Last Updated: June 15, 2023

Apigenin is a bioflavonoid that appears to reduce anxiety, affect immune health, and modulate hormones. It is found in chamomile tea and a variety of vegetables and herbs. Apigenin is stable when consumed as part of the diet, but unstable when isolated from its source.


Apigenin is most often used for

What is apigenin?

Apigenin is a flavone (a subclass of bioflavonoids) primarily found in plants. It is frequently extracted from the plant Matricaria recutita L (chamomile), a member of the Asteraceae (daisy) family. In foods and herbs, apigenin is often found in the more stable derivative form of apigenin-7-O-glucoside.[6]

Some of the more abundant sources of apigenin include chamomile tea (840 mg/100 grams)[7], kumquats (21.87 mg/100 g), artichokes (7.48 mg/100 g), rutabagas (3.85 mg/100 g), sorghum (2.54 mg/100 g), and some herbs and spices such as parsley (215 mg/100 g.[8][9] Apigenin is found in higher concentrations relative to other foods and herbs not listed above in celery (2.85 mg/100 g), green chili peppers (1.40 mg/100 g), red onions (0.24 mg/100 g, marjoram (3.5 mg/100 g), thyme (2.50mg/100 g), yarrow (1.21 mg/g), foxglove, coneflower, flax (35 mg/100 g), passion flower, horehound, peppermint (5.39 mg/100 g), and oregano (2.57 mg/100 g).[10][11][12] It is also found in plant-based beverages, such as red wine (0.13 mg/100 g) [13] and beer.[14].[15]

What are apigenin’s main benefits?

Though there are few human clinical trials specific to the effects of apigenin as a single compound, due at least in part to its instability when isolated, preclinical studies have suggested that apigenin may improve outcomes in multiple health states, including anxiety,[16] brain function,[17][16][18][19] oxidative stress,[20][21][22] inflammation,[23][24][25][26][27][28][29] and hormonal regulation (testosterone,[30] estrogen,[31] and cortisol[32][33]).

What are apigenin’s main drawbacks?

There is little evidence to suggest that apigenin causes adverse effects when consumed as part of a normal diet.[8] No toxicity has been reported as a result of standard dietary apigenin intake.[34][35] It should be noted, however, that when dosages exceed typical intake to an extreme (30–100 mg/kg of bodyweight), sedation has been reported as a side effect.[16]

How does apigenin work?

Animal studies suggest that apigenin may impede genetic mutations occurring in cells that are exposed to toxins and bacteria.[36][37] Apigenin may also play direct roles in the removal of free radicals, inhibition of tumor growth enzymes, and induction of detoxification enzymes such as glutathione.[38][39][40][41] Apigenin’s anti-inflammatory ability may also explain its effects on mental health, brain function, and immunological response,[42][41][18][43] though some large observational studies don’t support this conclusion with respect to metabolic conditions.[44]

What are other names for Apigenin?
Note that Apigenin is also known as:
  • biapigenin (a dimer found in nature)
  • 4' 5 7-Trihydroxyflavone
Apigenin should not be confused with:
  • Genistein
Dosage information

For general health needs, multiple daily servings of fruits and vegetables can provide adequate amounts of apigenin, which is estimated to be less than 5 mg/day.[1][2] Apigenin is sufficiently bioavailable through such dietary sources.[2] In contrast, apigenin that’s been isolated from its source is rarely stable enough to be absorbed by the body.[3][4][5] Without alterations to enhance apigenin’s stability and bioavailability, oral supplementation at the level required to feasibly reach dosages higher than dietary consumption might never be sufficient to reach the intended dose.[5][4]

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Update History

Research Breakdown

  1. ^Wang M, Firrman J, Liu L, Yam KA Review on Flavonoid Apigenin: Dietary Intake, ADME, Antimicrobial Effects, and Interactions with Human Gut Microbiota.Biomed Res Int.(2019)
  2. ^Cao J, Zhang Y, Chen W, Zhao XThe relationship between fasting plasma concentrations of selected flavonoids and their ordinary dietary intake.Br J Nutr.(2010-Jan)
  3. ^Borges G, Fong RY, Ensunsa JL, Kimball J, Medici V, Ottaviani JI, Crozier AAbsorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of apigenin and its glycosides in healthy male adults.Free Radic Biol Med.(2022-May-20)
  4. ^Ding SM, Zhang ZH, Song J, Cheng XD, Jiang J, Jia XBEnhanced bioavailability of apigenin via preparation of a carbon nanopowder solid dispersion.Int J Nanomedicine.(2014)
  5. ^Kazi M, Alhajri A, Alshehri SM, Elzayat EM, Al Meanazel OT, Shakeel F, Noman O, Altamimi MA, Alanazi FKEnhancing Oral Bioavailability of Apigenin Using a Bioactive Self-Nanoemulsifying Drug Delivery System (Bio-SNEDDS): In Vitro, In Vivo and Stability Evaluations.Pharmaceutics.(2020-Aug-10)
  6. ^Smiljkovic M, Stanisavljevic D, Stojkovic D, Petrovic I, Marjanovic Vicentic J, Popovic J, Golic Grdadolnik S, Markovic D, Sankovic-Babice S, Glamoclija J, Stevanovic M, Sokovic MApigenin-7-O-glucoside versus apigenin: Insight into the modes of anticandidal and cytotoxic actions.EXCLI J.(2017)
  7. ^McKay DL, Blumberg JBA review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita L.).Phytother Res.(2006-Jul)
  8. ^Shukla S, Gupta SApigenin: a promising molecule for cancer prevention.Pharm Res.(2010-Jun)
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  14. ^Gerhäuser CBeer constituents as potential cancer chemopreventive agents.Eur J Cancer.(2005-Sep)
  15. ^David B. Haytowitz, DB, Wu, X, Bhagwat, SUSDA Database for the flavonoid content of selected foods, Release 3.3Agricultural Research Service.(2018 Mar)
  16. ^Viola H, Wasowski C, Levi de Stein M, Wolfman C, Silveira R, Dajas F, Medina JH, Paladini ACApigenin, a component of Matricaria recutita flowers, is a central benzodiazepine receptors-ligand with anxiolytic effects.Planta Med.(1995-Jun)
  17. ^Jameie SB, Pirasteh A, Naseri A, Jameie MS, Farhadi M, Babaee JF, Elyasi Lβ-Amyloid Formation, Memory, and Learning Decline Following Long-term Ovariectomy and Its Inhibition by Systemic Administration of Apigenin and β-Estradiol.Basic Clin Neurosci.(2021)
  18. ^Dourado NS, Souza CDS, de Almeida MMA, Bispo da Silva A, Dos Santos BL, Silva VDA, De Assis AM, da Silva JS, Souza DO, Costa MFD, Butt AM, Costa SLNeuroimmunomodulatory and Neuroprotective Effects of the Flavonoid Apigenin in Models of Neuroinflammation Associated With Alzheimer's Disease.Front Aging Neurosci.(2020)
  19. ^Silva B, Oliveira PJ, Dias A, Malva JOQuercetin, kaempferol and biapigenin from Hypericum perforatum are neuroprotective against excitotoxic insults.Neurotox Res.(2008)
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  23. ^Liang YC, Huang YT, Tsai SH, Lin-Shiau SY, Chen CF, Lin JKSuppression of inducible cyclooxygenase and inducible nitric oxide synthase by apigenin and related flavonoids in mouse macrophages.Carcinogenesis.(1999-Oct)
  24. ^Kawai M, Hirano T, Higa S, Arimitsu J, Maruta M, Kuwahara Y, Ohkawara T, Hagihara K, Yamadori T, Shima Y, Ogata A, Kawase I, Tanaka TFlavonoids and related compounds as anti-allergic substances.Allergol Int.(2007-Jun)
  25. ^Yano S, Umeda D, Yamashita T, Ninomiya Y, Sumida M, Fujimura Y, Yamada K, Tachibana HDietary flavones suppresses IgE and Th2 cytokines in OVA-immunized BALB/c mice.Eur J Nutr.(2007-Aug)
  26. ^Panés J, Gerritsen ME, Anderson DC, Miyasaka M, Granger DNApigenin inhibits tumor necrosis factor-induced intercellular adhesion molecule-1 upregulation in vivo.Microcirculation.(1996-Sep)
  27. ^Gerritsen ME, Carley WW, Ranges GE, Shen CP, Phan SA, Ligon GF, Perry CAFlavonoids inhibit cytokine-induced endothelial cell adhesion protein gene expression.Am J Pathol.(1995-Aug)
  28. ^Rahmati M, Ghannadian SM, Kasiri N, Ahmadi L, Motedayyen H, Shaygannejad V, Pourazar A, Alsahebfosoul F, Ganjalikhani Hakemi M, Eskandari NModulation of Th17 Proliferation and IL-17A Gene Expression by Acetylated Form of Apigenin in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis.Immunol Invest.(2021-Feb)
  29. ^During A, Larondelle YThe O-methylation of chrysin markedly improves its intestinal anti-inflammatory properties: Structure-activity relationships of flavones.Biochem Pharmacol.(2013-Dec-15)
  30. ^Li W, Dai RJ, Yu YH, Li L, Wu CM, Luan WW, Meng WW, Zhang XS, Deng YLAntihyperglycemic effect of Cephalotaxus sinensis leaves and GLUT-4 translocation facilitating activity of its flavonoid constituents.Biol Pharm Bull.(2007-Jun)
  31. ^Mak P, Leung YK, Tang WY, Harwood C, Ho SMApigenin suppresses cancer cell growth through ERbeta.Neoplasia.(2006-Nov)
  32. ^Ohno S, Shinoda S, Toyoshima S, Nakazawa H, Makino T, Nakajin SEffects of flavonoid phytochemicals on cortisol production and on activities of steroidogenic enzymes in human adrenocortical H295R cells.J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol.(2002-Mar)
  33. ^Cheng LC, Li LAFlavonoids exhibit diverse effects on CYP11B1 expression and cortisol synthesis.Toxicol Appl Pharmacol.(2012-Feb-01)
  34. ^Julie A Ross, Christine M KasumDietary flavonoids: bioavailability, metabolic effects, and safetyAnnu Rev Nutr.(2002)
  35. ^Hollman PC, Katan MBHealth effects and bioavailability of dietary flavonols.Free Radic Res.(1999-Dec)
  36. ^Tajdar Husain Khan, Tamanna Jahangir, Lakshmi Prasad, Sarwat SultanaInhibitory effect of apigenin on benzo(a)pyrene-mediated genotoxicity in Swiss albino miceJ Pharm Pharmacol.(2006 Dec)
  37. ^Kuo ML, Lee KC, Lin JKGenotoxicities of nitropyrenes and their modulation by apigenin, tannic acid, ellagic acid and indole-3-carbinol in the Salmonella and CHO systems.Mutat Res.(1992-Nov-16)
  38. ^Myhrstad MC, Carlsen H, Nordström O, Blomhoff R, Moskaug JØFlavonoids increase the intracellular glutathione level by transactivation of the gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase catalytical subunit promoter.Free Radic Biol Med.(2002-Mar-01)
  39. ^Middleton E, Kandaswami C, Theoharides TCThe effects of plant flavonoids on mammalian cells: implications for inflammation, heart disease, and cancer.Pharmacol Rev.(2000-Dec)
  40. ^H Wei, L Tye, E Bresnick, D F BirtInhibitory effect of apigenin, a plant flavonoid, on epidermal ornithine decarboxylase and skin tumor promotion in miceCancer Res.(1990 Feb 1)
  41. ^Gaur K, Siddique YHEffect of apigenin on neurodegenerative diseases.CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets.(2023-Apr-06)
  42. ^Sun Y, Zhao R, Liu R, Li T, Ni S, Wu H, Cao Y, Qu Y, Yang T, Zhang C, Sun YIntegrated Screening of Effective Anti-Insomnia Fractions of Zhi-Zi-Hou-Po Decoction via and Network Pharmacology Analysis of the Underlying Pharmacodynamic Material and Mechanism.ACS Omega.(2021-Apr-06)
  43. ^Arsić I, Tadić V, Vlaović D, Homšek I, Vesić S, Isailović G, Vuleta GPreparation of novel apigenin-enriched, liposomal and non-liposomal, antiinflammatory topical formulations as substitutes for corticosteroid therapy.Phytother Res.(2011-Feb)
  44. ^Yiqing Song, JoAnn E Manson, Julie E Buring, Howard D Sesso, Simin LiuAssociations of dietary flavonoids with risk of type 2 diabetes, and markers of insulin resistance and systemic inflammation in women: a prospective study and cross-sectional analysisJ Am Coll Nutr.(2005 Oct)
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  46. ^Li LP, Jiang HDDetermination and assay validation of luteolin and apigenin in human urine after oral administration of tablet of Chrysanthemum morifolium extract by HPLC.J Pharm Biomed Anal.(2006-Apr-11)
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