Hawthorn Background and Benefits
Hawthorn is the common name for any member of the Crataegus genus of shrubs and trees. They belong to the rose family and are native to temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere. C. monogyna and C. laevigata are some of the most common species in this genus, which are also known as Crataegus oxyacantha in herbal medicine.
Hawthorn trees may exceed 40 feet in height, although they often grow as much shorter shrubs. The fruits are small pones that turn bright red when ripe. The sharp thorns grow from the branches and trunk, and may exceed one inch in length. Hawthorns are commonly used in landscaping as hedges.
Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) are some of the most abundant active ingredients in hawthorn extract, which primarily include procyanidin B-2 as well as epicatechin and procyanidin. Flavonoids such as hyperoside, quercetin, rutin and vitexin are also significant active components of hawthorn extract. Additional ingredients in hawthorn include triterpene acids and phenolic acids.
The fruits are edible and are often used to make jelly and fruit wine, especially in the United Kingdom. The young leaves are edible if they are picked in early spring. Hawthorn is also used as a dietary supplement, typically for the purpose of supporting heart health.
Uses of Hawthorn
The most common uses of hawthorn extract involve the support of normal heart functioning. It is also used to manage stress and anxiety.
Some evidence exists that hawthorn may be beneficial for managing feelings of anxiety, stress and frustration.
Relief from discomfort
Hawthorn may be beneficial in managing chest discomfort. It may also be able to manage muscle spasms and digestive conditions such as diarrhea and indigestion.
Heart health support
Numerous scientific studies show that hawthorn may be beneficial for supporting heart health and function. Additional cardiovascular benefits of hawthorn include managing a healthy cholesterol profile.
Some studies show that hawthorn may be useful for maintaining healthy circulation.
Signs You May Need Hawthorn
Fatigue and shortness of breath are some of the most common signs that you may benefit from hawthorn supplements. Poor circulation is also an indication that hawthorn may help you. An unhealthy cholesterol profile may mean that you need hawthorn supplements, according to some studies. Additional signs that hawthorn supplements can benefit you include feelings of anxiety as well as physical stress in your muscles.
Other Ingredients That May Be Of Interest
Butcher’s Broom - Ruscus aculeatus is a small evergreen shrub native to Europe and western Asia. It is commonly known as Butcher's Broom due to the stiff, flat shoots that give the plant a broom-like appearance. Butcher's Broom is typically cultivated around deciduous trees as an ornamental plant. Common uses of this plant in herbal medicine include circulation support and relief from constipation.