Hawthorn Berries For Menopause – Although hawthorn is a widely used folk ingredient, it is only now beginning to gain popularity in North America as an herbal remedy. Hawthorn berries are packed with nutrition, and even scientists are interested in better understanding their benefits.
The plant is native to many areas of the Northern Hemisphere where the climate is temperate. Hawthorn is one of the many names of the crataegus genus, which contains hundreds of different species of flowering and fruiting plants. Crataegus is in the Rosaceae family, making it a cousin of roses and raspberries.
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The similarity between rose and crataegus is easy to see when comparing the fruits of the two plants. The dark red berries found on hawthorns are similar to Cherokee rose seeds. Hawthorns are small shrubs with triangular leaves and white flowers that resemble cherry blossoms.
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Hawthorns are hardy in cold weather and begin their fruiting season in the fall. Birds like to eat berries in the cold months. Hawthorn flowers feed insects that live on nectar, like hummingbird moth larvae.
Crataegus is so common that many different cultures have used it as an ornamental shrub as well as a food source. Different parts of the world have their own version of foods made from hawthorn berries.
Hawthorn berries have a tart and slightly sweet taste. Some of the tartness and acidity make the berries perfect for sweet treats and candies. In Iran, hawthorn is used in jams and sometimes raw. One Persian snack that is still popular among children today is fruit rolls made from sweet hawthorn. Hawthorn berries are also used as a jam in Mexico, made into candies called rielitos, and added to Christmas time. In Great Britain, the fruit was used to make wine and, of course, jelly.
Manitoulin Island, located in the middle of Lake Huron, Ontario, is another area where hawthorn species are native.
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In the 1860s, when non-native people began to settle on the island, Ojibwe natives recommended hawthorn berries to ward off illness during the long, harsh winters.
Hawthorn was used as a major source of vitamin C by both natives and Europeans to prevent scurvy.
Those born on the island are even today called “Hawaiters” because of the tradition of eating chicken berries.
Hawthorn is very common in Asia, and the main species used is crataegus pinnatifida. In China and South Korea, it is common to find drinks made from the fruit, including alcoholic beverages. Hawthorn can be added to food and is also commonly used in candies or other sweet treats, as seen in other cultures.
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Hawthorn berries are called Shānzhā (山查) in Chinese. Shānzhā is used to soothe digestive problems in traditional Chinese herbalism. As a warming herb, hawthorn can help people with excess Yin energy. It is classified as a sweet herb, making it useful for replenishing blood and Qi in the body.
In traditional Chinese medicine, all herbs are associated with specific organs and energy centers (called meridians) according to their flavor profile. Hawthorn is interesting because it can affect several different organs. It is associated with the liver, spleen and heart.
Shānzhā also has bitter properties, making it an excellent herb to help soothe digestive problems. In TCM, the astringent quality of bitter herbs is important in preventing stagnation in the stomach and throughout the digestive system.
One of the reasons hawthorn berries continue to be such a popular beverage ingredient, especially in tea, is this stomach-soothing property. A cup of hawthorn tea after a meal is a great way to keep the digestive tract working well.
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With many traditional herb species, scientists wonder why certain plants have survived for centuries as health remedies. They want to understand why certain herbs seem to have beneficial health properties, and they do this by looking at the chemical makeup of the plants. There are still many undiscovered chemical compounds from the plant world, so the study of plants is still very important even today.
Widely used as a food and life-saving food for humans throughout history, the hawthorn berry suggests that the fruit is good for food, but what does the science show?
There are hundreds of research articles and articles on the various species of the genus crataegus due to the distribution and use of the plant around the world.
We will focus on the species crataegus pinnatifida, which is most widely used in Asia and in traditional Chinese herbal medicine. Crataegus pinnatifida has a surprising number of different chemical compounds found in its fruits. There are many more compounds in the leaves and seeds of the plant.
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A very wide variety of ligands can be found in this type of hawthorn. Lignans are a type of polyphenols found in plants and seeds. Lignans are the focus of much research because of their reported benefits for human health.
Dyneolinans are a subclass of lignans. crataegus pinnatifida species, a new dineolignan named crataeguslignan, which has never been seen before in nature, was discovered. Crataeguslignan has been shown to have b-amyloid inhibitory activity.
Amyloids are proteins that occur naturally in the body. People who have certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, have high levels of amyloids, which seem to build up over time, causing problems. The researchers were particularly interested in crataeguslignan’s ability to fight the build-up of these proteins.
Beyond this hawthorn berry discovery, natural compounds from plants are being widely studied for their anti-amyloid properties. These compounds may one day be used to treat Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
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Another subclass of lignans is the sequinolinans. The researchers discovered three previously undiscovered sesquineolignans, identified as crataegus pinnatifida, cratapinnatifidas A-C (1, 2 and 3). Other research has identified seven more types of new sesquineolignans from the same type of hawthorn seed.
Another important compound found in crataegus pinnatifida species is flavonoids. The researchers created an extract using the flavonoids found in this species of hawthorn. They studied the effects of the compounds on the intestinal epithelial barrier exposed to inflammatory proteins.
These proteins, called cytokines, can cause problems in the intestines by disrupting their normal barrier functions. Excess cytokines are found in diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease.
The epithelial barrier works by stopping bacteria from entering the gut and regulating nutrient absorption. Cytokine proteins cause epithelial barrier dysfunction. A flavonoid extract from Crataegus pinnatifida helps dysfunctional epithelial barrier cells function better.
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A review of all available data on the polyphenolic content of Cratageus pinnefidata summarized the information and health benefits.
Hawthorn is made of many antioxidant-type compounds, such as procyanidin C1, epicatechin, and isocescitrin. The primary compounds found in berries consist of procyanidin C1, rutin, procyanidin B2, epicatechin, and chlorogenic acid. Antioxidants protect hawthorn plants in the wild and are the main reason they have so many health benefits for the human body.
Studies have shown that hawthorn is beneficial for healthy blood cholesterol levels and heart protective properties. Polyphenolic compounds and triterpene acids are important antioxidants for heart health.
Other benefits of hawthorn’s complex antioxidants include healthy blood sugar levels, asthma benefits, and even anti-aging benefits for the skin.
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Metabolic syndrome is a group of different medical conditions that occur at the same time. High blood sugar, hypertension, and obesity occurring simultaneously in a patient are classified as metabolic syndrome.
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome, especially in the United States, is causing an increase in research into different treatment methods for the disease. Traditional herbal medicines are the focus of many of these studies because they still hold up after thousands of years of use.
Show promise in all the major areas affected by metabolic syndrome. Hawthorn has been shown to support healthy blood sugar levels and protect the heart. It fights high blood fat levels with its two triterpene acids, oleanolic acid and ursolic acid. These two triterpenic acids reduce the enzymes that create high cholesterol in the blood, bringing them back to healthy levels. Other studies show that hawthorn may also help reduce obesity.
All the research being done on the hawthorn berry means that the plant will continue to be conserved and may even be developed into new treatments and medicines in the future.
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Hawthorn berry tea is a great option for anyone looking to support their health in an easy way. Hawthorn tea tastes great and can be combined with other teas for their health benefits. We recommend brewing hawthorn berry tea with red sage (salvia militorhiza) tea as a great blend for heart health and balanced qi.
Bu, X.-L., Rao, P. P., & Wang, Y.-J. (2015). Anti-amyloid aggregation activity of natural compounds. implications for Alzheimer’s drug discovery.
Cheng, Z.-Y., Lou, L.-L., Yang, P.-Y., Song, X.-Y., Wang, X.-B., Huang, X.-X., & Song , S.-J. (2019). Seven new neuroprotective sesquineolignans isolated from the seeds of Crataegus pinnatifida.
Liu, F., Zhang, X., & Ji, Y. (2020). A total flavonoid extract of hawthorn (Crataegus pinnatifida) ameliorates epithelial barrier deficits induced by inflammatory cytokines.
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Pandey, K. B., & Rizvi, S. I. (2009).