( Crataegus monogyna )
Hawthorn is an ancient herbal tree
Hawthorn is a common name give to an herbal tree that has been used since ancient times as medicine. This tree is one of the oldest medicinal tree found in Europe.
Hawthorn bears beautiful tiny white flowers in spring and little green berries in the summer which will turn out red when they are ripened. These berries taste sour and can be collected at the end of summer.
Records in western medicine shows, that the berries, flowers and leaves of hawthorn tree is used as a valuable medicine for many ailments.
Hawthorn for balancing blood pressure
Hawthorn is a smart herb and it works in a complex way which has yet to be found by our understanding. It can lower the blood pressure where it is too high and increases it where it is too low.
In case of high blood pressure, hawthorn work in relaxing and dilating the blood vessel so the pressure in the blood vessel can be reduced. In case of lower blood pressure, it strengthens the heart muscle so the heart can beat at optimal strength so there will be enough pressure in the blood vessel.
For those who have breathing issue during exercise, shortness of breath and frequent fatigue can take hawthorn to improve the heart function and the flow of the blood in the body.
Hawthorn for angina and artery clogging
Hawthorn is a wonderful cardio tonic. This herb has been used to treat angina and coronary artery diseases. These are the very common diseases found in our society today and the major causes of premature death.
Angina is referred to the chest pain or discomfort that occurs when your heart doesn't get enough blood supply and therefore the oxygen supply is also limited. This will induce a pain in the chest area.
Coronary artery disease is referred to the narrowing of the artery due to the congestion caused by fatty substances called plaque. When the arteries going to heart get narrower, it reduces the blood flow to the heart and this will cause an heart attack.
Hawthorn contain high level of bioflavonoids and proanthocyanins which helps to relax and dilate the arteries in the human body, especially the coronary artery. This increases the blood flow to the heart muscle and therefore reduces the pain in the heart.
Hawthorn contain antioxidant
Antioxidant is very important to reduce the risk of heart disease. Antioxidants are substances that can combat oxidation in the human body. Oxidation in the human body is normally generated as by-products of the oxygen metabolism.
Oxidation can cause cell and tissue damages in the body. Several triggering factors can cause this oxidation in the human body, such as mental stress, inflammation, cancer, excessive physical stress during sports training as well by external factor like pollution, heavy metals, medication, deep fried food in bad oil ( trans fat & recycled oil ), cigarette smoking as well as too much drinking of alcohol.
When the chemicals from the external factor enter the human body, it is metabolized or broken down by our body resulting in oxidative substances. Eating food high in antioxidant is so important to keep these oxidative substances at bay. Studies shows both hawthorn berries & flowers contain bio active compounds & antioxidant properties.
The antioxidant property of hawthorn can be attributed to the polyphenolic contents. A study shows that the anti oxidant properties were found to be very high in hawthorn flowers and leaves compare to the berries.
Hawthorn in folk medicine
Hawthorn is a well known herb since ancient time. The famous ancient Greek physician Disocorides held a high view on hawthorn herb. Traditionally hawthorn flowers, flower buds, berries and leaves are used to the treatment of some diseases including irritability, insomnia, migraines, confusion, and memory loss.
The English botanist, herbalist, physician and astrologer Nicholas Culpeper in the 16th century, mentioned the uses of hawthorn for kidney and bladder stones as well as diuretic herb. It is only in the 19th century hawthorn started to be used for the circulatory and cardiac disorders.