Promising Hypertensive Effect of Hawthorn Extract
Hawthorn, scientifically known as Crataegus monogyna, is a large tree like shrub native to Europe, North America, and Asia. These shrubs can grow to heights of 15 meters, produce a small fruit, have thorny branches, and are commonly noted to have the presence of small white colored flowers.
Hawthorn: Historical Use
The fruit produced by the Hawthorn was commonly dried and used in the traditional medicinal practices of the ancient Chinese to aid in the process of digestion. The Japanese also utilized Hawthorn in a similar manner. Western herbal medicine historically utilized Hawthorn in a different way, to increase and improve overall cardiovascular functioning. Still today, Hawthorn is commonly used to aid in the natural lowering of blood pressure world wide.
Hypertension: The Risk Factors
Hypertension is the consistent presence of high blood pressure that can be caused by a variety of factors. It is interesting to note that the exact cause for primary hypertension development is not clearly understood in over ninety percent of diagnosed cases. However, there are many risk factors associated with the development of hypertension.
- Age: The prevalence of hypertension effectively increases with age.
- Genetics: There are hereditary factors that contribute to the development of hypertension as it tends to run in families.
- Race: High blood pressure is more common in African Americans than Caucasians. The development of serious complications associated with hypertension is also more likely in African Americans when compared to Caucasians.
Hawthorn Extract Linked to decreasing Blood Pressure
There are scientific studies that have correlated the ability of the natural herb Hawthorn with the capability of naturally decreasing overall blood pressure, relieving heart failure symptoms. The studies are not conclusive, but do provide a foundation for further necessary research. These studies have also demonstrated associations with the use of Hawthorn actually extending lives by a period of months when used in conjunction with other dietary and lifestyle changes. Again, these studies are not conclusive, but require more studies to be completed to confirm the statistics.
Hawthorn: Is it safe to use?
Hawthorn is an all natural herbal substance, and therefore has limited side effects. The study did correlate an overall decrease in the signs and symptoms associated with hypertension. Those individuals using Hawthorn reported less episodes of chest pain, nausea, irregular heartbeat, and stomach aches. However, you should always consult your physician before beginning any regimen associated with your overall general health. Many individuals decide to try herbal supplementation without notifying their physician. This can lead to the development of further problems if the supplement has interactions with any other medications.
Hawthorn Supplementation and You
As will all supplement use, remember to use the supplements as directed and only as supplements. Supplements are produced with the idea of supplementing an already healthy diet. It is also recommended that supplement use be combined with other techniques known to decrease hypertension, including increasing physical activity, decreasing overall stress levels, and maintaining adequate sleep.