Hawthorn Berries Side Effects 565mg – Hawthorn is often referred to as the “heart herb” for its various cardio-protective abilities. Rewarded for its ability to elevate and strengthen the heart emotionally and physically, hawthorn berry has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for serious cardiovascular concerns of all kinds. These include angina, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, irregular heartbeat and even congestive heart failure.
In fact, hawthorn has been used to treat heart disease since the first century! Doctors in the early 1800s and in the United States were also using this medicinal herb for respiratory and circulatory health disorders. (1)
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The fruits, leaves and flowers of hawthorn are all used medicinally today. Hawthorn fruit comes in the form of small red berries. Native American tribes enjoyed eating them and they used hawthorn to treat heart problems as well as gastrointestinal complaints. (2)
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What Makes Hawthorn Jamun So Medicinal? It appears to be their many flavonoids for starters. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that are 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 actually make a huge difference in the health of many people.
Hawthorn bush, also called thorn or may-tree, is a deciduous plant. It is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae) which belongs to the genus
, Hawthorn can come in the form of a thorny hawthorn shrub or hawthorn tree. Most of the time, you can find hawthorn growing along the side of sunny wooded hills. There are many species of hawthorn, many of which are found in North America. (4)
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Hawthorn plants have berries as well as flowers that bloom in May. Hawthorn flowers are red, pink or white in color. Beautiful hawthorn berries appear after the flowers bloom. When hawthorn berries are fully ripe, 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 mixture of sweet and sour.
Hawthorn herb is loaded with health beneficial compounds. These compounds have actually been shown to promote heart health. Hawthorn’s antioxidant flavonoids improve blood flow, protect blood vessels from damage, and even help dilate blood vessels. (5)
These flavonoids include OPCs. What are OPCs? OPC stands for oligomeric proanthocyanidin. OPCs are some of the most prevalent polyphenolic substances found in plants. (6)
Hawthorn Berry is best known for its helpful toning effects on the heart. As a “cardiotonic herb,” hawthorn has shown itself to be impressively helpful for serious cardiac concerns of all kinds. 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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To date, research has shown that hawthorn may also have a helpful effect on heart failure (CHF). Several studies have shown that hawthorn supplementation resulted in improved heart function based on several parameters. These parameters include blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac output, and exercise tolerance.
One trial in particular gave a commercial preparation of hawthorn leaves and flowers to 78 patients with NYHA Class II heart failure. After two months, patients receiving 200 mg of hawthorn three times per day had an increase in heart capacity, along with 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, hawthorn extract had fewer side effects. (9)
) specialized extracts either alone or as an add-on to conventional treatments. After two years, fatigue, tension dyspnea and palpitations (the three main symptoms of heart failure) were all significantly reduced in the group taking hawthorn, compared to the group not taking hawthorn. (10)
Many herbal practitioners recommend hawthorn berries, flowers and leaves as natural blood pressure lowering agents. A scientific study published in
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79 type 2 diabetes patients took either 1200 mg of hawthorn extract daily or a placebo for a total of 16 weeks. Of the study participants, 71 percent also took hypotension medications.
What did he find? The hawthorn group experienced a greater reduction in diastolic blood pressure. But, there was no group difference in the reduction in systolic blood pressure. (11) Hopefully more studies are coming soon to support the use of hawthorn in lowering blood pressure.
Reduced blood flow to the heart causes chest pain called angina. Sometimes it is confused with dyspepsia. However, true angina can be a symptom of coronary heart disease. So far, research is showing that hawthorn can be an effective natural remedy to prevent and treat angina.
Hawthorn’s bioflavonoids help dilate both peripheral and coronary blood vessels. It can improve blood flow to the heart, making hawthorn very useful for angina. Hawthorn’s proanthocyanidins are believed to reduce the tension in the walls of blood vessels. Again, this is very helpful in discouraging angina. (12)
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In one study, 80 subjects (45 to 65 years of age) with stable angina pectoris were randomly divided into four groups. The first group was the aerobic exercise group. The other group took hawthorn extract. The third group did aerobic exercise, 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 may be a helpful natural remedy for lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol from the body. In China, hawthorn is called “shan-zha”. A study using animal subjects showed some really impressive health results from an ethanol extract of zhongtian hawthorn, a variety of wild shan-zha, which has large hawthorn fruits.
This 2016 study showed that hawthorn berry extract reduced not only overall high cholesterol levels, but 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 as we know 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 because free radicals can cause cellular damage (including DNA damage) by stealing electrons through a process called oxidation.
A 2008 animal study also showed how hawthorn berry extract has protective effects for the gastrointestinal system and appears to successfully kill a variety of unwanted bacteria. (15)
How can you incorporate Hawthorn Jamun into your life? There are some 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 take a hawthorn supplement in the form of hawthorn extract in capsule form or as a liquid tincture.
So far, the safe dosage of hawthorn appears to be between 160 and 1,800 milligrams per day for a period of three to 24 weeks. It may take six to 12 weeks for a noticeable improvement in symptoms. (18)
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You should not take hawthorn if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Do not give hawthorn products to children. Supplementation with hawthorn is recommended for short-term use by adults. If any symptoms get worse while taking hawthorn, you should discontinue use and seek emergency medical care.
For some users, hawthorn can cause nausea, stomach upset, fatigue, sweating, headache, dizziness, palpitations, nosebleeds, insomnia, agitation, and other side effects.
While hawthorn is known to be excellent for the heart, it can interact with medications taken for heart disease. Medicines for other cardiovascular concerns, high blood pressure and male sexual dysfunction are also known to interact with hawthorn. Some specific drugs that are probably 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 currently taking medication, check with 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-treat with hawthorn supplements if you are suffering from this condition.
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