Percent Potassium In Hawthorn Berries – Hawthorn is often called the “herb of the heart” for its various abilities to protect the heart. Valued for its ability to uplift and strengthen the heart both emotionally and physically, hawthorn berries have been used for centuries as a natural remedy for all kinds of serious heart problems. These include angina, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, irregular heartbeat and even heart failure.
In fact, hawthorn has been used to treat heart disease all the way back to the first century! Fast forward to the early 18th century and doctors in the United States were also using this medicinal herb for respiratory and circulatory health disorders. (1)
Percent Potassium In Hawthorn Berries
Hawthorn fruits, 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 also used hawthorn to treat heart problems as well as digestive complaints. (2)
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What makes hawthorn berries so healing? It seems to be their many flavonoids for starters. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants known to effectively reduce inflammation while boosting immune system 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 tiny little hawthorn berries can really make huge improvements in the health of many people.
A hawthorn bush, also called a thorn or a may tree, is a deciduous plant. It is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae) belonging to the 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 on sunny wooded hillsides. There are different species of hawthorn, many of which are found in North America. (4)
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The hawthorn plant has berries and also flowers that bloom in May. Hawthorn flowers are red, pink or white. The small hawthorn berries appear after the flowers bloom. When the 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.
The hawthorn herb is loaded with beneficial compounds for health. These compounds have been shown to actually improve heart health. Hawthorn’s antioxidant flavonoids improve blood circulation, protect against damage to blood vessels, and even help dilate blood vessels. (5)
These flavonoids include OPCs. What are OPCs? OPC stands for oligomeric proanthocyanidins. OPCs are some of the most common polyphenolic substances found in plants. (6)
Hawthorn berries are best known for their beneficial toning effects on the heart. As a “cardiotonic herb,” hawthorn has been shown to be impressively beneficial for all kinds of serious heart problems. These include heart failure, heart disease, angina pectoris, changes in heart rate and atherosclerosis. According to a 2016 study published in the journal
Impressive Health Benefits Of Hawthorn Berry
So far, research has shown that alfalfa even has a beneficial effect on congestive heart failure (CHF). Many studies have shown that hawthorn supplements improved heart function based on several parameters. These parameters include blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac output and exercise tolerance.
One trial in particular gave 78 patients with NYHA Class II heart failure a commercial preparation of hawthorn leaves and flowers. After two months, the patients who received 200 milligrams of hawthorn three times a day had increased heart capacity, as well as decreased symptoms. The hawthorn group also showed a decrease in systolic blood pressure during exercise. Another German study also showed that hawthorn extract (LI132 Faros®) worked almost as well as a prescription heart failure drug (Captopril). And, hawthorn extract had fewer side effects. (9)
) a special extract alone or as an addition to conventional treatment. After two years, fatigue, shortness of breath on exertion and heart palpitations (the three main symptoms of heart failure) were all significantly reduced in the hawthorn group compared to the non-hawthorn group. (10)
Many herbalists recommend hawthorn berries, flowers and leaves as natural blood pressure reducers. A scientific study published in
Hawthorn Facts And Health Benefits
79 type 2 diabetes patients took 1200 milligrams of hawthorn extract daily or a placebo for a total of 16 weeks. Antihypertensive medication was also taken by 71 percent of the study participants.
What did they find The hawthorn group experienced a greater decrease in diastolic blood pressure. However, there were no group differences in systolic blood pressure reduction. (11) I hope more studies to back up hawthorn’s use in lowering blood pressure will come soon.
Decreased blood flow to the heart causes chest pain known as angina. Sometimes it is confused with indigestion. But, true angina can be a symptom of coronary heart disease. So far, research shows that hawthorn may be an effective natural remedy for the prevention and treatment of angina pectoris.
, the bioflavonoids in hawthorn 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 also believed to reduce the tension of blood vessel walls. Again, this is very helpful to prevent angina. (12)
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In one study, 80 subjects (aged 45 to 65 years) with stable angina pectoris were randomized into four groups. The first group was the aerobic training group. The other group took hawthorn extract. The third group did aerobic activity, in addition 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 supplements were “an effective adjunctive strategy for significantly lowering the risk of atherosclerosis and heart problems.” (13)
Animal studies have shown that hawthorn berry extract may be a beneficial natural remedy for reducing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol from the body. In China, hawthorn is called “shan-ze”. Research using animals has shown some truly impressive health results from the ethanol extract of Zhongtian hawthorn, a species of wild Shan-ze, which has a larger hawthorn fruit.
This 2016 study revealed that hawthorn berry extract not only reduced total high cholesterol levels, it also specifically reduced LDL cholesterol, high cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as body weight. (14)
A 2008 scientific study found that hawthorn berry extract is excellent at reducing inflammation. This is huge for health because we know that inflammation is at the root of most disease.
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Research also shows that hawthorn berry extract is a free radical scavenger. This is extremely beneficial to human health since free radicals can cause cellular damage (including DNA damage) by stealing electrons in a process called oxidation.
A 2008 animal study also demonstrated how hawthorn berry extract has protective effects on the digestive system and appears to kill various types of unwanted bacteria. (15)
How can you incorporate hawthorn berries into your life? There are several options. You can choose hawthorn berry tea, prepackaged or loose. You can often purchase loose hawthorn berries in the bulk section of many health food stores. You can also pick up a hawthorn supplement in capsule form or hawthorn extract in liquid solution form.
So far, a safe dose of hawthorn appears to range from 160 to 1,800 milligrams per day for a period of three to 24 weeks. Noticeable improvement in symptoms may take six to 12 weeks. (18)
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Do not take hawthorn if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not give hawthorn products to children. A supplement 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 attention.
For some users, hawthorn can cause nausea, upset stomach, 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 prescription medications taken for heart disease. Medications for other heart concerns, high blood pressure, and male sexual dysfunction are also known to interact with hawthorn. Some specific medications 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 treat yourself with hawthorn supplements if you suffer from this condition.
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