Uses For Hawthorn Berries – Hawthorn berries are small berries that can be found on shrubs or trees belonging to the Crataegus family. This category of plants includes more than 100 trees and shrubs that are found throughout Europe, Asia and North America.
A distinctive feature of hawthorn is the high content of nutrients, tart taste and relatively little sweetness. The color of hawthorn fruits can vary from light yellow to black.
Uses For Hawthorn Berries
Hawthorn has long been used as a medicinal plant that helps normalize digestion, heart muscle function and blood pressure levels. For the same reasons, hawthorn berries are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Let’s take a closer look at what hawthorn is for and how to use it properly.
Hawthorn Berry, Leaf, & Flower
As we know, hawthorn berries contain a large amount of polyphenols, which are among the strong antioxidants of plant origin. When absorbed by the human body, they allow to neutralize the negative effects of free radicals – unstable molecules that lead to the destruction of some cells. Concentrations of unwanted molecules can increase as a result of improper diet, negative environmental effects in the form of polluted air and bad habits such as smoking.
Due to their high antioxidant activity, scientists associate the inclusion of polyphenols in the diet with a reduced risk of diseases such as:
And while initial studies in the above areas show encouraging results, scientists insist that more experiments are needed to determine the effect of hawthorn on various diseases.
Adding hawthorn berries to your diet can reduce inflammation, which can improve your body’s condition. According to research, chronic inflammation causes a number of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, asthma and many others.
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In one experiment, it was found that in mice with liver disease, hawthorn was able to reduce inflammatory compounds. At the same time, in another group of rodents suffering from asthma, the product eliminated the symptoms of the disease.
Relevant results from animal studies show that the supplement may have anti-inflammatory effects, including in humans. But more research is needed to confirm this property.
Hawthorn has been used for many years in Chinese medicine to lower blood pressure. Scientists explain this use with the fruit’s ability to expand blood vessels, which leads to normalization of blood pressure.
In a 10-week study of people with high blood pressure, scientists found that regular consumption of 500 milligrams of hawthorn extract reduced diastolic blood pressure but had no effect on blood pressure.
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In another experiment involving 79 people with type 2 diabetes, researchers found that 1,200 milligrams of hawthorn extract was more effective at normalizing blood pressure than moderate amounts. In those with normal blood pressure, however, taking this substance did not lead to changes for the worse or for the better.
It is not unusual to find hawthorn as one of the ingredients in cosmetic products designed to prevent hair loss or stimulate hair growth. For example, one of the experiments on rats showed that adding hawthorn extract to the diet increased the size and number of hair follicles, which improved the quality of the hair and ensured its enhanced growth.
According to scientists, the effect described above is due to the high content of polyphenols. However, the number of studies in this area of hawthorn use is relatively small. Therefore, a number of additional experiments are needed to confirm this effect.
Some studies show that including hawthorn berries in the diet can normalize blood fat levels, namely triglycerides and cholesterol. These trace elements are responsible for transporting nutrients and hormones in the body. However, this function is respected only if their levels are within normal limits.
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Increased levels of triglycerides and cholesterol with a parallel decrease in HDL (good cholesterol) can lead to the development of atherosclerosis and the accumulation of cholesterol plaques on the vessel walls. The latter process can cause complete blockage of the blood vessels and therefore lead to a stroke or heart attack.
During one of the studies, scientists found that in mice with hawthorn extract in their diet, the level of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) decreased by 28-47 percent, and with it, the amount of triglycerides also decreased. At the same time, another study showed that the effectiveness of the plant is comparable to special drugs for normalizing cholesterol levels. However, unlike the drug, the fruit extract was more effective in lowering LDL levels.
Hawthorn fruits have been used in folk medicine for several hundred years to normalize gastrointestinal function. They can eliminate abdominal pain and upset stomach. Researchers attribute this property to the high fiber content, which relieves constipation, improves digestion and acts as a probiotic on the body.
Probiotics are substances that are necessary to promote healthy intestinal bacteria and normalize digestion. One study found that in individuals with indigestion, regular fiber intake shortened the time between bowel movements by an average of 30 minutes.
Medicinal Plants Hawthorn
What’s more, scientists have found that hawthorn extract can shorten the time it takes for food to pass through the gastrointestinal tract. This helps speed up a number of processes and eliminate the symptoms of stomach upset in a shorter period of time. In addition, this product was able to protect the stomach from damage in participants suffering from ulcers.
One of the distinctive properties of hawthorn is its mild sedative effect on the body, which allows you to reduce feelings of anxiety. However, research on the effect of hawthorn on blood pressure shows that this product has a negligible effect on anxiety levels. However, in another experiment, combining the fruits of this plant with magnesium and maca led to a significant reduction in feelings of restlessness and anxiety.
Based on the fact that taking hawthorn has minimal side effects compared to anti-anxiety drugs, scientists continue to study its effects on the central nervous system. In addition, researchers suggest that this product can be used to treat CNS disorders and depression.
If you want to use hawthorn extract or the fruits of this plant to reduce anxiety, worry, or treat depression, you should first stop taking other medications and consult your doctor.
Hawthorn Berry 90 V Caps
Often, the benefits of hawthorn are compared to traditional drugs for the treatment of heart failure. An analysis of 14 different experiments conducted on different age groups showed that the use of hawthorn in combination with drugs for heart failure improves the heart’s function and its ability to withstand high physical loads. At the same time, participants in the experiment experienced a decrease in shortness of breath and an increase in endurance.
A two-year study involving approximately 950 people with heart failure found that hawthorn berries could normalize heart rhythm and relieve dyspnea more effectively than a placebo. In addition, the group that took hawthorn needed less medication to treat heart disease.
Another study involving more than 2,600 people with symptoms of heart failure demonstrated that hawthorn extract may reduce the risk of death caused by heart disease.
Due to the health benefits of hawthorn described above, doctors strongly recommend the use of this product along with medications to treat heart failure. They also note that the supplement is not dangerous to human health and has minimal side effects.
Hawthorn Berry Tincture
Hawthorn berries are extremely rare to find in grocery stores. However, they can be purchased effortlessly in specialized online stores.
As a rule, hawthorn tablets contain not only fruits of the plant, but also leaves and flowers. This is due to the fact that the concentration of useful substances in the last two products is much higher than in fruits.
Recommendations for the use of hawthorn may vary depending on the form. For example, for the treatment of heart failure, the extract should be used in an amount of 300 milligrams per day, while in natural form the recommended amount for consumption is 250 to 500 milligrams.
It is worth noting that the composition of dietary supplements is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration in most cases. Therefore, it is impossible to know the effectiveness or safety of a particular supplement.
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When purchasing supplements, you should look for products whose quality is guaranteed by independent sources such as the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP), ConsumerLab, or NSF International.
Although the number of side effects when taking hawthorn is relatively low, doctors recommend that you include this product in the diet with extreme caution. This is because some people have experienced dizziness and nausea when consuming an extract from this plant.
Also, scientists have noted that due to the strong effect on the heart muscle, hawthorn can somehow affect the effect of some drugs. Therefore, before including it in the diet, you should definitely consult your doctor.
Doctors often attribute the beneficial properties of hawthorn to its high antioxidant content. Including them in the diet can have a positive effect on the health and work of the heart muscle. Studies show that this product, among other things, can normalize blood pressure, reduce triglycerides and “bad” cholesterol in the blood. Also, its intake can improve hair growth and eliminate inflammatory processes that lead to the development of dangerous diseases.
Pdf) The Indian Hawthorn
If you want to include hawthorn fruits or supplements of the same name in your diet, consult your doctor beforehand.
On our blog: You will find posts by Vietnamese doctors and our editors on various health news and issues. During the month of February, when all marketing seems to focus on the triumphs of the heart, it’s important to remember that not every heart celebrates Valentine’s Day; many hearts need physical and emotional care. Then we herbalists like to praise hawthorn, one of nature’s hardy trees and the most widely used plant in Western herbalism