phytochemicals Phytochemicals

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Crataegus monogyna

What is hawthorn?

Hawthorn is a deciduous small tree (10 ? 15m), with a short trunk, thorny branches and lobed leaves. Hawthorn is a member of the Rosaceae family. The hawthorn blossoms in May (hence name Mayflower). The distinctive white blossom has a strong scent. Howthorn has yellow, orange or red berries containing one to three nutlets.

Parts used

The leaves, fruits and flowers of hawthorn are used.


These are typical phytochemicals found in hawthorn: caffeic acid, hyperoside, oligomeric procyanid, vitexin, ursolic acid, rutin, flavonoids, quercetin.

Benefits of hawthorn

Hawthorn contains a variety of flavanoids that appear to be responsible for the cardiac actions of the plant. Hawthorn has been used for heart cardiac insufficiency, bradycardic rhythm disorders and angina pectoris. Hawthorn increases the blood flow to the heart and restores normal heart beat. Hawthorn is also used after heart attack to help recovery. Hawthorn dilates blood and assists in reducing high blood pressure. Studies have shown that hawthorn increase the contraction strength and the stroke volume of the hearth. Howthorn is only effective if taken for a period of minimum six weeks.
Hawthorn flowers and berries are astringent and are used in decoction to treat sore throats and digestive ailments, such as vomiting and diarrhoea. Hawthorn is also used as diuretic and to treat kidney stones.

Other facts

Hawthorn was first mentioned by the Greek herbalist Dioscorides during the first century AD. It went out fashion as a medicine until the 19th century, when it was used to treat heart diseases. Hawthorn originates from Europe and Western Asia.

Other names

Common hawthorn, crataegus monogyna, crataegus oxyacantha, espino albar, haw, may bush, may tree, mayflower, meidoorn, thorn-apple tree, whitethorn

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