5 Ways Hawthorn Berry Improves Heart Health

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hawthorn berry

Hawthorn Berry Improves Heart Health

Hawthorn berry is a grouping of tree plants in the rose family that is native to the temperate regions of Europe, Middle East, Asia, & North America.  Parts of the Middle East consider the plant sacred.  Many historians believe it may have been the Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus during the Crucifixion.  In this article, you will discover 5 great benefits of hawthorn berry.

This medicinal herb is known to be one of the greatest natural agents for improving cardiovascular function.  Hawthorn is endorsed as a cardiovascular aid by Commission E- an important branch of the German government that studies and approves natural therapies (1, 2).

It is widely used in Europe to improve the circulatory system, treat angina, high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia and congestive heart failure.  It is renowned for its ability to strengthen the heart and blood vessels and restore healthy muscular tone to the heart wall.

The Anti-Oxidant Power of Hawthorn Berry:

Hawthorn berry is loaded with a wide array of powerful anti-oxidant nutrients.  Anti-oxidants neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress and tissue damage in the body.  The unique blend of anti-oxidants found in Hawthorn come from a group of phytonutrients (3).  These include tannins, flavonoids, proanthocyanidins and phenolic acids.  The standardization of hawthorn products is based on the overall content of flavonoids (2.2%) and proanthocyanidins (18.75%).

Hawthorn berry has been well studied in individuals with congestive heart failure (4, 5).  Five of the six major studies performed found dramatically improved symptoms (such as shortness of breath and fatigue).

One study showed that hawthorn (taken at 900mg/day) for 2 months was as effective as low doses of captopril (leading heart medication) in improving common symptoms associated with congestive heart failure (6).

The Benefits of VasoDilation:

The unique anti-oxidant blend within Hawthorn creates a powerful vasodilating effect.  It acts to improve blood vessel endothelial function to where the vessel is able to open with less resistance.  This allows greater blood flow in working tissues and improves oxygen utilization.  This is primarily due to the flavonoids rutin and vitexin along with the proanthocyanins (7, 8).

Hawthorn improves heart cell metabolism and enhances the flow of electrolytes across the cardiac cells.  This prevents or corrects heart rhythm abnormalities and strongly encourages a healthy cardiac rhythm.

Hawthorne contains flavones that enhance the function of certain cardiac enzymes.  This effect increases the heart’s contractile force, which effectively boosts stroke volume while increasing the heart’s tolerance to hypoxic conditions (9).  It also improves the heart’s ability to create energy through anaerobic metabolism which improves the heart’s ability to withstand stress.


Hawthorn and Blood Pressure:

Hawthorn also acts to inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE).  Elevated ACE causes an increase in angiotensin II and systemic vasoconstriction.  This process elevates blood pressure.

By modulating ACE levels, Hawthorn helps to normalize blood pressure and reduce stress on the cardiovascular system.   The body usually takes two to four weeks to adapt to the hawthorn and have lasting effects on blood pressure (10, 11, 12).

Hawthorn also helps protect joints with its unique blend of antioxidants.  These phytonutrients fend off specific classes of free radicals that are known to damage tissue collagen resulting in arthritic conditions.  Natural remedies that support healthy collagen improve the health of joints, skin, hair, & nails.

Best Sources of Hawthorn:

When getting hawthorn be sure to get the whole plant – leaves, flowers, & berry.  The berries contain more proanthocyanins while the flowers and leaves contain more vitexin.  The most effective way to consume hawthorn if you are unable to get it fresh is in a dried and ground form.   Here is the dried version and here is a combination of hawthorne with its cousin hibiscus in an organic tea

Put the fresh plant or dried form into shakes or teas and consume daily.  Due to its antioxidant and cardiovascular boosting effects it is great to use pre/post exercise.  This improves exercise recovery by improving oxygen flow and neutralizes scavenging free radicals from damaged tissues.

You can also find a great herbal tincture here that is easy to use.  You can also use the Nutrigold Hawthorn Gold supplement here

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Tassell MC, Kingston R, Gilroy D, Lehane M, Furey A. Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Pharmacognosy Reviews. 2010;4(7):32-41.
2. Chang WT, Dao J, Shao ZH. Hawthorn: potential roles in cardiovascular disease. Am J Chin Med. 2005;33(1):1-10. PMID: 15844828
3. Rigelsky JM, Sweet BV. Hawthorn: pharmacology and therapeutic uses. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2002 Mar 1;59(5):417-22. PMID: 11887407
4. Pittler MH, Guo R, Ernst E. Hawthorn extract for treating chronic heart failure. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jan 23;(1):CD005312. PMID: 18254076
5. Pittler MH, Schmidt K, Ernst E. Hawthorn extract for treating chronic heart failure: meta-analysis of randomized trials. Am J Med. 2003 Jun 1;114(8):665-74. PMID: 12798455
6. Zick SM, Vautaw BM, Gillespie B, Aaronson KD. Hawthorn Extract Randomized Blinded Chronic Heart Failure (HERB CHF) Trial. European Journal of Heart Failure. 2009;11(10):990-999.
7. Asher GN, Viera AJ, Weaver MA, Dominik R, Caughey M, Hinderliter AL. Effect of hawthorn standardized extract on flow mediated dilation in prehypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults: a randomized, controlled cross-over trial. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Mar 29;12:26. PMID: 22458601
8. Botanicals for Regulating Heart Rhythms Link Here
9. Elango C, Devaraj SN. Immunomodulatory effect of Hawthorn extract in an experimental stroke model. J Neuroinflammation. 2010 Dec 30;7:97. PMID: 21192826
10. Walker AF, Marakis G, Morris AP, Robinson PA. Promising hypotensive effect of hawthorn extract: a randomized double-blind pilot study of mild, essential hypertension. Phytother Res. 2002 Feb;16(1):48-54. PMID: 11807965
11. Dahmer S, Scott E. Health effects of hawthorn. Am Fam Physician. 2010 Feb 15;81(4):465-8. PMID: 20148500
12. Fong HH, Bauman JL. Hawthorn. J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2002 Jul;16(4):1-8. PMID: 12597258

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  1. Can Hawthrone Berry be used as an alternative to Red Yeast Rice extract?
    I recently had an extensive blood panel done and addressed a few concerns with excellent results in 6 months. However, dr. (my female gyn who manages my hypothyroidism and bio-id hormones and is a proponent of alternatives whenever possible) wants me to use Red Yeast Rice extract until August and another blood check.

    Per the LDL/HDL ratio I’ve learned on Dr. Mercola’s site and many others, I’m actually very good but she may be looking at it from the old-school angle? I’m concerned about being statin-like side effects and my husband is on Simvastatin and don’t like what it’s doing to him … but his dr. says it’s something to do with a genetic predisposition.

    I also changed from compounded T4/T3 to Armour and feel so much better – energy, mental alertness, reduced bloat, stamina and gradual weight loss. YAY!

    1. Hey Michele,

      Thanks for writing. Hawthorne does not have the same benefits as red yeast rice. It will not lower total cholesterol like RYR. It is a much greater vasodilator that enhances overall blood flow but dosn’t have much effect on cholesterol.

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