Other Names of Crataegus:  Hawthorn and Thornapple

Useful Parts of the Plant: Flowers, bark, dried leaves and the berries

Crataegus is typically a member of the rose family and is seen as large shrubs and trees. These are native to the temperate regions of the world and grow to around 5-20 meters in height. The branches of these shrubs are usually small and thorny. There are over 200 species that are related to this genus. Typically, the parts of the Crataegus are used for various medicinal and non-medicinal purposes. In fact the berries of the Crataegus are known to be very valuable as they sustain a variety of wildlife.

Nutritional Information and Properties: Crataegus is rich in nutrients. The shrub is rich in flavanoids. It also contains Vitamin C and is rich in B Vitamins. Along with bioflavanoids crataegus also contains polyphenols, procyanidins, vitexin, hyperoside and cardiotonic amines.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses

  • With regards to the health Benefits and therapeutic uses of the Crataegus, in most of the herbal remedies the ripe fruit and the flowers of the Crataegus are used.
  • The Crataegus is also known to be very beneficial for treating various heart related ailments as well as other medical conditions such as cough, dizziness, sleeplessness, stomach aches and throat related problems etc.
  • The extract of the seeds of the Crataegus are also used as a home remedy for strengthening the teeth and gums.
  • Herbal preparations using Crataegus are also known to have therapeutic uses such as improving the circulation of blood to the brains and the heart as well as for taking care of any heaviness or pain around the heart that may be experienced by an individual. Crataegus is known to be rich in flavonoids which are responsible for widening the arteries which in turn increases the supply of oxygen to the heart.
  • Along with the fruits and the flowers of the Crataegus , in some parts of the world the cortex of the young branches and the leaves of the Crataegus are also used to naturally treat medical conditions such as fever and diarrhea.
  • The health benefits of the regular use of Crataegus also include normalization of one's sleep patterns along with stabilizing the blood and pulse pressure as well as elevating ones moods.
  • The Crataegus is typically known to be associated with the treatment of various heart diseases such as angina pectoris as it is effective in increasing the amount of blood per heart beat which is caused on account of stronger contractions of the heart muscle.
  • The bioflavonoids that are present in Crataegus are also known to benefit the circulatory system of the individual by toning and strengthening the muscles that constitute the walls of the arteries and this helps in minimizing the possibility  of aneurvism and stroke.
  • The herb Crataegus is also known to help regularise the blood pressure and hence is also used to treat both high and low blood pressure.
  • Crataegus is known to help in protecting the heart lipids by lowering serum cholesterol
  • Health and medicinal benefits of Crataegus also include its effect on the free radicals that it tends to aid in destroying as they would have otherwise caused damage to the body of the individual.
  • As Crataegus is known to strengthen the heart muscle and protect against various heart related medical conditions, it is known to improve the overall ability of the individual to exercise and perform various physical activities.
  • Health benefits of Crataegus are also on account of its antioxidant properties which tend to help against the formation of plaque in the arteries that narrows the arterial passages and results in a medical condition known as arterioscleriosis.

Like any herbal remedy before using Crataegus , it is always advisable to consult one’s doctor more so if the person is already consuming prescribed medications. Certain side effects in terms of Crataegus that have been observed in some people are swelling, rashes, itching and even dizziness.