Hawthorn – Crateagus
Parts used: Berried, leaves & flowers.
Swedish name: Hagtorn
Phytochemical and Pharmacological Activity Profile of Crataegus oxyacantha L. (Hawthorn) – A Cardiotonic Herb.
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Gazi University, 06330 Ankara, Turkey.
“Numerous experiments and clinical studies have underlined cardiovascular efficacy of the plant through various mechanisms including positive inotropic and negative chronotropic effects, escalation in coronary blood flow and exercise tolerance, inhibition of the enzymes such as angiotensinconverting enzyme (ACE) and phosphodiesterase, anti-inflammatory and antihyperlipidemic effects, improving status of antioxidant enzymes, etc., which support its cardioactive efficacy. The plant possesses several other bioactivities for human health usually concomitant to its rich polyphenolic content.”
Polyphenols from hawthorn peels and fleshes differently mitigate dyslipidemia, inflammation and oxidative stress in association with modulation of liver injury in high fructose diet-fed mice
College of Food Engineering and Nutritional Science, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710062, China
“These results together with the histopathology of the liver with H&E and oil red O staining suggest that hawthorn fruit, especially its peel, is an excellent source of natural polyphenolic chemopreventive agents in the treatment of liver disorders.”
An extract of Crataegus pinnatifida fruit attenuates airway inflammation by modulation of matrix metalloproteinase-9 in ovalbumin induced asthma.
Basic Herbal Medicine Research Group, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
“CPEE significantly decreased the Th2 cytokines including IL-4 and IL-5 levels, reduced the number of inflammatory cells in BALF and airway hyperresponsiveness, suppressed the infiltration of eosinophil-rich inflammatory cells and mucus hypersecretion and reduced the expression of ICAM-1, VCAM-1 and MMP-9 and the activity of MMP-9 in lung tissue of OVA-challenged mice…. These results showed that CPEE can protect against allergic airway inflammation and can act as an MMP-9 modulator to induce a reduction in ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression. In conclusion, we strongly suggest the feasibility of CPEE as a therapeutic drug for allergic asthma.”
In a 10-week study in 36 people with mildly elevated blood pressure, those taking 500 mg of hawthorn extract daily experienced a decrease in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number of a reading), while other groups showed no improvements.
Another study in 79 people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure observed that those who took 1,200 mg of hawthorn extract daily had greater improvements in blood pressure than those in the placebo group.
One study in rats found that hawthorn stimulated hair growth and increased the number and size of hair follicles, promoting healthier hair.
Given that it has few side effects compared to traditional anti-anxiety medications, hawthorn continues to be researched as a potential treatment for disorders of the central nervous system, such as anxiety and depression.
A review of 14 randomized studies in more than 850 people concluded that those who took hawthorn extract along with their heart failure medications had improved heart function and exercise tolerance.
They also experienced less shortness of breath and fatigue.
What’s more, a 2-year observational study in 952 people with heart failure found that those supplementing with hawthorn berry extract had less fatigue, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations than people who did not supplement.
The group taking hawthorn berry also required fewer medications to manage their heart failure.
Finally, another large study in over 2,600 people with heart failure suggested that supplementing with hawthorn berry may reduce the risk of sudden heart-related death — https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19019730
People with heart failure are often encouraged to take hawthorn berry in addition to their current medications, as the supplement is considered safe with few side effects.
Typical doses are 250–500 mg, taken three times daily.