Botanical name: Crataegus laevigata
Other names: Hawthorn berries
Hawthorn is truly a superstar herb when it comes to heart and the cardiovascular system. Millions of people can benefit from the medicinal effects of this herb, including people who suffer from high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, angina and heart arrhythmia.
This herb improves oxygenation, and thus has an immediate, beneficial impact on energy levels as well as improving blood flow through the coronary arteries. It may even reduce the likelihood of angina attacks and relieves symptoms of angina (chest pain or discomfort that occurs when an area of your heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood) when they occur.
Hawthorn is recommended for anyone over the age of 50 as a preventative measure against heart disease. It causes no toxicity and is safe for long term use in the elderly.
Controlled studies showed that when taken for a period of 6 months, this herb could have a gentle effect, dilating arteries, bringing down high blood pressure, and allowing a better flow of oxygen-rich blood to the lungs, brain, and every cell of the body.
While hawthorn berries are the most often used part of this shrub, the flowers and leaves play an important role too.
Preparation: 2 tsp/cup, simmer 10 minutes.
Reference: Shippard, I (2003) How can I use herbs in my daily life. Queensland: Stewart, Stengler, M (2001) The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies. Prentice Hall Press.
Hawthorn Common Uses
Consult your doctor or naturopath if taking heart medication (digitalis glycosides, beta-blockers and hypotensive drugs) as Hawthorn may increase the effects of these drugs.
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