For centuries the hawthorn plant has been used in Chinese traditional medicine, by Native Americans, but also by Europeans. It is one of the most popular herbs for the heart and nowadays many studies have been carried out to investigate its properties.
Hawthorn: what is it
It is a plant with small red fruits that belongs to the Rosaceae family. It is a thorny shrub that people use its leaves, flowers and fruits for various health issues.
One of the most well-known properties of hawthorn is its cardioprotective action. It is often used to relieve symptoms such as palpitations, nervousness and arrhythmia. There are several indications that it can be used in cases of congestive heart failure but also in pressure problems (hypertension, hypotension) as well as in atherosclerosis, but further research is needed. (1)
In a 2-year study of 952 people with heart failure, it was found that those who took supplement with hawthorn seed extract showed less fatigue, shortness of breath and heart palpitations compared to those who did not.(2)
This property is due to the fact that it can improve the amount of blood pumped out from the heart during contractions, and also widen blood vessels. (1)
It seems that hawthorn can help reduce total and LDL cholesterol. This is due to increased biliary excretion, which leads to a decrease in cholesterol synthesis and an increase in LDL receptors. (1)
There are some indications that hawthorn can contribute to better management of mental stress and anxiety. It seems to have a mild sedative effect, which is why it is often used in insomnia.
How is it used?
We can now find hawthorn in various forms: tincture, tea we can make with its flowers or for higher concentrations you can find a dietary supplement.
Hawthorn: Side effects
Although hawthorn is generally considered safe for most adults for short-term intake (up to 16 weeks), it is possible for some to cause nausea, dizziness, fatigue, stomach upset, insomnia, palpitations, headache, sweating or other problems. Taking it in pregnancy and lactation should be avoided.
It is also very likely to interact with many drugs for cardiovascular disease, so it requires a lot of attention and consultation with your attending physician. For example, possibly taking it may lower blood pressure, so if taken in combination with hypertension treatment, the pressure is likely to drop too low. Other times, it has been observed that hawthorn can increase blood flow. If combined with drugs for the same reason, the likelihood of dizziness increases.
Care should also be taken when planning a surgery, as hawthorn is likely to reduce blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding during or after surgery. Thus, it is suggested to stop taking it at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Find at Vita4you.gr a great variety in supplements with hawthorn.