HAWTHORN (Rosaceae) Berries
About this Herb
The humble Hawthorn Berry enjoys a long and enduring history as the herb to strengthen your heart – both physically and emotionally. The berries were a favourite of the Native American Indians as a heart tonic and they also used them for gastrointestinal complaints.
One of the oldest known medicinal plants, Hawthorn was prescribed by the Ancient Greek physician Dioscorides in the first century AD as a remedy for heart problems, and by many prominent herbalists and physicians who came after him.
Hawthorn Berry Benefits
Containing a plethora of powerful antioxidants, Hawthorn Berries are known to be potent vasodilators, helping to keep high blood pressure (hypertension) in check. In 2002 a 10 week study was conducted on 38 volunteers who had been diagnosed with hypertension. Half of the subjects were given 500mg of Hawthorn extract and 600mg of the mineral Magnesium daily, while the other half received a placebo.
After 10 weeks, the Hawthorn/Magnesium group showed a significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure, whilst the placebo group did not improve. Additionally, the Hawthorn/Magnesium group reported an improvement in mood as well as lower anxiety levels. Hypertension is both a symptom and a cause of chronic heart failure. Maintaining normal blood pressure levels can play a major role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Hawthorn Berries have been extensively studied in relation to congestive heart failure, with findings concurring that symptoms such as shortness of breath and tiredness can be dramatically improved. One study found that 900mg daily of Hawthorn Berry extract was as effective at managing the symptoms of congestive heart failure as its pharmaceutical counterpart.
Strongly supporting healthy cardiac rhythm (heartbeat), Hawthorn improves heart cell metabolism and enhances the flow of electrolytes across the cardiac cells. The flavones contained within this berry enhance the function of cardiac enzymes which can improve the heart’s ability to withstand stress.
Finally, angina sufferers can greatly benefit from this herb. One study found that 100mg of Hawthorn extract taken 3 times a day decreased angina in 91% of the participants as opposed to only 37% in the placebo group. It is thought this effect is down to the ability of Hawthorn to increase blood flow to the heart by dilating both peripheral and coronary blood vessels.
Whilst Hawthorn Berries are most notorious for their contribution to heart health, running a close second are the phenomenal amount of powerful antioxidants they contain. They are especially high in oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs) and it is this particular class of antioxidants that seem to be responsible for Hawthorn’s many health benefits. They enhance the antioxidant activity of vitamins A, C and E, improve circulation, strengthen capillaries, reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, protect against atherosclerosis, are effective antioxidants for the brain and nerve tissue and enhance connective tissue health. They have also been shown to reduce histamine production, making OPCs useful in the treatment of allergies.
Hawthorn Berries stimulate bile and gastric secretions, aiding in the digestion of stagnant food in the GI tract, especially that which is rich in fats or protein.They also contain various organic compounds that interact with gut flora to improve the digestion of nutrients.
- Flavonoids, including hyperoside
- Pentacyclic triterpenes
- Acantolic acid
- Neotegolic acid
- Chlorogenic acid
- Caffeic acid
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin C
How To Use:
Hawthorn Berries 1-2 tsp per cup boiling water up to 3 times a day Herbal Tincture 2-4ml tincture up to 3 times a day Or as recommended by a herbal practitioner. Hawthorn Berry Powder 1 – 2 tsp added to smoothies, juice or mixed with water.
Hawthorn Berry side effects are uncommon and only a few cases of mild nausea, dizziness, sweating and skin rashes have been reported. Can interact with prescription medications. Hawthorn may affect blood pressure, and should not be taken with medications for high blood pressure, including beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers, medications for “male enhancement” (many of which are based on blood vessel dilation and increasing blood flow), and medications that increase blood flow to the heart. Additionally, people taking digoxin should not take Hawthorn. Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
HAWTHORN BERRY (Rosaceae) whole
These ingredients have been tested and carefully selected by a certified herbalist.
All tonics, loose teas, herbal leaves, and powders should be refrigerated after seal is broken for longest potency and freshness of herbs. Herbal compounds such as tinctures and capsules doesn’t need to be refrigerated and should be stored in a cool, dark place out of direct light. These methods will guarantee the longest potency and freshness. All herbal compounds will have expiration dates on the item packages effective immediately. If Stored correctly these herbal compounds will last far longer than the recommended expiration date.