Hawthorn is best known as a cardiotonic herb - it can do wonderful things for the heart. Studies show that the small but mighty hawthorn berry is loaded with health boosting properties. These properties can help a range of chronic health problems from high cholesterol to angina.
Hawthorn is best known as a cardiotonic herb. This basically means that it can do wonderful things for the heart. Studies show that the small but mighty hawthorn berry is loaded with health boosting properties. These properties can help a range of chronic health problems from high cholesterol to angina. This amazing little herb can do much more! It is helpful for:
The humble Hawthorn Berry enjoys a long and enduring history as the herb to strengthen your heart – both physically and emotionally. It can aid your heart in many ways and with many problems.
Hawthorn berry is best known for its helpful toning effects on the heart. As a “cardiotonic herb,” hawthorn has shown itself to be impressively helpful for all kinds of serious heart concerns. These include heart failure, heart disease, angina pectoris, changes in cardiac rhythm, and atherosclerosis. According to a 2016 study published in the journal Current Medicinal Chemistry, hawthorn’s powerful heart benefits come from its high polyphenolic content.
Containing a plethora of powerful antioxidants, Hawthorn Berries are known to be potent vasodilators, helping to keep high blood pressure (hypertension) in check. In 2002 a 10 week study was conducted on volunteers who had been diagnosed with hypertension. After 10 weeks, the group showed a significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure, as well as an improvement in mood and lower anxiety levels. Hypertension is both a symptom and a cause of chronic heart failure. Maintaining normal blood pressure levels can play a major role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Hawthorn Berries have been extensively studied in relation to congestive heart failure, with findings concurring that symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, palpitations (the three main symptoms of heart failure) can all be significantly decreased and tiredness can be dramatically improved. Additionally, a study also showed that a hawthorn extract worked as well as a prescription heart failure drug (captopril) with significantly less side effects.
Another important benefit of Hawthorn is that the flavones contained within this berry can improve the heart’s ability to withstand stress.
Finally, angina sufferers can greatly benefit from this herb.
Decreased blood flow to the heart causes chest pain known as angina. Since hawthorn improves blood flow and strengthens the heart muscles, it is avery useful remedy for preventing and treating angina.
Overall, hawthorn is an especially useful herb to keep your heart happy and healthy! Whether you choose to add a few cups of the delicious tea, or some tincture to your daily routine, your heart will surely be grateful to you! It is a strong muscle than never stops to rest and it deserves our care and love!
Whilst Hawthorn Berries are most known for their contribution to heart health, running a close second are the phenomenal amount of powerful antioxidants they contain.
In addition to the antioxidants eliminating dangerous toxins from the body, the vitamin C in hawthorn berries are also boosting the activity of your white blood cells to increase your overall health!
Hawthorn is especially high in oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs) and it is this particular class of antioxidants that seem to be responsible for Hawthorn’s many health benefits. They enhance the antioxidant activity of vitamins A, C and E, improve circulation, strengthen capillaries, reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, protect against atherosclerosis, are effective antioxidants for the brain and nerve tissue and enhance connective tissue health. They have also been shown to reduce histamine production, making OPCs useful in the treatment of allergies.
In China, hawthorn is called “Shan-Zha” and it is an important part of Chinese medicine. A study done in China showed some really impressive health results. It revealed that the hawthorn berry not only reduced overall high cholesterol levels, it also notably decreased LDL cholesterol, liver cholesterol and triglycerides as well as body weight!
Scientific research conducted in 2008 revealed that hawthorn berry extract is excellent at decreasing inflammation.
This is huge for health since we know that inflammation is at the root of most diseases. The research also shows that the extract of hawthorn berry is a free radical scavenger. This is extremely beneficial to human health since free radicals can cause cellular damage (including DNA damage) by stealing electrons through a process called oxidation.
In many traditional medicines, hawthorn berries are used for certain psychological conditions, including stress, anxiety and even depression. During the pilot study conducted in the UK, which evaluated hawthorn for hypertension, a trend towards a reduction in anxiety was observed in those taking hawthorn compared with the other groups taking a placebo. Hawthorn may have an impact on hormonal levels, which would explain why so many cultures of the past believed it was the cure “for a broken heart.”
The many organic compounds found in hawthorn interact with gut flora to improve digestion. Additionally, the fiber in hawthorn improves the digestive process, helping with constipation, bloating and cramping.Hawthorn Berries stimulate bile and gastric secretions, aiding in the digestion of stagnant food in the GI tract, especially that which is rich in fats or protein.
Apart from improving nutrient uptake and eliminating constipation, it’s also suggested that hawthorn may help eliminate intestinal infections like tapeworms.
Hawthorn is known to expand the coronary blood vessels, which allows for more blood to be circulated through the body, which can result in a higher level of energy or alertness.
When all parts of your body are properly oxygenated, your cognitive skills improve, your energy levels rise, and your metabolism is able to work at optimal levels.
The antioxidant content in hawthorn makes it useful for applying topically to the skin, particularly on burns, sores, or acne. The organic compounds are anti-inflammatory in nature and are good for reducing itching on healing wounds or from other skin conditions, like eczema or psoriasis.
Dosage and preparation:
Tea - Pour a cup of boiled water over 1 to 2 teaspoons of Hawthorn herb. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes. Drink 3 times a day.
Tincture - 20 to 30 drops, 3 times a day.
Poultice/Topical application - Take 1-2 tablespoons (or as much as it is needed to cover the affected area) of Hawthorn herb, add a few drops of hot water and mix into a paste. Apply the paste on the desired area, cover it with a gauze and let stay for at least one hour, or overnight.
The taste: Usually described as sweet and sour, Hawthorn is quite tasty. If you wish, you may add some honey or a few drops of lemon to taste.
Precaution: You should not take hawthorn if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Do not give hawthorn products to children.
While hawthorn is known for being excellent for the heart, it can interact with prescription medications taken for heart disease. Medications for other heart concerns, high blood pressure and male sexual dysfunction are also known to interact with hawthorn. Some specific medications known to possibly interact with hawthorn include digoxin, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers (CCBs), nitrates, phenylephrine and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. If you have heart disease or any other health condition or are currently taking medication(s), check with your doctor before taking a hawthorn product or any other hawthorn supplement.
Disclaimer: Information on this website is based on research from the internet, books, articles and studies and/or companies selling herbs online. Statements in this website have not necessarily been evaluated and should not be considered as medical advice. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. for diagnosis or treatment consult your physician.Use herbs in moderation and watch for allergic reactions.If you are taking any other medication, are pregnant, breast feeding or suffering from a medical condition and/or are at all concerned about any of the advice or ingredients consult your doctor before taking the herbs.Remember that diet, exercise and relaxation are equally important to your health..
The humble Hawthorn enjoys a long and enduring history as the herb to strengthen your heart – both physically and emotionally. The berries were a favourite of the Native American Indians as a heart tonic and they also used them for gastrointestinal complaints.
Hawthorn berries are tiny fruits that grow on trees and shrubs belonging to the Crataegus genus. The genus includes hundreds of species, which are commonly found in Europe, North America, and Asia.
One of the oldest known medicinal plants, Hawthorn was prescribed by the Ancient Greek physician Dioscorides in the first century AD as a remedy for heart problems, and by many prominent herbalists and physicians who came after him.
For centuries, hawthorn has been used as an herbal remedy for digestive problems, heart failure, and high blood pressure. In fact, it’s a key part of traditional Chinese medicine.
Hawthorn is often called “the heart herb” for its various cardio-protective abilities. Prized for its ability to uplift and strengthen the heart both emotionally and physically, the hawthorn has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for all kinds of serious heart concerns. These include angina, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, irregular heart beat and even congestive heart failure. In fact, hawthorn has been used to treat heart disease all the way back to the first century! Fast forward to the early 1800s and doctors in the United States were using this medicinal herb for respiratory and circulatory health disorders as well.
Hawthorn tincture is ideal for those who have a family history of heart disease. When used in conjunction with a healthy diet and stress management, hawthorn is an effective long-term treatment for cardiovascular health. Additionally, it is not habit forming, accumulative or toxic.
A hawthorn plant has berries as well as flowers that bloom in May (hence its common name - Mayflower/Mayblossom). Hawthorn flowers are red, pink or white. The petite hawthorn berries appear after the flowers have bloomed. When the hawthorn berries fully ripen, they are typically red in color, but sometimes they are black. These berries are edible. How do they taste? Most people describe hawthorn berries as a mix of sweet and sour.
The Hawthorn tree is steeped in Celtic mythology and history, with many believing that the trees were inhabited by the Faery Folk. One particular story is that of one "Thomas the Rhymer", a Scottish mystic and poet of the thirteenth century. It is said he met the Faery Queen by a Hawthorn bush from where she led him on a brief sojourn into the Faery Underworld. Upon returning from his adventure he found he had been absent for seven years!
However, Britain's most famous Hawthorn is the Holy Thorn Tree here in Glastonbury. Legend tells that upon arriving on these Isles, the uncle of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea, climbed Wearyall Hill and drove his staff into the ground. It then burst into life, growing into a thorn tree which unusually flowers twice a year - once in May and then again at Christmas. Whilst the original tree was cut down in the civil wars of the 17th century, many cuttings have survived and are thriving all around Glastonbury.
Early records indicate that the hawthorn tree was a symbol of love.
Common names: Hawthorne, Haw, May, Mayblossom, and Mayflower