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Crataegus oxycantha (Hawthorne)

Crataegus oxycantha                Common name: Hawthorne
Family:
Rosaceae

Parts used:  Flora, leaves, and berries

Constituents: Oligomeric procyanidins (procyanidin B-2, epicatechin, catechin), flavonoids (kaempferol, quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, rutin), amines (phenylethylamine, tyramine, choline), anthocyanidins

Medical actions:  CNS sedative, antioxidant, adaptogen, cardiac trophorestorative, cardiotonic, hypotension, coronary vasodilator, peripheral vasodilator, anti-arrhythmic, diuretic, collagen stabilizing, reduces myocardial oxygen demand, protects against myocardial damage.

Medical Indications: One of the best tonic remedies for the whole of the heart and circulatory system. Acts in a normalizing way upon the heart by either stimulating or depressing its activity based upon the need. As a long-term treatment may be used safely in heart failure (cardiac insufficiency) and weakness. May similarly be used in cases of palpitations, arrhythmia and valvular insufficiency. As a tonic for the circulatory system has an important use in the treatment of hypertension, atherosclerosis, and angina. Will play a role in any treatment of vessel problems including varicose veins or even ulcers. Can be used for arthritis, fractures, and osteoporosis.

Pharmacology: 

  • Procyanidins are antioxidant, improve coronary circulation and have negative chronotropic and positive inotropic action on the heart.
  • Flavonoids are negative chronotropic, positive inotropic, relax and dilate arteries and are highly antioxidant. Rutin specifically, improves integrity of blood vessels and capillaries.
  • Anthocyanidins help stabilize collagen in cartilage and bone.

Pharmacy:  Dried/fresh leaf, flower or fruit: 1.5 – 3.5 g dry (3x if fresh) infusion or decoction.  Tincture (1:5, 45%), 1-2ml TID. There is no restriction on the long-term use of Crataegus.  Rather, Crataegus should be used at least 2 months for treatment of heart conditions.

Contraindications: None known.

Toxicity: No adverse effects expected within recommended doses.

Interactions: May help reduce toxicity of cardiac glycosides, hypertensive medications and CNS depressants. Interaction with Digitalis has not been confirmed.

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