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Scientific Name: Crataegus oxycantha

Constituents:

  • Oligomeric proanthocyanadins (OPCs) & Anthocyanidins
  • Flavonoids (kaempferol, quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, vitexin & rutin)
  • Amines (phenylethylamine, tyramine, choline)
  • Phenolic, carboxylic & triterpene acids (ascorbic, crategolic acid & ursolic acid)
  • Triterpene saponins
  • Tannins

Medicinal actions:

  • Antioxidant
  • Cardiac Tonic & trophorestorative (Anti-arrhythmic)
  • Connective Tissue Tonic
  • Diuretic
  • Hypotensive
  • Vascular Tonic

Mechanism of Action & Pharmacology:

  • Oligomeric procyanidins are antioxidant, improve coronary circulation and have negative chronotropic & positive inotropic action on the heart.
  • The resulting coronary vasodilation promotes decreased vascular resistance, hypotension, increased nutrition & energy stores to myocardial cells.
  • Inhibition of phosphodiesterase (PDE) causes increased levels of cAMP in myocardial cells, thus prolonging the effective refractory period of the heart muscle, and also inhibits angiotensin converting enzyme.
  • Flavonoids relax and dilate arteries and are highly antioxidant. Rutin specifically, improves integrity of blood vessels and capillaries.
  • Anthocyanidins and Vitamin C work synergistically to help stabilize connective tissues & collagen in cartilage and bone by strengthening cross-links between collagen chains.

Pharmacy:

  • Tincture
  • Capsules
  • Dried/fresh leaf, flower or berry
  • Note: There is no restriction on the long-term use

Safety & Toxicity Concerns:

  • Use caution in severe hypotension.
  • In rare cases may cause nausea, dizziness, and gastrointestinal complaints.

Interactions:

  • May help reduce toxicity & increase effectiveness of cardiac glycosides, hypotensive medications and CNS depressants.
  • May inhibit effects of vasoconstrictors (eg. Alpha-blockers) and decrease BP with nitrates & PDE-5 inhibitors (eg. Sildenafil)

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