Cypress (Cupressus spp., Cupressus sempervirens, Cupressus arizonica)
Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.
Cupressaceae (family), Cupressoideae (subfamily), Cupressus, Cupressus arizonica, Cupressus funebris Endl (mourning cypress), Cupressus sempervirens, cypress (Cupressus species), hinokitiol, Italian cypress, phosphatidyl-choline, phosphatidyl-ethanolamine, phospholipids.
Note: This monograph covers only the Cupressus species. The following are names for plant species that use the common name cypress but are not covered in this monograph: cypress (Chamaecyparis species), cypress (Callitropsis species), African cypress (Widdringtonia species), bald cypress (Taxodium species), Chinese swamp cypress (Glyptostrobuspensilis), Cordilleran cypress (Austrocedrus chilensis), Fujian cypress (Fokienia hodginsii), Guaitecas cypress (Pilgerodendron uviferum), Patagonian cypress (Fitzroya cupressoides), Siberian cypress (Microbiota decussata), cypress-pines (Actinostrobus species), cypress-pines (Callitris species), Eastern red cedar, Japanese cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa), Western red cedar (Thuja plicata).
Note: This monograph does not include sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT).
The genus Cupressus is one of several genera within the family Cupressaceae that share the common name cypress. Cypresses are evergreen trees or large shrubs native to warm temperate habitats, and are found throughout the Mediterranean area. Cupressus sempervirens (Mediterranean cypress) is a species of cypress native to the eastern Mediterranean region.
Cypress essential oil has been used as a fragrance and in aromatherapy. Cypress essential oil may have mood-elevating effects upon inhalation after physical work. Early evidence suggests that cypress may have antiplatelet, anti-inflammatory, and immunostimulant effects.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
No available studies qualify for inclusion in the evidence table.
*Key to grades:A: Strong scientific evidence for this use; B: Good scientific evidence for this use; C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use; D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work); F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).
The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.
Anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, aromatherapy, bronchitis, colds, cough, fragrance, immunostimulant, mood enhancement.
The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.
Adults (18 years and older)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for cypress in adults.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for cypress in children.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Avoid in individuals with known allergy/hypersensitivity to Cupressus species, their constituents, or members of the Cupressaceae family.
Allergy to cypress has been noted, particularly in children with asthma and in individuals with allergic rhinitis.
Side Effects and Warnings
Acute liver failure, conjunctivitis, kidney failure, respiratory symptoms, and blood disorders (autoimmune hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia) have been reported.
Use cautiously in patients taking medications that increase the risk of bleeding (anticoagulants).
Use cautiously in patients with respiratory disorders or in those taking drugs to treat asthma.
Use cautiously in patients taking agents that affect the immune system.
Use cautiously in patients with kidney disorders or in those taking other agents that are broken down by the kidneys.
Use cautiously in patients with liver disorders.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Cypress is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.
Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.
Interactions with Drugs
Cypress may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
Cypress may enhance the immune system. Use cautiously with agents that may stimulate or suppress the immune system.
Cypress may interact with drugs used to treat asthma, antihistamines, or drugs that are eliminated by the kidneys.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Cypress may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto.
Cypress may enhance the immune system. Use cautiously with herbs or supplements that may stimulate or suppress the immune system.
Cypress may interact with herbs or supplements used to treat asthma, antihistamines, or herbs or supplements that are eliminated by the kidneys.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
Agea, E., Russano, A., Bistoni, O., et al. Human CD1-restricted T cell recognition of lipids from pollens. J.Exp.Med. 7-18-2005;202(2):295-308. View Abstract
Boutin-Forzano, S., Gouitaa, M., Hammou, Y., et al. Personal risk factors for cypress pollen allergy. Allergy 2005;60(4):533-535. View Abstract
Charpin, D, Calleja, M, Lahoz, C, et al. Allergy to cypress pollen. Allergy 2005;60(3):293-301. View Abstract
Dhivert-Donnadieu, H. [Allergy to cypress: clinical aspects]. Allerg.Immunol.(Paris) 2000;32(3):133-135. View Abstract
Gelardi, M., Maselli, Del Giudice, et al. Nasal resistance and allergic inflammation depend on allergen type. Int.Arch.Allergy Immunol. 2006;141(4):384-389. View Abstract
Geller-Bernstein, C., Waisel, Y., and Lahoz, C. Environment and sensitization to cypress in Israel. Allerg.Immunol.(Paris) 2000;32(3):92-93. View Abstract
Panzani, R. C. [History of allergy to cypress pollen]. Allerg.Immunol.(Paris) 2000;32(3):142-144. View Abstract
Papa, G, Romano, A, Quaratino, D, et al. Prevalence of sensitization to Cupressus sempervirens: a 4-year retrospective study. Sci Total Environ 4-10-2001;270(1-3):83-87. View Abstract
Suzuki, H., Ueda, T., Juranek, I., et al. Hinokitiol, a selective inhibitor of the platelet-type isozyme of arachidonate 12-lipoxygenase. Biochem.Biophys.Res Commun. 9-7-2000;275(3):885-889. View Abstract
Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.
March 22, 2017