Hawthorn berry (Crataegi fructus)

Published July 19, 1994.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)


Name of Drug

Crataegi fructus, hawthorn berry.

Composition of Drug

Hawthorn berry consists of the dried fruit of Crataegus monogyna Jaquin emend. Lindman or C. laevigata (Poiret) de Candolle or others in a valid pharmacopeia citing Crataegus [Fam. Rosaceae], as well as preparations thereof.

Pharmacological Properties, Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology

There are no scientific data on which to base the pharmacology and toxicology of the herb. Spectrographic analysis of the chemical constituents of the herb distinguishes only quantitative differences between preparations from the fruit and preparations combining leaf and flower. One may assume pharmacodynamics similar to those shown for the preparation containing both leaf and flower.

Clinical Data 1. Claimed Areas of Application Preparations of hawthorn berry may be applied to the treatment of coronary circulation, coronary complications and weak heart, heart and circulatory disturbances, hypotension, and arteriosclerosis.

2. Risks

None known.


Since the effectiveness of hawthorn berry for its claimed applications has not been documented, therapeutic use cannot be recommended.

The herb as a water extract, water-alcohol extract, wine infusion and fresh juice has been utilized traditionally to strengthen and invigorate heart and circulatory function.

These statements are based exclusively on historical record and long experience.

[Ed.note: A preparation from Hawthorn leaf with flower is listed in the Approved Herbs section. See Introduction].