A Comparative Analysis Between Native BC and European Hawthorn Species
- BC Innovation Council, Health Product and Functional Food Program
- Western Economic Diversification
- Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC, Health Product & Functional Food Initiative
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
- Naturally Grown Herb & Spice Producers Cooperative
Hawthorn leaves, flowers and berries have a recognized medicinal value and are widely used in Europe. Although native BC Hawthorn grows in abundance in the West Kootenay area and throughout the central/southern interior regions, the majority of Hawthorn used by BC manufacturers is imported from Eastern Europe.
Working with the Naturally Grown Herb & Spice Cooperative, the primary goals of this project are to assess the economic viability of native BC hawthorn species as a medicinal herb and to determine the feasibility of growing them locally, along with the European species, as an alternative crop. In order to identify the medicinal viability of native hawthorn varieties, we are comparing their chemical profiles to those of authenticated specimens and medicinal varieties currently on the market. In addition to this, we are assessing the potential for hawthorn to be used as an ingredient in value added food products and monitoring it for in vivo activity against cardiovascular disease.
Details about this project were featured in the February 2012 issue of Country Life in BC magazine and published in the of Phytochemistry.