Hawthorn Extract Vs Berries

Hawthorn Extract Vs Berries – Harvesting hawthorn berries is new to me this year. They are sweet and mild if you get them at the right time, and in past years I have enjoyed them very early in the fall. This year the Washington hawthorn was sweet and mild in late October. But by then the single-seeded hawthorns were starting to rot, so next year I’ll be looking for them in mid-October.

I take some credit for Josh Fecteau’s recent hawthorn post for inspiring me to give hawthorn berries another try. As Josh points out, there are many species of hawthorn, perhaps as many as 50 in New England. and, in all of North America, perhaps a thousand species, according to George Symonds (from his excellent book Tree Identification: A New Method for Practical Tree Identification and Identification

Hawthorn Extract Vs Berries

, my favorite guide to learning tree ID). Fortunately, you don’t need to identify specific species. You just need to know it’s hawthorn because all hawthorns have edible berries. However, like apple seeds, hawthorn seeds contain cyanide and should not be eaten. If you follow the panic; Just spit out the seeds.

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Why bother hawthorn? They are beautiful, interesting and delicious wild foods with known health benefits. Some people use the berries to make hawthorn jelly, but I haven’t tried it yet. The berries, leaves and flowers can be used to make tea. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see how I make hawthorn berry extract.

I am going to describe two species here, with examples of general characteristics. This will help you recognize hawthorn when you see it, but ie

If you are not sure if you have hawthorn in your forage, please check additional sources until you are sure before eating the berries.

It grows as a small tree or large shrub and bears white flowers in late spring. Berries turn red in September (here), but are delicious later. By October 31st they were sweet and maybe a little past their peak. Each berry has 3-5 seeds.

Organic Hawthorn Berry (freeze Dried)

The leaves are lobed and toothed, as you can see in my photo above. Many other species of hawthorn have similar leaves. The tree is heavily armed with long thorns, up to about 3 inches long. However, with reasonable care, you can easily pick berries that hang off the branches. This is even easier the following season after many of the leaves have fallen and are no longer shading the thorns.

Also called common hawthorn, it is a European native that escaped cultivation and naturalized in North America. It is sometimes listed as an invasive plant, but I don’t find it very often, and when I do, there aren’t many in one area. It may be invasive in other parts of the country, but it doesn’t seem to be particularly aggressive here. Like Washington hawthorn, single-seeded hawthorn grows as a shrub or small tree and produces clusters of white flowers in late spring. The oval red berries ripen slightly earlier in the fall (than Washington hawthorn) and contain one seed (hence the name). The serrated leaves are deeper than those of Washington hawthorn, but the spines are much smaller, only 1/2 inch to 1 inch long.

Hawthorns are common in the Massachusetts forest understory, but they are ugly specimens that don’t produce fruit well. It is very shady in the forest. To find fruit-laden hawthorn, look in sunny areas such as scrubby fields and hedgerows, at the edges of pastures and along streams. They are often planted as ornamentals, so if your friend has one and doesn’t mind picking the berries, you have an easy food source at your fingertips.

This is my first experience using hawthorn berries and I use them to make an extract using the same process you would use to make vanilla extract. I hope to use hawthorn extract as a flavoring in cooking and baking. I filled a clean canning jar about 3/4 full with berries, covered them with 80 shots of vodka and closed the jar with a lid. I’m not sure how long it will take to extract enough flavor from the berries, so I check it daily. I know other extracts (like vanilla extract) take weeks, so I’m just waiting here. Hawthorn berries, also known as “hawkweed,” were a popular ingredient in desserts and wines and a major medicinal herb. thousands of years. In ancient Rome, it was used to relieve diarrhea. It is also a key herb in traditional Chinese medicine. In the Middle Ages, Europeans used it to maintain heart health.

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There are hundreds of hawthorn species worldwide. Although they are tiny, hawthorn berries have serious health benefits, especially for your heart. They can also improve your exercise performance (x).

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of physician visits, hospitalizations, and death in the United States. More than 600,000 people die each year from heart disease (x).

Hawthorn berries contain phytonutrients, including anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins—antioxidants that strengthen blood vessel walls. They can also reduce symptoms of congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeat, arrhythmia, low blood pressure, angina, atherosclerosis and high cholesterol (x).

Research suggests that hawthorn berry extract significantly improves heart health compared to a placebo (x). In one study, researchers gave 78 heart failure patients 200 mg of hawthorn three times a day for two months. At the end of the study, patients experienced improvements in heart function and reductions in their heart disease symptoms (x). In fact, hawthorn berries were almost as effective as a prescription heart medication at reducing symptoms — and it had fewer side effects (x).

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Hawthorn can also keep your heart healthy by lowering blood pressure. In one study, scientists gave 79 patients with type 2 diabetes either 1,200 mg of hawthorn extract daily or a placebo. At the end of the 16-week study, participants who took hawthorn had a greater reduction in blood pressure than those who did not (x).

Often confused with indigestion, angina is the technical term for chest pain. This is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart and is often a symptom of heart disease.

Studies show that bioflavonoids (plant compounds) in hawthorn can reduce angina by dilating and relaxing blood vessels, which promotes healthy circulation. They also improve blood flow to the heart and reduce tension in blood vessel walls, helping to prevent chest pain (x).

People have been using hawthorn berry extract to treat gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and indigestion as far back as the first century (x). Research today suggests that hawthorn improves digestion by promoting gastrointestinal motility—the contraction of the muscles that move food through the digestive system (x). Hawthorn may also promote the production of enzymes that ensure proper absorption of nutrients for optimal health (x).

Hawthorn Berry Health Benefits And How To Use

People used hawthorn berry extract topically to treat itching, boils, sores, ulcers, and frostbite. However, there are not enough studies to support these claims (x).

Hawthorn can be effective when used in combination with various supplements. Coenzyme Q10 may reduce the incidence of heart disease in its early stages when combined with hawthorn. Ginkgo biloba can be used with hawthorn to improve blood circulation and ensure sufficient oxygen to the brain. Garlic (Allium sativum) and Arnica (Arnica montana) can help treat cases of angina and low blood circulation. Lemon balm (Melissa Officinalis) and St. John’s wort are also used with hawthorn to calm the nerves and induce sleep in insomnia.

Hawthorn is considered a safe supplement for adults. However, there are rare side effects that include stomach upset, headache, or dizziness (x, x).

Moreover, hawthorn berry extract can interact with prescription medications. If you are taking any medications that affect or treat the heart, consult your doctor before taking this supplement. Also, if you have high blood pressure, are taking beta blockers and calcium blockers, male enhancement drugs that dilate blood vessels, or any medication that increases blood flow to the heart, you should consult your doctor before taking this supplement. Hawthorn is also contraindicated in people taking digoxin (x). Pregnant women may also want to avoid using hawthorn berry as it may decrease uterine tone (x).

Ways Hawthorn Berry Improves Heart Health

As a supplement, it’s best to take 1,200 mg, or half a teaspoon, once or twice daily, or as directed by your doctor (x). Also, you can safely take hawthorn berry extract for 16 weeks (x).

Hawthorn berry extract is touted as a heart health herb. Studies have shown that it promotes overall cardiovascular health. This is especially true for those who suffer from angina, congestive heart failure, high or low blood pressure, and other heart-related health problems. European physicians have been prescribing hawthorn for medically supervised use for many years, though not so many American physicians. Overall, this little red berry is a helpful ally in heart health and may be a good addition to this supplement

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