Botanical name: Crataegus,  AKA 山楂  (Shan zha), thorn Apple, May-tree, whitethorn, or hawberry


Berries, leaves, and flowers have similar phytochemicals with different ratios of flavonoids and procyanidins. Berries are rich in hyperoside, while leaves have higher levels of vitexin-2-rhamnoside. 1

Phenolic compounds, aglycones, procyanidins.   Triterpenic acids (ursolic, oleanolic, and crataegolic acids) and phenol carboxylic acids (chlorogenic and caffeic acids and various amines) 3


The most popular use of hawthorn is for heart related diseases like arteriosclerosis, arrhythmia and congestive heart failure.  Clinical trials to date suggests that hawthorn may be a safe, effective, nontoxic agent in treating cardio vascular disease and  ischemic heart disease.  Significant protective effects were seen for cardiovascular cells using a whole plant extract of Chinese hawthorn.  It's also used to lower high blood pressure.  Crataegus oxyacantha extract showed antiarrhythmic effect.4

Hawthorn is free-radical scavenging, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and gastroprotective.    It's also used for insomnia, poor circulation, digestive problems, and dyspnea.


Hawthorne may increase the effects of cardiovascular medication such as Digoxin, enalapril, metoprolol, nitroglycerin, propranolol, Theophylline, caffeine, papverine.


Crataegus oxyacantha is popularly known for its cardioprotective action. Crataegus monogyna and Crataegus laevigata are the major hawthorn species in middle Europe, Crataegus pentagynaCrataegus nigra, and Crataegus azarolus in southern and southeastern Europe, and Crataegus pinnatifida and Crataegus scabrifolia in China








1 . Tassell M, Kingston R, Gilroy D, Lehane M, Furey A. Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.  Published 2010 Jan-Jun; 4(7): 32–41.

2 . Ling S, Nheu L, Dai A, Guo Z, Komesaroff P.  Effects of four medicinal herbs on human vascular endothelial cells in culture. Published 2008 Aug 29;128(3):350-8

3 . Wang J, Xiong X, Feng B.  Effect of Crataegus Usage in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: An Evidence-Based Approach Published Dec 29, 2013

4 . Alp H, Soner BC, Baysal T, Şahin AS.  Protective effects of Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha) extract against digoxin-induced arrhythmias in rats. Published Dec 25, 2014.

This information in this post came from many sources, including class notes, practitioners, websites, webinars, books, magazines, and editor's personal experience.   Always consult a doctor prior to using herbal medicine.  The information here is strictly for educational purposes.



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