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Presented by: UT El Paso / Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program & Paso del Norte Health Foundation

Mexican Hawthorn Root


Compilation by Armando Gonzalez Stuart, PhD.
Mexican Hawthorn Root

Botanical Family:

Rosaceae

Other Common Name:

Texocotl.

Common names in Spanish:

Raíz de tejocote, Manzanita, Manzana de Indias, Tejocotera (White, 2003).

Where is it found?

Mexican hawthorn is a medium-sized tree native to Mexico and Central America (Quattrocchi, 2012; Mabberley, 2008). The leaves and flowers of other species of hawthorn, such as white hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha), for example, are used in Europe for the treatment of congestive heart failure (Bone and Mills, 2013).

Parts of the plant used:

Principally the root, although other plants may be included as part of a mixture. One internet site that markets a purported weight loss supplement mentions the Mexican hawthorn root capsules also contain other ingredients such as oat bran, oatmeal, flax seed, and cactus (Alipotec, 2016).

How is it used?

Although the fruits of this tree have long been used in Mexican traditional medicine for the treatment of various ailments, especially for coughs and respiratory problems (Mendoza-Castelán and Lugo-Pérez, 2012; Argueta, 1994), the use of the root taken as capsules has only recently been touted as a slimming agent. One commercial site (www.alipotecus.com) recommends taking the capsules and drinking 2-3 liters of water ´per day, along with ingesting fruits and vegetable that are rich in potassium. The initial treatment is of 3 months duration.

What is it used for?

The dried and pulverized root of the plant is taken in capsules as a purported weight loss supplement, as well as to treat various ailments. The following statements are mentioned in one website that markets the capsules. According to this company´s internet sites in English and Spanish (www.alipotecus.com, www.alipotec.com), taking Mexican hawthorn root capsules has the following effects upon the body:

• “Helps to reduce weight and obesity by eliminating body fat, cleanses and detoxifies the body, softens and liberates fat from muscular tissue via de natural excretions of the body”. One site also mentions that “elastin and collagen are kept intact, since this product does not destroy muscle tissue cells, allowing the skin to recuperate its firmness”.
• “There is a reduction in knee pain, arthritis, arthroses, and diseases of the heart”.
• “Lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood”.
• “Reduces the risk of colon cancer and improves intestinal function”.
• “Eliminates hard fat and reduces cellulite”.
• “Tones muscles and allows skin to recuperate firmness”.
• “Significantly reduces food anxiety”.
• “Aleviates hemorrhoids and constipation”.
• The site in English also mentions taking the capsules can also lower blood pressure, as well as blood sugar levels.
However, with regard to all of the above statements, there are no known published clinical trials to ascertain its effectiveness in treating any disease or health condition.

An internet site (www.alipotecus.com) as well as a YouTube™ video in the Spanish language (Alipotec, 2016), mention that the Mexican hawthorn root is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States.

Safety / Precautions

  • The safety of using Mexican hawthorn during pregnancy and lactation has not been established.
  • Avoid during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Do not give to children under 12 years of age.
  • Avoid in patients who are emaciated or have preexisting kidney or liver disease.
  • Do not consume Mexican hawthorn root along with alcoholic beverages (El mundo en linea, 2016).

  Before you decide to take any medicinal herb or herbal supplement, be sure to consult with a health care professional first. Avoid self-medication and self-diagnosis: Always be on the safe side!

References:

Alipotec - Raíz de Tejocote. Sales and Distribution Center. (United States).
http://www.alipotecus.com/ retrieved Decenber 17, 2016.

Alipotec. http://www.alipotec.com/ retrieved December 16, 2016.

Alipotec-Raiz de Tejocote video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gkRr-FO2b4 retrieved December 14, 2016.
Argueta A. Atlas de la Medicina Tradicional Mexicana (Vol. 1).

México, D.F.: Instituto Nacional Indigenista; 1994.

Bone K, Mills S. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy 2nd Ed.
London: Churchill Livingstone; 2013.

El mundo en línea. Raíz De Tejocote – Efectos Secundarios y Riesgos Médicos http://elmundoenlinea.com/raiz-de-tejocote-efectos-secundarios-y-riesgos-medicos.html Retrieved December 19, 2016
Mabberley D. Mabberley’s Plant Book 3rd ed.
London: Cambridge University Press; 2008.

Mendoza-Castelán G, Lugo-Pérez R. Plantas Medicinales en los Mercados de México.
Chapingo, Estado de México; Universidad Autónoma Chapingo; 2011.

Quattrocchi, U. World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants (Vol.1).
Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2012.

White R. Elsevier’s Dictionary of Plant Names of North America Including Mexico.
Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2003.