Health Benefits Of Hawthorn Berries

Health Benefits Of Hawthorn Berries – Hawthorn is often referred to as the “heart herb” for its various cardio-protective abilities. Revered for its ability to uplift and strengthen the heart, both emotionally and physically, the hawthorn berry has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for all kinds of serious heart concerns. These include angina, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, irregular heartbeat, and congestive heart failure.

In fact, hawthorn has been used to treat heart disease since the first 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)

Health Benefits Of Hawthorn Berries

Hawthorn fruit, leaves and flowers 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 berries so medicinal? It looks like their numerous flavonoids for starters. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants known to effectively reduce inflammation while boosting immune function. Eating a diet high in flavonoid-rich foods, beverages, and herbs has been linked to prevention of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases as well as cancer. (3)

Let’s take a closer look at how one tiny little hawthorn berry can actually make a big difference in the health of many people.

Hawthorn bush, also known as thornapple or may-tree, is a deciduous plant. It is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae) genus

. Hawthorn can come in the form of a thorny hawthorn bush or a hawthorn tree. Most of the time, you can find hawthorn growing along sunny forested hillsides. There are several species of hawthorn, many of which are native to North America. (4)

Hawthorne Berry As Herbal Medicine For Healing Your Heart

The hawthorn plant has berries as well as flowers that bloom in May. Hawthorn flowers are red, pink or white. Petite 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? Many people describe hawthorn berries as a mixture of sweet and sour.

Hawthorn herb is full of health beneficial compounds. These compounds have actually been shown to promote heart health. Hawthorn’s antioxidant flavonoids improve blood flow, protect against blood vessel damage, and help dilate blood vessels. (5)

These flavonoids include OPCs. What are OPCs? OPCs are oligomeric proanthocyanidins. OPCs are the most abundant polyphenolic substances found in plants. (6)

The hawthorn berry is best known for its beneficial toning effects on the heart. As a “cardiotonic herb”, hawthorn has been shown to be an effective aid for all types of serious heart concerns. These include heart attack, heart disease, angina pectoris, cardiac rhythm changes, 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 beneficial effect on congestive heart failure (CHF). Several studies have shown that hawthorn supplementation improves 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 who received 200 milligrams of hawthorn three times per day had an increase in heart function, as well as a reduction in symptoms. The Hawthorne group also demonstrated a reduction in systolic blood pressure during physical activity. Another German study also showed that hawthorn extract (LI132 Faros®) worked as well as a prescription heart failure drug (captopril). And, hawthorn extract had fewer side effects. (9)

) specific extract either alone or as an add-on to traditional treatments. After two years, fatigue, exertional 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 herbalists recommend hawthorn berries, flowers and leaves as natural blood pressure reducers. A scientific study published in

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79 type 2 diabetes patients took either 1,200 milligrams of hawthorn extract daily or a placebo for a total of 16 weeks. Seventy-one percent of study participants also took hypotensive drugs.

What did they find? The Hawthorne group experienced a greater reduction in diastolic blood pressure. However, there was no group difference in systolic blood pressure reduction. (11) Hopefully more studies will be forthcoming soon to back up the use of hawthorn to lower blood pressure.

Decreased blood flow to the heart causes chest pain called angina. Sometimes it is confused with indigestion. However, true angina can be a symptom of coronary heart disease. So far, research is showing that hawthorn can be an effective natural remedy for preventing and treating 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 stress on blood vessel walls. Again, it is very useful in relieving angina. (12)

Hawthorn: Benefits, Side Effects, And Preparations

In one study, 80 subjects (aged 45 to 65 years) with stable angina pectoris were randomly divided into four groups. The first group was the aerobic exercise group. The second group took hawthorn extract. A third group did aerobic exercise, while 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 supplementation strategy that significantly reduced 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 from the body. In China, hawthorn is called “shan-zha”. Studies using animal subjects have shown some really impressive health results from an ethanol extract of Zhongtian hawthorn, a cultivar of the wild Shan-zha, which has large hawthorn fruits.

This 2016 study found that hawthorn berry extract not only reduced overall high cholesterol levels, it also reduced LDL cholesterol, liver cholesterol and triglycerides as well as body weight. (14)

Scientific research conducted in 2008 found that hawthorn berry extract is excellent at reducing inflammation. This is great for health because we know that inflammation is at the root of most diseases.

Getting To Know Hawthorn Berry Benefits

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.

A 2008 animal study also showed how hawthorn berry extract has a protective effect for the gastrointestinal system and appears to successfully kill a variety 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 most health food stores. You can also take a hawthorn supplement in capsule or liquid tincture form as hawthorn extract.

So far, safe hawthorn doses appear to be between 160 to 1,800 milligrams per day for a period of three to 24 weeks. It may take 6 to 12 weeks for symptoms to improve significantly. (18)

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You should not take hawthorn if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not give hawthorn products to children. Supplementing with hawthorn is recommended for short-term use by adults. If any symptoms worsen while taking hawthorn, you should discontinue use and seek emergency medical care.

For some users, hawthorn may cause nausea, upset stomach, fatigue, sweating, headache, dizziness, palpitations, nosebleeds, insomnia, agitation and other side effects.

While hawthorn is known to be great for the heart, it can interact with medications taken for heart disease. Other medications for heart problems, high blood pressure and male sexual dysfunction are also known to interact with hawthorn. Some specific medications known to potentially 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(s), check with your doctor before taking a hawthorn berry product or any other hawthorn supplement. (19, 20)

It is also important to note that a heart attack is a very serious health condition. It is best not to self-medicate with hawthorn supplements if you suffer from this condition.

Hawthorn Berry, Used For The Treatment Of Blood Pressure (the Silent Killer) With The Ability To Lower The Blood Pressure Without Any Of The Side Effects Experienced From Conventional Medicines

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