Hawthorn

Plant Part Used

Flower, leaf, and berry

Introduction

Historically, hawthorn was used by Roman physicians as a heart drug in the first century A.D. The literature from that period focuses on its symbolic use of hawthorn for religious rites and political ceremonies. During the Middle Ages, hawthorn was used for the treatment of "dropsy," or congestive heart failure.

Today, extracts made from the flower, leaf, and berry of the hawthorn plant have been used extensively in Europe to treat a variety of circulatory disorders, including high blood pressure.

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

250 mg (standardized extract), 1 to 3 times a day.

Berry: 300 mg to 1 g, 3 times a day.

Tincture: 1-2 ml, 3 times a day.

Crude: 200-500 mg daily.

Leaf and Flowers Extract: 160-900 mg = to 3.5-19.8 mg flavonoids daily.

Most Common Dosage

250 mg (standardized extract), 3 times a day.

Berry: 300 mg, 3 times a day.

Tincture 1 ml, 3 times a day.

Crude: 200 mg daily.

Leaf and Flowers Extract: 160 mg = to 3.5 mg flavonoids daily.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to 2% vitexin and/or 20% procyanidins per dose. European products standardized to 2.2% flavonoids.

Reported Uses

Researchers think that hawthorn may be able to regulate both low and high blood pressure. One of its key components, bioflavinoids, are thought to dilate the blood vessels. (1) This leads to hawthorn’s use in preventing angina attacks. Its function as a mild diuretic may be the key to its blood pressure-lowering effects.

Hawthorn has also been evaluated in people with NYHA class II heart failure. (2) In a study of 132 individuals, standardized hawthorn extract compared favorably to captopril, a member of a class of prescription medications known as ACE-inhibitors. (3) Another study involving 136 patients, the hawthorn group showed improvement in the areas of heart function evaluated, whereas the placebo group did not.

Other key components of hawthorn are believed to support heart and circulatory system health including heartbeat, blood flow, control of artherosclerotic plaque and more. (4) , (5) , (6) , (7) Because hawthorn also promotes healthy collagen production, supportive effects may also extend to such disorders as Raynaud’s disease and varicose veins. (8)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines. (9)

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

This dietary supplement should not be used in pregnant women. (10)

This dietary supplement should not be used if you are breast-feeding an infant without first consulting a physician.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

References

  1. Wagner H, et al. Cardioactive Drugs IV. Cardiotonic Amines from Crataegus oxyacantha. Planta Medica. 1982;45:99-101.
  2. View Abstract: Degenring FH, Suter A, Weber M, Saller R. A randomised double blind placebo controlled clinical trial of a standardised extract of fresh Crataegus berries (Crataegisan) in the treatment of patients with congestive heart failure NYHA II. Phytomedicine. 2003;10(5):363-9.
  3. Tauchert M, Ploch M, Huebner WD. Effectiveness of Hawthorn Extract LI132 Compared with the ACE Inhibitor Captopril: Multicenter double-blind study with 132 NYHA Stage II. Muench Med Wochenschr. 1994;136(supp):S27-S33.
  4. View Abstract: Taskov M. On the Coronary and Cardiotonic Action of Crataemon. Acta Physiol Pharmacol Bulg. 1977;3(4):53-57.
  5. Petkov E, et al. Inhibitory Effect of Some Flavonoids and Flavonoid Mixtures on Cyclic AMP Phosphodiesterase Activity of Rat Heart. Planta Medica. 1981;43:183-86.
  6. View Abstract: Uchida S, et al. Inhibitory Effects of Condensed Tannins on Angiotensin Converting Enzyme. Jap J Pharmacol. 1987;43(2):242-46.
  7. View Abstract: Wegrowski J, Robert AM, Moczar M. The Effect of Procyanidolic Oligomers on the Composition of Normal and Hypercholesterolemic Rabbit Aortas. Biochem Pharm. 1984;33:3491-97.
  8. Kuhnau J. The Flavonoids. A Class of Semi-essential Food Components. Their Role in Human Nutrition. Wld Rev Nutr Diet. 1976;24:117-91.
  9. Ammon HPT, et al. Crataegus, Toxicology and Pharmacology. Part I: Toxicity. Planta Medica. 1981;43(2):105-20.
  10. Ammon HPT, et al. Crataegus, Toxicology and Pharmacology. Part I: Toxicity. Planta Medica. 1981;43(2):105-20.