Hawthorn berries can be eaten fresh or taken as a supplement. The little fruits known as hawthorn berries can be found growing on trees and shrubs that are members of the genus Crataegus. The genus has hundreds of species, the majority of which may be discovered in Asia, North America, and Europe. They are packed with nutrients and have a flavor that is acidic, tart, and very slightly sweet. They fluctuate in hue from bright yellow to a deep, dark red. Humans have been using hawthorn berries as a herbal cure for digestive difficulties, cardiac issues, and hypertension for many years. This fruit has played an important role in the practice of traditional Chinese medicine.
The hawthorn is a species of wild fruit tree that can be found in many different regions of the world. Crataegus is the botanical name for the genus in question. The Rosaceae is the family of plants to which it pertains. Crataegus monogyna is the species that is commonly meant when individuals talk about the well-known hawthorn, even though there are many other species of Crataegus.
The hawthorn plant is a spiny shrub that bears fruits that resemble berries. These are sometimes referred to as “haws” by certain individuals. Haws are not properly classified as berries since, like plums, they have pits in their centers. However, during this study, we will refer to these fruits as berries because that is the term that is most generally used to refer to them. Individuals have been using the berries, leaves, and flowers of hawthorn for generations as part of their traditional herbal medicine. Professionals have researched the efficacy of hawthorn in treating a variety of illnesses since the plant possesses herbal qualities that may have the ability to be beneficial to one’s health.
What are the medical advantages of Hawthorn berries?
The use of hawthorn as a cure for a variety of illnesses, including indigestion and hernia, has been documented in historical medical documents as far back as the year 659 AD, according to an analysis. According to several studies, hawthorn includes several chemicals with health benefits, including antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The majority of the beneficial properties are attributable to flavonoids and procyanidins, which are components of the plant. Since then, researchers have looked into the bioactive properties of the plant’s ingredients. However, there is a need for additional investigation into these.
It is extremely important to avoid treating a heart ailment on your own, whether with hawthorn or any other cure, due to the dangerous nature of cardiac conditions. If you are thinking about using Hawthorn, you must discuss this possibility with your primary care physician, a licensed dietitian, or a drugstore associate. Scientists have hypothesized that hawthorn could be beneficial to the heart. Although there are contradictory data, this may be caused, at least in part, by the vasodilation impacts (boosted blood flow) that it has.
Following are the medical advantages of Hawthorn berries
Antioxidant-rich in abundance
The polyphenols present in the hawthorn fruit are some of the most potent antioxidant substances discovered in nature. When present in excessive concentrations, free radicals can cause damage to your body; antioxidants assist in neutralizing these radicals. Some foods contain elements that can cause free radicals. Being exposed to environmental contaminants like air pollution and cigarette smoke can also increase your levels. Polyphenols’ antioxidant effect is linked to a reduced risk of many malignancies, among additional health advantages. The impact of hawthorn berries on illness risk has only been studied in animals and cells so far; further human investigations are required.
Possibility of anti-inflammatory effects
The health benefits of hawthorn berries may come from their anti-inflammatory characteristics. Several illnesses have been related to persistent inflammation, according to the findings. Hawthorn berry extract dramatically minimized the amount of inflammatory chemicals, resulting in decreased liver inflammation and injury in research in mice with liver conditions. In one experiment, hawthorn leaf chemical vitexin was administered to mice with respiratory disorders. The therapy inhibited the generation of inflammatory chemicals and dampened the reaction of white blood cells to injury. Animal and laboratory trials show promise, suggesting the supplement may reduce inflammation in humans. But there should be more study done.
Possibly results in reduced blood pressure
Hawthorn is effective in decreasing blood pressure in animal experiments because of its vasodilator properties. Thirty-six participants with slightly raised blood pressure participated in a 10-week study using hawthorn extract.
Diastolic blood pressure, the lower number on a blood pressure reading, was observed to be lowered in those consuming five hundred milligrams of the extract every day. In an experiment conducted in 2006, 79 individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes and hypertension were given twelve hundred milligrams of hawthorn extract once a day for sixteen weeks. Individuals in the extract group saw greater reductions in blood pressure than those in the placebo group. More research is needed to confirm these results, though. It’s also worth noting that taking an extract isn’t the same as consuming the whole fruit.
A digestive aid
Hawthorn berries and extract have been used for millennia to ease stomach discomfort and acidity. The fiber in this fruit has been shown to improve digestion by easing constipation and playing the role of a prebiotic in the digestive process. Prebiotics are meals that feed good bacteria in the digestive tract, which are essential for good health and digestion. One qualitative investigation indicated that the average interval between bowel movements decreased by 30 minutes for every extra gram of dietary fiber ingested by patients with delayed digestion. This means that the more fiber a person consumed, the more regular their bowel movements become. A rat study found that hawthorn extract significantly sped up the rate at which food moved through the intestines.
Hawthorn berry components have shown promise in animal studies, particularly those required for the digestion of fatty and protein-rich diets.
Possibility of anti-aging effects
Prolonged exposure to the sun or UV light can cause the collagen in the skin to degrade, which can lead to early skin aging. A combination of hawthorn and ginseng extract reduced the appearance of wrinkles and increased skin hydration, according to a test-tube experiment. The antioxidant properties of hawthorn berries have been hypothesized to produce this result. However, there is a dearth of study evidence in this field, and further trials with humans are required.
The possibility of hawthorn as a treatment for anxiety disorders has been studied by scientists. Anxiety levels were found to be considerably lower in a group of 264 participants. The precise function of hawthorn is unknown. When compared to more conventional anti-anxiety drugs, hawthorn seems to have fewer negative effects. For this reason, it is being studied as a possible treatment for disorders of the central nervous system, including depression and stress.
However, the berry isn’t the only hawthorn product that’s been employed in these trials. More study is required. Do not stop taking any prescription drugs without first consulting your doctor if you wish to take a hawthorn supplement for anxiety management.
What are the adverse effects of Hawthorn Berries?
The consumption of hawthorn berries has not been associated with a significant number of adverse consequences. Those that are known to exist appear to fall somewhere between harmless and severe. Perspiration, pain in the head, tiredness, heartburn, moderate rash, agitation, and effects on the gastrointestinal tract are the ones that patients have reported experiencing the most frequently. Even though none of these conditions poses an immediate risk to your life, you should nonetheless consult a medical expert if you encounter any of the warning signs listed above. In the majority of research investigations conducted on hawthorn for the treatment of heart failure, researchers did not find any substantial safety concerns.
On the other hand, it references an investigation that found hawthorn-aggravated heart failure in the people who participated in the trial. It’s possible that this was caused by a reaction between the hawthorn and the medication that they were taking. Because of this, it is imperative that anyone interested in trying Hawthorn first consult with their primary care physician. The administration of hawthorn was found to have a significant correlation with the occurrence of postoperative bleeding, based on a study. Before you go in for an operation, you must discuss with your healthcare professional the appropriate time to stop using this medication. The safety of using hawthorn in youngsters has not been well investigated. Before giving it to your child, you should consult the pediatrician about using it.
What are the Interactions of Hawthorn Berries?
When compared with conventional modern medicines, the use of herbal remedies as substitutes for a variety of illnesses. However, the usage of these plants raises the danger of herb-drug interactions. According to findings from studies that investigated the possibility of drug interactions between hawthorn berries and common drugs, there is a risk of experiencing a negative side effect when patients take hawthorn berries in conjunction with cardiac medications.
Berries from the hawthorn plant have been shown to boost the activity of certain medications. In addition, there is some evidence that hawthorn can boost the effectiveness of the medicine digitalis, which is prescribed for the treatment of congestive heart failure and arrhythmia, sometimes known as problems with the heart’s rhythm. Because of this, the possibility of toxicity and heart arrhythmia has increased. Before using hawthorn berry supplements, it is important to discuss this with a medical practitioner if you are already taking medicine for your heart.
The Bottom Line
The antioxidant properties of hawthorn berries suggest they may have beneficial impacts on health, especially for the cardiovascular system. Research suggests it has the potential to treat heart failure, decrease blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels. It may also help with digestion, reducing inflammation, and slowing the visible indications of skin aging.
But it might have an adverse reaction with some heart drugs. Before taking it as a supplement, you should consult with a doctor. There is some evidence that eating hawthorn berries may help prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and malignancy. However, further research is needed to determine the efficacy and safety of hawthorn. The use of hawthorn berries or extract is not recommended without first seeing a physician. There is some evidence that hawthorn helps with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and cholesterol, but there is also some contradictory research.
Further investigation is required. Don’t try to treat yourself for problems like heart failure or put off getting help. Think about your total lifestyle, diet, and exercise routine to achieve your health goals. And if you need any additional help, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.