Chemistry and bioactivity of Gardenia jasminoides

J Food Drug Anal. 2017 Jan;25(1):43-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jfda.2016.11.005. Epub 2016 Dec 8.


Gardenia jasminoides, grown in multiple regions in China, was commonly used as a natural yellow dye but has been one of the popular traditional Chinese medicines since the discovery of its biological property a few decades ago. It has been reported that G. jasminoides possess multiple biological activities, such as antioxidant properties, hypoglycemic effect, inhibition of inflammation, antidepression activity, and improved sleeping quality. In this review, our aim was to have a comprehensive summary of its phytochemistry including the extraction, isolation, and characterization of volatiles and bioactive molecules in G. jasminoides, focusing on the two major phytochemicals, genipin and crocin, which possess potent medicinal properties. Furthermore, this study attempted to establish a structure-activity relationship between the two major series of molecules with two pharmcophores and their biological activities, which would serve further exploration of the properties of phytocompounds in G. jasminoides as potential functional foods and medicines.

Keywords: Gardenia jasminoides; crocin; genipin; geniposide; iridiod.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants
  • Carotenoids
  • China
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Fruit
  • Gardenia*
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional
  • Plant Extracts


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Carotenoids

Grants and funding

This work was supported by Enterprise project for young teachers in Hubei Province Education Department (XD2014310) and Program of studying abroad for young teachers in Hubei Province Education Department.