Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Hydrangea Root - Benefits


What is hydrangea root?

The genus Hydrangea is made up of over 70 plant species that belong to the Hydrangeaceae family (1).

Out of these, Hydrangea paniculataHydrangea macrophylla, and Hydrangea arborescens are the most popular when it comes to medicinal properties.

H. paniculata and H. macrophylla are native to Asia, while H. arborescens is native to the eastern United States.

Other common names for these species include hortensia, seven bark, wild hydrangea, smooth hydrangea, bigleaf hydrangea, and mophead hydrangea.

Hydrangea root is a supplement made from these plant’s roots and underground stems, also known as the rhizomes.

The supplement has been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years to treat prostate and bladder infections due to its purported diuretic effects — meaning its ability to increase urine output. However, no available scientific evidence backs up this claim.

It’s also speculated that it might help treat kidney and bladder stones and enlarged prostate.

Potential benefits

Test-tube and animal studies suggest that some hydrangea root compounds may provide medicinal benefits.

May protect your kidneys

Elevated levels of certain blood markers are associated with kidney injury. Studies in mice indicate that hydrangea extract may lower some of these markers (2Trusted Source3Trusted Source).

For example, high levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) indicate kidney damage. Studies in animals with medically induced kidney injury found that hydrangea extract significantly reduced BUN levels (3Trusted Source4Trusted Source).

One of these studies also observed less kidney damage in mice treated with the extract, compared with a control group (3Trusted Source).

Another study similarly found that skimmin, an active molecule found in hydrangea extract, reduced BUN, blood creatinine, and urinary albumin excretion (UAE) in mice with kidney inflammation. High creatinine and UAE levels also indicate kidney dysfunction (5Trusted Source).

What’s more, research in mice determined that the extract improved medicinally induced kidney injury by downregulating kidney inflammation and cell death, although the effect was only observed in cases of previously damaged kidneys (2Trusted Source).

Still, despite these promising results, human studies are needed.

May have anti-inflammatory properties

Hydrangea root is rich in a compound called coumarin. Both coumarin and its derivative skimmin may offer anti-inflammatory properties.

Inflammation can lead to increased levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β), nitric oxide (NO), and interleukin 6 (IL-6) — all of which are known as pro-inflammatory markers (6Trusted Source).

Animal research suggests that both coumarin and skimmin may inhibit NO production and IL-6 activation and suppress the upregulation of TNF-α and IL-1β (2Trusted Source3Trusted Source5Trusted Source).

Additionally, in one study in mice hydrangea root extract inhibited the infiltration of inflammatory cells like macrophages and neutrophils into kidney tissue, which suggests another potential anti-inflammatory mechanism (2Trusted Source).

Lastly, in addition to coumarin and skimmin, the extract contains loganin and sweroside, two compounds known for their anti-inflammatory activities (2Trusted Source).

All this being said, keep in mind that research in humans is lacking.

May have antioxidant effects

If there are too many reactive oxygen species (ROS) in your body, a phenomenon called oxidative stress can occur, which can lead to tissue damage and other detrimental health effects (7Trusted Source).

Thankfully, molecules known as antioxidants protect against oxidative stress and said damage (8Trusted Source).

Coumarins in hydrangea root have antioxidant properties. For example, a mouse study found that hydrangea extract significantly reduced oxidative stress, suggesting potent antioxidant effects (2Trusted Source).

Similarly, another study determined that the extract significantly lowered oxidative stress markers such as NO and malondialdehyde (MDA) in mice (3Trusted Source).

It’s important to note that these benefits have not been confirmed in research in humans.

Other potential benefits

While research in humans is lacking, it’s speculated that hydrangea root may also:

  • Lower blood sugar levels. Test-tube studies and animal research indicate that the compound skimmin in hydrangea root may relieve insulin resistance and enhance blood sugar uptake (9Trusted Source).
  • Protect your liver. Test-tube research has found multiple compounds in hydrangea stems that may protect from liver toxicity (10Trusted Source11Trusted Source).
  • Provide cancer-fighting properties. One test-tube study determined that hydrangenol, another compound present in hydrangeas, may inhibit bladder cancer cell reproduction and spread (12Trusted Source).


Hydrangea root may protect from kidney damage and provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory

 effects, among other benefits. However, keep in mind that research in humans is needed.

Source Healthline

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