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Hungarian hawthorn assessed as endangered species

  • Hungarian hawthorn assessed as endangered species

    by Market Insider

    Thursday, 04 Jun. 2015

    Hungarian hawthorn (Crataegus nigra) is a medicinal plant endemic to parts of Europe including areas within Hungary, Republic of Croatia, Republic of Serbia, Slovak Republic (possibly extinct), and Romania (possibly extinct). The flower-bearing branches (with leaf & flower) of this species and other European Crataegus species are wild-collected for use in European traditional herbal medicinal products.

    In the European Union, Hungarian hawthorn (and extracts made from it) is regulated as an active ingredient of medicinal products that require pre-marketing authorization by national authorities before a finished product can be sold.

    The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM) establishes official pharmacopoeial standards for the composition, identity, quality, purity, and strength of 'Hawthorn Leaf and Flower' raw materials and extracts whilst the European Medicines Agency (EMA) establishes the labelling standards for what can or must be stated on the herbal product labels and on the patient information leaflet (PIL).

    On 26 May 2015, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced the availability of the ‘IUCN European Red List of Medicinal Plants’, which provides, for the first time, information on the status of all major medicinal plants native to Europe. The assessment included 400 vascular plants from ninety families, of which 2.4% (nine plants) of extant medicinal plants (for which sufficient data are available) were assessed as threatened (endangered or vulnerable).

    In addition to Hungarian hawthorn, the other 8 medicinal plant species assessed as threatened were Artemisia granatensis, Atropa baetica, Chimaphila umbellata, Dactylorhiza iberica, Himantoglossum comperianum, Iris spuria, Plantago maxima, Sideritis reverchonii, and Tetraclinis articulata.

    The 75-page book, published by the European Commission, is available to download at:


    1.Allen, D., Bilz, M., Leaman, D.J., Miller, R.M., Timoshyna, A. and Window, J. 2014. European Red List of Medicinal Plants. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.
    2.European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM). Hawthorn Leaf and Flower. In: European Pharmacopoeia, Eighth Edition (PhEur 8.0). 2014.
    3.IUCN Press Release. Europe’s medicinal plants in decline, 2 percent threatened with extinction – IUCN report. 26 May 2015.

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