Can Hawthorn Berries Extract Cause Weight Loss

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Can Hawthorn Berries Extract Cause Weight Loss

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Hawthorn is the oldest European medicinal herb. Its flowers, leaves and berries are highly valued, especially as remedies for heart disease. This plant may offer additional benefits to people with high cholesterol, diabetes, and anxiety. Read on to learn more about hawthorn and how to use it safely.

Hawthorns (Crataegus spp.) are thorny trees or shrubs with white flowers and red berries. Although the name “Hawthorn” originally referred to common hawthorn (C. monogyna), it is now used for the entire genus and even for its relatives (Rhaphiolepis) [1+].

Hawthorn comes from Europe, North America and Asia. They belong to the same family as roses and many edible fruits such as apples, pears, plums and cherries (Rosaceae) [2].

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Hawthorn is the oldest known medicinal plant in Europe and its use was first documented 2,000 years ago. In European and American folk medicine it is used for [3+, 4+, 2]:

The German Commission E approved the use of hawthorn for mild heart failure in the 1980s. Hawthorn extracts are mainly obtained from common and English hawthorn (C. laevigata), their hybrids and other European species [3+].

The extracts used in Europe and America are obtained from the berries, leaves and flowers. Berries must contain at least 1% procyanidins, while leaves and flowers need a minimum flavonoid content of 1.5% [1+].

In China, only the berries and leaves are used. There are no requirements for the berries, but the leaves must contain at least 7% flavonoids and 0.05% hyperoside [1+]. Heart Health & Immune System Powerful Antioxidant

The berries are also eaten fresh or used to make wine, jam and confectionery in both China and Europe [1+].

Flavonoids are most concentrated in flowers. Berries are also rich in them, but less so when ripe. The leaves have a higher content of vitexin and oligomeric proanthocyanidins [10, 11+].

Although not FDA approved, hawthorn extract is commercially available as a supplement, especially for heart disease. Regulations set manufacturing standards but do not guarantee that they are safe or effective. Consult your doctor before using hawthorn to avoid unexpected interactions.

Although conventional therapies improve symptoms and reduce mortality, people with heart failure often have a reduced quality of life. Hawthorn can be combined with drugs and implantable devices to improve heart failure [2].

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Hawthorn extract (240-1, 800 mg/day), both alone and as adjunctive therapy, improves mild heart failure according to two meta-analyses and 8 studies of more than 4,000 people. It increased pumping power and at the same time reduced fatigue and shortness of breath [12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21].

However, the extract did not improve heart failure symptoms in 2 studies of nearly 3,000 people who were also taking conventional medications; it only reduced the risk of sudden death. However, the dose may have been insufficient because most of the people included had moderate to severe heart failure [22, 23].

Homeopathic medicines from hawthorn are also used, although these may not contain active substances. In one study of more than 200 people, homeopathic hawthorn (10-20 drops, 3 times a day) was as effective as conventional medicines. However, the study suffered from several shortcomings (lack of randomization and blinding, assessment of subjective parameters, and short follow-up) [24+].

Venous blood can stagnate in the legs of people with heart failure, leading to swelling. In 2 studies of over 1,000 people with heart failure, hawthorn extract (900 mg/day) reduced leg swelling [14, 15].

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In mice and cells, the extract reduced blood leakage from blood vessels by strengthening their inner lining [25, 26].

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High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for heart disease. Hawthorn extract (500-1, 200 mg/day) reduced blood pressure in 4 clinical trials in nearly 300 people [27+, 28, 29, 30, 18].

The extract also reduced blood pressure in rats and relaxed arteries in tissue studies [31, 32, 33, 34, 35].

Hawthorn Berry Health Benefits And How To Use

Orthostatic hypotension (literally “low pressure in an upright position”) is a condition that causes a sudden drop in blood pressure after standing up quickly.

In Germany, a combination of hawthorn berries and camphor is commonly used to raise blood pressure in people who often suffer from orthostatic hypotension. This remedy (5-80 drops/day) worked in 6 clinical trials on over 500 people, but its rapid onset suggests that camphor is responsible for the effect [36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41].

Hawthorn is a time-tested natural remedy for mild heart problems, including heart failure and high blood pressure. It can be safely added to conventional drugs and interventions. However, it is likely to be ineffective when used short-term or as a single drug in people with more severe heart disease.

However, note that hawthorn is not FDA approved for heart disease. You can try this herb if you and your doctor feel it might be good for improving your arthritis. Remember that taking hawthorn should never be done in place of what your doctor recommends or prescribes.

How Healthy Is Hawthorn?

Poor blood and oxygen supply to the heart can be caused by blockages in the blood vessels that feed the heart (coronary arteries). This ultimately causes chest pain or angina pectoris [42+].

Cholesterol build-up in the arteries is the most common cause of chest pain. In a clinical study of 80 people with chest pain, hawthorn extract (240 mg, 2x/day) combined with exercise prevented arterial clogging [43].

Hawthorn tablets eased chest pain in a Chinese clinical trial of 46 people. However, we were unable to access study specifics to analyze [44+].

In animals and cells, hawthorn extract prevented high blood cholesterol, inflammation, free radical damage to LDL, and thickening of the artery wall—all of which increase the risk of clogging [45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50].

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Coronary arteries can also be blocked by blood clots. Although hawthorn extract prevented platelet aggregation in animals and test tubes, a high dose (2,400 mg/day) was ineffective in a study in 16 people [51, 52, 53, 54, 55+].

Surgery to unblock blood vessels can damage their inner walls, causing narrowing of the blood vessels. In rats, hawthorn extract prevented this adverse effect [56].

In a test on 49 people, hawthorn extract (400 mg, 3x/day) reduced blood cholesterol, both free and LDL-bound. Similarly, a complex with 129 mg of hawthorn and other herbs (Asian water plantain, corn silk, Chinese boletus, lingzhi mushroom and mulberry) reduced LDL cholesterol in a study of 42 people (4 capsules, twice a day) [57, 58] .

Overall, the existing evidence is insufficient to support the claim that hawthorn lowers blood cholesterol levels. Further clinical research is needed to confirm these preliminary findings.

Health Benefits Of Hawthorn Berries

In a clinical study of more than 250 people with anxiety disorders, a formulation with hawthorn, California poppy and magnesium (2 tablets, twice daily) reduced anxiety. Similarly, a formulation with hawthorn and other herbs (passion purple, valerian, black apple, guarana and kola nut) was effective in a test on almost 200 people (2 tablets, 3 times a day) [63, 64].

However, many of the natural compounds used in the formulations listed above have anti-anxiety properties. It’s hard to say whether hawthorn contributed to the benefits.

Chronic stress and depression are closely related. Various extracts with Chinese but not common hawthorn reduced depression in stressed mice [67, 68, 69, 70].

Two clinical studies using hawthorn as part of herbal mixtures and several animal studies cannot be considered sufficient evidence. More clinical trials testing hawthorn itself should be conducted to see if it has any anti-anxiety effects in humans.

The Benefits Of Hawthorn Berry & Leaf Extract

Traditional Chinese medicine with extracts of hawthorn, gorse, safflower, kombu and mulberry (Menoprogren, 4x daily) reduced menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings in a test of 83 women. It also improved low levels of sex hormones (estradiol and progesterone) [71].

Menoprogren also prevented the decline in sex hormones in menopausal rats by protecting their ovarian follicles [72, 73, 74, 75].

In a clinical study of 20 women, a mixture of hawthorn and ginseng extracts on the eyelids reduced wrinkles while increasing skin elasticity, moisture and brightness [76].

UV radiation accelerates skin aging by reducing collagen content. Hawthorn extract increased collagen in mice and skin cells exposed to UV radiation

Hawthorn Berries Fruits, Food From Farm Garden And Wild Forest Isolated. Vector Hawthorn Berries With Leaves, Crataegus Fruit, Whitethorn Branch. Thor Stock Vector Image & Art