Other Name(s):

3,3',4'5,7-Penthydroxyflavone, Bioflavonoid, Bioflavonoid Complex, Bioflavonoid Concentrate, Bioflavonoid Extract, Bioflavonoïde, Bioflavonoïde de Citron, Bioflavonoïdes de Citron, Citrus Bioflavones, Citrus Bioflavonoid, Citrus Bioflavonoids, Citrus Bioflavonoid Extract, Citrus Flavones, Citrus Flavonoids, Complexe de Bioflavonoïde, Concentré de Bioflavonoïde, Extrait de Bioflavonoïde, Extrait de Bioflavonoïdes de Citron, Flavones de Citron, Flavonoid, Flavonoïde, Meletin, Mélétine, Quercetina, Quercétine, Sophretin, Sophrétine.


Quercetin is a plant pigment (flavonoid). It is found in many plants and foods, such as red wine, onions, green tea, apples, berries, Ginkgo biloba, St. John's wort, American elder, and others. Buckwheat tea has a large amount of quercetin. People use quercetin as a medicine.

Quercetin is used for treating conditions of the heart and blood vessels including “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), high cholesterol, heart disease, and circulation problems. It is also used for diabetes, cataracts, hay fever, peptic ulcer, schizophrenia, inflammation, asthma, gout, viral infections, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), preventing cancer, and for treating chronic infections of the prostate. Quercetin is also used to increase endurance and improve athletic performance.

How does it work?

Quercetin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects which might help reduce prostate inflammation.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Uses & Effectiveness

Possibly Effective for...

  • Prostate pain and swelling (inflammation). Taking quercetin by mouth seems to reduce pain and improve quality of life, but doesn't seem to help urination problems in men with ongoing prostate problems that aren't due to infection.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Heart disease. Some research suggests that eating foods rich in quercetin, such as tea, onions and apples, can reduce the risk of heart disease-related death in elderly men. However, other early research suggests that taking a daily quercetin supplement does not improve heart disease risk factors.
  • High cholesterol. Short-term use of quercetin supplements does not seem to lower “bad cholesterol” (low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol), lower total cholesterol, or raise “good cholesterol” (high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol).
  • High blood pressure. Some research suggest that 365mg of quercetin aglycone twice daily produces a small (5-7 mmHg) decrease in blood pressure in people with untreated, mild high blood pressure. It's not known yet how important this is.
  • Exercise-induced respiratory infections. Developing research shows that taking 500 mg of quercetin twice daily for 3 weeks before, and continuing during 3 days of extended, intense cycling reduces the number of upper respiratory infections in the 14 days following the heavy exercise.
  • Kidney transplantation. Some research suggests that a combination of 20 mg of quercetin and 480 mg of curcumin taken once or twice daily, starting within 24 hours of kidney transplantation and continuing for one month, in combination with anti-rejection drugs, improves early function of the transplanted kidney.
  • Lung cancer. Some research suggests that consuming high amounts of quercetin in the diet might reduce the chance of developing lung cancer, especially in men who smoke.
  • Ovarian cancer. One study found no link between quercetin intake from the diet and the chance of ovarian cancer.
  • Pancreatic cancer. Some research suggests that eating high amounts of quercetin in the diet might reduce the chance of developing pancreatic cancer, especially in men who smoke.
  • Exercise performance.
  • “Hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis).
  • Diabetes.
  • Cataracts.
  • Hay fever (allergic rhinitis).
  • Stomach and intestinal ulcers.
  • Schizophrenia.
  • Pain and swelling (inflammation).
  • Asthma.
  • Gout.
  • Viral infections.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
  • Cancer.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate quercetin for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Quercetin is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth short-term. Quercetin has been safely used in amounts up to 500 mg twice daily for 12 weeks. It is not known if longer-term use or larger amounts are safe.

Quercetin can cause headache and tingling of the arms and legs. Very high doses might cause kidney damage.

When given intravenously (by IV) in appropriate amounts (less than 722 mg), quercetin is POSSIBLY SAFE. But larger amounts given by IV are POSSIBLY UNSAFE. There have been reports of kidney damage at higher doses.


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of quercetin during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


Antibiotics (Quinolone antibiotics)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Taking quercetin along with some antibiotics might decrease the effectiveness of some antibiotics. Some scientists think that quercetin might prevent some antibiotics from killing bacteria. But it's too soon to know if this is a big concern.

Quinolone antibiotics include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin), ofloxacin (Floxin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), gatifloxacin (Tequin), and others.

Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

A small study in healthy volunteers shows that giving quercetin before cyclosporine increases blood levels of the cyclosporine and lengthens the time it remains in the body.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C8 (CYP2C8) substrates)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Quercetin might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking quercetin along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of these medications. Before taking quercetin, talk with your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some medications that are changed by the liver include paclitaxel (Taxol), rosiglitazone (Avandia), amiodarone (Cordarone), docetaxel (Taxotere), tretinoins, repaglinide (Prandin), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan, etc.), and others.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Quercetin might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking quercetin along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of these medications. Before taking quercetin, talk with your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some medications that are changed by the liver include celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Voltaren), fluvastatin (Lescol), glipizide (Glucotrol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), phenytoin (Dilantin), piroxicam (Feldene), tamoxifen (Nolvadex), tolbutamide (Tolinase), torsemide (Demadex), and warfarin (Coumadin).

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) substrates)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Quercetin might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking quercetin along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of these medications. Before taking quercetin, talk with your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some drugs that are changed by the liver include amitriptyline (Elavil), codeine, flecainide (Tambocor), haloperidol (Haldol), imipramine (Tofranil), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), ondansetron (Zofran), paroxetine (Paxil), risperidone (Risperdal), tramadol (Ultram), venlafaxine (Effexor), and others.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Quercetin might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking quercetin along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of these medications. Before taking quercetin, talk with your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some drugs that are changed by the liver include calcium channel blockers (diltiazem, nicardipine, verapamil), chemotherapeutic agents (etoposide, paclitaxel, vinblastine, vincristine, vindesine), antifungals (ketoconazole, itraconazole), glucocorticoids, alfentanil (Alfenta), fentanyl (Sublimaze), losartan (Cozaar), fluoxetine (Prozac), midazolam (Versed), omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), ondansetron (Zofran), propranolol (Inderal), fexofenadine (Allegra), amitriptyline (Elavil), amiodarone (Cordarone), citalopram (Celexa), sertraline (Zoloft), and numerous others.

Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Quercetin seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking quercetin along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.

Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.

Medications moved by pumps in cells (P-Glycoprotein substrates)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Quercetin might affect the way certain medications are processed by the body. Quercetin might make these medications easier for the body to use and make them last longer in the body.

Some of the drugs that may be affected in these ways by quercetin include paclitaxel, diltiazem, cyclosporine, saquinavir, digoxin, cancer drugs (etoposide, vinblastine, vincristine, vindesine), antifungals (ketoconazole, itraconazole), protease inhibitors (amprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir), H2 antagonists (cimetidine, ranitidine), verapamil, corticosteroids, erythromycin, fexofenadine (Allegra), loperamide (Imodium), quinidine, and others.

Warfarin (Coumadin)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

A small test tube study shows that quercetin might increase the effects that warfarin has on the body. Taking quercetin and warfarin together might increase the chance of side effects of warfarin such as bruising and bleeding.


The following dose has been studied in scientific research:


  • For prostate pain and swelling (prostatitis): 500 mg twice daily.

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