Gardenia jasminoides J.Ellis

Last updated: 01 Mar 2017

Scientific Name

Gardenia jasminoides J.Ellis


Gardenia angustifolia Lodd., Gardenia angustifolia var. kosyunensis (Sasaki) Masam., Gardenia angusta Merr. [Illegitimate], Gardnia angusta var. grandiflora (Lour.) Sasaki, Gardenia angusta var. kosyunensis Sasaki, Gardenia angusta var. longisepala Masam., Gardenia angusta var. ovalifolia (Sims) Sasaki, Gardenia florida L. [Illegitimate], Gardenia florida var. fortuneana Lindl., Gardenia florida var. grandiflora (Lour.) Franch. & Sav., Gardenia florida var. maruba (Siebold ex Blume) Matsum., Gardenia florida f. oblanceolata Nakai, Gardenia florida var. ovalifolia Sims., Gardenia florida var. plena Voigt, Gardenia florida var. radicans (Thunb.) Matsum., Gardenia florida f. simpliciflora Makino, Gardenia grandiflora Lour., Gardenia grandifolia Siebold ex Zucc. [Illegitimate], Gardenia jasminoides f. albomarginata H.Hara, Gardenia jasminoides f. albovariegata H.Hara, Gardenia jasminoides f. aureovariegata nakai, Gardenia jasminoides var. fortuneana (Lindl.) H.Hara, Gardenia jasminoides f. grandiflora (Lour.) Makino, Gardenia jasminoides var. grandiflora (Lour.) Nakai, Gardenia jasminoides var. jasminoides, Gardenia jasminoides f. longicarpa Z.M.Xie & M.Okada, Gardenia jasminoides var. longisepala (Masam.) Metcalf, Gardenia jasminoides f. maruba (Siebold ex Blume) Nakai ex Ishii, Gardenia jasminoides var. maruba (Siebold ex. Blume) Nakai, Gardenia jasminoides f. oblanceolata (Nakai) Nakai, Gardenia jasminoides f. ovalifolia (Sims) H.Hara, Gardenia jasminoides var. ovalifolia (Sims) Nakai, Gardenia jasminoides var. plena (Voigt) M.R.Almeida, Gardenia jasminoides var. radicans (Thunb.) Makino, Gardenia jasminoides f. simpliciflora (Makino) Makino, Gardenia jasminoides f. variegata (Carrière) Nakai, Gardenia jasminoides var. variegata (Carrière) Makino, Gardenia longisepala (Masam.) Masam., Gardenia maruba Siebold ex Blume, Gardenia pictorum Hassk., Gardenia radicans Thunb., Gardenia radicans var. simpliciflora (Makino) Nakai, Gardenia schlechteri H.Lév. [Illegitimate], Genipa florida (L.) Baill., Genipa grandiflora (Lour.) Baill., Genipa radicans (Thunb.) Baill., Jasminum capense Mill., Warneria augusta L. [Invalid]. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Akar bunga China, bunga China [2], bunga cina, bunga susu, sangklapa [3]
English Cape jessamine, gardenia, jasmine, white gardenia [2], Cape jasmine, garden gardenia [3]
China Chih tzu, zhi zi [2]
India Gandharaj, gandharaja, gulchand, gundhuraj, kaboklei, kantaraca, kantaracanam, karinga, nanamt, suvarane malle, thagar, thota bikki [2]
Indonesia Ceplok piring, jempiring, kaca piring [2][3]
Thailand Khet-thawaa, phut cheen, phut-tharaksaa [2][3]
Laos Inthavaa, ph’ud [2][3]
Philippines Gardenia [2], rosal [3]
Vietnam Chi tu, danh danh [2], dánh dánh [3]
Japan Kuchi-nashi, ko-kuchi-nashi, kuchinashi (= no mouth, the fruit does not open) [2]
Uganda Mugondo [2]
Nicaragua Clavel, jasmine del cabo [2].

Geographical Distributions

G. jasminoides is indigenous in southern China, Japan, the Ryukyu Islands, and Taiwan, possibly also locally in Sri Lanka. It is widely cultivated in the tropics and subtropics, and sometimes naturalised. In Southeast Asia, it is commonly planted in gardens. [3]

Botanical Description

G. jasminoides is a member of Rubiaceae family. It is usually an evergreen, erect shrub, up to 2 m tall, but some small trees that reach up to 12 m tall have been recorded. [3]

The roots are strong. [3]

The stem is up to 10 cm in diameter and usually much branched. [3]

The leaves are arranged opposite, elliptic to oblong-ovate, measuring 5-10(-15) cm x 2-4.5(-7) cm, with wedge-shaped base, acute or acuminate at apex, with short leaf stalk and with stipules that connate in pairs. [3]

The flowers are large, solitary in the axils of the upper leaves, (sub) sessile and very fragrant. The sepal is 5-8-lobed, with persistent white petal but later turns yellowish; its tube is about 3 cm long while there are 5-8 spreading lobes. The anther is as many as petal lobes, linear and sessile. The ovary is inferior, with long style and headed stigmas. [3]

The fruit is a leathery, ovoid or ellipsoid berry, measure 1.5-3(-4.5) cm long, 5-ribbed, crowned with a persistent sepal, yellow to red at maturity and containing many seeds. [3]


G. jasminoides is originally a species from temperate climates. In tropical areas, it grows well at altitudes of 400-1200 m. In the tropical lowlands, it flowers poorly or not at all. It thrives best on properly drained, but not too dry soils with pH 6-7, and it prefers sunny places. [3]

Chemical Constituent

G. jasminoides fruit was found to contain iridoid glucoside (e.g. gardoside and scandoside methyl ester) [4], and caratenoids (e.g. crocetin and crocin) [5].

Plant Part Used

Roots, flowers and fruits. [6][7][8]

Traditional Use

G. jasminoides is believed to be bitter and cold in character and has been used to disperse heat, purges fire, cools the blood, and removes toxins. The whole plant is cathartic, antispasmodic, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, external-antispetic and antiperiodic. The root is antidysenteric. The fruit is a diuretic, cholagogue and anti-inflammatory agent. [6][7][8]

G. jasminoides is used to treat aphthous ulcer, dyspepsia, gastric hyperacidity, vomiting, and constipation. The fruit is specifically used to treat cholestasis, jaundice, biliousness and haematemesis. Tea made from the roots and fruits treats dysentery. [6][7][8] G. jasminoides has been used for abscesses, sprains, swelling and pains of bruises. The decoction of the root and fruit is used for fever. [8]

The Indonesians believed G. jasminoides can strengthen the heart and treats palpitation. The fruit possesses the ability to disperse accumulated blood in bruises and stop bleeding. [8] The roots of G. jasminoides had been reported to treat nervous disorders while the fruit in fidgets and insomnia. The fruit is believed to have sedative properties. G. jasminoides had been used in the treatment of oliguria and diabetes mellitus. [7][8]

Preclinical Data


Antihyperlipidaemic activity

Crocin and crocetin isolated from the fruit of G. jasminoides proved to be a pancreatic lipase inhibitor. They were found to significantly inhibit the increase of serum triglyceride level, total cholesterol level and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level in hyperlipidaemic mice. [9]

Antioxidant activity

Crocin is a water soluble carotinoid isolated from the fruit of G. jasminoides. The purified form (>99.6%) has been reported to exhibit antioxidant activity at a concentration of up to 40ppm. This is comparable to BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisone) at 20ppm. [10]

Crocin isolated from G. jasmonoides ethanol extract was found to exhibit antioxidant activity in phosphomolybdenum assay. [11]

Antiangiogenic activity

The ethanol extract of the fruit of G. jaminoides yielded an iridoid glucoside, geniposide. This compound showed anti-angiogenic activity in a dose dependent manner. It also has inhibitory effect on the growth of the transformed NIH3T3 (mouse embryonic fibroblast) cell line. [12]

Neuroprotective activity

The compound geniposide from G. jaminoides exhibits the ability to protect hippocampal neurons from damage induced by oxygen and glucose deprivation. Evidence showed that it seems to have greater protective effects on the granular cell layer than on the pyramidal cell layer. [13]

Antigastritic activity

The extract of G. jaminoides and two of its isolated components (ursolic acid and genipin) show the capabilities of neutralizing acid, antioxidant activity and inhibiting H. pyloriG. jasminoides also showed cytotoxic activity against AGS and SUN638 gastric cancer cells. Genipin and ursolic acid were found to inhibit HCl/ethanol-induced gastric lesions. [14]

Anti-inflammatory activity

Ethanol extract of the fruit of G. jaminoides together with two compounds (genipin and geniposide) isolated from it showed antiinflammatory activity. Genipin appears to be more potent than geniposide. [15]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of G. jasminoides [3].


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Gardenia jasminoides J.Ellis. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2017 Mar 01]. Available from:
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume III E-L. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 300-301.
  3. Sangat-Roemantyo H, Wirdateti. Gardenia jasminoides Ellis In: Lemmens RHMJ, Wulijarni-Soetjipto N, editors. Plant resources of South-East Asia No. 3: Dye and tannin-producing plants. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc, 1991; p. 76-78.
  4. Inouye H, Takeda Y, Nishimura H. Two new iridoid glucosides from Gardenia jasminoides fruits. Phytochemistry. 1974;13(10):2219-2224.
  5. Pfisher S, Meyer P, Steck A, Pfander H. Isolation and structure elucidation of carotenoid-glycosyl esters in gardenia fruits (Gardenia jasminoides Ellis) and saffron (Crocus sativus Linne). J Agric Food Chem. 1996;44(9):2612-2615.
  6. Hanelt P, Buttner R. Mansfeld’s encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural Crops. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2001; p. 1774.
  7. Khare CP. Indian medicinal plants: An illustrated dictionary. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2007; p. 281.
  8. Foster S, Chongxi Y. Herbal emissaries: Bringing Chinese herbs to the West. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Art Press, 1992; p. 186.
  9. Lee IA, Lee JH, Baek NI, Kim DH. Antihyperlipidemic effect of crocin isolated from the fructus of Gardenia jasminoides and its metabolite Crocetin. Biol Pharm Bull. 2005;28(11):2106-2110.
  10. Pham TQ, Cormier F, Farnworth E, Tong VH, Van Calsteren MR. Antioxidant properties of crocin from Gardenia jasminoides Ellis and study of the reactions of crocin with linoleic acid and with oxygen. J Agric Food Chem. 2000;48(5):1455-1461.
  11. Chen Y, Zhang H, Tian X, et al. Antioxidant potential of crocins and ethanol extracts of Gradenia jasminoides ELLIS and Crocus sativus L.: A relationship investigation between antioxidant activity and crocin contents. Food Chem. 2008;109(3):484-492.
  12. Koo HJ, Lee S, Shin KH, Kim BC, Lim CJ, Park EH. Geniposide, an anti-angiogenic compound from the fruits of Gardenia jasminoides. Planta Med. 2004;70(5):467-469.
  13. Lee P, Lee J, Choi SY, Lee SE, Lee S, Son D. Geniposide from Gardenia jasminoides attenuates neuronal cell death in oxygen and glucose deprivation-exposed rat hippocampal slice culture. Biol Pharm Bull. 2006;29(1):174-176.
  14. Lee JH, Lee DU, Jeong CS. Gardenia jasminoides Ellis ethanol extract and its constituents reduce the risks of gastritis and reverse gastric lesions in rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2009;47(6):1127-1131.
  15. Koo HJ, Lim KH, Jung HJ, Park EH. Anti-inflammatory evaluation of gardenia extract, geniposde and genipin. J Ethanopharmacol. 2006;103(3):496-500.