Crataegus Oxy is a herbal medicine and cardiac tonic to promote healthy heart function. It assists weakened heart performance due to heart failure and poor blood supply to the heart muscle (congestive and ischemic heart disease). With broad acting cardiac supportive action (in heart failure, heaviness on the chest (cardiac oppression), mild heart related chest pain (angina), irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), and heart weakness in the elderly) it assists to improve exercise tolerance, quality of life, and breathlessness and fatigue in heart patients.
Crataegus helps improve the flow of blood to the heart and helps the heart push blood more effectively out of the heart and into the arteries.
Historically crataegus (hawthorn) berries were used in healthcare as far back as the 15th century and were well known as a heart care tonic. In North America, their role as a treatment for heart problems dates back to 1800. Today crataegus is garnering attention for its potential cardiovascular enhancing and protective properties.
Crataegus berries are edible and during World War I, hawthorn seeds were ground and used instead of coffee. In addition, hawthorn leaves were used instead of tea and tobacco.
Alfred Vogel relished eating Crataegus berries as a child yet it was only later as an adult that he learned of their true health benefits as a tincture made from the pulp of the berries.
Adults and children over 12 years:
Take 30 drops in a little water 3 times daily.
Maintenance/general health tonic:
Take 30 drops once or twice daily.
The active substances are:
Each 1 ml contains:
Tincture of Crataegus species (Hawthorn) 970 mg
[From: Crataegus oxyacantha L. and Crataegus monogyna Jacq., fresh fruits, 1:3,2 extract providing dry plant equivalent: 301 mg per ml]
The other ingredients are:
Contains approximately 50 % v/v alcohol.
Consult a healthcare practitioner prior to use if you are taking cardiovascular medications.
For prolonged use, consult a healthcare practitioner.
Not recommended during pregnancy or nursing.
Avoid taking in case of known allergy to any of the ingredients in the product.
Hawthorn’s 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 its components.(1)
The various in vivo and in vitro studies have identified many of Hawthorns therapeutic effects:
- 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).
- Upton R editor. Hawthorn Berry. American Herbal Pharmacopoeia June 1999. Santa Cruz CA USA.
- Blesken R. Crataegus in der Kardiologie. Forstchr Med 1992; 110(15):290-2.
- 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). Arznermittelforschung 1977;27:1407-10.
- Schussler M, Hilzl J, Fricke U. Myocardial effects of flavonoids from Crataegus species. Arznermittelforschung 1995;45:842-5.
- Abdul-Ghani AS. Hypotensive effect of Crataegus oxyacantha. Int J Crude Drug Res 1987;25:216-20.
- Weiss RF. Lehrbuch der Phytotherapie 1990, p221-5.
- 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.