Medicinal plants

6 Benefits of gardenia and side effects

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Discover the 6 shocking health benefits of gardenia and side effects.

Most of us know gardenia as the large white flowers that grow in our gardens or the source of a strong floral scent that is used to make things like lotions and candles.

But did you know that gardenia flowers, as well as the roots and leaves, also have a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine?

6 shocking health benefits of gardenia


Gardenia plants are members of the Rubiaceae family and are native to parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands, including China and Japan.

Today the ethanol extract of gardenia fruit and flowers is still used in many ways in herbal medicine and aromatherapy.

There are over 250 different types of gardenia plants, one of which is called Gardenia jasminoides Ellis, the type used primarily to make essential oil.

As you will learn much more about, gardenias have been shown to have numerous actions, including serving as a natural antibacterial, pain reliever, antifungal, diuretic, antiseptic, detoxifier, and antispasmodic.


Uses for the oil, supplements, and other products include spreading the oil to combat stress, applying it to the skin to treat wounds, and drinking gardenia tea to improve digestion.

What is Gardenia?

Depending on the exact species used, the products have many names, including Gardenia jasminoides, Cape Jasmine, Cape Jessamine, Danh Danh, Gardênia, Gardenia augusta, Gardenia Florida, and Gardenia radicans.

What types of gardenia flowers do people generally grow in their gardens? Examples of common garden varieties include August beauty, Aimee Yashikoa, Kleim’s Hardy, Radians, and First love.

The most widely available type of extract that is used for medicinal purposes is the essential oil of gardenia, which has numerous uses for fighting infections and tumors.

Due to its strong and “seductive” floral fragrance and its ability to relax, it is also used to make lotions, perfumes, body soaps, and many other topical applications.

What does the word gardenias mean? It is historically believed that white gardenia flowers symbolized purity, love, devotion, trust, and refinement – which is why they are still often included in wedding bouquets and are used as decorations on special occasions.

The generic name is said to have been named in honor of Alexander Garden (1730-1791), who was a botanist, zoologist, and physician who lived in South Carolina and helped develop the genus/species classification for gardenia.

Medicinal uses of gardenia plant


Some of the many applications of gardenia plants and essential oil include treatment:

• Combats free radical damage and tumor formation, thanks to its antiangiogenic activities

• Infections, including urinary tract and bladder infections

• Insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, obesity, and other risk factors related to diabetes and heart disease

• Acid reflux, vomiting, IBS gas, and other digestive problems

• Depression and anxiety

• Fatigue and brain fog

• Abscesses


• Muscle spasms

• Fever

• Period pains

• Headaches

• Low libido

• Poor milk production in lactating women

• Slow-healing wounds

• Liver damage, liver disease, and jaundice


• Blood in the urine or bloody stools

What active compounds are responsible for the beneficial effects of gardenia extract?

Studies have found that gardenia contains at least 20 active compounds, including several powerful antioxidants.

Some of the compounds have been isolated from the edible flowers of Wild Gardenia jasminoides.

Ellis includes phenyl benzyl acetates, linalool, terpineol, ursolic acid, rutin, stigmasterol, crociniridoids (including coumaroilshanzhiside, butylgardenoside, and methoxyigenipine), and glycosides (phenylpropanoids). such as garden-side B and geniposide).

6 health benefits of gardenia

Below are some of the many medicinal benefits that the flowers, extract, and essential oil have:

1.- Benefits of gardenia for weight loss

Gardenia essential oil contains many antioxidants that fight free radical damage, plus two compounds called geniposide and genipin that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory actions.

It has also been found to help reduce high cholesterol, insulin resistance/glucose intolerance, and liver damage, potentially offering some protection against diabetes, heart disease, and liver disease.


• Certain studies have also found evidence that gardenia jasminoid may be effective in reducing obesity, especially when combined with exercise and a healthy diet.

• A 2014 study published in the Journal of Exercise Nutrition and Biochemistry states, “Geniposide, one of the main ingredients in Gardenia jasminoides, is known to be effective in inhibiting body weight gain as well as improving abnormal levels. of lipids, high levels of insulin, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance ”.

2. Benefits of gardenia for depression and anxiety

• The scent of gardenia flowers is known to promote relaxation and to help people who feel hurt from stress.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, gardenia is included in aromatherapy and herbal formulas used to treat mood disorders, including depression, anxiety, and restlessness.

• A study from the Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that the extract (Gardenia jasminoides Ellis) demonstrated rapid antidepressant effects by instantly enhancing the expression of the Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the limbic system (the “emotional center” of the brain).

• The antidepressant response began approximately two hours after administration.

3.- Benefits of gardenia for digestion

• The isolated ingredients of Gardenia jasminoides, including ursolic acid and genipin, have been shown to have anti gastric, antioxidant, and acid-neutralizing abilities that protect against several gastrointestinal problems.

• For example, research conducted at the Plant Resources Research Institute of Duksung Women’s University in Seoul, Korea, and published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, found that genipin and ursolic acid may help treat and/or protection from gastritis, acid reflux, ulcers, lesions and infections caused by the action of H. pylori.


• Genipin has also been shown to aid in the digestion of fats by increasing the production of certain enzymes.

It also appears to support other digestive processes even in a gastrointestinal environment that has an “unstable” pH balance, according to research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and conducted at the College of Food Science and Technology and Electron Microscopy Laboratory of Nanjing Agricultural University in China.

4.- Benefits of gardenia for infections and wounds

• Gardenia contains many natural antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiviral compounds.

To combat colds, respiratory / sinus infections, and congestion, try inhaling gardenia essential oil, rubbing it on your chest, or using it in a diffuser or facial steamer.

• A small amount of the essential oil can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied to the skin to fight infection and promote healing.

Simply mix the oil with coconut oil and apply it to wounds, scratches, scrapes, bruises, or cuts (always dilute essential oils first).

5.- Benefits of gardenia for pain

• Gardenia extract, oil, and tea are used to combat aches, pains, and aches associated with headaches, PMS, arthritis, injuries including sprains, and muscle cramps.

• It also has certain stimulating qualities that can even help elevate your mood and improve cognition. It has been found to improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and help deliver more oxygen and nutrients to parts of the body that need healing.


• For this reason, it was traditionally given to people struggling with chronic pain, fatigue, and various illnesses.

• An animal study from the Department of Spine Surgery II and the Department of Neurology at Weifang People’s Hospital in China appears to verify pain-reducing effects.

• When the researchers administered ozone and gardenia, a compound from gardenia fruits, “the results showed that treatment with a combination of ozone and gardenia increased the mechanical withdrawal threshold and the latency of thermal withdrawal, thus confirming its analgesic effects. ».

6.- Benefits of gardenia for brain

• A study published in the Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines found that gardenia extract helped improve memory, especially among older populations with memory deficits, including those with Alzheimer’s disease.

• In the study, two main components found in gardenia extracts, geniposide and gardenoside, appeared to help suppress the expression of immune-related genes in the brain, meaning they have anti-inflammatory effects that address the mechanisms underlying memory deficits.

Use in TCM and Ayurveda

In Chinese, the gardenia fruit is called Zhi Zi or Sheng Shan Zi. According to TCM, it has strong, bitter, and cold properties that help protect the heart, lungs, and stomach.

It is said that it acts on the meridians of the Triple Burner (san jiao). Its uses include purging excess heat, dissipating moist heat, and cooling the blood.


Gardenia is used in TCM to help lower blood pressure, stop bleeding, treat insomnia, treat urinary tract infections, relieve swelling and bruising from trauma, and relieve pain associated with sprains and abscesses.

TCM professionals recommend taking a dose of between 3 and 12 grams per day. Dried gardenia powder, tea, or extract can be used internally.

Gardenia is known by several different names in Ayurvedic medicine, including Dakamali and Nahi hingu.

It is used to help treat conditions, including fever, indigestion, wounds, skin conditions, and abdominal pain.

It is said to have a pungent, bitter, and dry taste in nature. These properties are believed to aid digestion and reduce heat and humidity.

It is especially recommended for the Kapha and Vata types, which benefit from its protection against indigestion and infections.

Common use in Ayurveda is the use of resin, either applied to the skin or taken as a powder.

Doses of 200-500 milligrams of power per day are recommended for conditions like intestinal worms, bloating and constipation, cough, and inflammation of the gums.


The gardenia vs. Jasmine

How does gardenia compare to other medicinal plants, like jasmine?

• Jasmine essential oil is another mood booster and stress reliever. Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) has been used for hundreds of years in some parts of Asia as a natural remedy for depression, anxiety, emotional stress, low libido, and insomnia in the same way that gardenia is used.

• Both are said to have “seductive” qualities because their scents help increase sensuality and arousal. Jasmine oil has been dubbed “queen of the night” due to its ability to improve libido and energy.

• Jasmine oil is believed to have antiviral, antibiotic, and antifungal properties, much like gardenia.

Studies have found that the use of jasmine can lead to improved moods and a decrease in both physical and emotional signs of low energy.

It can also help fight harmful bacteria and viruses and help prevent disease, irritation, fungus, and viral infections.

• Jasmine oil can be inhaled through the nose or applied directly to the skin. It does not need to be combined with a carrier oil and is recommended to be used undiluted instead for best results.

Try using jasmine and gardenia in conjunction with massage oil or body lotions, body scrubs, homemade soaps and perfumes, and homemade candles.


Gardenia dosage and supplements

The essential oil is obtained by extracting the active ingredients found in the volatile acids of the plant. Flower petals are usually the source of the extract/oil, although the leaves and roots can also be used.

How to use gardenia essential oil

It can be diffused in your home, applied topically to the skin when diluted as a carrier oil, or added to baths, lotions, body sprays, and perfumes. The oil has a delicate, sweet, and floral aroma.

To use the oil on skin and hair, I recommend combining it with coconut, jojoba, or almond oil to improve absorption and add moisture. To use it to de-stress, try adding several drops to your bath or diffusing it throughout the room before bed. For the best results, and your safety,

Gardenia Supplements / Capsules

Gardenia is considered safe in doses of three to 12 grams taken by mouth daily.

Gardenia supplements are available online, although these have not been as extensively researched as the oil. It is common to find extract in combination products that also include other medicinal herbs and flowers.


The supplements should not be confused with Garcinia Cambogia supplements, which are used to increase weight loss and reduce appetite. They do not come from the same plant and have different effects.

Gardenia Tea

Gardenia tea, which has a light and sometimes sweet taste and a natural diuretic effect, can be made from dried flowers. You can also add other herbs to the tea to enhance the benefits, such as rosemary, oregano, basil, and thyme.

Here’s how to make gardenia tea: Pick the blooming flowers, dry them by placing them in a dry place on a tray and turning them twice a day until dry, then put them in a pot and pour them over very hot water.

Let the tea steep for at least several minutes until cool, then add other herbs and enjoy.

Some products claim to use gardenia fruit in their capsules or formulas, but the plants don’t grow edible fruits as you might imagine.


Gardenia jasminoides is another name for the fruit, which is part of certain gardenia species that grow in the warm months of the year. The fruit looks like an orange berry that contains a sticky pulp.

It is usually dried and ground to form a concentrated powder. Gardenia resin, on the other hand, is obtained from the stems/branches of the plant.

Gardenia Recipes and How to Grow Gardenias

Gardenia plants, including the popular Gardenia jasminoides species, are dark green perennial shrubs that grow in warm climates throughout the year.

Most produce highly fragrant white flowers, although the flowers can turn yellow, beige, or orange depending on the time of year.

The plants flourish in warm climates throughout the year, or in summer and late spring in cooler climates.

They tend to grow up to three to six feet tall and get quite wide if they have room to expand.

You can grow a wide variety of gardenia plants/shrubs at home and then use the fresh flowers in various ways. Here are the recommendations for growing gardenia:

• Do gardenias need sun or shade? They like to grow in full sun or shade. They also tend to bloom best when grown in moist, acidic soils. Using organic soil or organic mulch is recommended for best results when growing gardenias.


• When it’s very hot and sunny, plants do best when they have at least a little shade, otherwise, they can overheat. Why are the leaves turning yellow? This is a sign that they are burning in the sun.

• Because the flowers are bright white with very pretty dark green leaves, you can pick them up and use them for decoration or leave a row of bushes on the ground to create hedges.

Side effects of gardenia

• Possible side effects associated with the use of gardenia or essential oil capsules can include loss of appetite, diarrhea or loose stools, irritation, and inflammation of the skin, and possible complications in pregnant women/nurses and with children.

• Although the oil has been used for many years to support milk production in nursing mothers, there have not been many studies showing that it is always safe for pregnant or lactating women.

• Because not enough is known about the potential effects of gardenia during pregnancy or breastfeeding, be careful and consider consulting your doctor first.

Final thoughts

• Gardenia plants grow large white flowers that have a strong, soothing scent. Gardenias are members of the Rubiaceae family and are native to parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands.

• The flowers, leaves, and roots are used to make medicinal extracts, supplements, and essential oils.

• Benefits and uses include protection against chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, fighting depression and anxiety, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, treating pain, reducing fatigue, fighting against infections, and relief of the digestive tract.


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