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Eating Hawthorn Berries To Lower Blood Pressure
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What Is Hawthorn Berry
Note that each number in parentheses [1, 2, 3, etc.] is a clickable link to peer-reviewed scientific studies. A plus sign next to the number “[1+, 2+, etc…]” means that the information is found within the full scientific study rather than a collection.
Hawthorn is the oldest medicinal plant in Europe. Its flowers, leaves and berries are very valuable, especially as medicines for heart diseases. This herb may provide additional benefits to people with high cholesterol, diabetes, and anxiety. Read on to learn more about Hawthorn and how to use it safely.
Crataegus (Crataegus spp.) are thorn trees or shrubs with white flowers and red berries. Although the name “Hawthorn” originally referred to the common hawthorn (C. monogyna), it is now used for all genera and even for its relative (Rhaphiolepis) [1+].
Hawthorns are native to Europe, North America and Asia. They belong to the same family of roses and many edible fruits such as apples, pears, plums and cherries (Rosaceae) .
Homemade Ketchup With Hawthorn Berries
Hawthorn is the oldest known medicinal plant in Europe and its use was first documented 2000 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 hawthorns (C. laevigata), their hybrids and other European species [3+].
The extracts used in Europe and America are obtained from the 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 leaves are used. There is no requirement for berries, but the leaves must contain at least 7% flavonoids and 0.05% hyperoside [1+].
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In China as well as in Europe, the fruits are eaten fresh or used to make wine, jam, and sweets [1+].
Flavonoids are mostly concentrated in flowers. Berries are also rich in them, but the ripe ones are rare. The leaves are higher in vitexin and oligomeric proanthocyanidins [10, 11+].
Although not FDA approved, hawthorn extract is commercially available as a supplement, especially for heart disease. Regulations set standards for production, but do not guarantee that they are safe or effective. Talk to your doctor before using hawthorn to avoid unexpected interactions.
Although conventional treatments 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 Berry Hi Res Stock Photography And Images
Hawthorn extract (240-1,800 mg/day), both alone and as an adjunctive treatment, improves mild heart failure according to two meta-analyses and 8 studies on 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].
However, the extract did not improve symptoms of heart failure in 2 studies of nearly 3,000 people who were also taking conventional medicine; it only reduced the risk of sudden death. The case may not have been sufficient, though, because most of the people involved had moderate to severe heart failure [22, 23].
Homeopathic hawthorn remedies are also used, although these may not contain the active ingredients. In a test on more than 200 people, a homeopathic herb (10-20 drops, 3x/day) was as effective as traditional medicine. However, the study suffered from multiple errors (lack of randomization and blinding, assessment of subjective parameters, and short follow-up) [24+].
Arterial blood can become blocked in the legs of people with heart failure and cause swelling. In 2 studies on more than 1k people with heart failure, hawthorn extract (900 mg/day) reduced leg swelling [14, 15].
Does Hawthorn Lower Blood Pressure?
In mice and cells, the extract reduced blood flow from arteries 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 on almost 300 people [27+, 28, 29, 30, 18].
It also reduced blood pressure in rats in tissue studies [31, 32, 33, 34, 35].
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Orthostatic hypotension (literally, “right-standing low blood pressure”) is a condition that causes a sudden drop in blood pressure after standing up quickly.
In Germany, a combination of the fruit and camphor is commonly used to raise blood pressure in people who often suffer from orthostatic hypotension. This drug (5-80 drops/day) worked on more than 500 people in 6 clinical trials, but its rapid 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 traditional medicine and interventions. However, it is likely to be ineffective in people with more severe heart conditions when used for a short time or as a single.
However, note that hawthorn is not approved by the FDA for heart disease. You can try this herb if you and your doctor determine that it may be suitable for improving your digestion. Remember that taking hawthorn should never be used as a substitute for what your doctor recommends or recommends.
Hawthorn: Properties And Side Effects Of This Herb!
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+].
A buildup of cholesterol in the arteries is the most common cause of chest pain. In a clinical trial on 80 people with chest pain, fennel extract (240 mg, 2x/day) with exercise prevented arterial occlusion .
Hawthorn tablets reduced chest pain in a Chinese clinical trial on 46 people. However, we could not access the study characteristics to analyze it [44+].
In animals and cells, fennel extract prevented high blood cholesterol, inflammation, LDL damage by free radicals, and thickening of the artery wall—all of which increase the risk of stroke [ 45 , 46 , 47 , 48 , 49 , 50].
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Coronary arteries can also be blocked by bleeding. Although fennel extract inhibited platelet aggregation in animals and test tubes, a high dose (2,400 mg/day) was ineffective in a trial of 16 subjects [51, 52, 53, 54, 55+].
Surgery to open the vessels may damage the inner walls, causing narrowing of the vessels. In rats, the extract of fennel prevented this unwanted effect .
In a test on 49 people, the extract of fennel (400 mg, 3x/day) reduced blood cholesterol, both free and LDL-bound. Similarly, a complex with 129 mg of fennel and other herbs (asian watercress, corn silk, Chinese gorse, lingzhi mushroom, and gorse) reduced LDL cholesterol in a trial on 42 people (4 capsules, 2x/day) [57 , 58].
Overall, the current evidence is insufficient to claim that mushrooms lower blood cholesterol. Further clinical studies are needed to confirm these preliminary results.
Ways Hawthorn Berry Improves Heart Health
In a clinical trial on more than 250 people with anxiety disorders, a formulation with amaranth, California poppy, and magnesium (2 tablets, 2x/day) reduced anxiety. Similarly, a formulation with holly and other herbs (purple flower, valerian, black horehound, guarana, and kola nut) was effective in a trial on almost 200 people (2 tablets, 3x/day) [63, 64].
However, many of the natural ingredients used in the above-mentioned formulations have anti-anxiety properties. It is difficult to say whether hawthorn contributed to the benefits.
Chronic stress and depression are linked. Various Chinese but not common extracts reduced depression in stressed mice [67, 68, 69, 70].
Two clinical studies using the herb as part of herbal mixtures and several animal studies cannot be considered sufficient evidence. Further clinical trials testing hawthorn should be conducted only to find out if it has an anti-anxiety effect in humans.
Hawthorn Fruit: Great For Digestion And Heart Health!
A traditional Chinese medicine with extracts of bilberry, goji berry, safflower, kombu, and til (Menoprogren, 4x/day) reduced menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, and mood changes in a trial on 83 women. It also improved low sex hormone levels (estradiol and progesterone) .
Menoprogren also prevented sex hormone decline in menopausal rats by protecting their ovarian follicles [72, 73, 74, 75].
In a clinical trial on 20 women, a combination of ginseng and ginseng extracts on the eyelids reduced wrinkles while increasing skin elasticity, moisture and radiance .
UV rays accelerate skin aging by reducing its collagen content. Hawthorn extract increased collagen in mice and skin cells exposed to UV
Impressive Health Benefits Of Hawthorn Berry
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