In European tradition blackthorn has been known for over 7,000 years, at first as a source of edible fruit and then also as a medicinal plant (Poonam et al., 2011; Zohary et al., 2012), used i.a. in the treatment of various circulatory system disorders. For medicinal applications the plant has been used throughout Europe with the flowers being the most popular in central and eastern parts of the continent (Hoppe, 1981). Ethnopharmacological sources indicate vasoprotective, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, detoxifying (blood purifying), and spasmolytic activities for the flowers, and document their use as ingredients of compound herbal prescriptions traditionally applied, e.g., to treat intestinal and respiratory tract disorders, but also various cardiac complaints, such as myocarditis, cardiac neurosis and atherosclerosis (Berger, 1949; Hoppe, 1981; Wawrzyniak, 1992; Blumenthal and Busse, 1998). The fruits, according to German Commission E, have been indicated mainly in mild inflammation of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa, as well as an astringent (Blumenthal and Busse, 1998); however, local European sources report their use also as a heart-strengthening remedy (Kültür, 2007; Jarić et al., 2015).

Anna Marchelak, et al Front Pharmacol. 2017; 8: 680.

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