Hawthorn Berries And Gout – Flavonoids, oligomeric procyanidins, biogenic amines. The components work synergistically. The effect of all the components together is greater than the sum of the individual actions.
White in spring, red in autumn: hawthorn gives us joy all year round. From May to June, these large shrubs or small trees are covered in a foam of white flowers arranged in small clusters or corymbs. The sharp thorns and small three- to five-lobed, almost diamond-shaped leaves are barely visible among the flowers. In autumn, from September onwards, the red, mealy fruits, yellow on the inside, decorate the tree which grows in thickets, nests, on sunny slopes, in deciduous and pine forests.
Hawthorn Berries And Gout
A small, barely noticeable difference in the flower structure separates two different species of hawthorn: monostylous (Crataegus monogyna) and disstylous. The two species occur next to each other and are mixed together.
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Hawthorn is an important heart tonic. Because of its action to increase blood flow in the coronary vessels, it is used in various cardiovascular ailments and heart diseases associated with aging. The old, tired heart is inflated, supported and cared for, degenerative symptoms in the heart muscle and sclerotic changes in the coronary arteries are considerably improved. Hawthorn also benefits the young heart under constant stress. It strengthens the overburdened heart and calms the nervous heart – also preventively. Other conditions where hawthorn is used are: congestive heart failure, rhythm disturbances and supportive treatment after a heart attack. It often restores balance, for example it has a stabilizing effect on both high blood pressure and low blood pressure. A major advantage of the treatment with hawthorn is that no side effects have been reported even with long-term use.
The scientific name Crataegus“ is probably derived from the Greek krataios = hard, strong, and refers to the hardness of the tree. The name Whitethorn is easily understood by anyone who has seen the tree in the spring when the white flower exuberantly covers the branches. The names May and Mayblossom obviously come from the fact that the tree blooms in May. Use of the healing powers of hawthorn first began in the 14th century when it was used to treat gout and bladder stones. In folk medicine, the hawthorn’s powers were used in the treatment of teeth and warts. It was not until the 19th century that the heart-strengthening effect of hawthorn was discovered. And this was just by accident. The butterflies bred by a zoologist had become weak and pitiful and only regained their strength, they were fed hawthorn leaves.
The legends and stories that revolve around this tree with its unusual shapes go back much further. In many places it is said to have powers that protect against harm. Hawthorn branches were placed behind the fireplace or hung from the kitchen beams to protect the house from being struck by lightning. It was believed that witches could be kept away if as many hawthorn branches as there were cows in the stable were nailed to the stable windows on Shrove Tuesday and May Day. If milk would not turn to butter, the witches held responsible for this were driven out by beating with hawthorn branches.
In many stories, hawthorn is seen as a sign from God. For example, a hawthorn blooming in winter was thought to indicate a holy place. Hawthorn is often depicted in Gothic buildings – a sign of its role in religious beliefs at the time.
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Probably one of the oldest hawthorn trees, destroyed by lightning in 1823, is the center of a legend that dates back to the year 630. This tree, which stood near Klingenmuenster in the Rhein-Pfalz, was given by farmers in the area to the legendary Merovingian king Dagobert In, as a hiding place when he had to flee from rebels. As a sign of gratitude, the king bequeathed the peasants a huge piece of forest. Since then, the hawthorn was seen as a symbol of the indivisibility and unity of this piece of land and was protected from injury or harm under threat of punishment. Its very presence was said to have healing effects, it was a gathering place, and it was under a hawthorn tree that the peasants gathered for the “Bundschuh” in 1525, thus starting the Peasant War. With the tree’s death, the community that had formed around it quarreled and fell apart – as had been predicted long before.
The hard hawthorn wood was used to make walking sticks and handles for tools. The fruits are a delicacy for birds and are also used for pig farming. Roasted hawthorn seeds used to be used as a coffee substitute, the dried pulp as a flour additive.
The hawthorn’s harmonizing power is evident in its shape. Between a bush and a tree, between greenish fruit and stone fruit, with increasing age it curbs the seemingly limitless growth of its youth. In this balance-creating character, it is entirely a rose plant. Traditionally valued for its astringent properties, hawthorn was used to treat diarrhoea, heavy menstrual bleeding and in first aid for drawing splinters.
Adams, J. & Tan, E. (2006). Herbalism: How to make medicine from plants. Preston: Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE Printers
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Hawthorn berries are tiny fruits that are red to pink in color that grow on trees and shrubs belonging to them
Kindred. Different types of hawthorn produce slightly different fruits. The berries have a sour, sour taste and mild sweetness. These red berries are used to make jams, jellies, candies and even wine. For centuries, hawthorn berries have been a key part of traditional Chinese medicine.
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The fruitful benefits of hawthorn are mainly derived from its unique blend of vitamin B, vitamin C, flavonoid rutin (the key antioxidant that improves blood flow by dilating blood vessels), phenols (anti-inflammatory and antiseptic) and other antioxidants including procyanidins, vitexin, catechins and saponins.
Dating back to the first century, hawthorn had been prominently known as a heart tonic. Researchers believe that hawthorn helps to expand the smooth muscles of the coronary arteries, thereby increasing blood flow to the heart. It is also believed to increase heart muscle contraction and control heart rate.
Hawthorn is a natural diuretic with its ability to reduce fluid retention which helps relieve congestive heart failure. It has been shown to improve heart function and reduce symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue. Some studies also suggested that hawthorn may improve a person’s ability to exercise after heart failure.
Preliminary evidence suggests that hawthorn may help fight chest pain (angina), which is caused by low blood supply to the heart.
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Hawthorn causes the blood vessels to relax, which dilates the vessels and allows the blood to flow more easily. In fact, hawthorn berries are one of the most recommended foods in traditional Chinese medicine to treat high blood pressure. However, there is not enough research to conclude whether hawthorn is effective in lowering blood pressure.
In animal studies, hawthorn extract has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. High levels of triglycerides cause plaque build-up in the blood vessels and the blood vessel is completely blocked, this can cause a heart attack or stroke.
The high antioxidant content of hawthorn provides anti-inflammatory properties that can improve one’s overall health as chronic inflammation has been linked to many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, asthma and certain types of