The abundance of scientific evidence has shown that many synthetic drugs can cause serious adverse effects in patients. Recently, the search of natural therapeutic agents with low adverse effects has attracted much attention. In particular, considerable interest has focused on edible and medicinal plants, which play an important role in human diet, and have been used for disease treatment since ancient times. Crataegus monogyna Jacq. (hawthorn) is one of the most important edible plants of the Rosaceae family and is also used in traditional medicine. Growing evidence has shown that this plant has various interesting physiological and pharmacological activities due to the presence of different bioactive natural compounds. In addition, scientific evidence suggests that the toxicity of hawthorn is negligible. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to provide a critical review of the available scientific literature about pharmacological activities as well as botanical aspects, phytochemistry and clinical impacts of C. monogyna.
Keywords: Crataegus monogyna; catechins; flavones; hawthorn; pharmacological activities.