At the centre of the
circulatory system is the heart. The pump that keeps the blood flowing to and from organs.
Without this incredible muscle, the body would be deprived of vital elements needed to
survive. It is easy to forget the heart as it does its job automatically, but daily abuse
such as eating junk food, loafing, and smoking slowly degenerate the heart and cause
Berries 50 ml
Hawthorn Berry Tincture
The hawthorn tree, with its
bright red berries and long needlelike thorns, is a member of the rose family. Its
flowers, leaves and fruit are used to make an herbal extract valued for its
Studies show that crataegus tincture strengthens heart beat and improves circulation in
the blood vessels of the heart.
Hawthorn berries extract gently dilates the coronary vessels increasing the supply of arterial
blood to the heart. This action enhances oxygen utilization, resulting in a stronger, more
powerful heart muscle.
Regular intake of crataegus regulates heart rate and reduces the
feeling of anxiety and pressure around the heart so often reported by cardiac patients.
Crataegus differs from digitalis, which is also an effective heart stimulant, in that it
does not produce side effects. The overall effect of digitalis is strengthened by crataegus. Hawthorn berries is one of the most studied plants in physiotherapy; in many countries it
is recognized as a pharmaceutical.
To increase tolerance to effort in cardiac failure (NYHA stage I and II, see
table 1). Used against nervous restlessness, palpitations, myocardial
weakness, Buerger's disease (vascular disease), arteriosclerosis and mild
Each ml contains:
Hawthorn tincture (f) (Crataegus oxyacantha and C. monogyna) equivalent to
970 mg of fresh berries.
Extract ratio: 1 : 3.2 calculated in dry weight.
Alcohol content = 49% v/v
Adults: take 20-30 drops in water, 3 times daily, 15 minutes before meals.
Salivate before swallowing.
Hawthorn is mentioned in ancient texts (Pline, Galinus, Dioscorides) but its
cardiac virtues were only noted around the 16th Century (Quercetanus,
1544-1609). In the 19th Century, in the United States, Hawthorn was used by
the eclectic physicians.
Actions and pharmacology:
Hawthorns active components are mostly flavonoids (luteolin, apigenin,
vitexin, rutin, and quercetin as glycosides) and procyanidins. Hawthorn is
also a source of tannins or polyphenols (oligomeric cathechins and
epicathechins), carboxylic acids (caffeic acid), triterpenes and simple
amines (choline, acetylcholine and tyramine). Researchers were unable to
find one major active ingredient. It would seem that the therapeutic effect
of Hawthorn, like that of many other herbs, rests on the synergy of all of
The various in vivo and in vitro studies have identified many of Hawthorns
Increase of cardiac contractility (positive inotropic effect). As a result,
heart efficiency and ejection fraction are increased.(2)
Peripheral resistance reduction (post-charge reduction). The lesser the
resistance, the lesser the effort needed by the heart. The final effect is a
reduction in oxygen consumption. (2)
Coronary vasodilator (improves heart irrigation and oxygen supply). A well
irrigated heart is better fit for exercise and stresses. (3)
Increase of cardiac contraction efficiency. The contraction is quicker and
more efficient, which allows for a longer rest period (refractory period).
The heart has therefore a better endurance. (4)
Slight reduction in hypertension. Incidentally, Hawthorn can also improve
hypotension. Its final effect is a normalizing one on mild cases of either
low or high blood pressure. (6)
Cholesterol reduction. (7)
The German Commission E acknowledges its benefits in cases of: decreasing
cardiac output as described in functional Stage I and II (NYHA). See table
Table 1: Cardiac failure or cardiac insufficiency can be classified
according to its symptoms and impact on the quality of life. The most used
classification comes from the New York Heart Association.
Stage I No limitation in ordinary physical activity. No shortness of breath,
undue fatigue or palpitation.
Slight limitation of physical activity. Patients are comfortable at
rest. Ordinary physical activity results in fatigue, shortness of breath,
palpitation or angina (chest pain).
Stage III Marked limitation of physical activity. Patients are comfortable
at rest but slight activity leads to symptoms.
Stage IV Inability to carry on any physical activity without discomfort.
Patients have congestive heart failure symptoms at rest and increased
discomfort is experienced with any physical activity.
Hawthorn has won acclaim in large-scale clinical studies on cardiac failure.
In 1998, in a double blind placebo-controlled study, Dr NH Mashour and his
collaborators showed that Hawthorn consumption leads to a sharp decrease in
cardiac failure symptoms, stage II.(8) In a smaller study, 60 patients
suffering from angina received 60 mg of Hawthorn 3 times daily. The
researchers noted a significant improvement of coronary perfusion (quantity
of blood flow) and a reduction of oxygen consumption, resulting in an
increased effort capacity.(9)
Precautions, contraindications and interactions:
Contraindication: known allergy to Hawthorn.
Hawthorn is not indicated for pregnant or nursing women.
Hawthorn may potentiate digoxin (Lanoxin®) and may increase the effect of
heart medication such as calcium channel blockers and beta-blockers. Consult
a health professional before taking Hawthorn with any heart medication.
IMPORTANT: Never stop a medication prescribed by a physician without their
consent. Hawthorn can be used as a supportive measure for cardiovascular
conditions but does not replace medical treatment. Medical control is
paramount for any cardiovascular condition.
1-Upton R editor. Hawthorn Berry. American Herbal Pharmacopoeia June 1999.
Santa Cruz CA USA.
2-Blesken R. Crataegus in der Kardiologie. Forstchr Med 1992;
3-Roddweig C, Hensel H. Reaction of local myocardial blood flow in
non-anesthetized dogs and anesthetized cats to oral and parentheral
administration of a Crataegus fraction (oligomere procyanindines).
4-Schussler M, Hilzl J, Fricke U. Myocardial effects of flavonoids from
Crataegus species. Arznermittelforschung 1995;45:842-5.
5-Abdul-Ghani AS. Hypotensive effect of Crataegus oxyacantha. Int J Crude
Drug Res 1987;25:216-20.
6-Weiss RF. Lehrbuch der Phytotherapie 1990, p221-5.
7-Raqjerdan S, Deepalakshmi PD, Parasakthy K et al. Effect of tincture of
Crataegus on the LDL receptors activity of plasma membranes of rats fed an
atherogenic diet. Atherosclerosis 1996;123:235-41.
8-Mashour NH, Lin GI, Frishman WH. Herbal medicine for the treament of
cardiovascular disease. Arch Intern Med 1998;158:2225-34.
9-Hanak T, Bruckel MH. Behhandlung con leichten stabilen fromen des Angina
Pectoris mit Crataegutt novo. Therapiewoche 1983;33:4331-3.
10-Natural Medicines Comprehensive DataBase 2001. Pharmacist's Letter 3120
W. March Lane, PO Box 8190, Stockton, CA 95208. Tel: 1-209-472-2244 (Web
site continually updated. www.naturaldatabase.com )
11-Herbs: Everyday Reference Book for Health Professionals. Chandler F et al
2000. CPhA and CMA Ottawa, Ont, Can.
12-The Complete German Commission E Monographs, Therapeutic Guide to Herbal
Medicines. Blumenthal M et al 1998. American Botanical Council, 6200 Manor
Rd, Austin, Texas, 78723
have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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