Hawthorn Berries In Spanish – Nature has gifted us with many medicinal plants that contribute in some way towards supporting our health. Most of these plants are food sources while others are used for making both traditional and orthodox medicines. One of the medicinal plants that are integral to the healthy functioning of our body is hawthorn.
Hawthorn is considered an important plant because of its effectiveness in dealing with several ailments such as kidney stones, dyspnea (difficulty breathing), indigestion and cardiovascular diseases etc. Hawthorn is a general name for more than 280 plant species belonging to the genus Crataegus. Hawthorn belongs to the Rosaceae family and thrives mainly in temperate parts of the world such as Europe, eastern North America and East Asia.
Hawthorn Berries In Spanish
It is a thorny shrub notable for the therapeutic efficacy of its entire parts such as berries, leaves, roots, bark, flowers and stems. Hawthorn can be consumed as a liquid extract, tea or in powder form. The flowers are white in color, the berries are reddish in color while the leaves are green in color.
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The lobed leaves are spirally arranged on long shoots while the fruit (haw) has a similar appearance to a plum stone. The bright red colored hawthorn fruit is distinguished by its sour taste and it also has a similar taste to overripe apples. Each of the berries contains 1 to 5 seeds but this is highly dependent on the cultivar.
Hawthorn is also known as hawberry, whitethorn, mayhaw, tejocotes, thornapple, shānzhā (山楂) or May-tree. The plant usually grows between 5 to 15 meters tall while the small spiky spikes measure between 1 to 4 centimeters in length. Some species of Crataegus include; Crataegus monogyna, Crataegus fluviatilis, Crataegus ambitiosa, Crataegus putnamiana, Crataegus berberifolia, Crataegus mercerensis, Crataegus okanaganensis, Crataegus oxyacantha, Crataegus pinnatifida and Crataegus viridis etc.
Some hawthorn cultivars are used for medicinal purposes due to their high nutritional, therapeutic and chemical constituents. Researchers have revealed that hawthorn fruit is an excellent source of antioxidants such as flavonoids (ursolic acid, chlorogenic acid, rutin, epicatechin, protocatechuic acid, quercetin, hyperoside and isoquercitrin). Chang et al., (2002) reviewed 54 references addressing every aspect of hawthorn, including its chemical constituents, traditional uses, clinical effects and pharmaceutical properties.
They revealed that both flowers, fruits and leaves of hawthorn contain several chemical compounds such as triterpene acids (0.5% to 1.4% in fruits), flavonoids (0.1% to 1% in fruits, flavonoids ( 1% to 2%) in flowers and leaves, oligomeric proanthocyanidins (1% to 3% in flowers, fruits and leaves), 14 sterols, organic acids (2% to 6%) and traces of cardioactive amines. However, The main bioactive compounds of hawthorn are oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs) and flavonoids.
Hawthorn In April
Both the leaves and fruit of the hawthorn are edible. Hawthorn fruits can be used to make wine, juice, jelly, jam, rielitos, canned fruit, alcoholic beverages, hawthorn vinegar and wine. Young leaves can be added to salads and can be used for preparing soups and stews.
Lakshmi et al., (2013) evaluated the antibacterial potential of hawthorn berry ethanolic extract (HBEE) against enteric pathogens responsible for causing diarrhea. These enteric pathogens include; E. coli, S.boydii, S.typhi and V.cholerae.
The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) were determined using the macrobroth dilution method. The results showed that hawthorn berry ethanolic extract showed significant antibacterial activity against enteric bacterial pathogens tested at different concentrations. Therefore, hawthorn can be used to deal with enteric infections such as diarrhea.
Han et al., (2016) investigated the differential effects of polyphenols-enriched extracts from hawthorn fruit peels (HPP) and hawthorn fleshes peels (HFP) against liver damage caused by a high-fructose diet in rats. Studies have shown that the main polyphenols in hawthorn are hyperoside, chlorogenic acid, epicatechin and rutin. These polyphenols are higher in hawthorn fruit peels than in hawthorn fleshes peels. The results show that hawthorn fruit, especially its peel, is a rich source of natural polyphenolic chemopreventive agents for the treatment of liver diseases.
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Chang et al., (2002) reported that hawthorn fruits have been incorporated into traditional Chinese medicine for aiding easy digestion and proper stomach function. This suggests why hawthorn is often prescribed for the treatment of indigestion with epigastric distension as well as for abdominal pain.
Çaliskan (2012) evaluated the antioxidant activity, total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of 5 species of Crataegus. The antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of the fruits were determined using Folin-Ciocalteu assays and β-carotene bleaching. Antioxidant capacity was determined using the 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay. The results showed that hawthorn fruit species can serve as an excellent source of natural antioxidants. Researchers recommend that the use of hawthorn fruit and its products is a rich source of antioxidants in the body.
Keser et al., (2014) investigated the antioxidant properties and some bioactive compounds of hawthorn aqueous and the ethanol extract of ripe fruits, leaves and flowers. The antioxidant activities of the extracts were evaluated in ABTS•+, DPPH•, reducing power, superoxide scavenging, ferrous metal chelating activity assays and the phenolic content of the extracts using Folin—Cioacalteu’s reagent. Flavonoids such as kaempferol, rutin, naringenin, apigenin, quercetin and myricetin were identified based on high-performance liquid chromatography in hawthorn extract.
The results showed that ethanol and aqueous extracts of hawthorn fruits possessed the highest activity in metal chelating activity and reducing power assays. Furthermore, it has been shown that the aqueous flower extract possesses a higher flavonoid content than the aqueous leaves extract. Researchers attribute hawthorn’s antioxidant ability to its polyphenolic content.
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Lin et al., (2011) reviewed the lipid-lowering effects and the processes involved in the actions of hawthorn. Hawthorn powder extracts inhibited acyl CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) activity in Caco-2 cells. The inhibitory activity of hawthorn is positively related to the triterpenic acid (ursolic acid and oleanolic acid) found in the extracts. They further studied the cholesterol-lowering effects of hawthorn and its potential additive effect on plant sterol esters (PSE) in hamsters.
These animals were fed a semisynthetic diet containing cholesterol at 0.08% (control) or the same diet supplemented with (a) hawthorn dichloromethane extract 0.37%, (b) plant sterol esters 0.24% and (c) hawthorn dichloromethane extract in 0.37% (d) 0.24% plant sterol esters or (e) ursolic acid and oleanolic acid mixture (0.01%) for four consecutive weeks.
Compared to the control diet, hawthorn, plant sterol esters, ursolic acid and oleanolic acid significantly reduced plasma non-HDL (VLDL + LDL) cholesterol concentrations. The hepatic cholesterol ester content is also lowered accordingly. These researchers attribute the cholesterol-lowering effects of these substances to their ability to boost faecal neutral sterol excretion. Ursolic acid and oleanolic acid are responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effect of hawthorn due to their ability to inhibit intestinal ACAT activity. Furthermore, hawthorn and its bioactive compounds (ursolic acid and oleanolic acid) potentiate the cholesterol-lowering effect of plant sterols.
Chang et al., (2005) reported that hawthorn can play an important role in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases such as hyperlipidemia, heart failure, hypertension and arrhythmic (heart without rhythm or irregular heartbeat). The ability of this plant to treat cardiovascular diseases is related to its constituents of antioxidants such as flavonoids.
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Furthermore, Asher et al., (2012) proved that hawthorn extract has been used since ancient times for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Several clinical experiments have shown the effectiveness of hawthorn for treating heart failure and for lowering blood pressure. The blood pressure-lowering tendency of hawthorn is related to its composition of flavonoids and nitric oxide-mediated vasodilation. Hawthorn tea is commonly used for treating cardiovascular diseases.
Fujisawa et al., (2005) evaluated the protective effect of hawthorn fruit in two models of murine colitis; dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) and 2, 4, 6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) colitis. Mice that developed acute colitis showed symptoms of gross rectal bleeding, weight loss and diarrhea within ten days. Interestingly, hawthorn fruit (2 g/kg body weight) restored body weight, colon length and increased hemoglobin count in these experimental animals.
Hawthorn fruit reduced signs of inflammation such as infiltration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and multiple erosive lesions as well as improved leukotriene B4 (LTB4) (a biochemical parameter of inflammatory mass). The results show that hawthorn fruit and its extracts can be used for treating inflammatory bowel disease.
Lin et al., (2011) reported that taking 10 g/day of dry hawthorn helps to relieve satiety after overeating or after eating fatty foods.
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Some types of hawthorn wood are strong, hard and resistant to decay. As a result, the wood is suitable for building fence posts, tool handles and wood carving.
Studies show that mild effects of excessive hawthorn use are sedation and nausea. Moreover, it is worth noting that an overdose of hawthorn can lead to cardiac arrhythmia and can significantly lower blood pressure. Individuals on digoxin (cardiac stimulant) are advised not to take hawthorn.
DISCLAIMER This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Remember to always consult your health care provider before making any health-related decisions or for advice, guidance and treatment regarding a specific medical condition.
1] Asher, G. N., Viera, A. J., Weaver, M. A., Dominik, R., Caughey, M. and