Heart failure, Anxiety, Decreased heart function, Blood circulation problems, Chest pain, Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias), Low blood pressure, High cholesterol, Muscle spasms, Sedation.
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A member of the rose family, hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) is a thorny, flowering tree or shrub native to temperate regions of Europe, North America, and northern Asia. Though the tiny sweet red berries ("haws") are used in jams, jellies, candies, and wines, all parts of the plant—the leaves, flowers, berries, stems, and even the bark—have long been used in herbal medicine.
It’s probably no coincidence that the earliest records declared the Hawthorn tree a symbol of love. All of the cultures that traditionally used Hawthorn leaves and berries medicinally — including Native American, Chinese and European — employed it as a tonic for the heart.* In fact, its use as a cardiac tonic dates as far back as first-century Rome.* Hawthorn has been traditionally used for the emotional heart as well as the physical heart, as a protector of emotional boundaries and support during loss and transition.Hawthorn is a plant. The leaves, berries, and flowers of hawthorn are used to make medicine.
Hawthorn is used for diseases of the heart and blood vessels such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chest pain, and irregular heartbeat. It is also used to treat both low blood pressure and high blood pressure, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), and high cholesterol. So far, research suggests that hawthorn might be effective in treating congestive heart failure, but there hasn’t been enough research on other heart-related uses to know if it is effective for them.
Some people use hawthorn for digestive system complaints such as indigestion, diarrhea, and stomach pain. It is also used to reduce anxiety, as a sedative, to increase urine output, and for menstrual problems. Hawthorn is also used to treat tapeworm and other intestinal infections.
Some people apply hawthorn to the skin for boils, sores, and ulcers. Hawthorn preparations are used as a wash for sores, itching, and frostbite.
Before taking hawthorn, talk with your healthcare professional if you take any medications. It has major interactions with several prescription medications.
How does it work?
Hawthorn can help improve the amount of blood pumped out of the heart during contractions, widen the blood vessels, and increase the transmission of nerve signals.
Hawthorn also seems to have blood pressure-lowering activity, according to early research. It seems to cause relaxing of the blood vessels farther from the heart. It seems that this effect is due to a component in hawthorn called proanthocyanidin.
Research suggests that hawthorn can lower cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad cholesterol”), and triglycerides (fats in the blood). It seems to lower accumulation of fats in the liver and the aorta (the largest artery in the body, located near the heart). Hawthorn fruit extract may lower cholesterol by increasing the excretion of bile, reducing the formation of cholesterol, and enhancing the receptors for LDLs. It also seems to have antioxidant activity.
During the Middle Ages, hawthorn was employed for the treatment of dropsy, a condition that's now called congestive heart failure. The first study on hawthorn, published in 1896, reported on 43 patients suffering from various forms of heart disease who were treated with hawthorn with promising results
Possible side effects include:
- In some people, hawthorn can cause nausea, stomach upset, fatigue, sweating, headache, dizziness, palpitations, nosebleeds, insomnia, agitation, and other problems.
- Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of hawthorn during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
- Heart disease: Hawthorn can interact with many prescription drugs used to treat heart disease. If you have a heart condition, don't use hawthorn without the recommendation of your healthcare provider.
- Surgery: Hawthorn might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using hawthorn at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
As always make sure you are using organic herbs as pesticides are toxic and always take normal doses, excessive amounts of anything is not good for you.
We are not doctors, lawyers, accountants or your mom. We give out free smiles and the occasional unsolicited advice. That being said; if you are pregnant, nursing or concerned about your health, call your mom. Or even better, consult a doctors before consuming; particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.