Hawthorn Berries For Enlarged Prostate – Hawthorn is often called “the herb of the heart” for its various cardioprotective abilities. Prized for its ability to uplift and strengthen the heart both emotionally and physically, 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 heartbeats and even congestive heart failure.
In fact, hawthorn has been used to treat heart disease since the 1st century! Fast forward to the early 1800s and doctors in the United States were also using this medicinal herb for respiratory and circulatory health disorders. (1)
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Hawthorn fruits, leaves and flowers are used medicinally today. Hawthorn fruit comes in the form of small red berries. Native American tribes liked to eat it and also used hawthorn to treat heart problems as well as gastrointestinal problems. (2)
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What makes hawthorn berries so medicinal? It seems to be its many flavonoids to begin with. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants known to effectively reduce inflammation while boosting immune function. Eating a diet rich in flavonoid-rich foods, beverages, and herbs has been linked to the prevention of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as cancer. (3)
Let’s take a closer look at how a small hawthorn berry can really make big improvements in the health of many people.
Hawthorn, also called thorn or May tree, is a deciduous plant. It is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae) belonging to the genus
. Hawthorn can appear as a thorn bush or a hawthorn tree. Most of the time, you can find hawthorn growing on the sides of sunny forested hills. There are several species of hawthorn, many of which are found in North America. (4)
Healing The Heart With Hawthorn
A hawthorn plant has berries and flowers that bloom in May. Hawthorn flowers are red, pink or white. The small hawthorn berries appear after the flowers have bloomed. When fully ripe hawthorn berries are usually red, but sometimes black. These berries are edible. How do they taste? Most people describe hawthorn berries as a mixture of sweet and sour.
Hawthorn herb is loaded with beneficial health compounds. These compounds have been shown to actually improve heart health. Hawthorn’s antioxidant flavonoids improve blood flow, protect against blood vessel damage, and even help dilate blood vessels. (5)
These flavonoids include OPCs. What are OPCs? OPC stands for oligomeric proanthocyanidins. OPCs are some of the most common polyphenolic substances found in plants. (6)
Hawthorn berry is best known for its helpful tonic effects on the heart. As a “cardiotonic herb,” hawthorn has proven to be of impressive utility 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
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So far, research has shown that hawthorn may even have a beneficial effect on congestive heart failure (CHF). Several studies have shown that hawthorn supplementation has resulted in improved cardiac function based on several parameters. These parameters include blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac output, and exercise tolerance.
One particular trial gave 78 patients with NYHA class II heart failure a commercial preparation of hawthorn leaves and flowers. After two months, patients receiving 200 milligrams of hawthorn three times a day had increased cardiac output as well as reduced symptoms. The hawthorn group also showed a decrease in systolic blood pressure during physical activity. Another German study also showed that an extract of hawthorn (LI132 Faros®) worked almost as well as a prescription drug for heart failure (captopril). Also, hawthorn extract had fewer side effects. (9)
) special extract either alone or as a complement to conventional treatment. After two years, fatigue, stress dyspnea and palpitations (the three main symptoms of heart failure) were significantly reduced in the group that took hawthorn compared to the group that did not take it. hawthorn (10)
Many herbal practitioners recommend hawthorn berries, flowers and leaves as natural blood pressure reducers. A scientific study published in
Heart Health Herbal Tincture
He had 79 type 2 diabetic patients take either 1,200 milligrams of hawthorn extract per day or a placebo for a total of 16 weeks. 71 percent of study participants also took hypotensive medications.
What did they find The exercise group experienced greater reductions in diastolic blood pressure. But there were no group differences in the reduction in systolic blood pressure. (11) Hopefully more studies will soon be done to support the use of hawthorn to lower blood pressure.
Decreased blood flow to the heart causes chest pain known as angina. It is sometimes confused with indigestion. But, true angina can be a symptom of coronary heart disease. So far, research shows that hawthorn can be an effective natural remedy to prevent and treat angina pectoris.
, hawthorn bioflavonoids help dilate both peripheral and coronary blood vessels. This can improve blood flow to the heart, making hawthorn very useful for angina. The proanthocyanidins in hawthorn are also thought to reduce the tension in blood vessel walls. Again, this is very helpful in discouraging angina. (12)
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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 exercise and also 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 supplements were “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 in the body. In China, hawthorn is called “Shan-Zha”. An animal study showed some truly impressive health results from an ethanol extract of Zhongtian hawthorn, a wild Shan-Zha cultivar, which has larger hawthorn fruits.
This 2016 study revealed that hawthorn berry extract not only reduced overall high cholesterol levels, but also significantly decreased 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 very important for health, as we know that inflammation is at the root of most diseases.
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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 system and appears to successfully kill several types of unwanted bacteria. (15)
How can you incorporate hawthorn berries into your life? There are a few options. You can opt for hawthorn berry tea, either prepackaged or loose. Loose hawthorn berries can often be purchased in the bulk section of many health food stores. You can also pick up a hawthorn supplement in capsule form or hawthorn extract in liquid tincture form.
So far, safe doses of hawthorn appear to be between 160 and 1,800 milligrams per day for a period of three to 24 weeks. Noticeable improvement in symptoms may take six to 12 weeks. (18)
Anti Inflammatory Herbs
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, discontinue use and seek emergency medical attention.
For some users, hawthorn may cause nausea, upset stomach, fatigue, sweating, headache, dizziness, palpitations, nosebleeds, insomnia, agitation, and other side effects.
Although hawthorn is known to be great for the heart, it can interact with prescription medications taken for heart disease. Medicines for other heart problems, high blood pressure, and male sexual dysfunction are also known to interact 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 health condition or are taking medication, consult your doctor before taking a hawthorn berry product or any other hawthorn supplement. (19, 20)
It is also important to note that heart failure is a very serious health condition. It is best not to self-medicate with hawthorn supplements if you suffer from this condition.
Hawthorn Berry Health Benefits And How To Use
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