Protect Your Liver with Chrysanthemum Tea
The next time you feel like your liver needs a boost (such as after a night of drinking), go for some chrysanthemum tea. Taken from the Chrysanthemum plant, chrysanthemum tea is widely consumed in Asia and can be readily found in Vancouver’s specialty tea shops or Asian supermarkets. A study conducted by Daegu University in South Korea found that a hot water extract of the chrysanthemum flower demonstrated a hepatoprotective effect in human liver cells.
Researchers Sang Chul Jeong, Sang Min Kim, Yong Tae Jeong and Chi Hyun Song set out to examine the beneficial effects of chrysanthemum tea on the liver since it is the main organ for metabolizing medication. They hope that in researching the hepatoprotective effects of chrysanthemum tea, it will lead to better methods to maximize the positive treatments of medication.
For the experiment, the researchers used Chrysanthemum indicum L. flowers since it has been used in traditional medicine to treat hypertension and infectious diseases. It is believed chrysanthemum is high in antioxidants and inhibits viruses and bacteria.
To induce liver toxicity on the human cells, the researchers used carbon tetrachloride. Carbon tetrachloride creates damaging free radicals on the liver cell membranes, leading to swelling, injury of hepatocytes, and eventually cell death.
The Effect of Chrysanthemum Treatment on Liver Cells
Cell cultures of hepatocellular carcinoma and normal human hepatocyte cells were used to evaluate in vitro results, while rats were induced liver damage to evaluate in vivo response. The subjects were split into control groups and experimental groups that would be treated with various doses of chrysanthemum. Serum levels were recorded along with enzyme and western blot analyses.
After assessing the data, Jeong, Kim, Jeong and Song found that groups treated with chrysanthemum demonstrated a hepatoprotective effect. Transaminase serum levels were restored, leading to regeneration of hepatocytes. Enzyme levels also showed to be significantly decreased.
Based on these results, the researchers believe that chrysanthemum inhibits hepatotoxicity, helping protect against liver damage on a cellular level in vitro and in vivo.