Hawthorn is a highly prized botanical known for its healing properties. Hawthorn berries, leaves and flowers are rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, which have the ability to ward off many skin and hair problems.
Also called as Thorn apple or May-tree, Hawthorn trees or bushes grow in the hills of North America. The red, pink or white colored Hawthorn flowers bloom in May and the fruits fully ripen into red colored edible berries that are both sweet and tart.
Hawthorn contains rich OPC (or Oligomeric proanthocyaninidins) flavonoids having high-antioxidant content. Some of the other natural compounds found in hawthorn are: Quercetin, Choline, Acetylcholine, Caffeic acid, Chlorogenic acid, Vitexin, Acantolic acid and Flavonoids like Hyperoside. The berries also contain Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2 and Vitamin C and minerals like Calcium, Iron, Zinc and Phosphorous.
Hawthorn Skin Benefits
1. Neutralizes Free Radicals
Hawthorn berries contain a big shot of antioxidants. Quercetin, in particular, offers regenerative effect and neutralizes free radicals that damage and age the skin. Other phenolics in Hawthorn berries rejuvenate skin tissues, keep pores free of debris, and destroys toxic compounds on the skin.
2. Controls Acne
Acne is a result of oils, dead skin cells, and environmental toxins interacting with bacteria which results in inflammation and blemishes. Bioflavonoids, such as Chlorogenic acid and Caffeic acid in Hawthorn work to eradicate conditions and produce clear, blemish free skin. Hawthorn also contains Zinc, which helps prevent acne by regulating oil glands.
3. Rebuilds Collagen
Hawthorn is an excellent anti-aging botanical in that it helps supply the skin with collagen and proteins. Choline, which is a member of the B-vitamin family, is an important constituent in maintaining healthy skin cells. Hawthorn berries contain large quantities of Choline which helps maintain optimum collagen and elastin levels. This results in preservation of elasticity and firmness and delays the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet and other signs of aging.
4. UV Protection
The high Vitamin C and Quercetin content in Hawthorn provide Natural Sun Protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Vitexin and Hyperoside effectively prevent UV induced hyperpigmentation, sun spots and skin damage.
5. Helps Heal Psoriasis & Eczema
As mentioned, Hawthorn has some very powerful anti-inflammatory properties! By inhibiting the production of cytokines, which are responsible for inflammation-related pain and redness psoriasis and eczema and dermatitis, Hawthorn can basically help prevent and calm symptoms.
6. Minimizes the appearance of Scars
When used along with topical naturally derived Vitamin E, Hawthorn berry extract help remodel scar tissue, such as severe acne scarring.
7. Balances Sebum (Oil) levels
If you suffer from Kapha dosha (or Oily Skin), Hawthorn berries have astringent properties which regulate excess oil production in the T-zone and minimizes the appearance of pores. Extract of Hawthorn berries are used in Natural Toner/Hydrators for oily skin to help remedy acne blemishes and enlarged pores.
Hawthorn Hair Benefits
8. Promotes Hair Growth
One of the primary causes of hair thinning is restricted blood circulation to the scalp. Hawthorn berries improve blood supply to hair follicles. When hair follicles are enriched with oxygenated blood and nutrients via circulation, the telogen hair (or the resting phase of hair) is pushed out and a new growth anagen hair emerges from the follicle. The rich concentration of vitamins and antioxidants in Hawthorn block the hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone) which is a primary cause of male pattern baldness. Choline found in Hawthorn thus protects hair follicles and makes them stronger and healthier.