Are There Foods To Avoid With Hawthorn Berries – Hawthorn is often called the “heart herb” for its various heart-protective abilities. Prized for its ability to lift and strengthen the heart both emotionally and physically, the hawthorn berry has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for all types of serious heart problems. These include angina, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, irregular heart rhythm and even congestive heart failure.
In fact, hawthorn has been used to treat heart disease all the way back to the first century! Fast forward to the early 19th century and doctors in the United States were also using this medicinal herb for respiratory and circulatory ailments. (1)
Are There Foods To Avoid With Hawthorn Berries
Hawthorn fruits, leaves and flowers are all used medicinally today. Hawthorn fruit comes in the form of small red berries. Native American tribes enjoyed eating them and they also used hawthorn to treat heart problems, as well as gastrointestinal ailments. (2)
Organic Hawthorn Berry Tea
What makes hawthorn berries so medicinal? It seems to be their many flavonoids to begin with. Flavonoids are potent antioxidants known to effectively reduce inflammation while strengthening the immune system. Eating a diet high in flavonoid-rich foods, beverages, and herbs has been linked to the prevention of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as cancer. (3)
Let’s take a closer look at exactly how one tiny little hawthorn berry can actually make huge improvements in the health of many people.
The hawthorn bush, also called thorn or may tree, is a deciduous plant. It is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae) belonging to the genus
. Hawthorn can come in the form of a prickly hawthorn bush or a hawthorn tree. Most of the time, you can find hawthorn growing along the sides of sunny forested hills. There are different species of hawthorn, many of which are found in North America. (4)
Hawthorn Berry Homemade Cordial
A hawthorn plant has berries as well as flowers that bloom in May. Hawthorn flowers are red, pink or white. The small hawthorn berries appear after the flowers have bloomed. When fully ripe, hawthorn berries are usually red in color, but sometimes they are black. These berries are edible. How do they taste? Most people describe hawthorn berries as a mixture of sweet and sour.
The hawthorn herb is loaded with health-beneficial compounds. These compounds have been shown to actually increase heart health. Hawthorn’s antioxidant flavonoids improve blood flow, protect against damage to blood vessels and even help dilate blood vessels. (5)
These flavonoids include OPCs. What is OPC? OPC stands for oligomeric proanthocyanidins. OPCs are some of the most common polyphenolic substances found in plants. (6)
Hawthorn berry is best known for its helpful toning effects on the heart. As a “cardiotonic herb,” hawthorn has been shown to be impressively helpful for all kinds of serious heart problems. These include heart failure, heart disease, angina pectoris, changes in heart rhythm and atherosclerosis. According to a 2016 study published in the journal
Impressive Hawthorn Berry Benefits, Dosage, & Side Effects
So far, research has shown that hawthorn may even have a useful effect on chronic heart failure (CHF). Several studies have shown that hawthorn supplementation has resulted in improved heart function based on a number of parameters. These parameters include blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac output and exercise tolerance.
One study specifically gave 78 patients with NYHA class II heart failure a commercial preparation of hawthorn leaves and flowers. After two months, the patients who received 200 milligrams of hawthorn three times per day had an increase in heart capacity, as well as a reduction in symptoms. The hawthorn group also showed a reduction in systolic blood pressure during physical activity. Another German study also showed that a hawthorn extract (LI132 Faros®) worked almost as well as a prescription drug for heart failure (captopril). And the hawthorn extract had fewer side effects. (9)
) special extract either alone or as an addition to conventional treatment. After two years, fatigue, stress dyspnea and palpitations (the three main symptoms of heart failure) were all significantly reduced in the hawthorn group compared to the non-hawthorn group. (10)
Many herbal practitioners recommend hawthorn berries, flowers and leaves as natural blood pressure reducers. A scientific study published in
Are Hawthorn Berries Edible?
Had 79 type 2 diabetes patients either take 1200 milligrams of hawthorn extract daily or a placebo for a total of 16 weeks. Antihypertensive medications were also taken by 71 percent of study participants.
What did they find? The hawthorn group experienced greater reductions in diastolic blood pressure. However, there were no group differences in systolic blood pressure reduction. (11) Hopefully, more studies to support hawthorn’s use in lowering blood pressure will come soon.
Decreased blood flow to the heart causes chest pain known as angina. Sometimes it is confused with indigestion. But true angina can be a symptom of coronary artery disease. So far, research has shown that hawthorn can be an effective natural remedy to avoid and treat angina.
, hawthorn bioflavonoids help dilate both peripheral and coronary vessels. This can improve blood flow to the heart, making hawthorn very useful for angina. Hawthorn’s proanthocyanidins are also believed to reduce tension in blood vessel walls. Again, this is very helpful in counteracting angina. (12)
Hawthorn Berries: Identify, Harvest, And Make An Extract |
In one study, 80 subjects (aged 45 to 65 years) with stable angina pectoris were randomly divided into four groups. The first group was the aerobic exercise group. The other group took a hawthorn extract. The third group did aerobic exercise, plus they took a hawthorn extract. Finally, the fourth group was the control group. After 12 weeks, the researchers found that the combination of aerobic exercise and hawthorn supplementation was “an effective complementary strategy for significantly reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and heart problems.” (13)
Animal studies have shown that hawthorn berry extract can be a useful natural remedy for reducing LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol from the body. In China, hawthorn is called “Shan-Zha”. An animal study showed some really impressive health results from an ethanol extract of Zhongtian hawthorn, a variety of wild Shan-Zha, which has larger hawthorn fruits.
This 2016 study revealed that hawthorn berry extract not only reduced total high cholesterol levels, it also specifically reduced LDL cholesterol, liver cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as body weight. (14)
Scientific research conducted in 2008 showed that hawthorn berry extract is excellent for reducing inflammation. This is huge for health because we know that inflammation is at the root of most diseases.
Hawthorn Berry Elixir — Neantog Farm
The research also shows that the hawthorn berry extract is a scavenger of free radicals. This is extremely beneficial to human health because free radicals can cause cell damage (including DNA damage) by stealing electrons through a process called oxidation.
The 2008 animal study also showed how hawthorn berry extract has protective effects on the gastrointestinal system and it appears to successfully kill various types of unwanted bacteria. (15)
How can you incorporate hawthorn berries into your life? There are a few options. You can choose hawthorn berry tea, either prepackaged or loose. Loose hawthorn berries can often be purchased in the bulk section of many health food stores. You can also pick up a hawthorn supplement in capsule form or a hawthorn extract in liquid tincture form.
So far, safe hawthorn doses appear to be between 160 to 1,800 milligrams per day over a period of three to 24 weeks. Noticeable improvement in symptoms may take six to 12 weeks. (18)
Hawthorn Berries: Nature’s Restaurant: A Complete Wild Food Guide
You should not take hawthorn if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not give hawthorn products to children. Hawthorn supplementation is recommended for short-term use by adults. If any symptoms worsen while taking hawthorn, you should discontinue use and seek emergency medical care.
For some users, hawthorn may cause nausea, upset stomach, fatigue, sweating, headache, dizziness, palpitations, nosebleeds, insomnia, agitation, and other side effects.
While hawthorn is known to be excellent for the heart, it can interact with prescription medications taken for heart disease. Medications for other heart problems, high blood pressure, and male sexual dysfunction are also known to interact with hawthorn. Some specific medications known to possibly interact with hawthorn include digoxin, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers (CCBs), nitrates, phenylephrine, and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. If you have heart disease or any other health condition or are currently taking medication(s), check with your doctor before taking a hawthorn berry product or any other hawthorn supplement. (19, 20)
It is also important to note that heart failure is a very serious health condition. It is best not to self-medicate with hawthorn supplements if you suffer from this condition.
Hawthorn, May, Maythorn, Whitethorn, Crataegus Monogyna/laevigata
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Hawthorn Berry: Benefits, Side Effects & Dosage |
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