The story begins with archeologist's discovery of remnants of this amazing nutrient in pottery jars dating about 7,000 years before Christ.
Legend holds that the "Crown of Thorns" placed on the head of Jesus was taken from a berry tree or bush which we know today as hawthorn.
Fast forward several millenniums to October 1896, when the New York Medical Journal published a report describing a secret treatment by a physician in Ennis, Ireland named "Dr. Green."
Dr. Green reportedly had developed a reputation for "curing" heart disease, but in the spirit of greed and selfishness, refused to share his discovery with his medical colleagues, or the rest of the world.
After his death in 1894 his daughter revealed that his "famous cure" was in fact a tincture of the ripe hawthorn berries.
Clinical trials and research continued on the medicinal value of these amazing berries throughout the 1900's to the present day.
A growing body of recent scientific evidence confirms the long history of the benefits of hawthorn.
Mark Stengler, N.D., who is known as The Natural Physician, says this about hawthorn benefits:
"I love to prescribe this powerful nutrient to patients. Most people begin feeling much better almost from the first instant they take it.
"Hawthorn is truly a superstar when it comes to the heart and cardiovascular system. Millions of people canbenefit from the medicinal effects of this herb, including anyone who suffers from high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, angina or heart arrhythmia."
The University of Maryland Medical Center Complimentary Medicinewebsite reports
Traditionally, the berries were used to treat heart problems ranging from irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, chest pain, hardening of the arteries, and heart failure. Today, the leaves and flowers are used medicinally, and there is some research that suggests that hawthorn might be effective when used in the treatment of mild to moderate heart failure, but there has not been enough research to know how effective it may be.1
According to researchers hawthorn has been studied in people with heart failure (a condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to other organs in the body), but more studies are needed to understand how effective it may be. A number of studies conclude that hawthorn significantly improved heart function.
Studies also suggest the herb can enhance a person's ability to exercise following heart failure. Participants in studies have reported that hawthorn significantly improved symptoms of the disease (such as shortness of breath and fatigue).
One study found that hawthorn extract (900 mg/day) taken for 2 months was as effective as low doses of captopril (a prescription heart medication) in improving symptoms of heart failure.
Another large clinical study of hawthorn found that a standardized hawthorn supplement was effective in 952 patients with heart failure. The study compared conventional methods of treating heart failure (with different medications) with hawthorn alone and in addition to the drugs.
After 2 years, the clinical symptoms of heart failure (palpitations, breathing problems, and fatigue) decreased significantly in the patients taking the hawthorn supplement. People taking hawthorn also took less medication for their condition.
Animal and laboratory studies show that hawthorn contains antioxidants, including oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs, also found in grapes and resveratrol) and quercetin, a powerful flavonoid.
Quercetin is a powerful immune booster. In a recent study reported by the American Journal of Physiology indicated that quercetin may protect against colds and the flu. (That may be why I rarely ever catch a cold anymore.
The best sources of quercetin are dark, leafy, greens, or other dark-colored vegetables like red onions, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, grapes, and apples.
Flavonoids are potent antioxidants that protect the body and fight silent inflammation, which is the leading cause of many chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and dementia.Clinical Studies also show that hawthorn has natural anti-inflammatory action and also improves oxygenation, which has an immediate beneficial impact on energy levels.
Hawthorn Extract Dosage
The usual dosage of hawthorn is 300 to 600 mg 3 times daily of an extract standardized to contain about 2% to 3% flavonoids or 18% to 20% procyanidins. Studies indicate that full effects may take up to 6 months to develop, although some improvement should be apparent much sooner.
Hawthorn Side Effects
No negative side effects are associated with hawthorn berries or extracts; however it's a good idea to check with your physician if you are considering trying hawthorn, as it will enhance the effect of some medications.
Calcium-channel blockers such as diltiazem (Cardizem) and nifedipine (Procardia), and nitrates, such as isosorbide (Isordil) inncrease potency, possibly making side effects more likely.Hawthorn is very inexpensive (the drug companies hate this) and is readily available.Sometimes the old "tried and true" natural remedies are more effective than the man-made concoctions brewed up in the chemist's laboratories...and without the side effects.
Summary of Hawthorn Heart Health BenefitsSupports healthy blood pressure, circulation, and optimal cardiovascular function.My favorite formulation of hawthorn, (and the brand I personally use) is produced by NUTRIGOLD. This amazing nutrient will have your heart saying, "Thank you, Thank you!"
NUTRIGOLD Hawthorn Extract Benefits
- Formulation Features a Pharmaceutical Grade extract of Hawthorn Leaf and Flowers
- Complies with European Pharmacopeia standards for purity, potency, and structure
- Same extract as the one used in several registered phytomedicines in Europe
- Standardized to contain minimum 2% Vitexin
- Manufactured without the use of Additives, Artificial Ingredients, Preservatives, Stearates, Silicon Dioxide, or Titanium Dioxide
- Certified allergen-free by independent, third-party lab
- Manufactured to stringent cGMP standards in USA
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Gene Millen, Heart Health Coach Certifications/Accomplishments
- Gene has been certified as a Physical Fitness Specialist by the prestigious Cooper Clinic and Wellness Center in Dallas Texas
- Certification as a Medical Exercise Specialist included designing personalized exercise/wellness programs for those recovering from heart attack as well as those with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart pacemakers and more.
- EzineArticles.Com - Achieved Platinum Author designation. Health and wellness articles have received more than 43,000 visits.
- Gene's column,"Live Well...Age Later" is published in Mid Valley Publications, a group of six newspapers in Merced and Stanislaus counties in California with weekly circulation of 35,000.