Crataegus: growing it, contra-indications with beta-blockers.

Subject: Re: Hawthorne: 2 questions
From: Henriette Kress <>
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2000 20:03:11 +0200

"Clawso" <> wrote to
>1] Best variety to grow for extract

Well, as they all work, you can go for the prettiest. Anyway, don't plan on a hedge, hawthorns flower on last year's twigs.

Also, pick the flowering tops -before- the aphids get them. Yuck, what a mess, if you're but three days too late! And pick the berries in autumn, and then combine your two tinctures for max hawthorn zing.

>2] Any contraindications with beta blockers?

I wouldn't give it to anybody on heart medication, as it potentiates that, and heart medicine toxicity is very dependent on dosage.

Beta blockers? I'm ignorant; please educate me.

From: "Graham White" <>

> Beta blockers? I'm ignorant; please educate me.

Simon Mills says there is no interaction with beta-blockers, but goes on to add that any cardiac disease is not suitable for self-medication. I'm giving Crataegus flos. to a patient with angina at present which is both enabling him to reduce his usage of glyceryl trinatrate, and improving his osteo-arthritic knee pains. There is contra-indication with cardiac glycosides as there is some (disputed) evidence that Crataegus potentiates activity.

Golden Rule - if you don't know what you're doing, go see someone that does.

From: "Susan Harkins" <>

> Simon Mills says there is no interaction with beta-blockers

Generally, beta blockers are used to control blood pressure. However, some people take beta blockers to treat prolapse. The blocker keeps the heart from beating too fast when the valves get out of whack, making it easier for the value to repace itself. I've no clue about interaction with herbs though.

From: Aliceann Carlton <>

>Simon Mills says there is no interaction with beta-blockers, but goes on to add that any cardiac disease is not suitable for self-medication.

I've taken a beta-blocker to manage a congenital cardiac arrythmia since 1973. I had a bad reaction to hawthorn on two attempts to use it. It definitiely acted to increase cardiac dynamics...which in my case was a bad idea as I have an accessory pathway that, when triggered, provides a feedback loop for a very persistent tachycardia. I guess I would be cautious of use in cases where a beta-blocker is used as an anti-arrythmic.

From: "Dr. Georges-Louis Friedli" <>

Beta-blockers is a short name for beta-adrenoceptor antagonists. When used, they initially produce a fall in blood pressure by decreasing cardiac output. With continued treatment, the cardiac output returns to normal but the blood pressure remains low, because, by an unknown mechanism, the peripheral vascular resistance is 'reset' at a lower (individual drugs may vary). Disadvantages of beta-blockage are the common adverse effects such as cold hands, fatigue, and the less common, but serious adverse effects such as the provocation of asthma, heart failure or conduction block. Beta-blockers also tend to raise serum triglycerides and to decrease
HDL-cholesterol. All the beta-blockers lower blood pressure but at least some of the side-effects can be reduced by using cardioselective hydrophilic drugs (i.e those without liver metabolism or brain penetration). Beta-blockers are effective in only about 20% of patients over 60 years old in whom the thiazides are the drugs of choice.

Drug/herb interaction:

I have treated patients on beta-blockers with herbs for years without any problems what so ever. I have not found any interactions between beta-blockers and Crataegus oxyacanthoides or Convallaria majalis. Another point is I do not treat symptoms, so I do not use Crataegus in isolation. I combine it with other herbs to treat the whole body.

Some of the scare stories about herb drug interactions are strategies by the phamarceutical industry to scare patients from using herbal medicine.

The only problem I will envisage are actives in herbs which may affect absorption, liver metabolising enzymes (P450 family of enzymes), first pass effect, kidney excretion or re-absorption, clotting time etc. but in reality there is no problem with the herbs I use.

After I start treatment, I stop my patients from using all those harmful prescription drugs and put them on herbal medication. You will never successfully cure anyone if they continue taking those poisons (prescription drugs). When the patient disagrees, I say GOODBYE.

Believe me. Start treatment, remove all prescription medications - the patient gets CURED. But please you have to continously monitor their condition.