Crataegus Oxycantha- A Biochemical Study Of Its Medicinal Properties
CRATAEGUS is a drug commonly used by homeopaths as mother tincture and low potencies for cardiovascular diseases and hypertension. It is only very rarely used in potentized forms.
Active ingredients found in crategus include tannins, flavonoids (vitexin, rutin, quercetin, and hyperoside), oligomeric proanthocyanidins (epicatechin, procyanidin, and particularly procyanidin B-2), flavone-C, triterpene acids (ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, and crataegolic acid), and phenolic acids (caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, and related phenolcarboxylic acids). A lot of study regarding biological actions of these chemical constituents are required.
Proanthocyanidins contained in crategus suppress production of a protein endothelin-1 that constricts blood vessels. Endothelins are proteins that constrict blood vessels and raise blood pressure. They are normally kept in balance by other mechanisms, but when they are over-expressed, they contribute to high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart disease.
Endothelins are 21-amino acid vasoconstricting peptides produced primarily in the endothelium having a key role in vascular homeostasis. Endothelins are implicated in vascular diseases of several organ systems, including the heart, general circulation and brain.
Procyanidin B2 has been shown to inhibit the formation of the advanced glycation end products in the body, which are toxic. AGEs are formed inside the body by co-valent bonding of simple sugars with protein molecules. It is also formed in food articles when sugar is added to proteins and heated to high temperatures during cooking. BROWNING during cooking indicates this process. Aging play a role in the build up of plaques in artery walls. The formation and accumulation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) has been implicated in the progression of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.The mechanism by which AGEs induce damage is through a process called cross-linking that causes intracellular damage and apoptosis. AGEs affect nearly every type of cell and molecule in the body, and are thought to be one factor in aging and some age-related chronic diseases. They are also believed to play a causative role in the vascular complications of diabetes mellitus. They have a range of pathological effects, including increasing vascular permeability, inhibition of vascular dilation by interfering with nitric oxide, oxidising LDL, binding cells including macrophage, endothelial, and mesangial cells to induce the secretion of a variety of cytokines and enhancing oxidative stress.
Proanthocyanidins have antioxidant activity by ‘oxygen radical absorbance capacity’. We know free radicals play a role in formation of atherosclerosis by oxidizing LDL molecules entrapped in blood vessel walls.
Studies show that proanthocyanidins antioxidant capabilities are 20 times more powerful than vitamin C and 50 times more potent than vitamin E.
Proanthocyanidins have been shown to optimize the production of nitric oxide in the artery walls so as to relax them and allow greater blood flow and reduced pressure.
Chlorogenic acid present in crataegus can slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream after a meal, and thus help in reducing blood sugar levels.
Presence Procyanidin B2 in crategus shows, it is a good remedy for preventing accumulation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) implicated in the progression of age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
It is obvious that bp-lowering, artery-relaxing and atherosclerosis-reducing properties of crataegus are related with the physiological actions of crude molecules.
Means, we use crataegus allopathically- not homeopathically. We cannot expect such actions from potentized Crataegus.
Potentized crataegus will be useful in low blood pressure, cardiac hypertrophy, etc
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