Hawthorn: properties and contraindications

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Some plants have very interesting medicinal properties. Hawthorn is a clear example of a shrub with beneficial properties for human health. To harness its benefits effectively, understanding its uses is crucial to avoid counterproductive effects.

Hawthorn properties and contraindications

Numerous cultures rely on plants' medicinal properties for natural remedies, curing diseases, and improving health.. In this sense, hawthorn can be very effective if used correctly. For insights on hawthorn's properties, uses, dosage, and contraindications, keep reading this article.

What is and properties of hawthorn

Hawthorn, scientifically known as Crataegus monogyna, belongs to the rosacea family and is a thorny shrub. It is native to temperate zones in North America, Europe, and Asia.

However, it also grows in South American countries like Argentina and Chile. The plant can grow up to 6 meters tall with thorny branches, serrated and smooth leaves, white and red flowers, and sweet small berries. You can use these berries in various recipes, such as jams, candies, jellies, and wines. Moreover, all parts of hawthorn contain compounds with medicinal properties.

Properties of hawthorn

The properties of hawthorn are as follows:

  • The journal Nutrients highlights this plant's high concentration of antioxidants linked to improved diet quality and reduced cardiovascular risk.
  • It contains antispasmodic and calming properties that contribute to fighting insomnia, anxiety, nerves and stress.
  • Thanks to its starch content, it acts as an astringent and can be utilized to combat digestive problems like stomach pains, vomiting, or diarrhea.Here you can see more about medicinal plants for stomach pain.
  • It contains flavonoids that improve blood circulation and help curb some menopause-related symptoms.
  • It is also a good anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.

What is hawthorn for?

Hawthorn has multiple benefits at the medicinal level. They are as follows:

  • It strengthens the cardiovascular system thanks to a positive inotropic effect, that is, it reinforces the heartbeat. Extracts of the plant improve the activity of the muscles responsible for closing the mitral valve located in the left ventricle, thus decreasing the amount of fluid blood in the opposite direction inside the atrioventricular system.
  • The antioxidants it provides help prevent premature cellular aging, so they help prevent heart disease, as well as any other part of the body. Here you can read about How to Prevent Premature Aging Easily.
  • Hawthorn contains proanthocyanidins, molecules that induce relaxation of blood vessels.
  • The plant acts as an anti-inflammatory thanks to the antioxidants it contains, acting on the levels of molecules such as interleukins or the TNF-alpha factor, which are responsible for the inflammatory response.
  • Hawthorn has an anticholesterolemic and anti-lipid-lowering action, which results in a reduction in the levels of low-density lipids in the blood circulation, which helps regulate cholesterol. We recommend you read about How to clean the arteries naturally.
  • Its antiplatelet action results from inhibiting phosphodiesterase-3, which is present in platelet thrombi. However, this effect is relatively weak on the part of the hawthorn.
  • The bacteriostatic properties of hawthorn prevent the reproduction of bacteria, so it serves to fight some bacteria. Gram-positive bacteria exhibit cell wall morphology, making them susceptible to the action of certain plant compounds that possess these properties.

How to take hawthorn

The use of hawthorn must be responsible for the organism to obtain its benefits. To achieve the appropriate therapeutic effect, purchase hawthorn extracts standardized with at least 1.8% vitexin, also known as vitexin-2-rhamnoside.

As a preventive medicine, take the usual hawthorn dose of 150 mg daily, distributed in three doses. For treating serious ailments, people usually consume the following amounts:

  • Between 300 and 450 mg distributed in 3 daily doses for the prevention and treatment of myocardial infarction and angina pectoris.
  • Between 300 and 750 mg distributed in 3 daily doses to prevent and improve arrhythmias.
  • Between 300 and 450 mg in 3 daily doses to prevent and reduce hypertension.

In all cases, it is necessary to consult with medical professionals or phytotherapists to recommend the best way to take hawthorn depending on the state of health of each person.

Contraindications of hawthorn

Despite the multiple properties and benefits it brings to the body, hawthorn has a number of contraindications. One of the most important is related to the heart, since if taken in conjunction with other medications for cardiovascular diseases it could cause counterproductive effects and even aggravate the ailment.

Its consumption is also not recommended during periods of lactation or during pregnancy. Similarly, if you are going to undergo an operation, you should not take it at least in the two weeks before because it can hinder the clotting of the blood, assuming a risk at the time of the surgical intervention because it increases the chances of suffering bleeding.

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