Hawthorn Plant Parts: Their Health and Antibacterial Benefits

Jenn Hoskins
20th March, 2024

Hawthorn Plant Parts: Their Health and Antibacterial Benefits

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Study at Gonbad Kavous University found hawthorn plant has heart health benefits
  • Hawthorn fruit, leaf, and root extracts contain antioxidants that may protect cells
  • The fruit extract also showed potential as a natural antibacterial agent
Hawthorn, a plant long revered for its medicinal properties, particularly in supporting the cardiovascular system, has been the focus of a recent study by researchers at Gonbad Kavous University[1]. This study aimed to delve into the phytochemical makeup and biological activities of Crataegus pentagyna, commonly known as small-flowered black hawthorn, and to substantiate its traditional uses with scientific evidence. The research team employed advanced techniques, such as liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), to analyze the chemical constituents of hawthorn's fruit, leaf, and root extracts. They discovered a rich array of phenolic compounds, which are known for their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a response to environmental and other pressures. In the hydro-methanolic extract of the fruit, 49 phenolics were tentatively identified, with apigenin, caffeoylquinic acid derivative, and a specific caffeoyl quinic acid being the most prominent. The leaf extract contained 42 phenolics, including salicylic acid and naringenin derivatives, while the root extract revealed 33, with naringenin-7-O-neohesperidoside as a major compound. The study also evaluated the extracts for their antioxidant capacity using the DPPH test, which measures the ability of antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. The fruit extract showed the highest antioxidant activity, followed by the leaf and root extracts. This aligns with traditional applications of hawthorn that emphasize its role in promoting health and preventing disease. Furthermore, the antibacterial properties of the extracts were assessed, revealing that the hydro-methanolic extract of the fruit had substantial inhibitory effects on bacterial growth. This suggests a potential for hawthorn in food preservation and as a natural remedy for bacterial infections. The findings of this study are supported by previous research that has highlighted the cardiovascular benefits of Crataegus preparations, including their vasodilatory effects and ability to improve blood circulation[2]. This is particularly relevant given the limited data on the specific species C. pentagyna and the incomplete understanding of its chemical profile until now. Additionally, the study builds on earlier work that identified various polyphenols in Crataegus oxyacantha L., another species of hawthorn. These compounds, such as rutin and quercetin derivatives, were found to possess strong antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria[3]. The current study's identification of similar phenolic compounds in C. pentagyna further corroborates the antimicrobial potential of hawthorn species. In conclusion, the research from Gonbad Kavous University sheds light on the chemical composition and biological activities of Crataegus pentagyna, providing scientific validation for its use as a natural antioxidant and antimicrobial agent. This study not only reinforces traditional knowledge about hawthorn's health benefits[4] but also opens avenues for its application in modern medicine and food industries. The promise that hawthorn holds as a medicinal plant is now backed by a growing body of scientific evidence, and continued research could lead to new therapeutic and preventive uses for this ancient remedy.

FruitsBiochemPlant Science


Main Study

1) Crataegus pentagyna willd. Fruits, leaves and roots: phytochemicals, antioxidant and antimicrobial potentials.

Published 19th March, 2024


Related Studies

2) Vasorelaxant effects of Crataegus pentagyna: Links with arginase inhibition and phenolic profile.


3) Polyphenolic content and bioactivities of Crataegus oxyacantha L. (Rosaceae).


4) Traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacology, and safety concerns of hawthorn (Crataegus genus): A comprehensive review.


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