Crataegus turkestanica Pojark.
Small tree 5-8 m high.
Central Asia and Iran. Grows in walnut and apple stands on northeastern and northern slopes, in pistachio stands on loess deposits of southern slopes, and in almond forests on stone mounds of rock terraces.
Active ingredients found in hawthorn include tannins, flavonoids (such as vitexin, rutin, quercetin, and hyperoside), oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs, such as epicatechin, procyanidin, and particularly procyanidin B-2), flavone-C, triterpene acids (such ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, and crataegolic acid), and phenolic acids (such as caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, and related phenolcarboxylic acids). Standardization of hawthorn products is based on content of flavonoids (2.2%) and OPCs (18.75%).
Traditional Use and Activity
Several species of hawthorn have been used in traditional medicine.
A meta-analysis of different studies concluded that there is evidence of benefit for an extract of fruits and flowers in treating chronic heart failure.
The plant is believed to strengthen cardiovascular function.
Another use of this plant is as a mild sedative in promotion of sleep.
Overdose can cause cardiac arrhythmia and dangerously lower blood pressure. Milder side effects include nausea and sedation.
The fruits of different species of hawthorn are eaten raw as a snack, or used in cooking, making jams.
The leaves are edible and, if picked in spring when still young, they are tender enough to be used in salads.