Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata)

—Herb for the Heart
Klaus Ferlow, HMH, HA—05/2016
Hawthorn is the most important remedy for the cardiovascular system and is prescribed for problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, angina, irregular heartbeat, and relief of cardiovasular related shortness of breath, fatigue and tiredness.

Life of a Plant

I would like to start the educational article with the explanation about the life of a plant.

Plant use a complex process called photosynthesis to extract energy from sunlight to create food. Studies on certain species revealed that they perform yet another feat – they calculate the optimum rate at which to absorb that food overnight.

By day, plants convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into starch and sugar. During the night, many species consume the starch stored during the day, thus avoiding starvation and maintaining plant productivity, including growth. Moreover, they process the stored starch at just the right rate, not too quickly and not too slowly, so that they use about 95 percent of it by dawn, when they start making more.

The findings were based on experiments on a plant of the mustard family called Arabidopsis thaliana. Researchers found that this plant carefully rations its food reserves according to the length of the night, no matter whether 8, 12, or 16 hours remained until dawn. Evidently, the plant divides the amount of starch available by the length of time remaining until dawn, thus determining the optimal rate of consumption.

How do plants ascertain their starch reserves? How do they measure time? And what mechanism enables them to do math? Further research may shed light on these questions. Did the mathematical ability of plants come by evolution or was it designed?

If you want to learn more about this subject I recommend reading the book "The Secrets of Plants" a fascinating account of the physical, emotional, and spiritual relations between plants and man, by Peter Tompkins & Christopher Baird, Harper Perennial, 1973

 

Benefits of Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata)

Herbalists regard hawthorn as the most important of all cardiovascular remedies, with the protective action on the heart and its function because hawthorn flowers, leaves and fruit hold benefits for the heart. It is prescribed for a range of cardiovascular problems, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, angina (relieve chest pain), irregular heartbeat, relieve shortness of breath, fatigue and tiredness in those suffering from congestive heart failure. Research shows that it improves blood flow to the heart itself, ensuring that muscle cells are well oxygenated. Hawthorn further reducing buildup of fatty plaques in blood vessels, which can lead to arteriosclerosis.

Other benefits are: antispasmodic, sedative, vasodilator good for heart muscle weakened by age, for inflammation of the heart muscle, for arteriosclerosis, and for nervous heart problems.

Some of hawthorn's active constituents have potent antioxidant activity, and these compounds may be responsible for the herb's cholesterol lowering effects, helping to prevent oxidation of LDL-cholesterol (so called bad-cholesterol) and decreasing both production and absorption of cholesterol.

 

History of Hawthorn

It grows as shrub or tree with white or pink flowers and small berries are born in clusters in temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere, Europe, Asia and North America. In England it is widely grown as a hedge plant. It trunk or stems have hard wood, smooth and ash-gray bark, and thorny branches. The small, shiny leaves are dark green on top and have three irregularly toothed lobes. Flowers are blossom in May, June and the fruit has fleshy pom.

 

How to use Hawthorn

Hawthorn is available in capsules, tinctures, standardized extract and also as dried leaves, flowers and berries.

We have in our program a single hawthorn herbal tincture 50ml and also a hawthorn combo tincture 100 ml with eleven herbal extracts for the heart!

Tea: steep 2 teaspoons hawthorn leaves and flowers in 12 ounces of water for 10 minutes, strain and drink 1 to 2 cups a day, can be sweeten with honey or stevia

Tincture: generally take 5ml twice daily

Decoction: use 1 tsp. crushed fruit and ½ cup cold water, let stand for 7 – 8 hours, then bring quickly to boil and strain, take 1 to ½ cups a day, a mouthful at a time, can be sweeten with honey or stevia.

PRECAUTIONS

Hawthorn is very safe and well tolerated and is best used under the supervision of a professional health care practitioner for anyone who suffers from congestive heart failure for being treated for heart disease.

 

 

References:

Cril Ann & Jane, Prevent & reverse heart disease cookbook, Avery, 2014

Ornisl Dean, Reversing heart disease, Ivy Books, 1995

Schocken Douglas D., Nasley Steven,30 Day heart tune-up, Centre Street, 2015

Bernard J. Gersh, Mayo Clinic Heart book, William Morrow, 2000@hotmail.com