Hawthorn is a shrub, which belongs to the rose family. This plant has been used for therapeutic purposes since the first century. The plant grows in bunches of red, white, or pink. The berries are produced when the plant flowers. The berries are usually wine red in color, but they may also be black in color. Along with the berries, the leaves and roots of this shrub also possess immense medicinal properties.
This plant can be used for the treatment heart failure, chest pain, and high blood pressure. Though there have not been enough studies on its effectiveness to treat heart failure, but some studies suggest that it can be used to treat mild heart failure. Hawthorn is now available as a supplement in the form of extract, syrup, and tincture.
Hawthorn is used as a preventive supplement against a plethora of diseases. It is widely known for its vasodilatory functions and the presence of antioxidants. It improves the body's natural defense mechanism against cardiac diseases. It opens up the blood vessels and clears the plaque in arteries, thereby assisting in better circulation. It is also effective against a number of angina disorders (chest pain). Memory loss and incidences of confusion can be controlled with the help of this herb.
The berries have astringent properties which are effective in curing dysentery and diarrhea. They also act as effective colon cleansers. Hawthorn berries have a calming and relaxing effect on the nervous system, as a result of which they are extensively used to relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety. Its sedative properties are deployed for inducing sleep in patients affected by insomnia. It also aids in resisting fluid retention in the body and facilitates easy passage of kidney stone by dissolving them. Menopausal women benefit particularly from these berries, as they control palpitations and reduce the occurrences of night sweat.
(Disclaimer: The information presented herein is intended for educational purpose only. It should not be used to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent disease. Before using any supplements, it is recommended that you consult your health care provider, as individual results may vary.)
Hawthorn berry is available in the form of standardized extract as well as syrup. Since extract is more potent than whole hawthorn berry, you need small dosage of the extract. Dosage for high blood pressure or cardiovascular disorders is 160 to 900 milligrams per day. Hawthorn berry capsules should be consumed daily for six weeks as preventive measure against the aforementioned diseases. Although, you may take this capsule 2 to 3 times a day, your daily consumption should not exceed 1800 milligrams.
The berry in the form of syrup contains a base consisting of vegetable glycerin, less than 5% alcohol, pure grape brandy preservatives, and fresh hawthorn berries. The recommended dosage for syrup should be limited to half a spoon, which must be taken 2-3 times a day.
Dosage varies extensively as per the company, as the potency of hawthorn is different for each brand. Since, the hawthorn used in supplements does not come from a single harvest, slight variations are likely to be there. However, the bottle of hawthorn supplement displays the recommended dosage and directions for the corresponding brand. One must strictly adhere to these instructions, unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider. Hawthorn berry is not recommended for children. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid taking it.
Hawthorn berry should be taken very carefully, under the guidance of a qualified medical practitioner. If taken within limits, you can avail the several health benefits provided by this herb.