heart

Review Finds the Herb Hawthorn Can Boost Heart Health

Friday, March 07, 2008 by: Leslee Dru Browning
Tags: Hawthorn, health news, Natural News

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) Historically, herbalists have used the herb hawthorn as a cardiac tonic and considered it valuable for improvement of cardiac weakness, an enlarged heart, angina, arrhythmias, edema, hardening of the arteries, heart palpitations, heart valve murmurs, irregular heartbeat, nerve depression and unexplained chronic fatigue.

Hawthorn has the ability to increase oxygen utilization by the heart, it increases enzyme metabolism by the heart, and it acts as a very mild dilator for coronary vessels and serves as a peripheral vasodilator which lowers blood pressure and reduces the burden placed on the heart.

Scientists discovered that hawthorn does increase coronary blood flow and improves myocardial metabolism allowing the heart to function with less oxygen. It also acts directly on the heart muscle to help a damaged heart work more efficiently.

Scientific studies in past years have also shown that hawthorn is excellent for both the prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease when used on a regular basis. Results usually can be seen in a few months time.

Hawthorn is also very effective in relieving restlessness and insomnia.

The herbal claims regarding the benefits of hawthorn has been an ongoing debate among researchers for years.

Adding another twist to the ongoing debate over the value of an herbal treatment for patients with heart failure, a new review of existing research suggests that hawthorn extract "significantly" improves symptoms.

Study Shows Hawthorn Is Good for the Heart

A group of Cochrane Researchers looked to see if hawthorn extract was better than placebo for treating patients with chronic heart failure.

They identified 14 randomised control trials that compared the effects of adding hawthorn extract or placebo to conventional therapies.

The trials involved a total of 855 patients and the data indicated that hawthorn extract:

* improved maximal workload,

* increased exercise tolerance,

* reduced oxygen consumption by the heart, and

* reduced shortness of breath and fatigue.

A few people reported mild nausea, dizziness and heart and stomach complaints.

"There is good evidence that, when used alongside conventional therapy, hawthorn extract can bring additional benefits," says lead researcher Dr. Ruoling Guo, who works in Complementary Medicine at Peninsula Medical School at the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, UK.

"If I had chronic heart failure, I certainly would consider (using) it," said review co-author Dr. Max Pittler, deputy director of complementary medicine at Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, England.

The review does not include results of a large new study - unpublished to date - that suggested hawthorn has only a limited affect on lifespan.

At issue is heart failure, a common condition that is both debilitating and deadly. An estimated five million Americans suffer from heart failure, which is often the result of clogged arteries that put stress on the heart by forcing it to work harder.

As a result, the heart becomes larger while failing to effectively move blood around the body. This causes fluids to build up in the legs and lungs, often causing shortness of breath and other symptoms.

Perhaps the most famous heart failure patient is Vice President Dick Cheney, who has suffered from a long history of cardiac problems and has a defibrillator implanted in his chest.

According to the new review, the hawthorn bush produces one of the most commonly used herbal medicines in the United States. Many believe that hawthorn extract improves heart health, lowers cholesterol and boosts antioxidant levels.

To determine whether hawthorn is actually an effective treatment, Pittler and colleagues searched the medical literature for high-quality studies into the use of the herb in chronic heart failure patients.

The review of the studies appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews like this one draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

The researchers found 14 studies that met their criteria, several of which looked at the use of hawthorn as an addition to conventional medications.

The review authors combined the results of 10 studies of 855 patients into a meta-analysis. Compared to placebo, hawthorn extract boosted the maximum level of physiological workload - a fact that the review authors described as significant, although they acknowledged they based the finding on small numbers of studies and patients.

The analysis found that hawthorn, as compared to placebo, also decreased the "pressure-heart rate product", a measurement of how much oxygen is used by the heart. In addition, the analysis reports that two other measurements - exercise tolerance, and shortness of breath and fatigue - improved "significantly" in patients who used hawthorn.

Side effects were reported to be "infrequent, mild and transient," and included nausea, dizziness and heart and gastrointestinal complaints. The studies reviewed did not examine death rates in detail, however.

Overall, the review showed a "significant benefit in symptom control and physiologic outcomes" in patients who took hawthorn, Pittler said. According to him, the extract appears to boost the strength of heart contractions, increase blood flow through arteries and reduce irregular heartbeats.

There are some caveats, however. Only seven of the 14 trials specified that patients were taking conventional drugs. In addition, patients included in the studies had mild-to-moderate heart failure. Pittler said hawthorn might cause greater side effects in patients who must take drugs that are more powerful to control their disease.

Dr. Gregg Fonarow, director of the Heart Failure Program at the University of California at Los Angeles, said the larger hawthorn study whose results were released last year impressed him more. The study, which was not included in the review because it thus far remains unpublished, found only limited benefit.

"It does indeed demonstrate that [hawthorn] is not a harmful therapy, but it's one that is not particularly helpful nor that would be recommended," Fonarow said. "It's naturally attractive to think there is something over-the-counter or naturally occurring that may help improve outcome. Unfortunately, we've not been able to identify that so far."

References:

Pittler MH, Guo R, Ernst E. Hawthorn extract for treating chronic heart failure. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 1. The Cochrane Collaboration is an international nonprofit, independent organization that produces and disseminates systematic reviews of health care interventions and promotes the search for evidence in the form of clinical trials and other studies of interventions (http://www.cochrane.org) .

Adapted from materials provided by Center for the Advancement of Health (http://www.hbns.org/getDocument.cfm?document...)
Release Date: January 22, 2008, 7:01 PM US Eastern time

Little Herb Encyclopedia by Jack Ritchason - pg. 116

About the author

Leslee Dru Browning is a 6th generation Medical Herbalist & Nutritionist from the ancestral line of Patty Bartlett Sessions; Pioneer Mid-Wife & Herbalist. Leslee practiced Medical Herbalism and Nutritional Healing for over 25 years and specialized in Cancer Wellness along with Chronic Illness. She now devotes her career to teaching people, through her writing, about Natural Healing from An Herbal Perspective.

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.


Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...



GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Podcasts
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...

 

Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...

 

Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com



Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
GMOs
Quackwatch
Vaccines
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.