Discovery Hawthorn Berries – Although Hawthorne is a widely used folktale, it is now gaining popularity in North America. Hawthorn berries are packed with nutrients and scientists are also interested in better understanding their benefits.
The plant is native to many areas of the Northern Hemisphere where the climate is temperate. Hawthorn is one of the many names of the genus Crataegus, which includes hundreds of different species of flowering and fruiting plants. A Crataegus in the Rosaceae family, it is a cousin of roses and raspberries.
Discovery Hawthorn Berries
Comparing the fruits of both plants, the resemblance between rose and Crataegus is easily noticed. The deep red berries found on hawthorn resemble the seeds of the Cherokee rose. Hawthorns are small shrubs with triangular leaves and white flowers like cherry blossoms.
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Hawthorns are hardy in cold weather and their fruiting season begins in the fall. Birds love to eat berries during the winter months. Hawthorn flowers feed on insects that live on nectar, such as hummingbird moth caterpillars.
Crataegus is so ubiquitous that many different cultures have used it as an ornamental shrub as well as a source of food. Different parts of the world have their own version of foods made from hawthorn berries.
Hawthorn berries have a sour and slightly sweet taste. Sour and sour berries make perfect for sweet treats and candies. In Iran, hawthorn is used in jams and sometimes eaten raw. A Persian snack that is still popular with children today is fruit rolls made from candied hawthorn. Hawthorn berries are also used as jam in Mexico, made into candies called relitos, and added as a punch at Christmas time. In the UK, the fruits were used to make wine and of course jelly.
Another area where hawthorn species are native is Manitoulin Island, Ontario, in the middle of Lake Huron.
Pdf) The Indian Hawthorn
When non-natives began living on the island in the 1860s, Ojibwe residents recommended hawthorn berries to ward off illness during the long and harsh winters.
Hawthorn was used as a major source of vitamin C by natives and Europeans to prevent scurvy.
Those born on the island are still called Haweaters today because of the tradition of eating haw berries.
In Asia, hawthorn is very popular and the main species used is Crataegus pinnatifida. In China and South Korea it is common to find drinks made from fruit along with alcoholic beverages. Hawthorn can be added to food as it is commonly used in candies or other sweet treats as seen in other cultures
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Hawthorn berries are called Shanza (山有) in Chinese. Shanza is used in traditional Chinese herbalism to soothe digestive problems. As a warming herb, hawthorn can help people with excess yin energy. It is classified as a sweet herb, making it useful for replenishing blood and qi in the body.
In traditional Chinese medicine, all herbs are associated with specific organs and energy centers (called meridians) according to their flavor profiles. Hawthorn is interesting because it can affect a few different organs. It is associated with the liver, spleen and heart.
Shanza also has bitter qualities, making it a great herb for relieving digestive problems. The astringent properties of bitter herbs in TCM are important for preventing stagnation in the stomach and all digestive tracts.
One of the reasons hawthorn berry remains a popular beverage ingredient, especially in tea, is its stomach-soothing properties. A cup of hawthorn tea after a meal is a great way to keep digestion going.
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Along with many traditional medicinal plant species, scientists are interested in why some plants have survived as health remedies for centuries. They want to understand why certain herbs have beneficial health properties, and they do this by looking at the chemical makeup of plants. There are still many undiscovered chemical compounds in the plant world, so the study of plants is still very important.
Its widespread use as a food and life-saving food for people throughout history suggests that the hawthorn berry has nutritional benefits, but what does the science show?
Hundreds of research articles and papers exist on the various species of the genus Crataegus, as well as the distribution and uses of plants around the world.
We will focus on the Crataegus pinnatifida species most commonly used in Asia and in traditional Chinese herbalism. Crataegus pinnatifida contains a surprising amount of different chemical compounds. Many more compounds are found in the leaves and seeds of the plant.
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A very wide range of lignans can be found in this species of hawthorn. Lignans are a type of polyphenol found in plants and seeds. Lignans have been the focus of much research due to their reported benefits to human health.
Dienolignans are a sub-class of lignans. A new dienolignan, Crataeguslignan, never seen before in nature, was discovered in the Crataegus pinnatifida species. Crataeguslignan was shown to have b-amyloid inhibitory activity.
Amyloids are proteins that occur naturally in the body. People who have certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, have higher amounts of amyloids that build up over time, causing problems. The researchers were particularly interested in krataeglignan’s ability to fight the formation of these proteins.
Outside of this discovery from hawthorn berries, natural compounds from plants are being studied extensively for their anti-amyloid properties. These compounds may someday be used to treat Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
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Another sub-class of lignans is sequinolignans. The researchers found three previously undiscovered sesquinolignans in Crataegus pinnatifida, Cratapinatifidas A-C (1, 2 and 3). Other research has discovered seven more types of new sesquinolignans from the seeds of the same species of hawthorn.
Another important compound found in Crataegus pinnatifida species is flavonoids. The researchers created an extract using the flavonoids found in this species of hawthorn. They looked at the effect of the compound on the intestinal epithelial barrier that had been exposed to inflammatory proteins.
These proteins, called cytokines, can cause problems in the intestines by disrupting their normal barrier function. Cytokines are overexpressed in diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease.
The epithelial barrier works by stopping bacteria from entering the intestines and controlling the absorption of nutrients. Cytokines create an epithelial barrier to protein degradation. A flavonoid extract from Crataegus pinnatifida helped epithelial barrier cells to function better.
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A review of all available data on the polyphenolic content of Crataegus pinefidata summarizes the information and health benefits.
Hawthorn is composed of several antioxidant-type compounds such as procyanidin C1, epicatechin, and isocacercitrin. The primary compounds found in the berry are procyanidin C1, rutin, procyanidin B2, epicatechin, and chlorogenic acid. Antioxidants protect hawthorn plants in the wild and are the main reason they have so many health benefits for the human body.
Studies have shown that hawthorn has benefits for healthy blood cholesterol levels and cardioprotective properties. Polyphenolic compounds and triterpene acids are antioxidants highlighted for heart health.
Hawthorn’s complex antioxidants include healthy blood sugar levels, benefits for asthma, and anti-aging benefits for the skin.
Fruit Image Of 24 Hawthorn (crataegus Sp.) Genotypes.
Metabolic syndrome is a group of different medical conditions that occur at the same time. High blood sugar, high blood pressure and obesity that occur simultaneously in a patient are classified as metabolic syndrome.
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome, particularly in the United States, is increasing research into different treatments for the condition. Traditional herbal remedies are the focus area of many of these studies, as they persist after thousands of years of use.
Shows promise in all key areas affected by metabolic syndrome. Hawthorn has been shown to support healthy blood sugar levels and protect the heart. It fights high blood fat levels with its two triterpenic acids, oleanolic acid and ursolic acid. These two triterpenic acids reduce high cholesterol-producing enzymes in the blood and bring them back to healthy levels. Other studies show that hawthorn can also help reduce obesity.
All the research conducted on the hawthorn berry means that in the future, the plant will be preserved and can even be turned into new treatments and medicines.
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Hawthorn berry tea is a great choice for anyone looking to support their health in a simple way. Hawthorn tea tastes great and can be combined with other teas for their health benefits. We recommend making hawthorn berry tea with red sage (Salvia militaria) tea as an excellent combination for heart health and balanced qi.
Bu, X.-L., Rao, P. P., and Wang, Y.-J. (2015). Anti-amyloid aggregation activity of natural compounds: implications for Alzheimer drug discovery.
Cheng, Z.-Y., Lou, L.-L., Yang, P.-Y., Song, X.-Y., Wang, X.-B., Huang, X.-X., and Song, , S.-J. (2019). Seven new neuroprotective sesquinolignans have been isolated from the seeds of Crataegus pinnatifida.
Liu, F., Zhang, X., & Ji, Y. (2020). Total flavonoid extract from hawthorn (Crataegus pinnatifida) ameliorates inflammatory cytokines-evoked epithelial barrier deficit.
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Pandey, K.B., and Rizvi, S.I. (2009).