Chemical Components

Leaves and flowers contain about 1% flavonoids, such as rutin, quercitin, vitexin, hyperisise, 1-3% oligomeric procyanidins including catechin and epicatechin, triterpenes, sterols, polyphenols, coumarins, tannins (Blumenthal et al 2000). Although the therapeutic actions cannot be attributed to single compounds, the herb has been standardised to flavonoid content (hyperoside as marker) and procyanidins (epicatechin as marker). RP WS 1442 is a hydro-alcoholic extract of hawthorn prepared from leaves and blossoms and standardised to 18.75% oligomeric procyanidins. It has been found that bioequivalent extracts as determined by noradrenaline-induced contraction of isolated guinea pig aorta rings can be obtained using 40-70% ethanol or methanol as the extraction solvent, whereas aqueous

extracts had markedly different constituents and pharmacological effects (Vierling et al 2003).

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