What is Hawthorn Berries used for?
Used to promote the health of the circulatory system, treat angina, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and cardiac arrhythmia, and has been found to strengthen the heart. Hawthorn is widely regarded in Europe as a safe and effective treatment for the early stages of heart disease and has been used for a number of ailments including angina, myocarditis, arteriosclerosis, nervous conditions like insomnia, and diarrhea. It has also been indicated for strengthening blood vessels, vascular insufficiency, and blood clots, restoring the heart muscle wall, lowering cholesterol, and aiding digestion. There is also evidence for cardiovascular system improvement, particularly in clinical parameters associated with angina, congestive heart failure, and acute myocardial infarct. This may be due to the herb's antioxidant activity.
Its use in the treatment of hepatitis in modern Chinese medicine is supported by the demonstration of hepatoprotective activity in animal studies. Animal and laboratory studies have found that hawthorn contains active compounds with antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are substances that scavenge free radicals; damaging compounds in the body that alter cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death.
Free radicals occur naturally in the body, but environmental toxins (including ultraviolet light, radiation, cigarette smoking, and air pollution) can also increase their number.