Everything you should know about your health and wellness
Health Benefits and Uses of Hawthorn
Hawthorn plants (Crataegus monogyna, Crataegus oxyacantha, Crataegus fluviatilis, Crataegus ambitiosa, Crataegus putnamiana, Crataegus berberifolia, Crataegus mercerensis, Crataegus okanaganensis, Crataegus oxyacantha, Crataegus pinnatifida, Crataegus viridis or Crataegus laevigata) species being native to Northwest Africa, Europe, Western Asia, and and North America and grows in temperate climates throughout the world. Parts of the Middle East consider the plant sacred. It is considered as an invasive weed in various parts of world. It is a small tree or shrub which is 5 to 14 m height with dull brown barks and vertical orange cracks. Hawthorn berries are tiny fruits that grow on trees and shrubs belonging to the Crataegus genus. The Hawthorn berry bush belongs to the same family of plants as apples and roses, so it's fitting that the fruit is usually brilliant red. Like roses on steroids, the berries are accompanied by long, woody thorns that can do a lot of damage if you're not cautious. One reason Hawthorns are so common is because they send up suckers, so they get larger and more dense as they age. Varieties crossbreed easily. They often grow into hedges as high as 25 feet, bearing small white, pink or red flowers with rose-like petals. Many historians believe it may have been the Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus during the Crucifixion. There is also much folklore surrounding the Hawthorn tree. It was a sacred tree to the Druids and believed to be a home for fairies. Couples used to dance around it in Ireland for a marriage blessing, and the twigs were attached to cradles to ward off evil. Early records indicate that the Hawthorn tree was a symbol of love.
It is a thorny shrub that is remarkable for the therapeutic efficacy of its entire parts such as the berry, leaf, root, bark, flower and stem. Hawthorn can be consumed as a liquid extract, tea or in a powder form. The flowers are white coloured, the berries are reddish in colour while the leaves are greenish in colour. The lobed leaves are spirally arranged on the long shoots while the fruit (haw) has a similar appearance to the stone of a plum. The red bright coloured hawthorn fruit is distinguished by its tart taste and it also has a similar taste with over-ripe apples. Each of the berries contains between 1 to 5 seeds but this is totally dependent on the cultivar.
As a food, it was at one time known as the “bread and cheese tree” because the flowers, berries and leaves are all safe to eat, so it was a lifesaver during famines. The fruits are edible and are often used to make jelly and fruit wine, especially in the United Kingdom. The young leaves are edible if they are picked in early spring. Hawthorn is also used as a dietary supplement, typically for the purpose of supporting heart health.
Nature has endowed us with loads of medicinal plants that contribute in several ways towards supporting our health. Most of these plants are a source of food while others are used for producing both traditional and orthodox medicines. One of such medicinal plants that are integral to the healthy functioning of our body is Hawthorn. Hawthorn is often called “the heart herb” for its various cardio-protective abilities. Since 1st century, Hawthorn is used in China and India for treating heart problems, respiratory illnesses and circulatory disorders, treatment for intestinal infections, enhance mood and skin health as well as its appearance. The fruits are used to cure high blood pressure, heartbeat, and hardening of arteries, chest pain and heart failure. Flowers and leaves are also used for medicinal purposes. The laboratory studies have shown that Hawthorn has antioxidants such as quercetin and oligomeric procyandins that helps to eliminate free radicals which damages cell membranes and also cause cell death. Flavonoids help to promote blood flow, assist in dilation of blood vessels and prevent damage of blood vessels. The flowers and leaves contain more flavonoids in comparison to berries. Native American tribes enjoyed eating them and they also used Hawthorn to treat heart troubles, as well as gastrointestinal complaints. So, what exactly are Hawthorn berries and how can they benefit you? Hawthorn berries, or haws as they’re often called, are used for both medicinal and culinary purposes. More importantly, they’re loaded with bioflavonoids, proanthocyanidins and other antioxidants, making Hawthorn particularly effective for cardiovascular care. Hundreds of studies have been done on this plant’s ability to improve the lives of heart failure patients but here are some other benefits to taking Hawthorn as a dietary supplement on a regular basis.
Hawthorn berries or haws (the tiny sweet red berries) are the most widely used part of the plant. However, the leaves, flowers, berries, stems, and even the bark, have long been used in herbal medicine since ages. The red berries are packed with nutrition and are used in the treatment of digestive problems, heart issues and high blood pressure. Hawthorn is far and wide popular in Europe as effective and safe cure for the early signs of heart disease and is authorized by Commission E, the local office of the German government which studies and certified herbal medications. It is utilized to endorse the well being of your circulatory system and has been discovered useful in curing high blood pressure, angina, congestive heart failure as well as cardiac arrhythmia. Hawthorn is also found to reinforce the heart and stabilize it in opposition to arrhythmia. Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) are some of the most abundant active ingredients in hawthorn extract, which primarily include procyanidin B-2 as well as epicatechin and procyanidin. Flavonoids such as hyperoside, quercetin, rutin and vitexin are also significant active components of hawthorn extract. Additional ingredients in hawthorn include triterpene acids and phenolic acids.
What makes hawthorn berries so medicinal? It appears to be their numerous flavonoids for starters. Flavonoids are potent antioxidants known to effectively decrease 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. The most beneficial nutrients and chemicals compounds found in hawthorn are as follows: B-vitamins, including folic acid (antioxidant and important for metabolism), Vitamin C (immunity, skin, and cardiovascular health), Flavonoid rutin (an antioxidant that improves blood flow by helping to dilate blood vessels), Phenols (anti-inflammatory and antiseptic), Procyanidins (antioxidant compounds), Vitexin (antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory), Catechins (a class of antioxidants), Saponins (help the body absorb nutrients), Calcium, Iron.
Herbalists in England, Eastern Europe, Poland and the U.S., as well, use the leaves and flowers from the common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and English Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata), but the entire plant is loaded with valuable phytonutrients. Herbal supplement resource notes several active ingredients and how they're used: "Hawthorn contains around 1-2% flavonoids, oligomeric proanthocyanidins (1-3%), saponins, phenolic acids (chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid), 2-(2-Phenylethyl) chromone derivatives (in the flowers, leaves and buds), amine (phenethylamine, metoksyfenetylamin, dopamine, acetylcholine and tyramine) and triterpenes based on ursolic acid and oleanolic acid". "Hawthorn is also believed to improve circulation in the arms and legs by reducing resistance in the arteries. This is partly due its ability to inhibit a substance in the body known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). ACE is related to the formation of angiotensin II, a substance that has strong astringent effect on the blood vessels".
For hundreds of years, people have used Hawthorn berry as an herbal remedy for digestive problems, heart issues, and high blood pressure. In fact, the berry has been a key part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) since at least 659 A.D. Fast forward to the early 1800s and doctors in the United States were using this medicinal herb for respiratory and circulatory health disorders as well.
Today, botanist, research scientist and author Christopher Hobbs says Hawthorn is an official herbal pharmaceutical in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Russia and Switzerland. It's even an ingredient of 213 commercial European herbal formulas, mostly for the treatment of cardiovascular problems.
Of 28 fruit pulps tested, the Hawthorn pulp produced the highest measure of antioxidant activity. A similarly high antioxidant activity in Crataegus aronia, a Hawthorn indigenous to Israel, Jordan and the Palestine, has been found.
Further, epicatechin and hyperoside in hawthorn extracts were found to be significantly more effective than those of established drugs. Several double blind tests have shown that patients with early stages of cardiovascular disorders have increased physical endurance and improved cardiac function (as measured by ECG) after using standardized Hawthorn extracts for few weeks.
In addition, Hawthorn may be useful for angina, or chest pain caused by decreased oxygen to your heart muscle. A review in 1983 indicated that Hawthorn extract could successfully treat patients suffering from angina. 60 patients were given either 180 mg extract or a placebo every day for three weeks. Those who took Hawthorn showed better blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart in their ECGs, and could train for longer periods without attacks than those taking the placebo.
Chang et al., in 2002 reviewed 54 references that address every aspect of Hawthorn, including its chemical constituents, traditional uses, clinical effects and pharmacological properties. They revealed that both the hawthorn flowers, fruits and leaves contain several chemical compounds such as triterpene acids (0.5% to 1.4% in fruits), flavonoids (0.1% to 1% in fruits, flavonoids (1% to 2%) in flowers and leaves, oligomeric proanthocyanidins (1% to 3% in flowers, fruits and leaves), 14 sterols, organic acids (2% to 6%) and traces of cardioactive amines. However, the primary bioactive compounds of hawthorn are the oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs) and flavonoids.
A study in 2009 reported that when volunteers took 900 milligrams per day of Hawthorn extract for two months, it was as effective as low doses of captropril, a popular heart medication, particularly in improving symptoms of congestive heart failure. In tests on Hawthorn preparations, Pharmacognosy Review identified bioflavonoids and proanthocyanidins as two of their most important compounds due to their powerful antioxidant activity.
Medical herbal research has validated this use, finding Hawthorn to be effective for increasing the strength of heart contractions, increasing blood flow to the heart, decreasing blood lipids (ie decreasing bad cholesterol (LDL), and triglycerides) and modulating blood pressure, AltMedReview, 2010.
The Cochrane Review of trials on Hawthorn for chronic or congestive heart failure found that Crataegus extract decreased fatigue and shortness of breath and improved exercise tolerance relative to placebo. And while the traditional context is different, the Traditional Chinese Medicine use of Hawthorn for fat or rich meal digestion highlights the ability of berry antioxidants to prevent cholesterol deposits from oxidizing.
Increasingly, modern studies are pointing to the hawthorn plant as a valuable therapy for cardiovascular disease (CVD), which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states is the most prevalent cause of death in the U.S. In fact, more than 2.6 million people died of it in 2015. Results recorded from clinical trials, experiences of professionally qualified medical herbalists and the low/negligible incidence of side effects experienced by patients would indicate that Crataegus preparations hold significant potential as a useful remedy in the treatment of CVD.
Hawthorn is a magical herb known for treating heart ailments. It is considered as a cardiotonic herb. It has been proven effective for heart health. It has been shown to have positive effects on blood circulation. Hawthorn is an effective therapy to treat people with impaired cardiac function. Hawthorn has positive impact on heart health. It has the ability to lower the chances of cardiovascular problems with an increase in stamina, boosting energy, lower shortness of breath and also eliminates fatigue. These small fruits contain catechins, saponins, organic compounds and other antioxidants that counteract free radicals that affect heart health. Hawthorn has been most commonly used to improve heart health and in some cases, treat heart failure. In many studies, hawthorn has been seen to help reduce the levels of blood fats, including cholesterol, that cause chest pain or angina pectoris in patients, changes in cardiac rhythm, and atherosclerosis. The unique antioxidant blend within Hawthorn creates a powerful vasodilating effect. It acts to improve blood vessel endothelial function to where the vessel is able to open with less resistance. This allows greater blood flow in working tissues and improves oxygen utilization. This is primarily due to the flavonoids rutin and vitexin along with the proanthocyanins. Hawthorn improves heart cell metabolism and enhances the flow of electrolytes across the cardiac cells. This prevents or corrects heart rhythm abnormalities and strongly encourages a healthy cardiac rhythm. Hawthorne contains flavones that enhance the function of certain cardiac enzymes. This effect increases the heart’s contractile force, which effectively boosts stroke volume while increasing the heart’s tolerance to hypoxic conditions. It also improves the heart’s ability to create energy through anaerobic metabolism which improves the heart’s ability to withstand stress. Research shows that the flavonoids in hawthorn berries interact with enzymes that help enhance myocardial contractility (the ability of the heart muscle to contract). Hawthorn is rich in antioxidants which are thought to reduce the damaging effects of free radicals in the body Some herbalists believe it opens up the coronary arteries improving the heart’s blood supply. There is some association with reduction of inflammation.
Hawthorn is endorsed as a cardiovascular aid by Commission E, an important branch of the German government that studies and approves natural therapies. It is widely used in Europe to improve the circulatory system, treat angina, high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia and congestive heart failure. It is renowned for its ability to strengthen the heart and blood vessels and restore healthy muscular tone to the heart wall.
Research in Germany has suggested Hawthorn has benefits for the cardio-vascular system. It is claimed to strengthen the heart and stabilise it against arythmias and to lower blood pressure. It may reduce chest pain from angina.
One German study even found that its effects were nearly equal to a prescription drug Captopril for heart failure. Both were effective at improving cardiac function, but the Hawthorn extract has fewer side effects. Another similar trial showed that Hawthorn could have significant benefits for heart failure when used alongside a prescription medication.
Further research has also been done into the effectiveness of taking Hawthorn to reduce blood pressure, however, many studies are conflicting. Nevertheless, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Hawthorn has been used for years as one of the high blood pressure remedies and has been proven to be effective at lowering it in many recent studies. Furthermore, the Hawthorn berry has been shown to act as a vasodilator which means that it can relax constricted blood vessels to help blood move through them easier and lower blood pressure. Hawthorn berry is known as a heart tonic, and recent research shows that these “fire berries” are cardioprotective.
According to a report by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, scientists think Hawthorn benefits the heart by causing a dilation of the smooth muscle that lines the coronary arteries, thereby increasing blood flow to the heart. Hawthorn is also thought to increase heart muscle contraction, heart rate, nerve transmission, and heart muscle irritability.
A study published in Current Medicinal Chemistry demonstrated that a standardized extract has shown results in various heart conditions, including early stages of heart failure, angina pectoris, high blood pressure, mild arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), and atherosclerosis.
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 receiving 200 milligrams of Hawthorn three times per day had an increased working heart capacity, as well as a reduction in symptoms. The Hawthorn group also showed a decrease in systolic blood pressure during physical activity.
Another study of 952 patients with heart failure NYHA Class II had subjects take a Hawthorn extract either alone or as an add-on to conventional treatment. After two years, fatigue, stress dyspnoea and palpitations (the three main symptoms of heart failure) were all significantly decreased in the group who took the Hawthorn compared to the group who did not take Hawthorn.
A 2018 review published by the NIH National Library of Medicine names Hawthorn berry as a cardiotonic herb. Hawthorn berries contain phytonutrients (anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins), antioxidants that tonify and strengthen blood vessel walls. The plant presents positive inotropic and negative chronotropic effects as well as a rise in coronary blood flow and exercise tolerance. Hawthorn when used as a supporting treatment for chronic heart failure, hawthorn has been shown to help manage symptoms and improve physiologic outcomes. This is thought to be since taking the supplement may lead to enhanced exercise tolerance and may improve symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue. This has been evidenced in a study on animals, however, more research is needed to confirm it as a true benefit.
According to a 2016 report published in Nutraceuticals. However, Hawthorn in general may increase the potential for bleeding in patients who take antiplatelet or anticoagulant agents, extracts including the berries, leaves and flowers are also used to treat such heart conditions as bradyarrhythmia and angina,
Another 2016 study published in The Journal Current Medicinal Chemistry, Hawthorn’s powerful heart benefits come from its high polyphenolic content. To date, research has shown that Hawthorn can even have a helpful effect on congestive heart failure (CHF). Multiple studies have shown that Hawthorn supplementation has resulted in improved in cardiac function based on a number of parameters. These parameters include blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac output and exercise tolerance.
During the Middle Ages, Hawthorn was employed for the treatment of dropsy, a condition that's now called congestive heart failure. In modern times, this ancient medicinal herb, which is widely available in many forms as a dietary supplement, is still popular for its effects on heart health, primarily:
The first study on Hawthorn, published in 1896, reported on 43 patients suffering from various forms of heart disease who were treated with hawthorn with promising results.
High Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure is a common problem nowadays. A number of reasons could result in high blood pressure. However, Hawthorn helps combat high blood pressure. Therefore, it reduces the risk of heart failure. Common symptoms of heart failure are fatigue and shortness of breath. It has been seen to increase circulation in arms and legs. How it does that? Basically, it reduces the resistance in the arteries. It is because it inhibits the angiotensin-converting enzyme. This enzyme is linked to the formation of angiotensin II. Angiotensin II has a strong astringent effect on the blood vessels. Thus, it promotes the flow of blood more easily and smoothly.
Hawthorn helps to normalize the level of blood pressure. The compound mixture found in Hawthorn establishes healthy blood pressure in the system and is useful for hypertension and hypotension patients. Hawthorn also acts to inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). Elevated ACE causes an increase in angiotensin II and systemic vasoconstriction. This process elevates blood pressure. By modulating ACE levels, Hawthorn helps to normalize blood pressure and reduce stress on the cardiovascular system. The body usually takes two to four weeks to adapt to the hawthorn and have lasting effects on blood pressure. Hawthorn also helps protect joints with its unique blend of antioxidants. These phytonutrients fend off specific classes of free radicals that are known to damage tissue collagen resulting in arthritic conditions. A diet of Hawthorn berry has been used for several years to treat high blood pressure, a conditionthat contributes to heart disease.In general, heart disease is caused by diabetes, kidney disease, narrowing of arteries, and obstructive sleep apnea. Furthermore, patients with high blood pressure experience severe headaches, fatigue, chest pain, blood in urine, vision problem, and nosebleeds. Uncontrolled blood pressure results in heart disease and damaged arteries.
Reduces blood pressure levels Hawthorn has been used for many years in Chinese medicine to lower blood pressure. Scientists attribute this use to berries’ ability to dilate blood vessels, which leads to blood pressure normalization. In traditional Chinese medicine, hawthorn berry is one of the most commonly recommended foods to help treat high blood pressure. Many herbal practitioners recommend hawthorn berries, flowers and leaves as natural blood pressure reducers. Early research suggested the compound proanthocyanidin, found within Hawthorn, causes the blood vessels to relax at a greater distance from the heart, positively impacting blood pressure levels to reduce the risk of stroke.
According to studies, the berries of Hawthorn may also play a assistive role in controlling high blood pressure. Participants of the study were assigned a daily dosage of supplement of either the Hawthorn extract or placebo. After a few months, the researchers found out that it resulted reduction in the resting state diastolic blood pressure in the participants who were tested for the supplement of the Hawthorn extract. Studies have shown that Hawthorn may be used to treat both low blood pressure and high blood pressure. This herb promotes relaxing of the blood vessels farther from the heart due to a component in hawthorn called proanthocyanidin.
A study conducted by the University of Reading found that hawthorn extract can have a hypotensive effect. Hawthorn relaxes blood vessels and allows blood to flow more easily. Its active components were found to cause vasorelaxation (reduction in tension of the blood vessel walls) in rat studies.
A more recent study, published in 2012, found that taking 1,000 milligrams, 1,500 milligrams, or 2,500 milligrams of Hawthorn extract twice daily for three and a half days did not affect blood pressure in hypertensive individuals.
In a 2006 randomized clinical trial, researchers gave 1,200 mg of Hawthorn extract to 79 people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure every day for 16 weeks. In the study, 39 patients took a daily dose of Hawthorn extract for 16 weeks and 40 patients in a second group took a placebo. Hypotensive drugs were also taken by 71% of the study participants. The people who took the extract experienced more blood pressure improvements than those in the placebo group. But, there was no group differences in systolic blood pressure reduction. Still, more studies are needed to back up these findings. It’s also important to note that using an extract is not the same as eating the berries.
In a pilot study published in 2002 from Readings University in the UK , 38 mildly hypertensive volunteers were assigned to a daily supplement of 600 milligrams of Magnesium, 500 milligrams of Hawthorn extract, a combination of Magnesium and Hawthorn, or a placebo. After 10 weeks, the 19 subjects who took Hawthorn extract showed a greater reduction in resting diastolic blood pressure than other study members. What's more, Hawthorn-taking participants were found to have lower levels of anxiety.
This herb has not yet studied particularly for people suffering from high blood pressure; significant proof supports the benefits of Hawthorn to cardiovascular system. Research suggests that this herb can be consumed safely by those with high blood especially those who are taking expensive medications. Hawthorn is a good alternative.
Hypotension and Hypertension:
The nutritional properties of Hawthorn help stabilise blood pressure levels. If the blood pressure is too low, Hawthorn can help regain it and likewise, if the levels are too high, Hawthorn helps to bring it back to normal. This, in turn, aid in establishing a healthy blood pressure in your system, thereby protecting your body against hypotension and hypertension.
Hawthorn supports the health of the heart by widening the blood vessels for ideal circulation. This allows for greater blood flow throughout the entire body, which impacts the conditions mentioned above as well as blood pressure, which we'll get to in a minute. It should always be kept in mind that heart disease can be very serious and something that should always be treated in consultation with a professional health care provider after a thorough diagnosis and discussion of treatment.
Chest Pain (Angina):
The formal name for chest pains is angina, and while they are not always indicative of a heart attack, they can be extremely painful. It’s caused by decreased blood flow to the heart and is often a symptom of heart disease. It usually occurs due to lack of oxygen or blood supply. However, angina can be a symptom of coronary heart disease. Usually, physical exhaustion and stress trigger angina attacks. If you suffer from angina, you should speak with a doctor, as it can often signal a cardiovascular issue. However, Hawthorn can significantly lessen the pain of chest pains, as it has for thousands of years in traditional medicine.
There is a very good reason why Hawthorn is primarily praised in both traditional and modern medicine for its positive impact on the heart; it can reduce the chances of cardiovascular conditions by increasing your stamina, reducing shortness of breath, and boosting energy and eliminating fatigue. The extensive list of organic compounds, saponins, catechins, and other beneficial antioxidants in these small fruits make it a very potent weapon against dangerous free radicals affecting heart health. Hawthorn is considered highly effective in fighting angina, a disease caused by reduction of blood flow to the heart. Certain researches done over the many years of Hawthorns usage suggests that Hawthorn dilates coronary blood vessels and thereby facilitates a better blood flow towards the heart. Another benefit to the heart is its innate ability to strengthen the heart muscles and help rid the body of unwanted salt and water. Studies suggest that the 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 your blood vessel walls, which helps prevent chest pains.
According to a scientific article published in the Journal of Herbal Medicine and Toxicology, Hawthorn’s bioflavonoids help to dilate both peripheral and coronary blood vessels. This can improve blood flow to the heart, making hawthorn very useful for angina. Hawthorn’s proanthocyanidins are also believed to reduce tension of the blood vessel walls. Again, this is very helpful to discourage angina.
Research published in The Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge suggests that Hawthorn dilates coronary blood vessels and improves blood flow. In addition, it strengthens heart muscles and helps to rid the body of excess salt and water.
A small clinical study researched the effects of aerobic exercise and hawthorn on 80 stable angina pectoris patients ranging from 45 to 65 years old. The patients were randomly divided into four groups to observe whether or not exercise and hawthorn would affect their cardiovascular health. They were observed over a 12-week period. The researchers concluded that combining exercise with hawthorn is an effective strategy for lowering the risk of atherosclerosis and improving overall exercise tolerance and Hawthorn supplementation were “an effective complementary strategy to significantly lower the risk of atherosclerosis and heart problems".
In one research conducted in 1983, 60 angina victims were provided either 180 milligram per day of Hawthorn extract and placebo for three weeks. Patient who given the Hawthorn extract experienced enhanced blood flow and were also capable to work out for long span of time with experiencing chest pain or angina. The patients who took Hawthorn could train for longer periods without suffering from angina attacks. ECGs showed better blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart in these patients than in those receiving a placebo.
Reduces blood fat levels Certain studies demonstrate that inclusion of hawthorn fruits in diet can normalize blood fat levels, namely triglycerides and cholesterol. These trace elements are responsible for transporting nutrients and hormones throughout body. However, this function is only respected if their levels are within normal limits. Elevated 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 vessel walls. The latter process can cause complete blockage of blood vessels and, consequently, lead to a stroke or heart attack.
Hawthorn berry is also a natural remedy effective to reduce high cholesterol. It can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). Not only LDL, but it may also reduce liver cholesterol and triglycerides. Additionally, hawthorn berries increase the levels of HDL (good cholesterol). People with abnormal lipid levels can also consume this fruit. Therefore, it lowers the risk of heart disorders.
Some studies indicate that hawthorn extract may improve blood cholesterol levels thanks to its flavonoid and pectin content. Pectin is a type of fiber involved in cholesterol metabolism. Some studies conducted on animals showed a positive effect of Hawthorn berries in lowering the level of cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. The researches are promising but more need to be done on humans to assess the effect. High triglycerides and low HDL or good cholesterol play a role in plaque build-up in the blood vessels. If plaque continues to build up, it could completely block a blood vessel, leading to a heart attack or stroke. Researches using rats’ shows that herb tincture might be a potent agent for the elimination of bad cholesterol from your bloodstream. The Hawthorn tinctures are lessened the generation of fat in the liver. Studies to know if this herb confers similar effects to those are needed.
Animal studies have shown that Hawthorn berry extract may be a helpful natural remedy for the reduction of 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 cultivar of wild Shan-Zha, which has larger Hawthorn fruit.
In an animal study, the ethanol extract of Hawthorn could suppress the stimulation effect of a high-fat diet. This resulted in lower levels of total serum cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein.
During one of studies, scientists found that in mice with Hawthorn extract in their diet, level of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) decreased by 28-47%, and with it, the amount of triglycerides decreased. At the same time, another study showed that effectiveness of plant is comparable to special drugs for normalizing cholesterol levels. However, unlike drug, fruit extract was more effective in lowering LDL levels. Despite promising results, more research is needed to confirm product’s effectiveness. Improves digestion Hawthorn fruits have been used in folk medicine for several hundred years to normalize gastrointestinal function.
Similarly, a 6-week study in rats showed that when rats were fed Hawthorn berry supplements, they had significantly reduced levels of fasting triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
A study examined the lipid-lowering effects of Hawthorn by comparing two groups of hamsters, one that received Hawthorn extracts and one that was the control group. The researchers found lower liver triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the group that received the Hawthorn extracts. The study found that the triterpenic acid in Hawthorn extracts can lower plasma cholesterol levels. It works by inhibiting acyltransferase, an enzyme that promotes cholesterol absorption.
Another study conducted by The Victoria University on mice with high cholesterol levels found that hawthorn fruit could lower the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides as good as cholesterol-lowering medication. However, more studies are needed to understand this benefit of Hawthorn berries in humans.
A study published in Experimental Biology and Medicine looked at the effects of Hawthorn. The researchers found that it lowered serum cholesterol in mice and could potentially have a similar effect on humans.
A 6-month 2016 study in 64 people with atherosclerosis found that taking Hawthorn extract at a dose of 2.3 mg per pound (5 mg per kg) of body weight significantly reduced the thickness of harmful plaque buildup in the carotid artery. Though this research is promising, more human studies are needed to assess the effect of Hawthorn extract on blood cholesterol. The study revealed that hawthorn not only reduced the overall high cholesterol levels but also decreased LDL cholesterol, liver cholesterol and triglycerides.
Lin et al. in 2011 examined the lipid-lowering effects and the processes involved in Hawthorn’s actions. Hawthorn powder extracts inhibited acyl CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) activity in Caco-2 cells. The inhibitory activity of Hawthorn was positively linked with triterpenic acid (ursolic acid and oleanolic acid) found in the extracts. They further studied the cholesterol-lowering effects of Hawthorn and its potential additive effect with plant sterol esters (PSE) in hamsters. These animals were fed a semisynthetic diet that contains cholesterol at 0.08% (control) or the same diet augmented with:
- Hawthorn dichloromethane extract 0.37%,
- plant sterol esters 0.24% and,
- Hawthorn dichloromethane extract at 0.37%,
- 0.24% plant sterol esters or,
- ursolic acid and oleanolic acid mixture (0.01%) for consecutive four weeks.
When compared with the control diet, the hawthorn, plant sterol esters, ursolic acid and oleanolic acid significantly reduced the plasma non-HDL (VLDL + LDL) cholesterol concentrations. The hepatic cholesterol ester content was also lowered accordingly. These researchers attributed the cholesterol-lowering effects of these ingredients to their abilities to boost the faecal neutral sterol excretion. The ursolic acid and oleanolic acid are responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effect of hawthorn due to their ability to inhibit the intestinal ACAT activity. Furthermore, hawthorn and its bioactive compounds (ursolic acid and oleanolic acid) boosted the cholesterol-lowering effect of plant sterols.
Research shows that Hawthorn might help in lowering of LDL, also commonly called bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. A study that was conducted over a period of eight weeks tested certain patients with abnormal amount of lipids in the blood by treating them with Hawthorn fruit. The result was, Hawthorn berries simultaneously increased the amount of HDL (good) cholesterol and decreased the amount of LDL.
Cardiovascular disease is the most common reason for doctor’s visits, hospitalization and death in the United States. More than 600,000 people die each year of heart disease. Hawthorn berries contain phytonutrients including anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins, antioxidants that strengthen blood vessel walls. Hawthorn berries, leaves and flowers are a good source of heart-protective antioxidants like oligomeric procyandins and quercetin. Hawthorn supplements may help to treat diseases of the heart and blood vessels such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chest pain, and irregular heartbeat. Plus, hawthorn can help improve the amount of blood pumped out of the heart during contractions, widen the blood vessels, and increase the transmission of nerve signals. They may also reduce symptoms of congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeat, arrhythmia, low blood pressure, angina, atherosclerosis and high cholesterol. Heart disease leads to other severe health problems and death. The condition results from high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure levels, and failure to exercise. Furthermore, patients with heart disease are characterized by fatigue, tiredness, shortness of breath, numbness, fever, and heart palpitations. However, those who eat Hawthorn fruits daily reduce the risk of this condition. Hawthorn did show benefit for chest pain in patients with congestive heart failure. The evidence for atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries, is very preliminary. Hawthorn is widely known for its ability to improve and maintain one's heart health. Used in both traditional and modern medicine, Hawthorn helps to reduce the chances of cardiovascular issues by increasing stamina, reducing shortness of breath, boosting energy and eliminating fatigue. It is extremely beneficial in treating angina, chest pain caused by decreased blood flow to the heart. Studies have revealed that hawthorn can be used as an effective natural remedy for avoiding and treating angina. Apart from these, the proanthocyanidins in Hawthorn are asserted to reduce the tension of the blood vessel walls, protecting your heart. The organic compounds, saponins, catechins, and other beneficial antioxidants in hawthorn are extremely beneficial in destroying the dangerous free radicals affecting heart health. The herb can also be used to treat arrhythmia. Not only this, but it can also treat hypertension caused by arteriosclerosis.
Hawthorn is approved for congestive heart failure by Germany's Commission E, an expert panel that evaluates herbal remedies. However, given the extremely serious nature of heart disease, it's imperative not to attempt to self-treat a heart condition with hawthorn (or any other herbal remedy). Make sure to consult your healthcare provider if you're considering the use of hawthorn in the treatment of a heart problem. While Hawthorn berries have shown to be a cardiotonic, consult your doctor before incorporating this herb into your treatment regimen, including extracts or teas.
Research suggests that Hawthorn berry extract significantly benefits heart health when compared to a placebo. In one study, researchers gave 78 patients with heart failure 200 mg of Hawthorn three times daily for two months. At the end of the trial, patients experienced an improvement in working heart capacity and a reduction of their heart disease symptoms. In fact, Hawthorn berry was nearly as effective as prescription heart medication in reducing symptoms, and it had fewer side effects.
Asher et al. in 2012 attested that Hawthorn extract has been used since time immemorial for treating cardiovascular diseases. Several clinical experiments have demonstrated the efficacy of Hawthorn for treating heart failure and for lowering the blood pressure. The blood pressure lowering tendency of Hawthorn is attributed to its constituent of flavonoids and nitric oxide-mediated vasodilation. Hawthorn tea is usually consumed for treating cardiovascular disorders.
Chang et al. in 2005 reported that Hawthorn can play an important role towards preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases such as hyperlipidemia, heart failure, hypertension and arrhythmic (heart without rhythm or irregular heartbeat). The ability of this plant to treat cardiovascular diseases is attributed to its constituents of antioxidants such as flavonoids.
Hawthorn has largely been tested in patient with heart illness such as congestive heart failure. A heart related illness wherein heart is not capable to supply sufficient levels of blood to other body organs. Of six properly designed tests, four researches concluded that this essentially enhanced heart function and 3 studies found that this enhanced patient’s capability to workout. Patients in 5 of the 6 assessments reported that this herb essentially enhanced signs of the illness like fatigue and shortness of breathing.
One research found that 900 milligram of Hawthorn taken for two succeeding months was as efficient compared to captropil in enhancing signs of this heart illness. A huge scale worldwide research is presented underway to know whether the herb extract lessen the possibility of death.
Congestive Heart Failure:
Heart failure is a condition whereby the heart is unable to pump enough blood to other organs in the body. Hawthorn has been extensively studied in people with heart failure, showing positive results. Heart failure can be in two forms, diastolic and systolic. Both of them are different. Diastolic is when your heart can’t fill with blood correctly. On the other hand, systolic is the poor pumping action of the heart. However, hawthorn is beneficial in early stages of chronic heart failure. It can help reduce symptoms of heart failure such as stress dyspnea and palpitations. It has said to promote blood flow in the vessels. This, in turn, enhances the metabolism of the heart muscles. Therefore, it increases the efficiency of heart muscles. Extensive use of Hawthorn supplements to treat people with heart failure has shown astonishing positive results.
Hawthorn berry has been well studied in individuals with congestive heart failure. Five of the six major studies performed found dramatically improved symptoms, such as shortness of breath and fatigue. Numerous studies have been published that suggest that Hawthorn berries remarkably improve the functioning of the heart. As a matter of utter surprise Hawthorn has shown not negative side effects and been proven highly effective particularly for stage 1 and stage 2 heart failure. Though heart failure without a shadow of doubt remains a huge health problem which should never be dealt with by a layman on his own, consultation with a doctor is really critical to determining the use of Hawthorn for any heart patient.
Studies published in Pharmacognosy Review suggest that Hawthorn berries significantly improves heart function. In fact, the low/negligible incidence of side effects experienced by patients indicate that hawthorn is particularly useful in treating stage I and II heart failure.
One study showed that Hawthorn (taken at 900mg/day) for 2 months was as effective as low doses of Captopril (leading heart medication) in improving common symptoms associated with congestive heart failure.
Hawthorn berry is best known for its use in traditional contexts in treating heart failure, alongside other traditional medications. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can’t properly pump blood. Heart failure is a serious condition, and should never be self-treated with Hawthorn. Before taking Hawthorn, consult with your doctor first.
People with heart failure are often encouraged to take Hawthorn supplements as they are considered safe with fewer side effects. Very few people taking Hawthorn berries have complained of nausea or dizziness. It is therefore advisable to speak with your healthcare professional before taking any health supplement or herbal remedy. Otherwise, Hawthorn berry is considered very effective and can be easily included in the diet. It can be added to the tea, eaten raw, put in jams or dessert and can also be taken as a supplement. Be sure to speak with your doctor before taking it as a supplement.
Researchers have suggested that compounds called flavonoids in hawthorn might be behind these beneficial effects. However, some evidence has suggested that Hawthorn may be harmful in certain cases of heart failure. One study found that taking it alongside conventional treatments increased the risk that heart failure would progress. More research is needed.
An analysis of 14 different experiments conducted on different age groups showed that use of Hawthorn in combination with medication for heart failure improved heart function and its ability to withstand high physical activity. At same time, participants of experiment had a decrease in shortness of breath and an increase in endurance.
A study conducted on 850 people concluded, those taking Hawthorn extract experienced improved heart function and exercise tolerance. There was also less shortness of breath and fatigue.
A large study found that Hawthorn was effective in treating 952 people with heart failure suggests The University of Maryland. The study compared treating heart failure with conventional drugs to hawthorn alone, and in addition to taking hawthorn with prescription drugs. After two years, participants who took Hawthorn supplementation had decreased symptoms of heart failure. Palpitations, breathing problems and fatigue had significantly improved when taking hawthorn alone or with other drugs.
A German study focusing on patients with heart failure found that administering Hawthorn extract showed measurable improvement in their patients’ health. 952 patients were enrolled and within two years the patients who received the Hawthorn treatment showed more improvement in their symptoms than those who only received therapy.
Another study involving more than 2,600 people with heart failure symptoms demonstrated that Hawthorn extract can reduce risk of death caused by heart disease. Because of health benefits of Hawthorn described above, doctors strongly recommend using this product in conjunction with medications to treat heart failure. They also note that supplement is not dangerous to human health and has minimal side effects.
The Journal American Family Physician suggests that Hawthorn can enhance a person’s ability to exercise following heart failure. It can also improve symptoms of fatigue and shortness of breath. According to one study, taking Hawthorn extract (900 milligrams a day for two months) was as effective as low doses of captopril. Captopril is a prescription heart medication that improves symptoms of heart failure.
A study conducted on patients with chronic heart failure stage NYHA II (people with symptoms of fatigue, palpitation, and dyspnea even with ordinary physical activity) found that those who took Hawthorn berry extract had fewer symptoms. Hawthorn berry was also found to reduce the risk of sudden death due to heart-related issues. However, more studies are needed to understand this benefit of hawthorn berry.
Chronic Heart Failure:
The Cochrane Library, a reputable, strict reviewer of scientific evidence published, “results suggest that there is a significant benefit in symptom control and physiologic outcomes from hawthorn extract as an adjunctive treatment for chronic heart failure".
One long-term study completed in 2009 did not confirm these benefits. In this study, 120 patients with heart failure were randomized to receive 450 milligrams of Hawthorn twice a day or a placebo for six months. Hawthorn provided no symptomatic or functional benefit when given with standard medical therapy.
According to a 2008 review of 14 studies that included a total of 855 chronic heart failure patients, Hawthorn may help manage symptoms and improve physiologic outcomes when used as a supporting treatment for chronic heart failure. The review's findings indicate that treatment with Hawthorn may lead to improvement in exercise tolerance and in symptoms, such as fatigue and shortness of breath. The researchers concluded that "there is a significant benefit in symptom control and physiologic outcomes from hawthorn extract as an adjunctive treatment for chronic heart failure".
A diet of hawthorn berries reduces the risk of heart attack by decreasing cholesterol and triglycerides levels. Accumulation of cholesterol blocks blood vessels, resulting in cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke. Stay safe by adding hawthorn berries to your diet routine. The fruits are free from chemical substances that result in health problems.
Laboratory researches show that Hawthorn contain antioxidant properties which assist protect in opposition to the development of plaques that leads to many health issues such as atherosclerosis. The build-up of plaque in the blood vessels which supply your heart with oxygen might lead to angina or chest pain and heart attacks while the build up of plaque in your arteries which supply food to your brain might lead to stroke. Studies have been conducted to highlight the effect Hawthorn has on reducing blood fats including cholesterol. It is thus believed that Hawthorn can assist in prevention of a disease atherosclerosis that result due to accumulation and deposition of fat in your arteries.
A number of animal studies, including one published in 2018, suggests that Hawthorn may help reduce levels of blood fats (including cholesterol) and aid in the prevention of atherosclerosis. More studies are needed to confirm these benefits.
An unhealthy immune system resuls can be costly. Susceptible people spend lots of money on frequent medication. Factors that weaken the immune system include infectious diseases, such as HIV and autoimmune diseases. Patients with weakened immune are characterized by cold, stress, slow healing of wounds, and tiredness. However, a diet of hawthorn berry contains vitamin C that boosts the immune system.
Hawthorn berries have been found to improve your immune system due to their anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of Hawthorn helps to strengthen your immune system. The antioxidants help eliminate the dangerous toxins from the body. Along with that, the Vitamin C in Hawthorn also helps to boost the white blood cells activity, thereby improving the functioning of your immune system. Vitamin C helps to promote the activity of white blood cells to promote overall health.
Overall Health Improver:
A 2008 animal study also demonstrated how Hawthorn berry extract has protective effects for the gastrointestinal system and it appears to successfully kill off various types of unwanted bacteria. Scientific research revealed that Hawthorn berry extract is excellent at decreasing inflammation. This is huge for health since we know that inflammation is at the root of most diseases. The research also shows that the extract of Hawthorn berry 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 through a process called oxidation.
Hawthorn berries may help prevent premature skin aging caused by collagen degradation due to excessive sun or ultraviolet light exposure.
One test-tube study found that a mixture of Hawthorn and ginseng extract could prevent signs of aging by inhibiting wrinkle formation and increasing skin moisture. Research suggests that this effect may be due to the Hawthorn berry’s antioxidant content. Nevertheless, research in this area is limited, and human studies are needed.
People have used Hawthorn berries and extract for centuries to treat digestive issues, particularly indigestion and stomach pain. The berries were specifically used for indigestion related to food stagnation. They were thought to be especially helpful in cases of overeating greasy foods and meat. Energetically, they are considered a slightly warming herb with both sweet and sour tastes. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) associates them with the stomach, spleen, and liver.
Hawthorn berries and Hawthorn extract have organic compounds that interact with our gut flora to improve our nutrient digestion, while the fiber in Hawthorn acting as a prebiotic and improves our digestive process as a whole and eliminates any issues, such as constipation, bloating, cramping, and more serious conditions like ulcers. Hawthorn berries are known to stimulate bile and gastric secretion which aid digestion especially of the food rich in fats and proteins. They have been used for centuries for digestive issues such as indigestion and stomach pain. Hawthorn can help with digestive issues such as abdominal pain and diarrhea. It's also a remedy for intestinal infections like tapeworm, promoting healing and combating the infection. Did you know that when food moves faster through the intestine digestion is affected? This is the cause of digestion problems, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
Today, studies suggest that Hawthorn improves digestion by promoting gastrointestinal motility, the contraction of muscles that move food through your digestive system. Hawthorn may also support the production of enzymes that ensure you absorb nutrients properly for optimal health. Studies have identified Hawthorn berry tea as an intestinal tonic, as it can reduce bloating and cramping, while also making the environment less tolerant of parasites, such as tapeworms, and other infections.
One observational study in people with slow digestion found that each additional gram of dietary fiber people consumed was associated with a 30-minute decrease in the time between bowel movements. In other words, the more fiber people ate, the more frequently they pooped.
A rat study observed that Hawthorn extract dramatically reduced the gut transit time of food in the digestive system. Reduced gut transit time means food moves more quickly through the digestive system, which may alleviate indigestion.
In a study, the phenolic and flavonoid compounds in Hawthorn berry extracts showed anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, anti-microbial, and free radical-scavenging properties. Its gastroprotective effect was tested in rats with ulcers.
Furthermore, research in rodents suggests that compounds in Hawthorn berries could enhance the production and activity of digestive enzymes, namely those needed for the digestion of fatty and protein-rich foods.
According to a 2015 critical review published in Nutrients that analyzed 88 scientific papers. The review shows that Hawthorn presents useful applications for the treatment of abdominal pain, diarrhea, distension and indigestion. The paper notes its use as an effective diuretic in the European tradition.
Chang et al. in 2002 reported that Hawthorn fruits are incorporated in Traditional Chinese Medicine for aiding easy digestion and proper functioning of the stomach. This suggests why Hawthorn is mostly prescribed for treating indigestion with epigastric distension as well as for abdominal pain.
If you eat the whole berries in something like a berry powder or jam, you'll also get a good dose of fiber that can help with constipation and a healthy gut.
Hawthorn berries contain fiber, a digestive aid that acts as a prebiotic to decrease constipation. Prebiotics induce and nurture the growth of good gut bacteria essential for a healthy digestive system. Hawthorn, its berries, leaves and flowers have been found helpful in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases and other digestive issues, Prebiotics are foods that nourish and promote healthy gut bacteria, which are vital to maintaining healthy digestion.
You can use Hawthorn extract and berries to improve digestion since they act as a prebiotic and can reduce constipation thanks to their high fiber content. Prebiotics are essential in improving digestion since they feed your healthy gut bacteria which is also helpful in maintaining a healthy immune system, along with preventing unwanted weight gain, high blood sugar and high cholesterol. The berries of the hawthorn plant have been used for this purpose for centuries and are a completely natural way to relieve discomfort in the stomach area. The increase in fiber intake in your diet is also essential to your health since food can move faster through your digestive system, making indigestion less likely and encouraging healthy bowel movements.
One study found that in individuals with delayed digestion, regular intake of fiber shortened period between defecation by an average of 30 minutes. What’s more, scientists have found that Hawthorn extract can shorten time it takes for food to pass through GI tract. This helps to speed up a number of processes and eliminate symptoms of upset stomach in a shorter period of time. In addition, this product has been able to protect stomach from damage in participants suffering from ulcers.
Inflamatory Bowel Disease (IBD):
The Hawthorn fruit reduced the signs of inflammation such as infiltration by polymorphonuclear leukocytes and multiple erosive lesions as well as improved the leukotriene B4 (LTB4), a biochemical parameter of inflammation mass. The results show that Hawthorn fruit and its extracts can be used for treating inflammatory bowel disease.
Fujisawa et al. in 2005 examined the protective effect of hawthorn fruit on two murine colitis models namely; dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) and 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) colitis. The mice that developed acute colitis exhibited symptoms of gross rectal bleeding, weight loss and diarrhoea within ten days. Interestingly, hawthorn fruit (2 g/kg body weight) restored the body weight, colon length and increased the haemoglobin count in these experimental animals.
Lin et al. in 2011 reported that the intake of 10 g/day of dry Hawthorn helps to relieve fullness after overeating or after consuming a fatty meal.
A small waist and a figure is a new trend nowadays. Women are focusing on weight loss and proper diet. While trying to shed off weight, you need to check your calories. A healthy diet is must for a healthy body. Hawthorn berries would be a great choice to lose weight. They boost metabolism and help you burn fat. It allows you burn more fats while working out. You can eat Hawthorn berries for weight loss. It aids in weight loss and allows you shed off those extra pounds quickly. Hawthorn boosts your metabolism rates which, in turn, results in the burning up of calories. If you are looking forward to losing some weight in a healthy manner, incorporate Hawthorn into your diet. Consult a doctor before incorporating hawthorn into your daily diet.
Research has also shown that Hawthorn can help improve metabolic effects, particularly in patients with high cardiovascular risk. This study showed that the use of Hawthorn vinegar can also help lower body weight.
Possessing metabolism-boosting properties, Hawthorn improves your metabolism and helps break plateau. By doing so, it burns a lot of calories from your body and allows your metabolism to function at optimal levels.
Besides nutrients, hawthorn berry is loaded with polyphenols, an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicles that damage body cells. Antioxidants are substances that scavenge free radicals, which alter cell membranes, hinder DNA and cause cell death. Free radicals contribute to premature aging and many other health problems, including heart disease. Antioxidants found in hawthorn counteract free radicals and may reduce or prevent some of the damage they cause. The unique blend of antioxidants found in Hawthorn come from a group of phytonutrients. These include tannins, flavonoids, proanthocyanidins and phenolic acids. The standardization of hawthorn products is based on the overall content of flavonoids (2.2%) and proanthocyanidins (18.75%).
These radicles come with a poor diet or environmental toxins. When ingested by the human body, they allow to neutralize negative effects of free radicals, unstable molecules that lead to 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. Because of their high antioxidant activity, scientists have linked the inclusion of polyphenols in the diet to a reduced risk of diseases such as: asthma; cardiovascular diseases; cancer; infectious diseases; type 2 diabetes; premature skin aging. Eating a diet of Hawthorn berry can prevent you from these chronic diseases that require lots of money to treat or manage, especially cancer and heart problems. Supplements, Hawthorn berry, can be taken in the desired form, such as liquid, pill, or powder.
Keser et al. in 2014 investigated the antioxidant properties and some bioactive compounds of Hawthorn aqueous and the ethanol extracts of the ripened fruits, leaves and flowers. The antioxidant activities of the extracts were assessed on ABTS•+, DPPH•, reducing power, superoxide scavenging, ferrous metal chelating activity assays and the phenolic content of the extracts using Folin - Cioacalteu’s reagent. Flavonoids such as kaempferol, rutin, naringenin, apigenin, quercetin and myricetin were identified based on high-performance liquid chromatography in the hawthorn extract. The results showed that the ethanol and aqueous extracts of hawthorn fruits possess the highest activity in metal chelating activity and reducing power assays. Furthermore, it was shown that the aqueous flower extract possesses higher flavonoid content than the aqueous leaves extract. The researchers attributed the antioxidant ability of Hawthorn to its polyphenolic contents.
Çaliskan et al. in 2012 evaluated the antioxidant activity, total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of 5 Crataegus species. The antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of the fruits were determined using Folin-Ciocalteu assays and β-carotene bleaching. The antioxidant capacity was determined by using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay. The results showed that hawthorn fruit species can serve as an excellent source of natural antioxidants. The researchers recommended that the intake of hawthorn fruit and its products are a rich source of antioxidants to the body.
Free radicals can develop in your body as a result of a poor diet and toxins from the environment such as air pollution and smoking, however, antioxidants can help to minimize their effect on your health. Free radicals are unstable atoms linked to aging, chronic diseases, such as cancer, injury and illness. The main antioxidant compound is vitexin. We encounter free radicals in pollution as well as in toxins found in our food, water and health and beauty products. Hawthorn is rich in antioxidants than can neutralize these free radicals and might lessen or even assist prevent some of the harm they cause.
The 2015 scientific literature review of 88 papers published in Nutrients noted that Hawthorn berries contain significant amounts of polyphenols, an antioxidant compound that fights free radicals. Aside from the antioxidant capacity of polyphenolic compounds, they also are protective against inflammation and other markers for chronic disease.
Hawthorn berry fruit has anti-inflammatory properties that prevent type 2 diabetes, asthma, and cancer. Furthermore, it improves liver disease by reducing inflammatory compounds. Inflammation results from external injuries, effects of free radiation, pathogens, and tissue death. The condition is characterized by fever, headaches, muscle stiffness, and fatigue. These symptoms may result in disability and delayed achievement of goals. The high antioxidant content found in Hawthorn helps provide anti-inflammatory effects. The flavonoid component of Hawthorn has been shown to be particularly effective at providing these benefits, including lowering cholesterol and inflammation. With various antioxidants, Hawthorn tea prevents inflammation throughout the body, from arthritis to headaches. Adding Hawthorn berries to your diet can reduce inflammation, which can improve your body’s condition.
A few studies have documented that Hawthorn can specifically reduce inflammation related to the liver and asthma. But because of its rich antioxidant content, it can likely reduce inflammation in your entire body.
In a study in mice with liver disease, Hawthorn berry extract significantly decreased levels of inflammatory compounds, leading to reduced liver inflammation and injury.
In one study, researchers gave vitexin, a compound present in Hawthorn leaves, to mice with respiratory conditions. This treatment decreased the production of molecules that trigger inflammation and reduced the response of white blood cells to inflammation. These promising results from animal and test-tube studies suggest the supplement may offer anti-inflammatory benefits for humans. However, more research is needed.
Another study done on mice showed that supplementing Hawthorn berries extract decreased asthma in mice suffering from the condition.
Another animal study published in The Journal of Food Medicine concluded that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of Hawthorn can protect against colitis, inflammation of the colon. Due to positive effects on animals, it is believed to offer anti-inflammatory benefits in humans as well.
A 2008 animal study published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry tested the free-radical-scavenging, anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, and antimicrobial effects of a Hawthorn berry ethanol extract. They determined that the antioxidant properties found in Hawthorn can help guard against inflammation and even help provide antimicrobial benefits to the gastrointestinal system.
According to research, chronic inflammation causes a number of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, asthma and many others. 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, product eliminated symptoms of disease. Corresponding results of animal studies have shown that supplement can have anti-inflammatory effects, including in humans. But more research is needed to confirm this property.
It was found to exhibit bactericidal activity against gram-positive bacteria such as Micrococcus flavus, Bacillus subtilis, and Lysteria monocytogenes. Dried Hawthorn fruit contains antioxidants and digestion-improving agents that were found to accelerate gastrointestinal transit.
In one study the berries were found to have successfully fought against bacteria including Listeria monocytogenes which can lead to foodborne illnesses, and in another showed antibacterial action against Streptococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae.
Lakshmi et al. in 2013 examined the antibacterial potentials of hawthorn berry ethanolic extract (HBEE) against the enteric pathogens responsible for causing diarrhoea. These enteric pathogens include; E. coli, S.boydii, S.typhi and V.cholerae. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) were determined using macrobroth dilution method. The results showed that hawthorn berry ethanolic extract exhibited significant antibacterial activity against the enteric bacterial pathogens tested at different concentrations. Therefore, hawthorn can be used to tackle enteric infections such as diarrhea.
Extensive usage of Hawthorn during periods of indigestion prompted people to check its effect for treating intestinal infections, turns out Hawthorn is not just helpful with minor digestive problems such as constipation but also useful in treating and eliminating intestinal infections such as tapeworms.
Anxiety is a natural stress response, an inescapable condition. People are experiencing financial crises that results in stress. Furthermore, anxiety can be caused by drugs, alcohol, mental disorders, and trauma. People with anxiety experience sweating, trembling, tiredness, weakness, feeling nervous and rapid breathing. They are associated with unexpected situations, such as suicide. However, you can reduce anxiety by eating a Hawthorn berry diet accompanied by magnesium and California poppy flower. One of distinctive properties of Hawthorn is its mild sedative effect on body, which allows you to reduce feelings of anxiety. In spite of this, research on effect of Hawthorn on blood pressure has shown that this product has a negligible effect on anxiety levels. In another experiment, however, combining the berries of this plant with magnesium and maca led to significant reductions in feelings of anxiety and worry. Hawthorn’s effect on heart rate, blood pressure, and inflammation all suggest that it should have a positive effect on helping to reduce anxiety, however should only be used when advised by a health practitioner.
In many traditional medicines, Hawthorn was used for certain psychological conditions, including stress, anxiety, and even depression. Very often, Hawthorn was offered to people who had recently had a broken heart, a loss of a family member, etc. because it was said to improve mood and mend a broken heart. Enzymatically, it turns out that Hawthorn may have an impact on our hormonal levels, which would explain why so many cultures of the past believed in those health benefits. Consuming Hawthorn helps to improve one's mood and increase overall energy. By positively impacting your hormonal levels, it can help you feel at ease.
Studies conducted on Hawthorn proved its use in reducing anxiety. It is also effective in relieving hypertension. Hawthorn supplementation promotes a hormonal change for good. This is why cultures of the past considered it as the cure for a broken heart.
One older double-blind study published in Current Medical Research and Opinion analyzed a formulation of Hawthorn extract, California poppy flower, and magnesium and its effects on 264 people with anxiety. The results revealed a significant reduction in mild to moderate anxiety levels compared with the placebo. However, the specific role that hawthorn played was not analyzed in depth. The NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health also notes the promotion of Hawthorn for use in anxiety treatment.
During the pilot study conducted in the UK, which evaluated Hawthorn for hypertension, a trend towards a reduction in anxiety was observed in those taking Hawthorn compared with the other groups taking a placebo. Hawthorn may have an impact on hormonal levels, which would explain why so many cultures of the past believed it was the cure “for a broken heart".
In a study, Hawthorn extract, with a combination of five other extracts, showed a mild sedative effect and helped lower anxiety in patients with anxiety disorders.
A study was conducted which resulted in the evaluation of Hawthorn as highly effective in reducing various forms of hypertension. It is claimed that Hawthorn may have an impact on hormonal levels, thus it helps during hormonal imbalance that results in mental states of anxiety, stress etc.
Another study conducted by The University of Reading found that Hawthorn exhibited hypotensive and anti-anxiety effects. The extracts of hawthorn proved safer and more effective when compared with placebo (medical treatment) for treating anxiety disorders. You can take two cups of Hawthorn tea every day post your meals to help reduce anxiety.
Hawthorn appears to have few side effects compared with traditional anti-anxiety medications. That’s one reason scientists continue to research it as a potential treatment for central nervous system disorders such as anxiety and depression. However, these studies have used various types of Hawthorn products, not necessarily the berry specifically. More research is needed.
Based on fact that taking Hawthorn has minimal side effects compared to anti-anxiety medications, scientists continue to study its effects on central nervous system. Moreover, researchers suggest that this herb can be used to treat CNS disorders and depression. If you wish to use Hawthorn extract or fruits of this plant to reduce anxiety, restlessness, or treat depression, you should stop taking other medications first and consult your physician to make sure it’s safe for you.
This herbal supplement has a mild sedative effect, that can help reduce stress to calm and relax you. Reducing stress has numerous health benefits and allows you to get the sleep you need.
Soothing for Emotions and Nerves:
The benefits of Hawthorn berry aren't just for your physical heart. It has a long history of use for heartbreak, grief, and anxiety. Although it's impossible to objectively measure the effects of Hawthorn on the spiritual and emotional heart, there is indication of an anti-anxiety effect in studies. One of the studies on Hawthorn and blood pressure also documented a reduction in anxiety. Others indicate it has a mild sedative-like effect. But don't underestimate this herb if you need it for something un-diagnosable. Herbalists have long used it for a broken heart, support during grief, and wounded feelings.
Hawthorn assists in the circulation of blood throughout the body that leads to high level of alertness and energy. The proper oxygenation of all body parts improves cognitive skills, rise energy levels as well as metabolism.
Hawthorn dilates the blood vessels and helps to improve blood transport to all parts of the body. The herb seems to have a dampening effect on atherosclerosis, and it can be useful for people who struggle with confusion and poor memory caused by reduced blood supply to the brain. Since Hawthorn is believed to have a good effect on the capillaries in the body, it may be useful for those who bruise easily. However, the herb has to be used for at least 3-4 weeks before any reduction in the formation of bruises can be seen.
To improve memory Hawthorn can be combined with Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) that also improves blood circulation so more oxygen is transported to the brain. Hawthorn can be used together with Garlic (Allium sativum) and Arnica (Arnica montana) as a remedy for angina and reduced blood circulation. Coenzyme Q10 can also be used with Hawthorn.
Hawthorn is known to expand the coronary blood vessels, which allows for more blood to be circulated through the body, which can result in a higher level of energy or alertness. When all parts of your body are properly oxygenated, your cognitive skills improve, your energy levels rise, and your metabolism is able to work at optimal levels. Some people drink this tea in the morning for a solid boost of energy, thanks to the diverse range of minerals and active ingredients, although caffeine is not present in this morning brew.
Controlled and prescribed consumption of Hawthorn is known to help treat your lack of sleep. Hawthorn is known to help improve one's sleeping patterns and ensure a good night's sleep without any hindrances. An herbal tea of Hawthorn is said to calm your nerves and induce sleep, especially when used with lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and St. Johns wort.
Recommended dosages of Hawthorn are typically 160 to 900 milligrams two or three times a day. You can also use it as an herbal tea from 4 to 5 grams of the dried berries or 1 to 2 grams of the dried leaves and flowers. Liquid extracts are also available, with recommended dosages of 20 to 30 drops in a small glass of water.
Han et al. in 2016 investigated the differential effects of polyphenols-enriched extracts from Hawthorn fruit peels (HPP) and Hawthorn fleshes peels (HFP) against liver injury induced by high-fructose diet in mice. The study showed that the major polyphenols in Hawthorn are hyperoside, chlorogenic acid, epicatechin and rutin. These polyphenols were higher in hawthorn fruit peels than in Hawthorn fleshes peels. The results show that the Hawthorn fruit, especially its peel, is a rich source of natural polyphenolic chemopreventive agents for treating liver disorders.
Hawthorn may help the body rid itself of excess water through urination. Diuretics encourage urination to remove water that can accumulate and lead to bloating or water weight gain.
Edema is the buildup of fluid in tissues or cavities. Hawthorn helps get rid of the excess fluid and fights edema. It is so because of its diuretic properties.
Cancer is the second most deadly disease worldwide. Prevention is the best solution of this disease. Hawthorn berries can help fight cancer. The powerful antioxidant property of hawthorn makes it beneficial in the fight against cancer growth. It eliminates cancer causing free radicals from your body. Additionally, they detoxify your blood and thus cleansing your overall system. It prevents the cell from developing cancerous.
The vitamin A content in Hawthorn is the reason behind it being recommended for improving eye health. Its vitamin A content helps improve and maintain one's eyesight and vision and even prevent cataracts growth.
The unusual belief of Hawthorn berries effectiveness in treating erectile dysfunction comes from the fact that it stimulates and facilitates a better and easy blood flow in the pelvic region and opens up blood vessels.
Women who are going through the physical change of menopause can find relief from night sweats and hot flashes with Hawthorn to help them sleep better and remain comfortable throughout the day.
The antioxidants found in Hawthorn tea will be able to help neutralize free radicals throughout the body, including the skin cells, which will be protected from oxidative stress. This can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, and blemishes. It is useful for applying topically to the skin, particularly on burns, sores, or acne. The organic compounds are anti-inflammatory in nature and are good for reducing itching on healing wounds or from other skin conditions, like eczema or psoriasis. Due to its infection-fighting properties and antioxidants, Hawthorn can be used to treat skin conditions like boils, ulcers, frostbite or sores on the body's tissues to help heal and repair the damaged areas. However, there are not enough studies to confirm these claims.
Eczema and Psoriasis:
Due to the myriad organic compounds that are constituents of Hawthorn berry, it also has few not very widely known anti-inflammatory properties. Hawthorn berry solution can be applied to the skin which is supposed to reduce itching, rashes etc. It can help with conditions of the skin such as eczema and psoriasis as well. You may even apply hawthorn berry solution topically to the skin. Some of the organic compounds have anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, hawthorn may reduce itching on healing wounds or from other skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.
Hawthorn extract is used in many hair growth products since it is recognized to stimulate hair growth and increase the number and size of hair follicles. This effect is thought to be down to the polyphenol content in the hawthorn berry that promotes general health along with healthier hair. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that are highly abundant in hawthorn berries. Including more antioxidants in your diet will not only help your hair growth, but it can also help to lower your risk of infections, heart problems and many other conditions due to their ability to neutralize unstable molecules.
Prevents hair loss It is not uncommon to find Hawthorn as one of ingredients in cosmetic products designed to protect against hair loss or to stimulate hair growth. Hawthorn berry is listed as a natural ingredient in some hair care and hair growth products, but is it effective? In the past, Hawthorn berry has shown promise in stimulating the growth and size of hair follicles in rats. The polyphenol content in these berries is believed to cause these effects. However, further research on the effects in humans is needed. Hawthorn berries are commonly used ingredients in hair loss products. A study done on rats showed an increase in number and size of hair follicles, hair growth and healthier hair.
According to scientists, number of studies in this area of Hawthorn use is relatively small. Therefore, a number of additional experiments are required to confirm this effect.
For example, one of experiments on rats showed that adding Hawthorn extract to diet increases size and number of hair follicles, which improves hair quality and ensures its enhanced growth.
How do you use Hawthorn berry in your hair? Many people prefer to include Hawthorn berries in their diet, such as making Hawthorn berry syrup for pancakes and absorbing the nutrients that way. Others invest in over- the- counter natural hair care products like Hawthorn berry butters or tonics. David Hoffmann, BSc, a founding member and past president of The American Herbalists Guild, recommends making tea by steeping a teaspoon of Hawthorn berries in a cup of hot water and then straining it before consuming. He advises not to exceed three cups a day. A consultation with an herbalist can give you more guidance, but you should first talk to your doctor about using such complementary treatments.
Easy to Add to Your Diet
Hawthorn is not only beneficial to your body but can also be a delicious treat that can easily be added to any type of lifestyle. You may not find it easy to source Hawthorn berries at first, since they are usually available from specialty food stores and online shops, although once you have found your supplier you can look forward to adding them into your daily routine. Enjoy the raw berries to experience Hawthorn in its most natural form. Some people experience sourness although many report on their deliciously sweet flavor. Drink your Hawthorn by turning it into a tea using the dried berries and leaves of a plant or buy premade versions that might have a slightly lower concentration. The most common way to take Hawthorn is as a supplement in either pill, powder or liquid form so that it can be easily stored away in a cupboard for everyday consumption. There is an abundance of health benefits to taking Hawthorn, however, be sure to contact your medical practitioner before introducing any supplement into your diet. You can benefit from the Hawthorn plants many benefits by eating the berries, taking it in powder form, brewing as a tea, or when taken as a liquid or pill. Hawthorn berry may be difficult to find at your local grocery store. However, you may be able to find it at farmers markets and specialty health food stores. You can add Hawthorn to your diet in many ways:
- Raw Berries: Raw Hawthorn berries have a tart, slightly sweet taste and make a great on-the-go snack and can be used as an additional ingredient in various dishes. But try not to eat the seeds. Like apple seeds, they contain the toxin cyanide.
- Hawthorn Tea: You can buy premade hawthorn tea or make your own using the plant’s dried berries, flowers, and leaves.
- Jams and Desserts: In the Southeastern United States, people commonly make Hawthorn berries into jam, pie filling, and syrup.
- Wine and Vinegar: Hawthorn berries can be fermented into a tasty alcoholic beverage (for adults) or a flavorful vinegar that you can use to make salad dressing.
- Supplements: You can take hawthorn berry supplements in a convenient powder, pill, or liquid form. Hawthorn berry supplements usually contain the berry along with the leaves and flowers, though some include only the leaves and flowers.
Different brands and forms of Hawthorn supplements have varying dosing recommendations. Typical dosages are 250–500 mg three times daily. However, research has yet to determine an optimal effective dose. Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements like hawthorn under a less strict set of regulations than over-the-counter or prescription medications. Therefore, always make sure to buy them from reputable sources.
Drinking hawthorn berry tea is a great way to boost your skin and heart health and enjoy a unique herbal beverage without a caffeine burst.What is Hawthorn Berry Tea? Hawthorn berry tea is a warm beverage prepared with the berries of the hawthorn shrub and has been in use for more than 2,000 years. This plant grows throughout Asia and Europe and is known to have a very dense concentration of antioxidants, including quercetin, procyonid, malic acid, and citric acid, as well as various other flavonoids and minerals. The impressive nutrient composition of these berries makes the resulting tea a powerful health tonic when prepared properly. There are some who consider Hawthorn berries a superfood, or at least one that can extend your lifespan, so occasionally drinking this tea is a very good idea. Making your own Hawthorn berry tea at home is a simple and delicious way to boost your health.
Add 1 tbsp Hawthorn berries dried to a cup of water and optional honey. Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove. Add dried Hawthorn berries, roughly 1 tablespoon of berries per cup of water. Let the mixture steep for 8-10 minutes (the longer it steeps, the stronger it will be). Scoop out the berries from the tea and serve hot. Add honey for flavor, if desired. Hawthorn tea in a teacup with hawthorn on a tray.
There are a few things to take into consideration before drinking this tea, such as its potential side effects in the gut and cardiovascular system, as well as its potential interactions with other medication. Nausea and stomach upset are common if this tea is consumed in excess, and in some extreme cases, intestinal hemorrhaging has occurred. This tea has many effects on cardiovascular health, but if consumed regularly, or in too high a concentration, it can actually increase chest pain and the occurrence of heart palpitations. Some research has found that Hawthorn berry tea can have negative interactions with medication to manage blood pressure and heart palpitations. Cardiovascular health can be delicate, so be sure to speak with your doctor before adding this tea to your diet.
The Hawthorn berry, also known as “haw”, has been a popular ingredient in desserts and wines and a key medicinal herb for thousands of years. In ancient Rome, it was used to relieve diarrhea. It’s also a staple herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In the Middle Ages, Europeans used it to keep their hearts healthy. There are hundreds of species of hawthorn all over the world. Though they’re tiny, hawthorn berries pack a serious health punch, especially for your heart. They may also improve your exercise performance. Hawthorn berries are small fruits that can be found on shrubs or trees that belong to the family Crataegus. 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 its high nutrient content, tart taste and relatively little sweetness. Color of Hawthorn berries can vary from light yellow to black.
The Hawthorn herb is loaded with health beneficial compounds. These compounds have been shown to really boost heart health. Hawthorn’s antioxidant flavonoids improve blood flow, guard against blood vessel damage, and even help to dilate blood vessels. These flavonoids include OPCs. What are OPCs? OPC stands for oligomeric proanthocyanidins. OPCs are some of the most prevalent polyphenolic substances found in plants. When getting Hawthorn berry, be sure to get the whole plant, leaves, flowers, and berry. The berries contain more proanthocyanins while the flowers and leaves contain more vitexin. The most effective way to consume hawthorn if you are unable to get it fresh is in a dried and ground form. Here is the dried version and here is a combination of hawthorn with its cousin hibiscus in an organic tea. Put the fresh plant or dried form into shakes or teas and consume daily. Due to its antioxidant and cardiovascular boosting effects it is great to use pre/post exercise. This improves exercise recovery by improving oxygen flow and neutralizes scavenging free radicals from damaged tissues.
Traditional Uses of Hawthorn:
- Hawthorn is used to treat chronic heart failure, chronic cor pulmonale, arrhythmias and senile heart .
- It is used for myocardial weakness, cardiac failure, hypertension, paroxysmal tachycardia, Buerger’s disease and arteriosclerosis.
- Use the leaf and flower of Hawthorn to lower cardiac performance.
- Hawthorn is used in folk medicine as a treatment for hypertension, cardiotonic, arrhythmia and ischemia of heart.
- Rich in flavonoids, it prevents destruction of collagen in joins, decrease fragility of capillaries and lowers inflammation.
- It effectively lowers the level of cholesterol.
- In China, it is used for lowering blood stasis and food stagnancy.
- The therapeutic dilutions are effective for senile cardiac insufficiency, cardiac insufficiency, angina pectoris and dysrhythmia.
- It is used for treating weak heart muscles, inflammation and nervous heart problems.
- The bark is used as a cure for fevers and malaria.
- Roots are used to vitalize heart arteries.
- It promotes heart health, palpitations, shortness of breath and exercise tolerance.
Culinary Uses of Hawthorn:
- Both the leaves and fruits of hawthorn are edible. The hawthorn fruits can be used for producing wine, juice, jelly, jam, rielitos, canned fruit, alcoholic beverages, hawthorn vinegar and liquor.
- The young leaves can be added to salads and can be used for preparing soups and stews.
- Due to their sweet and tart flavor, hawthorns are popularly used in beverages and candies, especially in Asian cultures.
- In Europe and North America, it is common to eat hawthorns raw, cook them, or preserve them in the form of jellies or jams. The strong flavor holds very well in preserved form.
- Fruits are used in making jams, jellies and syrups.
- The fruits are also used in making wine or add flavor to brandy.
- The edible petals and leaves are added to salads.
- Fruits are consumed raw or cooked.
- The grounded fruit are mixed with flour and used to make bread.
- In China, dried leaves are used as a substitute for tea.
- Roasted seeds are used as a substitute for coffee.
- It is used in candies and beverages.
Other Uses of Hawthorn:
- Some Hawthorn species wood is durable, hard and resistant to decay. As a result, the wood is suitable for constructing fence posts, tool handles and wood engraving.