Flavonoid Friday: Everything You Need to Know About Chrysin Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits
In this post:
- Chrysin wellness benefits
- Nutritional sources of Chrysin
- How the body processes Chrysin
- How often to take Chrysin
Humans have ingested plants for nourishment, spiritual rituals, and whole-body healing for millennia. But in recent years, science is finally starting to uncover the compounds responsible for botanical benefits. Flavonoids, for example, have captured curious minds for their therapeutic potential and vast presence throughout nature. One such flavonoid, Chrysin, occurs in passionflower, silver linden, geranium species, honey, and bee propolis, and you guessed it–cannabis.
Here’s everything you need to know about Chrysin’s benefits and healing potential.
What Do Flavonoids Like Chrysin Do for Plants and Humans?
Flavonoids are ubiquitous in plants and are the most common polyphenolic (plant-derived micronutrient) in the human diet. Flavonoids perform several functions in plants. For example, they’re essential for producing the pigments plants use to attract pollinating insects.
In a plant’s roots, flavonoids aid the symbiotic relationship between soil bacteria and certain vegetables such as peas, clover, and beans. Plants also require flavonoids for UV filtration and nitrogen fixation, acting as chemical messengers. Some flavonoids protect against plant diseases as well.
But flavonoids’ multi-faceted repertoire doesn’t end with the plants they protect.
For humans, flavonoids are important antioxidants that promote several health benefits. Additionally, these molecules provide anti-viral, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic effects.
Chrysin, in particular, is known to have preventive and therapeutic effects in skin aging, atherosclerosis, inflammation, diabetes, AIDS, and cancer.
Chrysin and Inflammation
Holistic medicine has used herbal teas to reduce bodily inflammation for millennia, and Chrysin possesses these anti-inflammatory properties. Chrysin effectively reduces inflammation and prevents free radicals from wreaking havoc on the body. How?
Chrysin stimulates anti-inflammatory pathways and works by inhibiting the NF-KB molecule. NF-KB typically triggers inflammation when the body undergoes stress. So, by limiting the inflammatory molecule’s cellular activity, Chrysin helps reduce its damaging effects.
- Chrysin may also block COX-2, an enzyme involved in inflammation. To illustrate the value, many OTC drugs like Celebrex and Motrin target the same COX-2 enzyme.
- A 2018 study using mice found that Chrysin may help reverse the damage done by toxic compounds, such as reactive oxygen species and acrylamide (naturally occurring chemical found in grains and potatoes), by acting as an antioxidant.
- A 2015 mouse model of Parkinson’s disease showed that Chrysin acted as a neuroprotective and anti-aging agent that may decrease memory impairment.
Chrysin and Diabetes
- In a study of diabetic rats, oral chrysin normalized glucose and insulin levels, also helping to improve insulin transmission.
- Other studies of diabetic rats suggest that using Chrysin as a supplement may protect against diabetes-associated complications, such as inflammation, memory issues, behavioral problems, fat levels, and oxidative damage in the brain, liver, and pancreas.
Chrysin and Internal Organs
Research on Chrysin has shown that it may have protective effects on major internal organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys.
Protective Effects on the Heart:
- In a mouse model of drug-induced heart toxicity, Chrysin inhibited heart cell death.
- A review of mice and cell studies suggests that Chrysin may reduce damage to the heart by activating PPAR-gamma, a family of nuclear receptors that significantly regulate energy and metabolic functions.
Protective Effects on the Liver:
- A 2009 study on mice revealed chrysin supplementation increased antioxidant activity and reduced oxidative damage in alcohol-induced liver injury.
- In a 2015 study, Chrysin showed potential to reduce liver scarring (fibrosis).
Protective Effects on the Kidneys
- A 2015 study on rats found that Chrysin may help reduce high levels of protein in the urine, helping to stave off kidney disease.
- In the same study, Chrysin also increased the kidney’s filtration rate.
Additional Benefits of Chrysin
Oh yes–there’s more. Chrysin shows a myriad of potential benefits that we just had to share.
- In a 2016 study on mice, chrysin supplementation reduced depressive behavior and brain dysfunction. This effect may be due to its ability to stimulate brain areas responsible for learning, memory, and higher thinking, like the hippocampus.
- A 2012 study of male rats suggests that Chrysing supports men’s reproductive health by increasing testosterone production, sperm movement, and sperm concentration.
- In 2016, several studies found that Chrysin can alleviate asthma symptoms by reducing allergic inflammation in the airways.
What are Common Sources of Chrysin in Nature?
Chrysin is a component in various medicinal plants and is found primarily in:
Chrysin also appears in hemp and cannabis strains in trace amounts. It is most commonly extracted from plants such as the blue passionflower.
How Does the Body Process Chrysin?
Chrysin’s benefits rely on its bioavailability–the degree to which the body can absorb the compound–as well as its ability to dissolve in water.
For the body to effectively process Chrysin from its botanical sources, we must first break the food down into components and nutrients. The nutrients must be soluble in water to travel through the body and eventually into the bloodstream.
Chrysin has low bioavailability in food sources. That’s why researchers use methods like nanoencapsulation to counteract the limitations and enhance its bioactive effects. Encapsulation is the process of coating active ingredients, like flavonoids, into a biodegradable shell to make them more readily absorbed—a method used in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and food industries.
How Often Should I Take Chrysin?
Currently, more research is needed to determine Chrysin’s safe and effective dose. Dietary supplements are available in concentrations typically ranging from 500 to 750 mg.
The Bottom Line
Chrysin is a small but powerful flavonoid that offers significant anti-inflammatory properties. Early research shows how beneficial this flavonoid can be, with anti-viral and antioxidant properties. Right now, the best way to consume Chrysin is through its botanical sources, or ideally, in nano encapsulated supplements.
At ACS Laboratory, we test for 16 flavonoids, including Chrysin. As a CLIA-licensed laboratory, we can also perform human trials on the bioavailability of these flavonoids, which is an integral part of pharmacokinetics, the study of drug movement through the body. These studies allow us to draw conclusions based on the actual science and not just anecdotal research.