Can I Take Hawthorn Berries With Estradiol – Traditionally valued for its astringent properties, hawthorn has been used to treat diarrhoea, heavy menstrual bleeding and first aid for removing debris.
Adams, J. & Tan, E. (2006). Herbal production: how to make medicine from plants. Preston: North Melbourne Institute of TAFE Printers
Can I Take Hawthorn Berries With Estradiol
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Hawthorn is an ancient European medicinal herb. Its flowers, leaves and berries are highly valued, especially as a remedy for heart ailments. This herb 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 its relatives (Rhaphiolepis) [1+].
Hawthorn is native to 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) .
Hawthorn is the oldest known medicinal plant in Europe and its use was first recorded 2000 years ago. It is used in European and American folk medicine [3+, 4+, 2]:
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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 (C. laevigata) hawthorn, their hybrids and other European varieties [3+].
Extracts used in Europe and America are obtained from berries, leaves and flowers. Berries should 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+].
The berries are also eaten fresh or used to make wine, jam, and candy in both China and Europe [1+].
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Flavonoids are most concentrated in flowers. Berries are also rich in them, but less ripe. Vitexin and oligomeric proanthocyanidins are higher in the leaves [10, 11+].
Although not FDA approved, hawthorn extract is commercially available as a supplement, especially for heart conditions. Regulations set manufacturing standards but do not guarantee that they are safe or effective. Talk to 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 .
Hawthorn extract (240-1, 800 mg/day), both alone and as adjunctive therapy, improves mild heart failure in two meta-analyses and 8 studies involving more than 4,000 people. It increased pumping power while reducing fatigue and shortness of breath [12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21].
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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 reduces the risk of sudden death. The dose may have been insufficient, however, as the majority of subjects involved had moderate to severe heart failure [22, 23].
Hawthorn homeopathic remedies are also used, although they may not contain the active compounds. 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 had many shortcomings (lack of randomization and blinding, assessment of subjective parameters, and short follow-up) [24+].
In people with heart failure, venous blood can pool in the legs, causing swelling. In 2 studies of more than 1,000 people with heart failure, hawthorn extract (900 mg/day) reduced leg swelling [14, 15].
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].
Orthostatic hypotension (literally, “low blood pressure upright”) is a condition that causes a sudden drop in blood pressure after standing up quickly.
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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 with over 500 people, but its rapid onset of action 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 medications and interventions. However, it is likely to be ineffective, short-term or used alone in people with more severe heart disease.
However, keep in mind that hawthorn is not approved by the FDA for heart disease. You can try this herb if you and your doctor decide it may be suitable for improving your arthritis. Remember that hawthorn should never be taken without a doctor’s recommendation or prescription.
Poor blood and oxygen supply to the heart can be caused by blockages in the blood vessels that feed the heart (coronary arteries). This eventually leads to chest pain or angina [42+].
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Cholesterol buildup in the arteries is the most common cause of chest pain. In a clinical trial in 80 people with chest pain, hawthorn extract (240 mg, 2x/day) combined with exercise prevented the narrowing of arteries .
Hawthorn tablets relieved chest pain in a Chinese clinical trial in 46 people. However, we were unable to obtain study specifics to analyze it [44+].
In animals and cells, hawthorn extract prevented high blood cholesterol levels, inflammation, free radical damage to LDL, and thickening of the artery wall—all of which increase the risk of blockages [45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50].
Coronary arteries can also be blocked by blood clots. Although hawthorn extract inhibited platelet aggregation in animals and in test tubes, a high dose (2, 400 mg/day) was ineffective in 16 human studies [51, 52, 53, 54, 55+].
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Surgery to unblock vessels can damage their inner walls, causing narrowing of the vessels. In rats, hawthorn extract prevented this adverse effect .
In a study of 49 people, hawthorn extract (400 mg, 3x/day) reduced blood cholesterol, both free and LDL-related. Similarly, a complex with 129 mg of hawthorn and other herbs (Asian water plantain, corn silk, Chinese knotweed, lingzhi mushroom, and mulberry) reduced LDL cholesterol in 42 people (4 capsules, twice daily) [57, 58] .