Saturday, September 08, 2007

Medicinal Hawthorne Berries


כ"ה באלול תשס"ז

I'm seeing red everywhere today - red berries, that is.

From Herbal Extracts Plus, on the cardiotonic effects of red Hawthorne berries:

Hawthorne Berry is a wonderful and trusted cardiac tonic that is used to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and significantly enhance blood circulation to the heart and brain. It is used to strengthen the heart and relieve angina, myocarditis (inflamed heart) and arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

Hawthorne Berry is an excellent cardio-tonic that supports good heart health and protects it in a variety of ways. It is thought to be especially effective in the beginning stages of heart disease, as well as speeding up the recovery time after a heart attack. It is also believed to strengthen a weak heart muscle associated with age, relieve pressure and tightness of the chest, ease angina and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), as well as mild cardiac arrhythmia. The bioflavonoids found in Hawthorne interact with key enzymes in the heart to increase the pumping force of the heart muscle and eliminate arrhythmia. Hawthorne is also characterized as having positive inotropic (affecting muscle contraction) effects leading to an increase in heart rate. Although the Commission E no longer recognizes this use (due only to lack of clinical studies), Hawthorn Berry preparations have traditionally been shown to combat angina, a condition resulting from insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle.

Good heart health is further supported by Hawthorne's rich flavonoids, which are thought to dilate and open up the blood vessels (as a vasodilator), allowing oxygen-rich blood to get to the heart and reduce the risk of a heart attack. It is thought that Hawthorne causes direct dilation of smooth muscle in coronary vessels thereby lowering their resistance and increasing blood flow.

Hawthorne berries are also useful for the treatment of arthritis, osteoporosis, ADD (attention deficit disorder), insomnia, nervous tension, and some cancers, including leukemia and Burkitt's lymphoma.

See link for more information and contraindications for use.

2 comments:

Aeris said...

Hi,
I was just doing research into hawthorn myself and came across this recipe you might enjoy. It's a flavorful way to get the medicinal benefits of hawthorn berries. :)

Chef: Sally Wise
Source: http://www.abc.net.au/tasmania/

You need:Hawthorn berries, sugar and water. Some people call them haw berries.

As well as jelly, I read the fruit also makes a good liqueur. This could truly be used for medicinal purposes, as they are reportedly good for the heart. The recipe I read for this contained just the berries and vodka. Given the fact that the jelly is so tart, I think the recipe should contain some sugar or honey. But first, the jelly:

* 1.5kg ripe hawthorn berries (haws)
* water
* sugar

Method:Wash the berries, then place in a large pot and add enough water to cover. Cook until they are very soft.

Place a colander over a large bowl and pour the mixture into this, breaking the fruit up with a potato masher or similar. Strain the resulting juice in the bowl through muslin.

Add 1 cup of sugar for each cup of this juice. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil vigorously until the setting point is reached. Pour into sterilized bottles and seal.

Do remember to remove the seeds from the berries as the seeds are mildly toxic and who wants toxic jelly?

Liorah-Lleucu said...

Thank you for the comment.