The effects of hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) syrup on gastroesophageal reflux symptoms

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Research Institute for Studies in Islamic and Complementary Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

5 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Background and objectives: Gastroesophageal reflux is a common chronic disease that impairs individuals’ quality of life, wherein patients should receive prolonged, and sometimes lifelong, treatment with chemical drugs, that in addition to high costs they can lead to side effects in the long term .Hawthorn fruit is one of the drugs used in traditional medicine to relieve reflux symptoms and to boost stomach function, but no clinical studies has been done so far on its efficacy and adverse effects in controlling reflux symptoms. This project aims to investigate the effectiveness and safety of hawthorn fruit in the treatment of patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Method: 80 male and female patients with reflux disease were included in the study. Diagnosis of the disease was clinical and based on either of its main symptoms, heartburn and regurgitation, at least twice a week. The patients were randomly assigned to experimental (treatment) and control groups. Patients in the experimental group were given hawthorn syrup and those in the control group received placebo for 4 weeks (5 ml after each meal). Severity of the disease was assessed, based on an available valid questionnaire, before and after the treatment in both groups. The side effects were assessed according to old and new medical resources. To assess the effects on hepatorenal function, the ALT, AST, BUN, and creatinine blood test values were measured and recorded before and after the treatment.
Results: After 4 weeks of taking the medicine and placebo, significant improvement of the two main symptoms of reflux disease was observed in the experimental group. For heartburn the p-value Conclusion: Hawthorn syrup is remarkably effective in controlling the major symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (heartburn and regurgitation). After 4 weeks of administration, heartburn and regurgitation were recovered 93.5% and 94.2%, respectively. Out of 80 patients only one patient complained of aggravated bloating and one other of nausea in the early days of taking the medicine. No adverse effects of the medicine were found on the functions of liver and kidney.


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