Effects of hawthorn seed and pulp extracts on the central nervous system

Pharm Biol. 2010 Aug;48(8):924-31. doi: 10.3109/13880200903305500.


Context: Investigating potential central nervous system (CNS) activities of Crataegus monogyna Jacq. (Rosaceae), hawthorn, fruit extracts.

Objective: Evaluating CNS effects and analgesic activities of hawthorn fruit extracts based on the traditional uses of the plant for neurosedative and pain killer actions.

Materials and methods: Effects of hawthorn pulp (HPE) and seed extracts (HSE) at the dose range of 1-1000 mg/kg were examined on anxiety level, spontaneous locomotor activity, motor coordination, and nociceptive perception of mice. Morphine was used as a reference drug.

Results: HPE (100-1000 mg/kg) and HSE (10-1000 mg/kg) significantly decreased not only the exploratory behaviors in hole-board experiments, but also the spontaneous locomotor activities in activity cage tests. The same doses of extracts were found to be ineffective in Rota-Rod tests of mice. In tail-clip, hot-plate, and acetic acid-induced writhing tests, quite potent and dose-dependent analgesic activities were seen at 100-1000 mg/kg doses of HPE and 10-1000 mg/kg doses of HSE. Analgesic effects observed in all analgesia tests were antagonized by naloxone.

Discussion: Significant and dose-dependent decreases in spontaneous locomotor activities and exploratory behaviors of animals suggested CNS depressant activities of both extracts. Complete naloxone antagonism in all applied analgesia tests indicated opioid-related analgesic activities of both extracts.

Conclusion: These findings seem to support the traditional use of this plant to treat stress, nervousness, sleep disorders, and pain control.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / isolation & purification
  • Analgesics / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects*
  • Central Nervous System / physiology
  • Crataegus*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Exploratory Behavior / drug effects
  • Exploratory Behavior / physiology
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Pain Measurement / drug effects
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Seeds*


  • Analgesics
  • Plant Extracts