Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Chrysanthemum indicum; Dendrant theme indicum; Dendrant theme morifolium

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Chrysanthemums belong to the composite family and are among the most popular ornamental plants in the trade (especially as an autumn flower). A medicinal use is not common in Germany. In Japan the young chrysanthemum plants are eaten as a salad.

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Originally from East China and Japan. Introduced to Europe about 200 years ago and since then cultivated all over the world as an ornamental plant.

Undesirable effects
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Of the at least five sesquiterpenlactones detected in chrysanthemums, only arteglasin A has been identified as a clear allergen. Other potential sensitizers are: chlorochrymorin, the yeyuhua lactone, which has only been partially identified structurally, Angeloylcumambrin B and Angeloylajadin. In our own chemical investigations, three more STL could be detected, but their identification has not been pursued further so far. Sensitizing potential: Strong. Sensitization frequency: High. Chrysanthemum allergy is one of the most common occupational diseases caused by ornamental plants in Germany. Particularly in northern Germany, a centre for chrysanthemum breeding, up to 30% of the people involved in cultivation and sales fall ill. Cross-reactions have not only been repeatedly confirmed experimentally, but have also been frequently observed in chrysanthemum allergy sufferers. The most important cross-reacting species include aster, yarrow, golden fern, feverfew, arnica and sunflower. Cross-reactions to other species from another plant family, such as Frullania or Laurel, confirm the chemical relationship of the allergy-inducing sesquiterpene lactone ingredients.

Clinical picture
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The preferred areas of the body of affected gardeners and florists are the hands, forearms, face and V-neck. In quite a few cases, the profession and thus occasionally the own business has to be given up, since an allergy to chrysanthemums includes a specific hypersensitivity to almost all other composites due to cross reactivities.


Last updated on: 29.10.2020