Master’s Quotes on Homoeopathic Heart Tonic – Crataegus Oxycantha
The name Crataegus oxyacantha is from the Greek kratos (hard), oxus (sharp) and akantha (thorn). Common names for hawthorn are Mayblossom, Quick thorn, Whitethorn, Haw, Hazels, Gazels, Halves, Ladies’ Meat, Quick Thorn, and Bread and cheese tree. The fruit has been called as Pixie Pears, Cuckoo’s Beads and Chucky Cheese. Hawthorn has a long history of use as a medicinal herb. There are references to Dioscorides, a Greek herbalist 100 AD, in his writing referred to it as Crataegus oxuakantha and the name was partially retained by the 18th century Swedish physician Linneus.
Crataegus oxycantha has been used traditionally as a cardiac tonic and current uses include treatment for angina, hypertension, arrhythmias, and congestive heart failure. Animal studies have also indicated that Crataegus extracts may also have potential use as anti-ischemic and lipid-lowering agents.
I have tried to collect the quotes of our Stalwarts in homoeopathy regarding Crataegus. This will help us to understand Crataegus better from Homoeopathic point of view.
Crataegus was introduced as a heart remedy by an Irish practitioner named Greene; and he gained a great success and reputation from its use. An American one, Dr. M. C. Jennings, communicated what he had learned of Greene’s practice to the New York Medical Journal of October 10th, 1896, giving cases which showed it, in crude dosage, to have great power in restoring failing compensation. It soon made way in our school across the Atlantic, and numerous testimonies to its efficacy were borne. It seems to do, in about five-drop doses of the tincture (which is made from the fresh berries), all that digitalis in much larger quantities can accomplish.
….. Dr. Richard Hughes (The Principles and Practice of Homoeopathy)
This is a superior remedy in various heart troubles; it not only relieves, as many other remedies do, but often proves curative as well. Being a good heart tonic and restorative it improves circulation and consequently favors better oxygenation of the blood. We think of it in hypertrophy, valvular insufficiency, pre-cordial oppression, tachycardia, neuralgia of the heart, cardiac dropsy, or dropsy the result of weak heart’s action; vertigo, apoplexy, angina pectoris, pericarditis and myocarditis.
….. Dr. Fred Julius Petersen (Materia Medica and Clinical Therapeutics)
Cratægus, which has been lauded as a heart remedy, had a proving under the direction of Dr. Cowperthwaite, of Chicago, who reported the result to the American Institute of Homoeopathy, in 1900. Fourteen provers took part, one taking repeated doses ranging from 5 to 185 drops of the tincture, and Dr. Cowperthwaite reports that the only action of the drug, common to nearly all the provers, was a purgative one. One of the doctors who assisted in the work and followed up the action of the drug on the provers, reported that “this much-vaunted cardiac remedy, after thorough test physiologically on the healthy, and as a therapeutic measure in a large number of cardiac lesions, has shown such a limited sphere of action as to be entirely superseded by other drugs.”
….. Dr. Pierce Willard Ide (Plain Talks on Materia Medica with Comparisons)
An enthusiastic doctor once compared the action of the mother tincture of Crataegus oxycantha – the berries of the white English hawthorn – to the action of “a good meal on a tired, hungry and cold man”. The dose is about 5 to 10 drops in a little water. Crataegus seems nearly a universal heart remedy, fitting all cases.
….. Dr. E. P. Anshutz (New, Old and Forgotten Remedies)
It should be remembered in all cases of failing compensation with dilatation of the heart; also in fatty hearts where it frequently gives relief when Digitalis and the other cardiac stimulants have failed. It is of service in dilatation of the heart, the first sound being absent, weak, prolonged or replaced by a murmur; the pulse is accelerated, often intermittent, and irregular.
….. Dr. A. L. Blackwood (A manual of Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacology).
Sleeplessness in heart affections was found under crataegus, the prescription was thirty drops of mother tincture in half a glass of water one tea spoon full every 30 hours , the effect was unbelievable . In 2 days the patient blue cyanosed, face becomes moist he begins to lie down a little and the immense hyper-trophied and dilated heart progressively less in short a marvelous improvement set in.
….. Dr. C. M. Boger (A Synoptic Key of the Materia Medica)
Crataegus is believed to be the king of heart tonics; it has been extensively used in Chicago by heart clinics for 50 years with utmost ratifying results.
….. Dr. T. K. Moore (Pointers that point to the Cure)
Crataegus is of the greatest value in myocardial degeneration with a steadily failing heart. In such a condition there will be the usual accompanying symptoms, increasing pulse rate, signs of pulmonary congestion, a certain amount of oedema, slight cyanosis and aggravation from any exertion. In such a condition, Crataegus in low potency may produce a dramatic effect and a considerable amount of recovery in the apparently irreparably damaged heart. Give Crataegus 3x every 3 to 4 hours for several weeks.
….. Dr. D. M. Borland (The Treatment of Certain Heart Conditions)
The real danger is very bad malignant case with no high blood pressure at all. The systolic may be quiet low but with a high diastolic, crataegus I think you might consider using it in big doses i.e, 30 minims t.i.d
….. Dr. T. D. Ross (Bedside Prescriber by Dr. C. Saha)
Blood Pressure High or Low: chances in blood pressure can also be a criterion of correct selection of the remedy, it makes no difference whether the case under study originally had normal or abnormal vascular tension, the simillimum always normalizes the blood pressure; it lowers the high and raises the low pressure and does not change the normal while the partially similar remedy; the palliator, mostly lowers the pressure.
….. Dr. F. K. Bellokossy (Random Notes)
This remedy has mostly been used in five to ten-drop doses of the tincture. But Dr. Wilbur Bond of Greenfork, Indiana, some years ago reported a number of nice cures with this remedy in high potency and the writer has had cases cured with it in potencies thus confirming its power in potency when applicable. This valuable drug should have a complete Hahnemannian proving. This remedy seems to accomplish all that digitalis does in material doses without the consequential heart poison that the accumulated affects of digitalis produces.
….. Dr. A.H. Grimmer (The Collected Works)
Old Age Pulse: I was asked to prescribe for a physician of 80 years old, the pulse was rather peculiar, and there were 2 or 3 regular beats, 3 or 4 quick pulsations of the artery. It reminded me of an old horse drawing a heavy load, the driver whip him and the horse will go rapidly for 2 or 3 steps again. The old doctor’s heart which served him long faithfully was just getting tired and him so long and faith fully was just getting tired and was liable to stop beating or ever. I prescribed tincture Crataegus 10 drops every 3 hours in alteration with Kali Phos. I heard from him a year after wards, he was very much better and was able to attend to office business.
…..Dr. Eli G. Jones (Definite Medication, 1911)
The few provings that have been made show conclusively that its action is directly upon the heart, which, primarily, it excites moderately, but to such a degree that it becomes quite evident that the long-continued use of the drug would result in lowering the tone of the heart and enfeebling its action.
….. Dr. Adolf Von Lippe (Keynotes and Red Line Symptoms of the Materia Medica)