Hawthorn Berries And Side Effects – Hawthorn berries are a well-known herb in traditional Chinese medicine that supports the cardiovascular system. It also provides botanical support to the kidneys and digestive system. Properties: Warm, Sweet
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Hawthorn Berries And Side Effects
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The Benefits Of Hawthorn Berry & Leaf Extract
In fact, hawthorn has been used to treat heart disease as far back as the first century! Fast forward to the early 1800s and doctors in the United States also used this medicinal herb for respiratory and circulatory disorders. (1)
Hawthorn fruits, leaves and flowers are all used medicinally today. Hawthorn fruit comes in the form of small red berries. Native American tribes liked to eat them and they also used hawthorn to treat heart problems and gastrointestinal complaints. (2)
What makes hawthorn berries so medicinal? It turns out to be their numerous flavonoids to begin with. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants known to effectively reduce inflammation and boost immune function. Eating a diet high in flavonoid-rich foods, drinks, and herbs has been linked to the prevention of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. (3)
Let’s take a closer look at how a small hawthorn berry can actually make huge improvements in the health of many people.
Natural Approach To Angina Treatment
The hawthorn bush, also called thorn apple or maypole, is a deciduous plant. It is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae) belonging to the genus
. Hawthorn can come in the form of a thorny hawthorn bush or a hawthorn tree. You can usually see hawthorn growing along the sides of sunny wooded hills. There are several varieties of hawthorn, many of which are found in North America. (4)
A hawthorn plant has both berries and flowers that bloom in May. Hawthorn flowers are red, pink or white. The small hawthorn berries appear after the flowers have finished blooming. When the hawthorn berries fully ripen, they are usually red in color, but sometimes they are black. These berries are edible. How do they taste? Most people describe hawthorn berries as a mix of sweet and sour.
The hawthorn herb is packed with health-promoting substances. These compounds have been shown to really improve heart health. Hawthorn’s antioxidant flavonoids improve blood flow, protect against damage to blood vessels, and even help dilate blood vessels. (5)
Hawthorn Facts And Health Benefits
These flavonoids contain OPCs. What are OPCs? OPC stands for oligomeric proanthocyanidins. OPCs are some of the most abundant polyphenolic compounds found in plants. (6)
Hawthorn berry is best known for its beneficial, strengthening effects on the heart. As a ‘cardiotonic herb’, hawthorn has impressively proven to help with all sorts of serious heart problems. These include heart failure, heart disease, angina, changes in heart rhythm, and atherosclerosis. According to a 2016 study published in the journal
To date, research has shown that hawthorn may even have a beneficial effect on congestive heart failure (CHF). Multiple studies have shown that hawthorn supplementation resulted in an improvement in heart function based on a number of parameters. These parameters include blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac output and exercise tolerance.
One trial in particular gave 78 patients with NYHA class II heart failure a commercial preparation of hawthorn leaves and flowers. After two months, the patients given 200 milligrams of hawthorn three times a day had an increased heart capacity and a reduction in symptoms. The hawthorn group also showed a reduction in systolic blood pressure during physical activity. Another German study also showed that a hawthorn extract (LI132 Faros®) worked almost as well as a prescription heart failure drug (captopril). And the hawthorn extract had fewer side effects. (9)
Hawthorn Benefits For Your Heart, According To Experts
) special extract, alone or in addition to conventional treatment. After two years, fatigue, stress dyspnea and palpitations (the three main symptoms of heart failure) had all decreased significantly in the group that took the hawthorn compared to the group that did not take the hawthorn. (10)
Many herbal practitioners recommend hawthorn berries, flowers and leaves as natural blood pressure lowering agents. A scientific study published in
79 patients with type 2 diabetes took 1200 milligrams of hawthorn extract or a placebo for a total of 16 weeks. Hypotensive drugs were also used by 71 percent of the study participants.
What did they find? The hawthorn group experienced greater reductions in diastolic blood pressure. But there were no group differences in systolic blood pressure reduction. (11) Hopefully more studies will be forthcoming soon to support the use of hawthorn in lowering blood pressure.
Hawthorns (plants Of The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Grounds, Chicago, Illinois) · Inaturalist
Decreased blood flow to the heart causes chest pain known as angina. Sometimes it is confused with indigestion. But true angina can be a symptom of coronary artery disease. So far, research shows that hawthorn can be an effective natural remedy for avoiding and treating angina.
, hawthorn’s bioflavonoids help dilate both peripheral and coronary arteries. This can improve blood flow to the heart, making hawthorn very helpful for angina. It is also believed that the proanthocyanidins of hawthorn reduce the tension of the blood vessel walls. Again, this is very helpful in discouraging angina. (12)
In one study, 80 subjects (aged 45 to 65 years) with stable angina were randomized into four groups. The first group was the aerobic exercise group. The second group took a hawthorn extract. The third group did aerobic exercise, plus a hawthorn extract. Finally, the fourth group was the control group. After 12 weeks, the researchers found that the combination of aerobic exercise and hawthorn supplementation “was an effective complementary strategy to significantly lower the risk of atherosclerosis and heart problems.” (13)
Animal studies have shown that hawthorn berry extract may be a useful natural remedy for the reduction of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol from the body. In China, hawthorn is called “Shan-Zha”. An animal study showed some very impressive health results from an ethanol extract of Zhongtian hawthorn, a cultivar of the wild Shan-Zha, which has larger hawthorn fruits.
The Benefits Of Hawthorn Berry
This 2016 study revealed that hawthorn berry extract not only lowered overall high cholesterol, but specifically LDL cholesterol, liver cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as body weight. (14)
Scientific research conducted in 2008 revealed that hawthorn berry extract is excellent at reducing inflammation. This is huge for health because we know that inflammation is the root cause of most diseases.
The research also shows that hawthorn berry extract is a free radical scavenger. This is extremely beneficial to human health, as free radicals can cause cellular damage (including DNA damage) by stealing electrons through a process called oxidation.
The 2008 animal study also showed how hawthorn berry extract has protective effects for the gastrointestinal tract and appears to successfully kill several types of unwanted bacteria. (15)
Impressive Health Benefits Of Hawthorn Berry
How can you incorporate hawthorn berries into your life? There are a few options. You can choose hawthorn berry tea, prepackaged or loose. Loose hawthorn berries can often be purchased in the bulk section of many health food stores. You can also purchase a hawthorn supplement in capsule form or hawthorn extract in liquid tincture form.
So far, safe hawthorn doses appear to be between 160 and 1,800 milligrams per day for a period of three to 24 weeks. Noticeable improvement in symptoms can take six to 12 weeks. (18)
You should not use hawthorn if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not give hawthorn products to children. Hawthorn supplement is recommended for short-term use by adults. If symptoms worsen with hawthorn use, discontinue use and seek emergency medical attention.
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