Hawthorn Berries Effects On Heart – Hawthorn is often called the “herb for the heart” because of its various cardioprotective abilities. Prized for its ability to lift and strengthen the heart both emotionally and physically, the hawthorn berry has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for all kinds of serious heart problems. These include angina, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, irregular heartbeat and even congestive heart failure.
In fact, hawthorn was used to treat heart disease as far back as the first century! Fast forward to the early 1800s and doctors in the United States were also using this medicinal plant for respiratory and circulatory health disorders. (1)
Hawthorn Berries Effects On Heart
The fruit, leaves and flowers of hawthorn are used for medicinal purposes today. Hawthorn fruit comes in the form of small red berries. Native American tribes were happy to eat them, and they also used hawthorn to treat heart problems, as well as gastrointestinal problems. (2)
Hawthorn: The Heart Healer
What makes hawthorn berries so healing? It seems to be their many flavonoids to begin with. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants known to effectively reduce inflammation while boosting immune function. A diet rich in foods, beverages and herbs rich in flavonoids is associated with the prevention of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as cancer. (3)
Let’s take a closer look at how the tiny little hawthorn berry can make big improvements in the health of many people.
Hawthorn bush, also called thorn or maywood, is a deciduous plant. It is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae) belonging to the genus
. Hawthorn can be in the form of a thorny hawthorn bush or a hawthorn tree. You can usually find hawthorn on the slopes of sunny wooded hills. There are various species of hawthorn, many of which are found in North America. (4)
Natural Approach To Angina Treatment
The hawthorn plant has berries as well as flowers that bloom in May. Hawthorn flowers are red, pink or white. Tiny hawthorn berries appear after the flowers bloom. When fully ripe, hawthorn berries 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 mixture of sweet and sour.
The hawthorn plant is full of healthy compounds. These compounds have been shown to actually boost heart health. Hawthorn’s antioxidant flavonoids improve blood flow, protect against damage to blood vessels and even help dilate blood vessels. (5)
These flavonoids include OPC. What are OPCs? OPC is an abbreviation for oligomeric proanthocyanidins. OPCs are some of the most abundant polyphenolic substances found in plants. (6)
Hawthorn berries are best known for their beneficial tonic effects on the heart. As a “cardiotonic herb,” hawthorn has been shown to be impressively beneficial for all kinds of serious heart problems. These include heart failure, heart disease, angina pectoris, changes in heart rhythm and atherosclerosis. According to a 2016 study published in the journal
The Benefits Of Hawthorn Berry & Leaf Extract
To date, research has shown that hawthorn may even have a beneficial effect on congestive heart failure (CHF). Numerous studies have shown that hawthorn supplementation led to 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 specifically gave 78 patients with NYHA class II heart failure a commercial preparation of hawthorn leaves and flowers. After two months, in patients who took 200 milligrams of hawthorn three times a day, there was an increase in the working capacity of the heart, as well as a reduction in symptoms. The hawthorn group also showed a reduction in systolic blood pressure during physical activity. Another German study also found that hawthorn extract (LI132 Faros®) worked almost as well as a prescription heart failure drug (captopril). Hawthorn extract had fewer side effects. (9)
) special extract alone or as an addition to conventional treatment. After two years, fatigue, stress-induced dyspnea and palpitations (the three main symptoms of heart failure) were significantly reduced in the hawthorn group compared to the non-hawthorn group. (10)
Many herbalists recommend hawthorn berries, flowers and leaves as natural blood pressure reducers. A scientific study published in
Hawthorn Cordial Recipe: Hawthorn For The Heart
Had 79 patients with type 2 diabetes either take 1,200 milligrams of hawthorn extract daily or a placebo for a total of 16 weeks. Antihypertensive drugs were also taken by 71 percent of the study participants.
What did they find? The hawthorn group experienced a greater reduction in diastolic blood pressure. But there were no group differences in systolic blood pressure reduction. (11) Hopefully there will be more studies soon to support the use of hawthorn in lowering blood pressure.
Reduced blood flow to the heart causes chest pain known as angina. It is sometimes confused with indigestion. However, true angina can be a symptom of coronary heart disease. Current research shows that hawthorn could be an effective natural remedy for the prevention and treatment of angina.
, hawthorn bioflavonoids help dilate both peripheral and coronary blood vessels. This can improve blood flow to the heart, making hawthorn very beneficial for angina. Hawthorn proanthocyanidins are also believed to reduce blood vessel wall tension. Again, this is very useful for discouraging angina. (12)
Hawthorn As An Herbal Remedy
In one study, 80 subjects (aged 45 to 65) with stable angina pectoris were randomly divided into four groups. The first group was the aerobic exercise group. The second group took hawthorn extract. The third group did aerobic exercises, plus they took 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 for significantly reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and heart problems.” (13)
Animal studies have shown that hawthorn berry extract can be a useful natural remedy for lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol from the body. In China, hawthorn is called “Shan-Zha”. An animal study showed truly impressive health results from the ethanolic extract of Zhongtian hawthorn, a cultivar of the wild Shan-Zha, which has larger hawthorn fruits.
This 2016 study found that hawthorn berry extract not only reduced total high cholesterol, but also significantly reduced LDL cholesterol, liver cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as body weight. (14)
Scientific research conducted in 2008 showed that hawthorn berry extract is excellent in reducing inflammation. This is huge for health because we know that inflammation is the root of most diseases.
Hawthorn Berry 1200 Mg
Research also shows that hawthorn berry extract is a free radical scavenger. This is extremely beneficial to human health since free radicals can cause cellular damage (including DNA damage) by stealing electrons through a process called oxidation.
A 2008 animal study also showed that hawthorn berry extract has protective effects on the gastrointestinal system and appears to successfully kill a variety of unwanted bacteria. (15)
How can you incorporate hawthorn berries into your life? There are several options. You can opt for hawthorn berry tea, either bagged or loose. Bulk hawthorn berries can often be purchased at large health food stores. You can also choose a hawthorn supplement in capsule form or hawthorn extract in liquid tincture form.
So far, safe doses of hawthorn appear to be between 160 to 1,800 milligrams per day for 3 to 24 weeks. It may take six to 12 weeks for noticeable improvement in symptoms. (18)
Hawthorn: A Little Known Super Fruit
You should not take hawthorn if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not give hawthorn products to children. Supplementation with hawthorn is recommended for short-term use by adults. If any symptoms worsen while taking hawthorn, you should discontinue use and seek immediate medical attention.
In some users, hawthorn may cause nausea, stomach upset, fatigue, sweating, headache, dizziness, palpitations, nosebleeds, insomnia, agitation, and other side effects.
While hawthorn is known to be great for the heart, it can interact with prescription heart medications. Medicines for other heart problems, high blood pressure and male sexual dysfunction are also known to work with hawthorn. Some specific medications known to interact with hawthorn include digoxin, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers (CCBs), nitrates, phenylephrine, and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. If you have heart disease or any other medical condition or are currently taking medication(s), consult your doctor before taking a hawthorn berry product or any other hawthorn dietary supplement. (19, 20)
It is also important to note that heart failure is a very serious medical condition. It is best not to self-medicate with hawthorn supplements if you suffer from this condition.
Hawthorn Berry: Amazing Herb For Heart Health And Blood Pressure
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Hawthorn — Wildness Within
These nutrient-rich berries have an astringent,