What is a Chinese hawthorn? Chinese hawthorn (scientific name: Crataegus pinnatifida Bunge, also known as mountain hawthorn, Chinese haw, or Chinese hawberry, Chinese Pinyin: Shan Zha, Simplified Chinese: 山楂), is a species of small to medium-sized, fruit-bearing tree with white flower and bright red fruits in genus Crataegus in the rose family, Rosaceae. The plant can grow up to 7 m (23ft) tall. Native to Northern China and cultivated in Asia and Siberia, habitats of Crataegus pinnatifida include valley, hillside and shrublands (usually from between 100 to 1,500 meters in elevation). Characteristics of Crataegus pinnatifida include tolerance for cold, heat and drought.
Other simplified Chinese names for Chinese hawthorn fruits include: 山里果, 山里红, 酸里红, 山里红果, 酸枣, 红果, 红果子, 山林果, 棠梂子.
How do Chinese hawthorn fruits taste?
Chinese hawthorn fruits has a mealy texture with an acid taste and a slight bitterness.
How Chinese hawthorn fruits is used in traditional Chinese medicine?
The dried fruit of Chinese hawthorn is considered to have sour, cold and nontoxic properties and to be associated with the spleen, stomach and liver meridians. It is used as a digestion aid, stasis-eliminating drug and lipid-lowering drug in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as indigestion and hematochezia (blood in stool).
2. Uses, Health Benefits of Chinese Hawthorn Fruits & Medical Formulas
2.1 Heart Diseases
Heart disease is the no.1 killer in many developed countries, such as the United States. Chinese hawthorn preparations are prescribed widely by physicians for the treatment of diminished heart performance at the early stages of congestive heart failure, for angina pectoris, and to help in long-term recovery from heart attacks (stevenfoster.com 2009).
2.2 Aid Digestion
[CTM Formula] Pills made with Chinese hawthorn fruits and white atractylodes rhizome are taken orally with soup to treat indigestion.
[CTM Formula] A decoction of red yeast rice (9g), malt (6g) and hawthorn fruit (9g) is taken orally to treat indigestion and relieve fullness in chest.
2.3 Reducing Inflammation, Swelling And Relieving Pain
[CTM Formula] A decoction of Chinese hawthorn fruits is taken orally to relieve abdominal bloating and pain caused by intestinal obstruction.
[CTM Formula] Pills made with Chinese hawthorn fruits, pilos deer horn and honey are taken to nourish the kidney and relieve back pains due to the kidney deficiency.
[CTM Formula] Ash of Chinese hawthorn fruits is taken with rice soup to treat hematochezia (blood in stool).
2.5 Blood Health
[CTM Formula] A decoction of salvia miltiorrhiza roots, fleece-flower root, oriental wormwood, parasitic loranthus, hawthorn fruit and cassia occidentalis can be used to reduce the lipid levels in blood.
3. Contraindication, Side-effects & Cautions
Administration with caution for people with excess gastric acid.
List of reference
stevenfoster.com 2009 Hawthorn [online] link: http://www.stevenfoster.com/education/monograph/hawthorn.html
The Ben Cao Medical Book (also known as Compendium of Materia Medica or Ben Cao Gang Mu; Chinese: 本草纲目) is the most famous and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Compiled and written by Li Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over 27 years.
The Ben Cao Medical Book records and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties in TCM. The book reflects the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors’ achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception in relate to nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. Charles Darwin, originator of the biological theory of evolution, regards the book as the “ancient Chinese encyclopedia”.
Disclaimer: The Ben Cao Medical Book is translated by ChinaAbout.net. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of CTM knowledge and information from the research and experience from the author Li Shi-zhen. Kindly be alert that the CTM knowledge and ancient formulas given above are likely NOT medically proven and may contain misconceptions.