrysanthemum zawadskii Herbich var. latilobum Kitamura Extract on RANKL-Induced Osteoclast Differentiation. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:509482.

  15. Luyen BT, Tai BH, Thao NP, et al. The anti-osteoporosis and antioxidant activities of chemical constituents from Chrysanthemum indicum flowers. Oxid Med Cell Longev. Apr 2015;29(4):540-548.

  16. Hu CK, Lee YJ, Colitz CM, et al. The protective effects of Lycium barbarum and Chrysanthemum morifolum on diabetic retinopathies in rats. Vet Ophthalmol. Sep 2012;15 Suppl 2:65-71.

  17. Yamamoto J, Tadaishi M, Yamane T, et al. Hot water extracts of edible Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat. exert antidiabetic effects in obese diabetic KK-Ay mice. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2015;79(7):1147-1154.

  18. Yamamoto J, Yamane T, Oishi Y, et al. Chrysanthemum promotes adipocyte differentiation, adiponectin secretion and glucose uptake. Am J Chin Med. 2015;43(2):255-267.

  19. Abd-Alla HI, Albalawy MA, Aly HF, et al. Flavone composition and antihypercholesterolemic and antihyperglycemic activities of Chrysanthemum coronarium L. Z Naturforsch C. May-Jun 2014;69(5-6):199-208.

  20. Chen SH, Sun YP, Chen XS. [Effect of jiangtangkang on blood glucose, sensitivity of insulin and blood viscosity in non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. Nov 1997;17(11):666-668.

  21. Ohsawa M, Murakami T, Kume K. Possible Involvement of Insulin Resistance in the Progression of Cancer Cachexia in Mice. Yakugaku Zasshi. 2016;136(5):687-692.

  22. Du H, Li SS, Wu Q, et al. Analysis of active compounds and antioxidant activity assessment of six popular Chinese Juhua teas. Nat Prod Commun. Mar 2015;10(3):495-498.

  23. Cheon YH, Park SH, Ahn SJ, et al. Anti-inflammatory components of Chrysanthemum indicum flowers. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. Jan 15 2015;25(2):266-269.

  24. Kwan LP, Mok MM, Ma MK, et al. Acute drug toxicity related to drinking herbal tea in a kidney transplant recipient. Ren Fail. Mar 2014;36(2):309-312.

  25. Dufay S, Worsley A, Monteillier A, et al. Herbal tea extracts inhibit Cytochrome P450 3A4 in vitro. J Pharm Pharmacol. Oct 2014;66(10):1478-1490.

  26. Aleksander O, Grazyna A, Anna WP. Air-borne dermatitis from Chrysanthemum—case report with a discussion of diagnostic procedures and therapy. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2014;21(3):531-533.

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