Haw thorn Crateagus

Crataegus spp.
Regarded by herbalists as a “food for the
heart,” hawthorn is one of the most
scientifically validated of all herbal medicines,
exerting specific benefit on the heart. Both
berries and flowering tops improve blood flow
through the coronary arteries to the heart.

Medicinal Uses

 Parts used
 Flowering tops • Fruit
• Leaf
Key actions
Antioxidant • Heart tonic
• Lowers blood pressure
 • Relaxesblood vessels
Coronary diseases
Hawthorn is not a cure-all for heart and circulatory
disorders, but if used carefully and
when taken long-term, it will lead to
improvement in cardiovascular health.
Hawthorn works directly on the heart to
slow its rate, improve oxygen uptake, and
increase its pumping efficiency. Specific
indications include palpitations and
heart irregularity, mild angina, and early
signs of heart weakness. Evidence from
clinical trials supports hawthorn’s use
in the early stages of heart
disease. In such situations,
and especially where
prescribed medicines
are being taken, seek

professional advice from an herbal or
medical practitioner before starting
treatment with the herb.
High and low blood pressure The
berries, flowers, and leaves contain
high levels of procyanidins, flavonoid
compounds which have a strong
antioxidant activity that supports
healthy circulation. Until
recently, the berries were preferred for treating high blood
pressure, but the leaves and flowering
tops have been shown to have the
greatest concentration of procyanidins
and are now more commonly used to
treat high blood pressure. It is thought
that the leaves help to normalize blood
pressure by slowing the heart rate and
lowering blood pressure in overactive
states, and stimulating the heart rate and
raising blood pressure in underactive states.
Circulation Hawthorn contains several
substances that actively support the
health of the arteries, and may also be
used to treat or prevent circulatory
problems such as atherosclerosis and
poor peripheral circulation. Other
conditions that may benefit from the
herb include intermittent claudication
and Raynaud’s phenomenon (poor
circulation to hands and feet).

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