Hawthorn Berries And Cayenne For A Heart Attack – Written by Ariane Lang, BSc, MBA and SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD — Cathy W. Clinically Reviewed by Warwick, R.D., CDE, Nutrition — Updated December 13, 2021
This nutrient-rich berry has a tangy, tangy flavor and mild sweetness. Their color ranges from yellow to dark red (
Hawthorn Berries And Cayenne For A Heart Attack
For hundreds of years, people have used hawthorn berries as an herbal remedy for digestive problems, heart problems, and high blood pressure. In fact, the berry has been an important part of traditional Chinese medicine since at least 659 AD (
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Antioxidants help neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals that can harm your body when present in high levels.
Free radicals can come from certain foods. Air pollution and cigarette smoke (
Polyphenols are associated with numerous health benefits due to their antioxidant activity, including reduced risk (
Although initial research in animals and cells is promising, more human studies are needed to assess the effects of hawthorn berries on disease risk.
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Summary Hawthorn berries contain plant polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that have been linked to numerous health benefits.
Research has found that chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, asthma, and some cancers (
In a study of mice with liver disease, hawthorn berry extract significantly reduced levels of inflammatory compounds, which reduced liver inflammation and injury (
In one study, researchers gave vitexin – a compound found in hawthorn leaves – to rats with respiratory conditions. This treatment reduced the production of pro-inflammatory molecules and reduced the inflammatory response of white blood cells (
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These promising results from animal and test-tube studies suggest that the supplement may offer anti-inflammatory benefits for humans. However, more research is needed.
Summary Hawthorn berry extract has shown anti-inflammatory potential in test-tube and animal studies. However, research in humans is needed.
In traditional Chinese medicine, hawthorn berry is one of the most commonly recommended foods to help treat high blood pressure (
Animal studies have shown that hawthorn can act as a vasodilator, meaning it can relax narrowed blood vessels, ultimately lowering blood pressure (
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A 10-week study found that taking hawthorn extract mildly increased blood pressure in 36 people.
Researchers found that people who took 500 mg of the extract daily had a lower diastolic blood pressure—the lowest number of blood pressure readings (
In a 2006 study, researchers gave 79 people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure 1,200 milligrams of hawthorn extract daily for 16 weeks. People who took this extract experienced greater blood pressure improvements than those in the placebo group (
However, more studies are needed to back up these findings. It is also important to note that consuming the extract is not the same as eating the berries.
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Summary Some research suggests that hawthorn berries may lower blood pressure by helping to dilate blood vessels. However, further studies are needed.
Some studies have indicated that hawthorn extract may improve blood cholesterol levels due to its flavonoid and pectin content. Pectin is a type of fiber that is involved in cholesterol metabolism (
Imbalanced blood cholesterol levels — especially high triglycerides and low HDL (good) cholesterol — play a role in atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in your arteries (
If plaque continues to build up, it can completely block a blood vessel, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
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In one animal study, rats that received two doses of hawthorn extract had lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as 28-47% lower liver triglyceride levels, compared to rats that did not receive the extract (
Similarly, a 6-week study in mice showed that when mice were given hawthorn berry supplements, they significantly reduced fasting triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Finally, a 6-month study in 64 people with atherosclerosis found that taking hawthorn extract at a dose of 2.3 mg per pound (5 mg per kg) of body weight significantly reduced the thickness of harmful plaque formation in the carotid artery (carotid artery).
Although this research is promising, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects of hawthorn extract on blood cholesterol.
Herbs For Heart Health
Summary Research in animals and humans suggests that taking hawthorn extract may help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, more human research is needed.
People have used hawthorn berries and extracts for centuries to treat digestive problems, especially indigestion and stomach pain (
Berries contain fiber, which has been shown to aid digestion by reducing constipation and acting as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are substances that nourish and promote healthy gut bacteria, which are important for maintaining healthy digestion (
An observational study in people with slow digestion found that every additional gram of dietary fiber people ate reduced the time between bowel movements by 30-minutes.
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Additionally, a rat study found that hawthorn extract dramatically reduced the intestinal transit time of food in the digestive system (
Furthermore, research in rats suggests that compounds in hawthorn berries can increase the production and activity of digestive enzymes—those needed to digest fatty and protein-rich foods (
Summary People have used hawthorn berries as a digestive aid for centuries. It can help relieve constipation and increase the production of enzymes needed to digest fatty and protein-rich foods.
Hawthorn berries can help prevent premature aging of the skin due to collagen degradation due to excessive sun exposure or exposure to UV rays.
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A test-tube study found that a combination of hawthorn and ginseng extracts could prevent signs of aging by preventing the formation of wrinkles and increasing skin moisture (
Research suggests that this effect may be due to the antioxidant content of hawthorn berries. However, research in this area is limited, and human studies are needed.
Summary Some research suggests that hawthorn berries may help reduce the signs of aging due to their antioxidant content.
In an older study of 264 people with anxiety, a combination of hawthorn extract, magnesium, and California poppy flower significantly reduced anxiety levels compared to a placebo. However, it is not clear what specific role Hawthorne played (
Hawthorn As An Herbal Remedy
Hawthorn appears to have fewer side effects than traditional anti-anxiety medications. This is one reason scientists are researching it as a potential treatment for central nervous system disorders such as anxiety and depression (
However, these studies used a variety of hawthorn products, not necessarily the berry. More research is needed.
If you want to try a hawthorn supplement to manage your anxiety, don’t stop using your current medications and be sure to discuss it with a healthcare professional first to make sure it’s safe for you.
Summary Scientists are exploring hawthorn supplements as a potential treatment for anxiety. However, currently there is not much research on them for this purpose. More studies of the effects of hawthorn berries on anxiety are needed.
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Hawthorn berry is well known for its use in traditional contexts to treat heart failure along with other traditional medicines. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart cannot pump blood properly.
Several studies have suggested that hawthorn berries may have beneficial effects without serious adverse effects in people with heart failure (
Studies mostly show improvements in heart function and heart-failure symptoms — such as shortness of breath and fatigue (
However, some evidence suggests that hawthorn may be harmful in some cases of heart failure. One study found that taking it along with conventional treatments increased the risk of heart failure (
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Summary In some traditional medicine systems, people commonly take hawthorn berries along with other traditional medicines for heart failure. However, it can be harmful if combined with conventional medicines for heart failure.
Hawthorn berries can be difficult to find in your local grocery store. However, you can find it at farmers markets and specialty health food stores.
Hawthorn berry supplements usually contain the berries along with the leaves and flowers, although some contain only the leaves and flowers.
Different brands and types of hawthorn supplements have different dosage recommendations. Typical doses are 250-500 mg three times a day. However, research has yet to determine the optimal effective dose (
Hawthorn (crataegus Oxycantha)
Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements like hawthorn under less stringent regulations than over-the-counter or prescription drugs.
Look for products with a seal of approval from independent organizations that evaluate supplement efficacy and quality, such as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, or ConsumerLab.
Summary You can eat hawthorn berries in many ways or take them as a supplement. However, appropriate doses are still undefined and more research is needed.
Few side effects have been reported from taking hawthorn berries. Those that do exist are mild to moderate.
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Sweating, headache, insomnia, palpitations, mild rash, agitation, and gastrointestinal effects (
Although these are not life-threatening events, be sure to talk to a healthcare professional if you experience any of these symptoms.
Summary The side effects of consuming hawthorn berries are mild. They often include sweating, headache, drowsiness, palpitations, mild rash, agitation, and gastrointestinal effects.
The use of medicinal plants as an alternative treatment for many diseases is increasing