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Hawthorn Berries And High Blood Pressure
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Note that each number in parentheses [1, 2, 3, etc.] is a clickable link to a peer-reviewed scientific study. A plus sign next to a number “[1+, 2+, etc…]” means that the information is found in a full scientific study, not an abstract.
Hawthorn is the oldest medicinal plant in Europe. Its flowers, leaves and fruits are highly valued, especially as a remedy for heart ailments. This herb may provide additional benefits to those with high cholesterol, diabetes, and anxiety. Read on to learn more about hawthorn and how to use it safely.
Crataegus (Crataegus spp.) 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 the entire genus and even for its relative (Rhaphiolepis) [1+].
Eagles are 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) .
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Hawthorn is the oldest medicinal plant in Europe, with its use dating back 2,000 years. In European and American folk medicine, it is used [3+, 4+, 2] for:
German Committee E approved the use of falcon for mild heart failure in the 1980s. Balsam extract is mostly obtained from common and English (C. laevigata) balsam, their hybrids, and other European species [3+].
Extracts used in Europe and America are extracted from fruits, leaves, and flowers. Fruits should contain at least 1% procyanidins, and leaves and flowers require a minimum flavonoid content of 1.5% [1+].
In China, only the fruit and leaves are used. There is no requirement for fruits, but leaves must contain at least 7% flavonoids and 0.05% hyprosides [1+].
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The fruits are also eaten fresh or used to make jams, jams, and candies in China and Europe [1+].
Flavonoids are most concentrated in flowers. Fruits are rich in nutrients but less ripe. The leaves are high in vitamins and oligomeric protocyanins [10, 11+].
Although not approved by the FDA, eagle extract is available as a commercial supplement, particularly for heart disease. Regulations set production standards, but do not guarantee that they are safe or effective. Talk to your doctor before using falcon to avoid unexpected interactions.
Although conventional treatments improve symptoms and reduce mortality, the quality of life of people with heart failure is often reduced. Hawthorn has been combined with drugs and implantable devices to improve heart failure .
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Hawthorn extract (240-1,800 mg/day) improves mild heart failure as a single and adjunctive treatment, according to two meta-analyses and 8 studies in more than 4k people. Increased pump power while reducing fatigue and dyspnea [12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21].
However, this extract did not improve symptoms of heart failure in 2 studies in nearly 3k people taking the same medication. It only reduces the risk of sudden death. Although the majority of people have moderate to severe heart failure, the dose may be insufficient [22, 23].
Homeopathic herbal remedies are also used, although these do not contain active compounds. In one trial of more than 200 people, homeopathic remedies (10-20 drops per day, 3x/day) were as effective as conventional medications. However, this study suffered from several shortcomings (lack of randomization and blinding, assessment of subjective parameters, and short follow-up) [24+].
Arterial blood can pool in the legs of people with heart failure, causing swelling. In 2 studies of people weighing more than 1 kg with heart failure, elderberry extract (900 mg/day) reduced leg edema [14, 15].
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In mice and cells, the extract reduced vascular blood flow by strengthening their internal pathways [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 involving nearly 300 people [27+, 28, 29, 30, 18].
The extract also reduced blood pressure and arterial relaxation in mice in tissue studies [31, 32, 33, 34, 35].
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Orthostatic hypotension (literally “standing hypotension”) is a condition that causes a sudden drop in blood pressure after standing up quickly.
In Germany, a combination of oleander and camphor is often used to raise blood pressure in people with oleander hypertension. This remedy (5-80 drops per day) worked in 6 clinical trials in over 500 people, but its rapid action suggests that camphor is responsible for this effect [36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41].
Hawthorn is a time-tested natural remedy for mild heart problems such as congestive heart failure and high blood pressure. It can be safely added to conventional medications and interventions. However, it may be used short-term or alone in people with more severe heart disease.
However, note that falcon is not FDA-approved for heart disease. You can try this herb if you and your doctor agree that it is suitable for improving arthritis. Remember to never place the eagle in a position recommended or prescribed by your doctor.
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Poor blood and oxygen supply to the heart results from blockages in the blood vessels that supply the heart. 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 of 80 subjects with chest pain, oleander extract (240 mg, 2x/day) prevented exercise-induced atherosclerosis .
Hawthorn tablets relieved chest pain in 46 people in a clinical trial in China. However, we did not have access to study details to analyze it [44+].
In animals and cells, oleander extract prevented hypercholesterolemia, inflammation, free radical damage to LDL, and thickening of the artery wall—all of which increase the risk of occlusion [ 45 , 46 , 47 , 48 , 49 , 50 ].
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A coronary artery becomes blocked with blood clots. Although eagle extract prevented platelet aggregation in animals and test tubes, high doses (2,400 mg/day) were ineffective in 16 human trials [51, 52, 53, 54, 55+].
Surgery on unblocked arteries can damage their inner walls, which can cause the arteries to narrow. In mice, oleander extract prevented this unwanted effect .
In a 49-person trial, eagle extract (400 mg/day, 3x/day) reduced blood cholesterol, both free and LDL-bound. Similarly, a complex product containing 129 mg of fennel and other herbs (Asiatic water plant, corn silk, Chinese knotweed, lingji mushroom and oyster) reduced LDL cholesterol in 42 people (4 capsules/day, 2x/day) [57, 58].
In general, the available evidence is insufficient to support the claim that eagle lowers blood cholesterol. Further clinical studies are needed to confirm these preliminary findings.
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In a clinical trial of over 250 anxiety subjects, California peaches, California poppies, and magnesium (2 tablets, 2x/day) reduced anxiety. Similarly, a formulation made with fennel and other herbs (purple flower, valerian, blackberry, guarana and kola nut) was effective in a trial of nearly 200 people (2 tablets, 3x/day) [63, 64].
However, many of the natural compounds mentioned above have anti-anxiety properties. Whether or not the Eagles contributed to the gains is hard to say.
Chronic stress and depression are closely related. Different extracts from Chinese but not common oleander reduce depression in stressed rats [67, 68, 69, 70].
Two clinical studies and a few animal studies using fennel as an herbal mixture cannot be considered sufficient evidence. It just needs to be tested in clinical trials to see if it has anti-anxiety effects in humans.
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A traditional Chinese medicine (Menoprogren, 4x/day) containing extracts of chickpeas, cranberries, blueberries, kumbu, and oysters reduced menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings in a trial of 83 women. It also increased the levels of lower sex hormones (estradiol and progesterone) .
Menopause also prevents sex hormone decline by protecting ovarian follicles in menopausal mice [72, 73, 74, 75].
In a clinical trial of 20 women, a combination of aloe vera and ginseng extract reduced wrinkles while increasing skin elasticity, moisture, and radiance .
Ultraviolet radiation accelerates skin aging by reducing collagen levels. In mice and skin cells exposed to UV light, mulberry extract increased collagen production;