- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Hawthorn And Its Health Benefits
Hawthorn as a herbal supplement
When my daughter heard that I was diagnosed with hypertension, she bought two health supplements for me. One was “mega acidophilus” while the other was “hawthorn”. The former is a probiotics, while the latter is a herbal supplement. The label on the bottle of hawthorn supplement just states “Improves blood circulation, supports general well being”. Being new to these two supplements, I immediately surfed through the internet to find out more about them. This article is about the hawthorn supplement and its health benefits. You can read about the acidophilus supplements from the link at the end of this article on the right column.
What is hawthorn
The first memory that came to my mind when I saw the hawthorn supplement was images of my younger days eating the red coin-size circular Chinese sweet tidbit flakes called Shancha packed in small paper cylindrical packaging. “ Shancha”, meaning “mountain berry“ is Chinese Mandarin for hawthorn. Hawthorn is also used in traditional Chinese medicine.
This supplement given to me is not like those cheap Chinese sweets. I know it is expensive. In this day and age, health supplements are supposed be expensive, if nothing else, to imply that they are potent and effective.No wonder these health supplement companies are laughing all the way to the bank!
Never mind. Let’s see what this hawthorn is all about. Hawthorn has many names like Maybush, thornapple, hawberry and whitethorn. Its biological name is Crataegus of the rose family. The plant is a thorny shrub which can grow up to 30 feet (10 meters) and has beautiful flowers in various colors. The berries are red in color when ripe, and is about 1.5 inches in diameter. Hawthorn is native to the temperate regions of Europe, Asia and North America.
Medicinal values of hawthorn
Traditionally, hawthorn berries have been used to treat heart problems like chest pain, high blood pressure, hardening of arteries and irregular heartbeats. Nowadays, the leaves and flowers are used to prepare the supplements, which are believed to contain more flavonoids than the berries. That’s why the supplements I have with me are made from the leaves and flowers.
Hawthorn has the special substance called proanthocyanidin which helps to relax those blood vessels farther away from the heart, thus reducing blood pressure and improving blood circulation. Hawthorn can also be used to lower bad LDL cholesterol.
Other medical treatments from hawthorn are for skin sores, boils, ulcers, frostbite, indigestion, diarrhea, stomach upset, and intestinal infections like tapeworm.
Precaution on taking hawthorn supplements
Children should not be given hawthorn. Breast-feeding and pregnant women are also to avoid taking hawthorn.
Possible interactions with other medical prescriptions :
1. Hawthorn may increase the effects of the following hypertension drugs :
Digoxin, beta-blockers like Atenolol, Metoprolol, and Propranolol, and calcium channel blockers like diltiazem, nifedipine and amlodipine. (I am taking this prescription amlodipine)
2. Hawthorn may reduce effect of phenylephrine, commonly found in nasal decongestant products.
3. Hawthorn may reduce blood pressure to too low a level if used with medications for male sexual dysfunction (Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors).
4. Hawthorn may cause dizziness when used with nitrates.
The information provided in this article is sourced from the internet, from friends and contacts, and from personal experience. As I cautioned in my article, not every remedy will work on everyone. So is conventional medical treatment. It very much depends on the constituents of the person and the conditions peculiar to that person. Whatever the reasons, this article does not claim the information provided is totally accurate and reliable and will cure everyone. The purpose of this article is merely to inform visitors that there are alternative cures for all ailments.
You are therefore advised to consult your registered medical physicians as a matter of due diligence.
- What Is Acidophilus
Acidophilus is a probiotic and is a species of good bacteria. Acidophilus fights off bad bacteria in our digestive system, preventing infections and promoting proper digestion.
- Danger Of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Hypertension or high blood pressure may be a silent killer leading to heart attack, stroke and kidney problems. You can monitor your blood pressure yourself the easy way. Eat healthy, exercise, relax.
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