Home > Herbal Glossary > Chinese Herb List > Flos Chrysanthemi
>>Where Does It Grow?
>>Nature and Flavor
>>Identified Active Components / Major Chemical Constituents
>>Drug actions in TCM
>>Traditional Use in TCM
>>Pharmacological Actions
>>Administration and Dosage
>>Adverse Effect, Side Effects and Cautions
Latin Name: Flos Chrysanthemi
Common Name: Chrysanthemum
Scientific Name: Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.
Chinese Name:
Pinyin Name: ju hua
The capitate inflorescence of Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat., a perennial herbal plant of the Compositae family. There are about 30 different species of chrysanthemum worldwide, 17 of which can be found in China, and TCM uses 4 species for medicinal proposes. Besides the flower, its stem, leaf and root can also be used medicinally.[1]' [4]
Where Does It Grow?
Chrysanthemum is widely distributed in China. Nowadays, it is mainly cultivated in provinces like Shenxi, Gansu, Henan, Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangxi. The flower types, harvesting and processing methods may vary according to the production places. Based on the colors, it is also named as yellow chrysanthemum and white chrysanthemum.[3]' [4]' [5]
Nature and Flavor
Chrysanthemum is mild cold in nature, sweet and bitter in flavor, and mainly manifests its therapeutic actions in the lung and liver meridians.[2]
Identified Active Components/ Major Chemical Constituents 
Chrysanthemum contains volatile oils, flavones, sesquiterpenes and triterpenes. The volatile oils mainly include borneol, bornyl acetate, chrysanthemon, and camphor. The flavones include apigenin, acacetin, luteolin-7-glucoside, cosmosiin, quercetin, luteolin, diosmetin, and acacetin-7-O-glucoside. The sesquiterpenes include chrysanthediol A, chrysanthediacetates B-C. The triterpenes include taraxasterol, faradiol, (24S)-25-methoxycycloartane-3],24-diol, 22\-methoxyfaradiol, faradiol \-epoxide and maniladiol. It also contains adenine, choline, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. The levels of volatile oils in chrysanthemum can be varied significantly due to the types and processing methods; white chrysanthemum has a higher flavone level in general.[3]' [4]' [5]

In the Pharmacopoeia of People's Republic of China(2010 Edition) - Part I, the level of chlorogenic acid should not less than 0.2%, the luteolin should not less than 0.08%, while the 3,5-O-dicaffeoyl quinic acid should not less than 0.7%, which are the standard qualities of chrysanthemum.
Drug actions in TCM
Chrysanthemum disperses wind, enhances vision, clears heat and removes harmful substances of the body.[3]
Traditional Use in TCM
Chrysanthemum is often used to treat cold and flu, headache, blurred vision, red eyes, dizziness, and skin sores.[3] '[4]

  • Chrysanthemum can disperse the wind and heat pathogens in the lung meridian
  • Chrysanthemum tends to clear heat in the upper body, however it is not strong enough to do this alone. For conditions like common cold, upper respiratory infection, pharyngitis, and tonsillitis that are categorized as external invasion of wind and heat in TCM, chrysanthemum is usually combined with mulberry leaf, weeping forsythia capsule, peppermint and platycodon root for relieving fever, headache and coughing coughing.

  • Chrysanthemum clears liver heat, and soothes liver yang.
  • Yang is generally referred to functional aspect of objects, a hyperactive liver yang means the liver has overplayed its regulatory role in the body, which causes symptoms like headache and dizziness. Chrysanthemum can work with abalone shell, nacre, and white peony root for relief. When situation has further aggravated that leads to liver fire attacking the head, or excessive heat in the liver meridian, chrysanthemum can work with buffalo horn and gambir vine stem to relieve symptoms like headache, dizziness and muscle spasm.

  • Chrysanthemum disperses wind and heat, clears liver fire and promotes vision
  • Red eyes is usually associated with wind-heat in the liver meridian or liver fire attacking the head, chrysanthemum can work with cicada slough, horsetail, and silkworm for dispersing wind-heat in the liver meridian; or it can work with abalone shell, cassia seed and selfheal fruit spike for clearing liver fire. Sometimes, blurred vision is due to liver and kidney deficiencies, chrysanthemum can work with wolfberry fruit, processed rhemannia rhizome and cornus fruit to enhance the liver and kidney functioning.

  • Chrysanthemum clears heat and detoxifies
  • Skin sores and abscess are regarded as toxic heat signs in TCM, chrysanthemum can be used with honeysuckle flower and liquorice root for relief. The herbs can either be decocted for oral administration or ground for external application.

    According to the China Food and Drug Administration, chrysanthemum is categorized as a TCM herb and also a healthy food, thus it is a common ingredient in medicinal diets and herbal supplements.

    Pharmacological Actions
    Studies show that chrysanthemum can reduce fever, anti-inflammation, anti-bacteria, improve cardiovascular flow, lower blood pressure, anti-oxidize and anti-aging.[3]' [4]
    When mice were injected abdominally with chrysanthemum extract, acute LD50 was found to be 1.3470.131g/kg. In a sub-acute toxicity test, when rabbits were fed with chrysanthemum extracts and decoction 20g/kg daily, no obvious change had seen in EEG and phenol red excretion test in the 7th day, while in 10th day, some rabbits developed reduced appetite and diarrhea, and died.[3]
    Administration and Dosage
    Orally, the usual dose is 10-15g, which can be in decoction, pill, powder or tea preparations. Traditionally, yellow chrysanthemum is used for dispersing wind and heat pathogens, and white chrysanthemum is for soothing liver and promoting vision. White chrysanthemum is often used for infusing tea.[2]' [3]
    Adverse Effect, Side Effects and Cautions
    Individuals who are sensitive to low temperatures, or have loose bowels or weak stomach should use with caution.[3]' [5]
    1. Li Jiashi (editor-in-chief), Chinese Medicine Identification, Shanghai Scientific and Technical Publishers, 2000-2.
    2. Lui Daiquan (editor-in-chief), Chinese Herbal Medicine, Shanghai Scientific and Technical Publishers, 2000-6.
    3. Chen Pian, Clinical Application of Tonifying Herbs, Second Military Medical University Press, 2008.
    4. Zhao Zhongzhen & Xiao Peigen (editor-in-chief), Contemporary Medicinal Herbal Glossary, Hong Kong Jockey Club Institute of Chinese Medicine, 2006-8.
    5. http://www.zysj.com.cn/zhongyaocai/yaocai_j/juhua.html