Shan Zha

Fructus Crataegi, Crataegus


Oral administration: 3 to 10g of the herb can be decocted in water or it can be made into pills or powder. External application: a proper amount of the herb should be applied to local areas or a decoction can be used for soaking. 5:1 concentrated extracts: 0.6 to 2g.


The LD50 values for oral administration of Shan Zha, Ye Shan Zha (wild Shan Zha), and Yunnan Shan Zha were larger than 126g (of raw herb)/kg. (1)

Chemical Composition

Triterpene; Chromocor; Hyperin; Quercetinic acid; Ursolic acid; Red pigment; Guaiacol; Furfural; 2-methoxy-4-methylphenol; Phenol; Ortho-tricresol; 5-methyl-2-furfuraldehyde; Protocatechuic acid; Pyrogallol acid; Catechol; Hydroxybenzoic acid; Hentriacontane; Hexadecanoic acid; Octaconsyl ester; Eicosanoic acid; Octatriacontyl ester; Nonacosan-10-ol; b-sitosterol; Betlin; Urs-12-ene-3b, 28-diol; Bis-(5-formylfurfuryl)-ether; Daucosterol; Vitexin; Chromocor; Organic acids; Sugar; Citric acid; Succinic acid; Acetic acid; Vitamin C; Linoleic acid. (2) , (3) , (4) , (5) , (6) , (7) , (8) , (9) , (10) , (11) , (12) , (13) , (14)

Inorganic Chemicals

It also contains trace elements, such as Zn, Cu, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cd, Pb, Cr, Sr, Ca, Mg, and As.


This herb is contraindicated in those with weakness of the spleen and stomach, as well as pregnant woman.


Effects on lowering blood lipid levels and counteracting arteriosclerosis

In one report, alcohol-soluble extracts of Shan Zha decreased total cholesterol 33.7 to 62.8% (LDC+VLDL)-C in the serum of hypercholesterolemic quail. The effects were enhanced as the dosage increased. (15) In another report, aqueous extracts of Shan Zha significantly decreased the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in the serum and increased the concentrations of HDL-C, HDL2-C, and HDL3-C. (16) According to Cai Lei, et al., Shan Zha may suppress the LDLR mRNA expression from vascular walls, enhance gene transcription and protein expression of LDLR in the liver, and decrease sedimentation of lipids on vascular walls. (17) Zhe Yan Fang, et al. reported that alcohol-soluble extracts of the fruit-stone of Shan Zha were extremely effective in resisting increased contents of TC and (LDL+VLDL)-C in the serum of rats which were induced by high fat diets, increasing the content of HDL-C in the serum, especially HKL2-C levels, and enhancing LCAT activity in the serum of the hyperlipidemic rats. Alcohol-soluble extracts of Shan Zha had effects such as decreasing cholesterol, especially cholesterol esters, deposits in arteries of quail, decreasing formation of arterial atheromatous plaque, and inhibiting occurrence and development of experimental atherosclerosis. (18)

Anti-oxidation effects

In one report, water soluble extracts of Shan Zha cleared free radical O2, reduced depolymerization of hyaluronic acid induced by O2, inhibited lipid peroxidation in mice liver (in vitro and in vivo), and suppressed adenosine deaminase activity in mice liver (in vitro). (19) An in vitro experiment showed that the fruits of Shan Zha, Ye Shan Zha (wild Shan Zha), and Yunnan were effective in clearing superoxide anion free radicals. Shan Zha and Ye Shan Zha remarkably counteracted decreased SOD activity caused by aging in normal mice. (20)

Anti-neoplastic effects

The results of one experiment showed that an erinitrit and methyl phentolamine solution given to rats and mice caused proliferative pathological changes in the epithelium of the esophagus and the proventriculus to different degrees, and induced proventriculus papillomas in 5 rats. When Shan Zha extracts were added to the mentioned solution, the epithelium of the esophagus and the proventriculus did not undergo any significant morphology changes. (21) In another report, polyphenol compounds, effective ingredients in Shan Zha, were effective in clearing nitrite salt with an elimination ratio of 86.4%, inhibiting DNA impairment in human lymphocytes with an inhibition rate of 71.5%, and prolonging survival rate at 180% in Kunming mice, which had inoculations of aldrin ascites. (22) Liu Zuo Ping, et al. reported that Shan Zha extracts at 4 to 8mg/ml significantly decreased the survival rate of cancer cells. At 8 to 10mg/ml, it remarkably inhibited colony formation of cancer cells without significantly affecting normal human cells. (23)

Anti-thrombotic action

Li Cheng Li, et al. reported that the water-soluble extracts of Shan Zha were effective in shortening the length of thrombus formed in vitro in experimental animals. It also significantly decreased the dry and wet weight of thrombus by decreasing its blood viscosity and inhibiting the formation of platelet thrombus and the thromboxane process at earlier and later stages. (24)

Enhancing immunity

A Shan Zha injection had enhancement actions on serum lysozyme levels, the titre of blood agglutinogen antibodies in the serum, formation rate of E rosettes of T-lymphocytes, and transformation efficiency of T-lymphocytes in heart blood. (25)

Other effects

Bacteriostatic effectiveness of Shan Zha on Bacillus dysenteriae has been shown to be 90%. (26) The results of one anti-mutation experiment showed that the water-soluble extracts of Ye Shan Zha notably inhibited the micronucleus formation of polychromatic erythrocytes in the bone marrow of white mice induced by cytoxan. In addition, it also resisted SOS reactions induced by mutagens to some degree. (27)


  1. Chen Hong Bing, et al. LD50 comparison between pharmacology of 4 kinds of Shan Zha related plants. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1994;19(8):454-455.
  2. Kan Yu Ming, et al. Quantity determination and separataion tests for hyperin and quercetinic acid from Shan Zha seed. Journal of Nanjing College of TCM. 1988;(1):40-41.
  3. Wang Ping, et al. Qantity determination for acid citric from variously processed Shan Zha products. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine. 1993;15(5):21.
  4. Zhang Li Qun, et al. Using thin layer luminescent chromatography to determine ursolic acid level in Shan Zha. Journal of Medicine Analysis. 1995;15(1):30-32.
  5. Zhen Quan, et al. Extraction and application of red pigment from Shan Zha. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1998;29(1):20-21.
  6. Huang Rong Qing, et al. Gas chromatography research on Shan Zha core oil. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Material. 1998;21(1):25-26.
  7. Liu Xia, et al. Analysis of Shan Zha fruit’s protein, amino acids, and inorganic elements. China Journal of Wild Botanic Resources. 1998;17(2):37-39.
  8. Wang Xue Song, et al. Research on Shan Zha core chemical composition. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1999;24(12):739-740.
  9. Huang Xuo Cha, et al. Analysis of trace elements in Shan Zha. Journal of Trace Elements and Health Research. 2000;17(1):42-43.
  10. Shi Yan Peng, et al. Research on Shan Zha chemical composition. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 2000;31(3):173-175.
  11. He Xin Liang. Comparison between chemical composition of Bei Shan Zha and that of Nan Shan Zha. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1990;21(4):4-6.
  12. Li Hai Sheng, et al. Comparative analysis of organic acids and Vitamin C in Bei Shan Zha and Nan Shan Zha, using HPLC. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1990;21(4):13-14.
  13. Fu Li, et al. Research of fatty acids in Bei Shan Zha. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1990;15(10):610-611.
  14. He Xin Liang, et al. Quantity determination, separation and extraction of Shan Zha’s ursolic acid. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine. 1988;(8):19(1):25-27.
  15. Chu Yan Fang, et al. Effects of Shan Zha core alcohol soluble extracts on quail blood serum and cholesterol level on artery walls. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1988;19(1):25-27.
  16. Li Ting Li, et al. Research on Shan Li Hong Xhui Jin Gao’s therapeutic effect on SHR rat experimental hyperlipidemia. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Herbs. 1989;(2):45-47.
  17. Cai Lei, et al. Research on the therapeutic effects and mechanisms of exercise and Shan Zha on rat hyperlipidemia. China Journal of Sports Medicine. 2000;19(1):29-32.
  18. Chu Yan Fang, et al. Research on preventive effects of Shan Zhan core and other effective components on experimental aatherosclerosis. Journal of Pharmacology and Clinical Application of TCM. 1988;4(2):22-27.
  19. Wang Wei, et al. Examining the anti-oxidation effects of food and herbal medicine. Journal of Integrated Medicine. 1991;11(3):159-161,134.
  20. Zou Qing Ping, et al. Research on four kinds of Shang Zha fruit’s anti-oxidation effects and lowering blood lipid level. Journal of Practical TCM. 1999;13(3):5-8.
  21. Liu Zuo Ping, et al. Shan Zha extracts. Journal of Henan Medical University. 1991;26(4):349-352.
  22. Guo Fa Chang, et al. Research on Shan Zha’s active components for anti-cancer effects. Journal of Henan Medical University. 1992;27(4):312-314.
  23. Liu Zhuo Pin, et al. Suppressive effects of Shan Zha extracts on human fetus lung 2BS cell and related cancerous cells. Henan Journal of Oncology. 1994;7(3):173-174.
  24. Li Ting Li, et al. Effects of Shan Li Hong Shui Jin Gao on in vitro rat thrombus formation. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Herbs. 1999;27(1):58.
  25. Jin Zhi Cui, et al. Effects of Shan Zha injection solution on immune functions. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1992;23(11), 592-593.
  26. Hao Qing Gong, et al. Study on antibiotic function of ten commonly used herbs. Shandong Journal of TCM. 1991;10(3):39-40.
  27. Guo Wei, et al. Research on Xinjiang wild Shan Zha’s anti-mutation effects. Journal of Health and Toxicology. 1998;12(1):65.