Health Benefits of Hawthorne Berry

Hawthorn Berry Health Benefits

There are many profound health benefits of hawthorn berry. The hawthorn berry is a small fruit in the Crataegus genus that grows on shrubs and trees. They are native to most of Europe, North Africa, North America, and West Asia. There are many species of the hawthorn berry found in the Crataegus family of trees. For example, the Crataegus laevigata species is often used in herbal medicine to strengthen cardiovascular function.

The most popular health benefits of hawthorn berry are related to the cardiovascular system. In fact, hawthorn extract has been used for centuries for cardiovascular diseases. However, there are also endocrine, digestive, and immune system health benefits provided as well. According to the National Institute of Health, multiple studies have shown that Crataegus pinnatifida can have beneficial effects on controlling and treating high blood sugar, high cholesterol, obesity, and atherosclerosis. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the hawthorn berry health benefits.

Health Benefits of Hawthorne Berry

1. Reduces Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also called hypertension is when the pressure of the blood is higher than normal. There is evidence that one of the health benefits of hawthorn berry is that it is as effective as captopril – a medication used to treat the high blood pressure. According to Mount Sinai Hospital [0], there is a research study indicating that a hawthorn berry extract (900 mg/day) taken for 2 months was as effective as low doses of captopril (a prescription heart medication). The National Institute of Health reports that a nitric oxide-mediated vasodilation is linked to the blood pressure lowering effect of hawthorn berry extract.

2. Boosts the Immune System

The immune system helps to fight off bacteria, germs, and viruses. Hawthorne berry is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants combat naturally occurring free radicals that puts stress on the body that leads to inflammation and chronic diseases. With a reduction in free radicals, hawthorn berry extract plays a role in boosting and strengthening the immune system.

3. Improves Digestion

Hawthorn berries and hawthorn berry extracts are high in fiber and contain digestive enzymes that assist with the digestion of foods. Since digestive enzymes directly assist with the breakdown of food, hawthorn berry can help with indigestion and stomach pain associated with poor food digestion. According to one source, the Crataegus pinnatifida species of dried hawthorn berry fruits are used in traditional Chinese medicine, primarily to assist with digestion. The Crataegus cuneata is a Japanese hawthorn that is also used in a similar manner. Fiber is a natural prebiotic that promotes a healthy intestinal flora balance which also strengthens the immune system.

Hawthorn Berry Health Benefits

4. Reduces High Blood Sugar

Various studies have shown that Crataegus pinnatifida (Chinese Hawthorn) can have beneficial effects on controlling and treating high blood sugar in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Since hawthorn berry extract is used for improving cardiovascular health, it may be of particular interest to diabetics with metabolic syndrome (high blood sugar, excess weight, high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol). Research shows that it can have a direct action on the cellular level cause of fat formation and storage in persons with diabetes. The overall results of the Crataegus pinnatifida anti-obesity effect on metabolic syndrome showed the ability of this hawthorn berry to reduce lipogenic (fat creating) genes and reduce the expression of the adipogenic (fat cell forming) transcription genes while promoting lipolysis (breakdown of fat cells). In this way, hawthorn berry extract can thereby inhibit adipose tissue (fat cell) accumulation in diabetics.

5. Reduces Anxiety

There are different degrees of anxiety. According to research, there is evidence that hawthorn berry extract can help reduce symptoms of anxiety in the same way that it helps the heart. It does so by alleviating chest tightness or heart palpitations that one may experience during an anxiety induced panic attack.

6. Improves Blood Circulation

In the research review, The effects of Crataegus pinnatifida (Chinese hawthorn) on metabolic syndrome it was reported that sesquiterpene that is found in the seeds of Crataegus pinnatifida had the ability to stop platelet formation. This shows that hawthorn berry can reduce blood clots and thereby improve blood circulation.

7. Reduces Cholesterol

The National Library of Medicine states that the leaves of hawthorn contain flavonoids that can significantly reduce hardening of the arteries (atherosclerotic lesions). In addition, the fruit extracts contain oleanolic acid and ursolic acid that have the ability to reduce both low-density lipoprotein (LDL) as well as very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol.

8. Reduces Angina

Angina or chest pain is the result of damaged blood vessels that supply the heart tissues with blood. When these small coronary arteries are damaged, the blood supplied to the heart muscles become inadequate resulting in chest pain and shortness of breath. According to the National Institute of Health, nitric oxide-mediated vasodilation is linked to the angina reducing effects of hawthorn berry extract.

9. Heart Failure

And last, but certainly not least, Hawthorne Berry is an alternative medicine used to treat heart failure. According to research, it is as effective as captopril – a medication used to treat both high blood pressure and heart failure. Heart failure is a serious condition that you should never attempt to treat yourself. An overdose can cause cardiac arrhythmia and low blood pressure. Hawthorn has cardioactive properties similar to digoxin [0]. Patients taking digoxin (better known as Digitalis) should avoid taking hawthorn. Therefore, you should ask your doctor if hawthorn berry is right for you.

In Summary

There are many hawthorn berry health benefits. While many of the benefits have a direct impact on improving cardiovascular health, there are more health benefits to be realized in the endocrine, digestive, and immune system health. This concludes the health benefits of hawthorn berry.

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