|Crataegus monogyna leaves|
Hawthorn helps to strengthen not only the heart muscles and tissues, but it supports the entire cardiovascular/circulatory system. It improves blood circulation, it strengthens the arteries but at the same time it relaxes the blood vessels helping to bring blood pressure to its normal. It helps to reduce the hardening of the arteries, as it seems to help dissolve cholesterol and calcium deposits, healing the blood vessels’ walls. It also has a role in decreasing peripheral vascular resistance, which means that it helps the blood flow more easily, reducing the effort the heart needs to undergo in order to get the blood pumped and well flowing into all the body tissues. It is a great herbal remedy for intermittent claudication, Bueger’s disease or Reynaud’s disease.
Also the emotional aspect related to heart issues can be greatly helped with the use of hawthorn. Its tincture, syrup or infusion can help to relieve and treat anxiety, restlessness and insomnia.
There are also indications of hawthorn as folk remedy to relief menstrual problems and to improve digestion, anxiety related stomach issues and intestinal infections.
External usages of hawthorn, as in wash can be helpful to treat skin ulcers, sores, boils, as well as itching and frostbite.
The entire plant can be used medicinally: berries, leaves and flowers.
The berries, harvested from the end of summer until mid winter (in some places), are edible and can be prepared into jams, syrups, candies, jellies, tinctures, or fruit leathers. Hawthorn berries are a great source of vitamin C and it also contains a long list of essential minerals and vitamins. Hawthorn berries are particularly rich in powerful antioxidant substances, which help to maintain the bodily functions up and running, keeping ailments at bay.
Hawthorn is a pretty safe herb to take and it can even be used as preventative medicine. But anyone with heart conditions - and certainly those using beta-blockers or other prescription drugs - should first talk to a knowledgeable health practitioner before using hawthorn.
Note (valid for all herbal supplements, not only for hawthorn): The quality of store or internet bought herbal products vary greatly and some herbal supplements are found to have harmful substances added to them. Please check out for high quality products.
For more information on this amazing and powerful plant, check out the links below:
Jim McDonald herbal walk: Hawthorn uses - Mountain Rose Blog
The Crataegus Clan: Food & Poison - Eat the Weeds