5 Hawthorn Berry Health Benefits
1. Major Heart Concerns
Hawthorn berry possesses remarkable toning effects on the heart, making it an exceptional “cardiotonic herb.” Its efficacy in addressing various serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, heart disease, angina pectoris, cardiac rhythm irregularities, and atherosclerosis, has been widely acknowledged. A noteworthy 2016 study published in the journal Current Medicinal Chemistry revealed that hawthorn’s potent cardiovascular benefits stem from its abundant polyphenolic content.
Extensive research has consistently demonstrated hawthorn’s positive impact, even on congestive heart failure (CHF). Multiple studies have evidenced that supplementing with hawthorn leads to significant improvements in cardiac function across several parameters, including blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac output, and exercise tolerance.
Notably, one particular trial involved 78 patients suffering from NYHA Class II heart failure who were administered a commercial preparation of hawthorn leaves and flowers. After a span of two months, the group receiving 200 milligrams of hawthorn thrice daily experienced enhanced working heart capacity, accompanied by a reduction in symptoms. Furthermore, during physical activity, the hawthorn group exhibited a decrease in systolic blood pressure. Another noteworthy German study illustrated that a hawthorn extract yielded comparable effectiveness to a prescription heart failure medication (captopril), while remarkably avoiding any side effects.
In addition, a comprehensive cohort study involving 952 heart failure patients (NYHA II) explored the effects of hawthorn extract consumption. After a period of two years, the group that consumed hawthorn reported significant reductions in fatigue, stress dyspnea, and palpitations, which are the three primary symptoms of heart failure, in comparison to the non-hawthorn group.
2. Blood Pressure
Hawthorn berries, flowers, and leaves are frequently recommended by herbal practitioners as a natural remedy for reducing blood pressure. An enlightening scientific study, featured in The British Journal of General Practice, examined 79 individuals with type 2 diabetes. These participants were divided into two groups: one received a daily dosage of 1200 milligrams of hawthorn extract, while the other received a placebo. It’s worth noting that 71 percent of the participants were also taking hypotensive medications. The results were compelling. The group that consumed hawthorn extract demonstrated greater reductions in blood pressure compared to the placebo group. These findings are encouraging, and it is hopeful that further studies will emerge to provide additional evidence supporting the use of hawthorn as a means to lower blood pressure.
3. Chest Pain (Angina) and Heart Disease
Decreased blood flow to the heart causes chest pain known as angina. Sometimes it is confused with indigestion. But, true angina can be a symptom of coronary heart disease. So far, research is showing that hawthorn may be an effective natural remedy for avoiding and treating angina.
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.
In one study, 80 subjects (aged 45 to 65 years) with stable angina pectoris were randomly divided into four groups. The first group was the aerobic exercise group. The second group took a hawthorn extract. The third group did aerobic exercise, plus they took a hawthorn extract. Finally, the fourth group was the control group. After 12 weeks, the researchers found that the combination of aerobic exercise and hawthorn supplementation were “an effective complementary strategy to significantly lower the risk of atherosclerosis and heart problems.”
4. High Cholesterol
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 showed some really impressive health results from an ethanol extract of Zhongtian hawthorn, a cultivar of wild Shan-Zha, which has larger hawthorn fruit. This 2016 study revealed that the hawthorn berry extract not only reduced overall high cholesterol levels, it also notably decreased LDL cholesterol, liver cholesterol and triglycerides as well as body weight.
5. Overall Health Improver
In a groundbreaking 2008 scientific study, it was revealed that hawthorn berry extract possesses remarkable properties in reducing inflammation. This discovery holds immense significance for overall health, as inflammation is widely recognized as the underlying factor in numerous diseases. Furthermore, the research demonstrates that hawthorn berry extract acts as a potent scavenger of free radicals, which is profoundly advantageous for human well-being. By preventing cellular damage, including DNA damage, through the process of oxidation, it safeguards our cells from harm. Moreover, the study unveiled the protective effects of hawthorn berry extract on the gastrointestinal system, highlighting its potential to eliminate various unwanted bacteria. The findings of this study shed light on the multifaceted benefits of hawthorn berry extract, elevating its significance in promoting and maintaining optimal health.