Hawthorn – Nature’s Heart Medicine

HawthornHawthorn is an incredible species – truly one of nature’s great gifts to mankind; especially for our hearts. Packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and flavonoids, Hawthorn berries (called Haws), leaves and flowers can be used to create potent natural remedies. Explore Hawthorn berry benefits, and learn how to make your own Hawthorn Teas and Tinctures!

Hawthorn has been used for centuries in both western and eastern healing traditions, with abundant rigorous scientific study in recent decades.

The Nurse of the Geriatric Heart

The tea, tincture, and extracts show various preparations of Hawthorn are valuable in reducing the symptom of heart pain, angina, as well as helping the heart muscle function more easily and more effectively in chronic (long-term) heart disease. Research shows the compounds (Oligomeric Procyanidins, flavonoids, catechins), especially in leaf and flower, are antioxidant (1,2). Hawthorn berry works as a natural heart medicine by helping peripheral blood vessels, too. Hawthorn protects against, and in some cases, reverses hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis). It is no wonder this amazing tree has been called “the Nurse of the Geriatric Heart,” and for centuries has symbolized hope.

In Traditional Medicine

In Asian systems of traditional medicine, Hawthorn is used to lower high levels of blood lipids and high blood pressure, as well as providing digestive benefits. The way Hawthorn is believed to lower cholesterol is through better liver function (up-regulation of LDL receptors), plus decreased cholesterol biosynthesis. Hawthorn is so good over time at improving the heart’s function, that it is important to tell your physician if you are trying Hawthorn along with any heart medicines, so your drug levels can be monitored.

The Queen of Heart Trees

Not to be confused with the common garden ornamental, Indian Hawthorn (Raphiolepis Indica, a shrub also in the Rose family), let us spend a few moments in honor of the Queen of Heart Trees, Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna, C, oxyacantha, other species). The leaves, flowers, and dark red berries combine several great properties. The thorns on the branches protect the tree’s delicious flowers and nutritious berries (the “haws’) from birds and other animals. It is so thorny that for centuries people used it to make impenetrable fences between fields, pasture, and property. Today, we can buy organic berries, leaves, and flowers, all of which are easy to turn into heart remedies in your own kitchen. Shop Blessed Herbs Hawthorn Berries Now!

References:

  1. Chang et al. 2002
  2. Shanthi et al. 1994

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