Hawthorn ( Crataegus species ) is a small tree or shrub and a member of the rose family. Considered a “cardio tonic” herb or heart tonic, the flowers and berries of the hawthorn plant were used in traditional medicine to treat irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, chest pain, hardening of the arteries, and heart failure. Hawthorn is commonly used to strengthen the heart.
Hawthorn contains active compounds with antioxidant properties, however, it appears that two substances in particular — flavonoids and oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs) — are most likely to contribute to hawthorn’s beneficial effects on the heart. Flavonoids may help dilate blood vessels, improve blood flow, and protect the blood vessels from damage.
Beneficial properties of Hawthorn:
Relaxing and dilating arteries, increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to and from the heart, supporting healthy circulation, increasing endurance, maintaining healthy blood pressure and maintaining healthy blood vessels
Common uses of Hawthorn:
*It helps to treat heart disease and related symptoms. It is considered as a very good cardiac tonic. It is used for beginning heart disease, mild heart-muscle weakness, angina, and arrhythmia. Hawthorn promotes healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels by relaxing blood vessels, increasing metabolism in the heart muscle, and improving blood supply to the heart. Also used for sleeplessness, nervousness, poor digestion, and weight control.
*Hawthorn is also a diuretic, helping to rid the body of excess salt and water and thus supporting weight-loss programs. It has also been used treat digestive problems, nervous tension, insomnia, and sore throat.