Hawthorn extract ‘helps blood flow’
| | |
February 10, 2008
Filed under Uncategorized
Telegraph – Hawthorn extract can significantly ease the symptoms of chronic heart failure, research suggests.
The herbal medicine can help the heart beat more powerfully, increasing blood flow through the arteries and reducing irregular heartbeats.
Researchers looking at several studies found the extract made patients better able to exercise, and reduced tiredness and shortness of breath. The medicine is made from dried leaves, flowers and fruits of hawthorn bushes.
Researchers identified 14 trials that compared the effects of adding either hawthorn extract, or a placebo to conventional therapies.
The results indicated that the extract increased the maximum workload that patients could endure. It also decreased the amount of oxygen used by the heart.
A few people reported mild side effects including nausea, dizziness and heart and stomach complaints, however. One of the researchers, Dr Max Pittler, of Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, said: “If I had chronic heart failure, I certainly would consider using it.”
Although previous studies suggest the extract is safe for long-term use, those taking prescription drugs for heart failure are advised to consult their doctor before taking it. The analysis is published in The Cochrane Library, issued by the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organisation that evaluates medical research.