Hawthorn Tincture (Crataegus sp.) can help maintain the heart in a healthy condition, preventing the development of coronary disease.
There are approximately 800 kinds of these small trees or shrubs in North America. Because of individual variations and frequent crossbreeding they are very difficult to separate into species. A distinctive feature of this plant is the long, straight or slightly curved, sharp thorns that arm the twigs. The leaves are alternate and conspicuously toothed. But they vary in overall shape and are difficult to categorize. Some are slightly or deeply lobed, while others are without any sign of lobes. This member of the Rosaceae family has small white or pink flowers that develop into berries. The small, apple-like fruit usually are red, orange or black in color. Hawthorns prefer alkaline soils, and are most abundant in limestone areas. They often grow in sunny abandoned fields and pastures.
Angina Pectoris – Hawthorn combats Angina Pectoris, a heart condition that is rampant in our culture. Often due to atherosclerosis, Angina Pectoris results from insufficient blood flow reaching the heart muscle. Without enough oxygen, the heart muscle spasms. Take one teaspoon of tincture in the morning and one before bedtime. Since Hawthorn is water soluble, it may also be taken as a tea. Add one ounce of berries to one pint of water and simmer fifteen minutes. Take a cup in the morning and one in the evening.
Congestive Heart Failure – In the last decade, Hawthorn extracts have been used successfully to treat the early stages of congestive heart failure. Take one teaspoon of tincture in the morning and one before bedtime. Since Hawthorn is water soluble, it may also be taken as a tea. Add one ounce of berries to one pint of water and simmer fifteen minutes. Take a cup in the morning and one in the evening.
Heart Attacks and the Recovery Process – Heart failure patients often have a history of one or more heart attacks. Studies indicate that Hawthorn extract protects the heart muscle during times of oxygen loss. This protection comes primarily in the form of antioxidant activity, which prevents free-radical damage to the heart. However, Hawthorn's other effects mentioned above also make it useful in recovery of strength in the heart muscle following a heart attack.
Heart Tonic – Hawthorn, particularly extracts made from the leaves, berries and flowers, exerts a gentle, measured effect on the heart and circulation, making it useful as an initial therapy for persons with weakened heart function. It is especially useful for early-stage congestive heart failure, particularly before stronger drugs such as digitalis are required. Take one teaspoon of Hawthorn Tincture in the morning and one before bedtime.
Hypertension – Hawthorn can help maintain the heart in a healthy condition, preventing the development of coronary disease. In general, using Hawthorn gives the heart a fighting chance at recovery from heart disease, and it may also slow progression of the illness. The actions of Hawthorn extract on the cardiovascular system make the heart a more efficient pump. It partly achieves this by increasing blood supply to the heart muscle. It also increases the output of blood from the heart and decreases the resistance of blood vessels in the body to the normal flow of blood. The result is a stronger and healthier heart and a better flow of blood throughout the body. In the past decade, however, standardized extracts from Europe have predominantly been prepared from the leaves and flowers. These portions of the plant are higher in the desired medically active constituents. Hawthorn can be safely used for an extended period of time without side effects, as opposed to digitalis and other cardiac glycoside drugs that can become toxic. There are some known interactions with prescription cardiac drugs, so check with your health care provider if you are taking such medication. Take one teaspoon of tincture in the morning and one before bedtime.