Food Applications and Potential Health Benefits of Hawthorn

Hawthorn (Crataegus), a member of the Rosaceae family, is celebrated for its rich bioactive substance content, earning it the title of “nutritious fruit.” The plant is utilized globally in various forms, including dietary supplements, functional foods, and pharmaceutical products. It is a trove of health-benefiting compounds, such as amino acids, minerals, pectin, vitamin C, chlorogenic acid, epicatechol, and choline, contributing to its significant therapeutic value. This review underscores hawthorn’s diverse health-promoting properties, including its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-cardiovascular disease, and digestive system enhancing capabilities.

These health benefits of hawthorn are largely attributed to its bioactive components: polyphenols like chlorogenic acid, proanthocyanidin B2, epicatechin; flavonoids including proanthocyanidins, mucoxanthin, quercetin, rutin; and pentacyclic triterpenoids such as ursolic acid, hawthornic acid, oleanolic acid. These constituents are central to its medicinal efficacy. The paper provides an extensive review of hawthorn’s chemical composition, nutritional value, and its significant biological and pharmacological activities. This comprehensive overview emphasizes hawthorn’s potential in the development of functional foods and nutraceuticals, highlighting its role in promoting health and well-being.

Original Publication:

Xu, J., Liao, K., Zhou, W., Zhao, Q., Lin, X., Wang, J., … & Hu, X. (2022). Food Applications and Potential Health Benefits of Hawthorn. Foods, 11(20), 2861.

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