Since the first century A.D, hawthorn has been used by the Greeks as an effective cardiac tonic. The health benefit of this herb was noted by the Greek herbalist Dioscorides, who was also the first one to use it. Hawthorn berries have been used for different purposes throughout the world. Apart from its medicinal use, it is also used to make jellies and flours. The Romans, on the other hand, believed that the hawthorn can ward off evil spirits and there are various other cultures which consider it as a symbol of hope. Many Christians hold the herb sacred because of the legend that the crown of thorns worn by Jesus was made from the branches of hawthorn. It was also considered as a symbol of love and marriage by the ancient Greeks and Romans. The hawthorn is a small, spiny tree with bright red berries that is native to the Mediterranean region. Read the article given below to learn more about hawthorn berry.
Hawthorn Berry Benefits
Hawthorn berry has been found to be effective in following medical conditions:
- Studies have shown that hawthorn berries are very effective in improving the heart function in people with congestive heart failure. It also improves the ability of such patients to exercise.
- Hawthorn berries also improves the symptoms of shortness of breath and fatigue.
- 900 mg of hawthorn extract taken per day for a period of two months is an effective heart medication.
- Hawthorn berries are rich in antioxidants, which prevent the formation of plaques. Thus, it is very effective against atherosclerosis.
- It prevents the blockage of the arteries so it can protect from stroke.
- It is very good in combating chest pain.
- Daily intake of 180 mg for a period of three weeks improves the blood flow to the heart, which gives relief from chest pain.
- Hawthorn berries are a powerful agent in reducing the Low Density Lipoproteins.
- They also reduce the production of cholesterol in the liver.
High Blood Pressure
- Hawthorn has various cardiovascular benefits though it is still under study.
- It also relieves hypertension.
How To Take It
Children should not be given hawthorn.
- 160 - 900 mg daily for at least 6 weeks, standardized to 2 - 3% flavonoids or 18 - 20% oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs)
- 240 - 480 mg daily for at least 6 weeks, standardized to 18.75% OPCs
- In large doses, it can cause dizziness.
- Medical supervision is required to take it for those suffering from heart condition.
- Should be avoided if you are suffering from colitis or ulcers.
- Also pregnant and breast feeding women should not use it.
- May trigger side effects if taken with other medications. So they should be taken under medical supervision.
- Sometimes it can lead to headache, nausea, and palpitations.
- Take in recommended doses.
Hawthorn may enhance the activity of digoxin, a medication used for irregular heart rhythms.
These drugs are used to treat heart disease by lowering blood pressure and dilating blood vessels. Hawthorn can make the effects of these drugs stronger. They include:
- Atenolol (Tenormin)
- Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL)
- Propranolol (Inderal, Inderal LA)
Calcium Channel Blockers
These drugs are used to treat high blood pressure and angina by dilating blood vessels. Hawthorn can make the effects of these drugs stronger. They include:
- Norvasc (amlodipine)
- Cardizem (diltiazem)
- Procardia (nifedipine)
In a laboratory study, an alcoholic extract of hawthorn fruit reduced the effects of phenylephrine, a medication that constricts blood vessels and is commonly found in nasal decongestant products.