Chinese Name : 菊花
Latin Name : Flos Chrysanthemi
This herb is the dried flower head of Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat. of the family Compositae. It is grown chiefly in the provinces of Anhui, Henan, Sichunan, and Zhejiang of China, where it is collected when the flower is in full bloom and then dried. Chrysanthemum is generally divided into two types (white and yellow) but there is a third variety-the wild chrysanthemum.
Traditionally, the flowers were prescribed for colds, headaches, and inflamed eyes. The white variety is considered to be especially useful for preventing hair loss and greying. The white flowers are soaked in wine, producing a “chrysanthemum wine,” which is good for nervous conditions.
The yellow chrysanthemum is usually used for expelling pathogenic Wind-Heat. The white species is prescribed for calming the liver (sedation) and improving eyesight, and the wild chrysanthemum is mostly dispensed to treat febrile diseases.
Use of Chrysanthemum in TCM
Sweet and bitter taste, and cool, it acts on the lung and liver meridians.
Effects, Medicinal Uses, and Combination
- Disperses Wind-Heat exopathogens and induces sweating: for treating Wind-Heat and epidemic febrile disease at its early stages. Chrysanthemum is blended with mulberry leaf, peppermint, and forsythia fruit (lian qiao), as San Ju Yin.
- Reduces hyperactivity of liver yang: for headache, hypertension, dizziness, and a feeling of fullness in the heart due to hyperactivity of the liver yang, it is prescribed with antelope’s horn, gambir stem (gou teng), and dried rehmannia root, as in Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang; or it is combined with prepared rehmannia, lycium fruit, schisandra fruit, and other herbs, as in Qi Ju Di Huang Wan (R-25), to treat blurred vision caused by kidney yin or liver yin deficiency.
- Extinguishes Liver-Fire: chrysanthemum flower is mixed with mulberry leaf, cicada slough (chan yi), and prunella spike (xia ku cao) for conjunctival congestion accompanied by swelling.
- Relieves coronary heart diseases and angina. The aqueous decoction or concentrated extract of chrysanthemum relieved symptoms related to coronary hearts disease, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, and angina. It is also hypotensive in hypertensive patients.
In a decoction or pills of 6 to 15 g, or as needed for external use.
People with diarrhea, gastrointestinal problems or Qi deficiency should avoid chrysanthemum. Long-term use or a high dosage may lead to digestive system disorders.
Side Effects and Toxicity
The flower has a very low toxicity at the suggested therapheutic dose. With a large dose, patients complained of epigastralgia or diarrhea. In an acute toxicity test, most animals survived after an oral dose at 100g/kg of the decoction and no mice died at the fluid extract.
The flower contains about 0.13 percent of essential oil. The oil’s main ingredients are borneol, camphor, and chrysanthenone. Chrysantamins A and B, chlorochrymorin, chrysandiol, flavonglycosides acacii, uteolin 7-0-beta-d-glucopyranoside , and the alkaloid stachydrine were also identified.
- The aqueous decoction injected into the stomach of a rabbit with artificially induced fever was antipyretic and inhibited the CNS .
- The aqueous extract or decoction of the flower inhibites S. aureus, beta-hemolytic streptococcus, S. bacillus,B. proteus, B. typhosus,B. paratyphosus,P. aeruginosa, and V. comma, and several dermatophytes in vitro.
- An alcoholic extract was shown to dilate markedly the coronary vessels and increase the blood flow in isolated rabbits.
- Hypotensive. The flower’s extract and glycoside showed blood vessel dilation followed by lower blood pressure.