It's February and I'm thinking of hearts, love, and all things valentine. True heart health is something we can support for ones we love and hawthorn is an excellent herb for the heart. Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) is a member of the rosaceae or rose family. The common hawthorn is a shrub or small tree of 15-45 feet tall (5-14 meter) that flowers in late spring and later bears dark red berry-like fruit. The leaves, flowers, fruit, and twigs are used in traditional herbalism.
Hawthorn is considered an exquisite herb for the heart. The berries, leaves, and flowers are rich in flavonoids, antioxidants, quercitin, vitamin B, and vitamin C. Hawthorn is said to help with angina, hardening of the arteries, enlarged heart, rapid heart beat, mild high blood pressure, and intermittent claudication. Dozens of research articles on the benefits of hawthorn can be found here:
The herb is considered to be a very safe herb. According to Richard Whelan Medical Herbalist "it may be taken without fear by the young and old and may be used at the same time as any pharmaceutical medications with NO concerns as to adverse reactions or cross overs." (1)
Rosemary Gladstar suggests that since the herb does not build up in the body it should taken on a regular basis as a heart tonic.
The herb is also reportedly supports collagen stabilization, and helps in repair of tendons, ligaments, and muscles. (2) It is also a favorite remedy for grief and deep sadness.
How to use:
Try combining hawthorn berry powder with cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom to create a spice blend to add to smoothies, sprinkle on fruit or salad or other fare to support the heart.
Hawthorn leaves, berries, and flower can be used in a tea, tinctures, and herbal edibles. Try combining with milky oats, lemon balm, St. John's Wort, and honey for feelings of sadness and loss.
If you'd like to learn more about hawthorn and its uses contact Tricia.
1. Richard Whelan Medical Herbalist, website accessed February 2, 2018: http://www.rjwhelan.co.nz/herbs%20A-Z/hawthorn.html
2. Gladstar, R. Medicinal Herbs (2012), MA, Storey Publishing