17 Health Benefits Of Using Hawthorn (Hawthorn Berries)

Hawthorn fruit or berry is red/pink in color and has a sweet-tart flavor.

Hawthorn is native to the northern hemisphere especially the temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. The most prevalent species of hawthorn has the botanical name Crataegus rhipidophylla.

Below are various health benefits of hawthorn;

1. For Heart Failure


Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is incapable of pumping sufficient blood to other body organs. The use of hawthorn in people suffering from heart-failure has been studied extensively and has shown positive results most of the times. According to studies that were published in Pharmacognosy Review, it was stated that hawthorn berries could greatly enhance heart functions. In addition, it could be used to treat stage I and II of heart failure.

Another study from the journal American Family Physician also suggested that these berries can improve the ability of a person suffering from heart failure to exercise. Hawthorn is also used to improve symptoms associated with fatigue as well as shortness of breath. One study even proposed that when you take these berries extracts ( about 900 milligrams per day) for a duration of two months thus it was as effective as captopril in low doses. Captopril is a prescribed heart medication that is used to improve heart failure’s symptoms.

Many studies have also shown the importance of using hawthorn in treating heart diseases with positive results achieved. One of the significant ones was a study done at the University of Maryland. They compared heart failure treatments with conventional drugs as compared to using hawthorn exclusively and also by taking prescription drugs together with hawthorn.

This study was conducted for two years and it was found that those who took hawthorn supplementation had reduced heart failure symptoms. And for those who took it alone or together with other drugs, heart failure symptoms such as breathing problems, fatigue and palpitations improved significantly. However, heart failure condition should be treated carefully and you should not use hawthorn alone for treatment. It is essential to seek a doctor’s advice before taking hawthorn as a treatment option for you.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249900/)

2. Relieves Angina


A formal name used to refer to chest pain is Angina. Angina is associated with low blood flow in the heart. Hawthorn can be used to fight Angina. Based on a research study that was published in “The Indian Journal-Traditional knowledge”, it was found that hawthorn expands coronary blood vessels and also improves blood flow. This berry extracts also helps to strengthen heart muscles as it helps the body remove excess water and salt. Also, hawthorns contain flavonoids. These help to protect your heart and for treating heart conditions and clogged arteries.

3. Controls Blood Pressure


You can use hawthorn extract to control blood pressure. This was proven through a pilot study that was conducted in Readings University based in the UK. The investigation was set up to prove the potential of hawthorn and magnesium. A daily supplement of 500 or 600 milligrams of hawthorn extract, a placebo or a combination of both was assigned to the participants. After 10 weeks, they found out that there was a reduction in the blood pressure for participants who were using hawthorn extract.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11807965)

4. Boosts Immune System


The major role of the antioxidants is to inhibit the effects of harmful free radicals in our body. Hawthorn berries contain Vitamin C. When you use hawthorn extract, it helps to increase the activity of white blood cells as well as curb the harmful effects of free radicals.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3022819/)

5. Reduces Anxiety


Hawthorn berries have been used as a traditional medicine to treat some psychological conditions such as anxiety, stress, and depression. A pilot study was done in the UK to evaluate the use of hawthorn for hypertension. A continuous reduction in anxiety for participants assigned to Hawthorn was observed as compared to those taking a placebo. This research suggests that hawthorn might have an impact on your hormonal levels. This can help explain the reason why ancient people believe that you could use these berries to palliate a broken heart.
(https://nccih.nih.gov/health/hawthorn)

6. Improves And Maintains Digestive Health


Hawthorn berry contains numerous organic compounds. They interact directly with gut flora so as to improve digestion. Additionally, hawthorn also contains fiber which improves the digestion process and this helps to manage issues associated with digestion such as bloating, constipation and stomach cramps. It also helps treat conditions such as ulcers and colon cancer.

7. Treats Eczema and Psoriasis


Eczema and Psoriasis are skin conditions. Hawthorn berry contains organic compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, you may apply a hawthorn solution to the affected areas on your skin. This may reduce itching and inflammations caused by psoriasis or eczema.

8. Eliminates Intestinal Infections


Hawthorn extracts have numerous digestive and intestinal benefits. Apart from improving nutrient intake, it reduces constipation as well. It also helps treat infections in the intestine like tapeworms. Thus, you can take hawthorn solution to help treat intestine infections brought about by tapeworms.

9. Lowers High Cholesterol


Research has shown that hawthorn may reduce high cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. A study was conducted in Australia for eight weeks. In this research, they were able to use hawthorn berries to treat patients who had abnormal amounts of lipids in their bloodstreams. Additionally, it was further discovered that these berries also improved serum levels of HDL cholesterol while, simultaneously, lowering LDL cholesterol. As such, this study suggests that you could use hawthorn to reduce risks associated with cardiovascular disease.

These berries could also be used to dilate blood vessels and this enables more blood flow through the body and as a result, it helps generate a higher energy level or alertness. Therefore, when your overall body is well circulated with oxygen, cognitive skills improve, energy levels increase and your metabolism works effectively at optimal levels.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19885950)

10. Facilitates Weight Loss


It is essential to eat right and look good thus weight loss is a desire for numerous people that are overweight or obese. In order to eat healthily, it is recommended that you take foods that are calorie free (organic food) or low in calories. You can use hawthorn berries to you burn those weight as these berries help improve your metabolism. It is also used to boost weight loss as it is low in calories.

11. For Healthy Cardiovascular System


Hawthorn is rich in flavonoids and this helps in protecting your heart and boosting your cardiovascular health. Its organic compounds also have antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties thus you can use these berries to help prevent blood clots in your arteries.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249900/)

12. Has Antioxidants


If you are looking for a good source of antioxidants then go for hawthorn berries. By eating these berries, you are able to prevent yourself from life-threatening diseases since the antioxidants found in these fruits are able to inhibit the harmful effects of free radicals.

In addition, these berries contain anti-aging properties. Hence, you would be able to maintain your skin’s radiance and beauty for a longer period. These anti-aging properties help inhibit wrinkles, fine lines, dullness, dark spots, and other aging signs on your skin.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11257463)

13. Prevents And Fights Cancer


You can use these berries to help you prevent precarious diseases, such as cancer, from attacking you. These berries have powerful antioxidants that help fight harmful free radicals that cause cancer in your body. Antioxidants also detoxify your blood, flush out toxins and help cleanse your body system.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23790880)

14. Treats Insomnia


Hawthorn berries are recommended for people suffering from insomnia. Hawthorn fruits are used to improve sleeping patterns as they help you have a sounder sleep at night. If you are having problems with your sleep then try taking hawthorn berries.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20673180)

15. Enhances Vision


Hawthorns are rich in Vitamin A and this makes them good for your eyes. The vitamins in these berries help maintain a healthier vision as well as prevent the growth of cataract in your eyes. In addition, Vitamin A enhances the growth of cells.

16. For Indigestion (Dyspepsia)


You can use hawthorn fruits to help soothe fullness after you have overeaten or consumed a fatty meal. Additionally, hawthorn solution is used to treat indigestion related to epigastric distension and abdominal pain. Often, hawthorn fruits are used to aid easy digestion as well as the proper functioning of the stomach.

17. Treats Liver Disorder


Hawthorn fruits are a rich source for polyphenols. Major polyphenols found in hawthorn berries include; rutin, chlorogenic acid, epicatechin, and hyperoside. These natural polyphenols are used as agents to treat liver disorders. These agents are mostly found in hawthorn fruit peels.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26770322)

 

Side Effects
Hawthorn is a potent little fruit. It has numerous benefits but it also has some side effects. Some users might experience mild side effects while others have severe ones. Some of the reported mild side effects include; dizziness, upset stomach, fatigue, nausea, sweating, and agitation. Severe side effects include; severe allergic reaction, mood swings, shortness of breath and heart irregularities.

If you excessively use hawthorn solution, it can cause cardiac arrhythmia which can lower your blood pressure drastically. If you are on digoxin prescription, which is a cardiac stimulant, avoid taking hawthorn. Before including hawthorn extract in your diet, you should consult your doctor. If you experience any of the aforementioned side effects, also consult your doctor immediately.

 

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