Preventing heart disease
with herbs

Hawthorn Berries
Bilberry for eyes,
and treating glaucoma

Horse Chestnut
for Varicose Veins

Preventing heart disease with hawthorn berries

meditation for health

Not only is hawthorn hailed worldwide as a marvelous cardiotonic (an herbal formula used to strengthen the heart), but it is also tremendous for the loss of weight in acute cases of obesity. This herb destroys fat. Hawthorn berries are able to produce a catabolic (destructive) effect on fatty adipose tissue near your heart and elsewhere throughout the body. It is through this marvelous “chemical combustion” that you can lose pounds over a period of time. It should be noted that hawthorn works better in conjunction with a complete weight-loss program.169 With regard to weight loss, I would recommend that you eat organic foods and avoid canned and chemical weight loss products.

John Heinerman, a medical anthropologist, describes the benefits of hawthorn berries in the publication Herbal Dynamics. Hawthorn has been proven beneficial for mitral stenosis (a blockage of the mitral valve) and heart diseases of old age. With hawthorn, patients have been able to reduce or discontinue digitalis medication. Scientific investigation on hawthorn has shown it to be helpful for insomnia. It can also alleviate irregular heart rhythms, and is effective for a variety of other heart ailments, including angina pectoris. It has been used to treat high blood pressure,170 arteriosclerosis, and inflammation of the heart muscle, arthritis, and rheumatism. (Nutrition Almanac, Mcgraw Hill Book Co.; New York, N.Y. 1979, p. 179). In Europe, hawthorn berries are used to improve blood flow to the heart as well.

Hawthorn Berries lower resistance in the arteries, and dilate (widen) coronary artery walls. They do this partly because they have been shown to inhibit ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) thus aiding in the creation of angiotensin II. Angiotensin II is a potent blood-vessel constrictor. According to research a fish protein powder (fish peptide extract) also inhibits ACE.

The berries contain the following interesting constituents and vitamins: triterpene acids (oleanotic, ursolic, crataegolic); purines; anthocyanin type pigments and flavone derivatives like perlagonin and quercitrin (include in this hydrocyanic acid and amygdalin or laetrile such as that found in apricot, peach, and cherry pits for instance); chlorine; acetylcholine; trimethlamine; chlorogenic acid; caffeic acid; and ascorbic acid.173 They also contain bioflavonoids such as proanthocyanidins (grape seed extract) to balance serum cholesterol, to prevent cholesterol binding to artery walls, and to help maintain the integrity of artery walls.

Hawthorn also strengthens the contractions of the heart as well as stabilizes heart rhythm. It has an inhibiting effect on angiotensinconverting enzyme and thus helps to prevent hypertension. ACE inhibitors, a hypertensive class of drugs, are designed to inhibit angiotension converting enzyme, but hawthorn berries do this as well, which is only one of its many cardiovascular benefits. This berry also contains calcium and magnesium, which are vital for vasodilation needed to lower blood pressure. Hawthorn berries are a master supplement for cardiovascular health.

Julian Whitaker, M.D. recommends 400 mg of hawthorn berry one to three times a day. The extract should contain 1.8 percent vitexin- 4-rhamnoside. If you are taking beta blockers, do not take hawthorn berry.174 Work with your physician to alter and/ or lower your blood pressure medication to be able to take this valuable herb.

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