Crataegus Oxymnema AKA: English Hawthorn, Mayflower, May Bush, May Blossom
Hawthorn comes from a small, spiny tree indigenous to the Mediterranean region. A grove of Hawthorn trees said to be sacred, grows outside of Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives. It is said that the crown of thorns that Christ wore was woven from these trees. Hawthorn, sometimes spelled Hawthorn, is also known by the names Haw, May Blossom, May Day Flower, and White Thorn. The genus name “Crataegus” comes from the Greek, “kratos”, referring to the hardness of the wood.
In Celtic folklore, fairies are said to ‘hang out’ in Hawthorn groves. Throughout history, both the Greeks and Romans associated Hawthorn with marriage & fertility. Hawthorn Berries have been used since the 19th century to support the heart and to normalize cardiovascular functions. And so Hawthorn has had its reputation both as a symbol of hope and as a symbol of evil. Today, Hawthorn Berries are one of the most popular herbs used in Europe, and gaining wider acceptance in the United States.
Here Is Where Hawthorn Gets Interesting:
Hawthorn is considered by many herbalists to be the top herb of all for the heart. Hawthorn moves oxygen to the heart as it increases the enzymatic metabolism of the heart muscles. It mildly dilates coronary blood vessels and also vessels around the body reducing blood pressure and thereby stress on the heart. Hawthorn improves cardiac weakness, angina pectoris, valve murmurs from valve defects, an enlarged heart, edema, blood pressure high or low, hardening of the arteries, irregular heartbeat, heart weakness, etc. It is said to strengthen the walls of the arteries, and may also, strengthen the heart’s pumping power.
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A combination of several constituents seems to be directly responsible for the increase in heart muscle contraction force, by blocking whatever is reducing the contraction, for example, beta-blockers. The flavones help control the intracellular Calcium ion concentration. Hawthorn berries contain leucoanthocyanins, flavonoids, hyperoside, vitexin 2-rhamnoside, glycosylflavones, amines, catechols, phenolcarboxylic acids, triterpene acids, sterols, inositol, PABA, saponins and purines.
The main activity of Hawthorn is derived from the potent mixture of pigment bioflavonoids, as well as oligomeric procyanidins (dehydrocatechins) that seem to be particularly active. Some of the flavonoid glycosides are thought to work in a similar way to digitoxin, having a vasodilating effect that could be helpful in the treatment of angina. They also produce marked sedative effects which indicate an action on the central nervous system.
Strong Effect On Cardiac And Circulatory Problems
It is the flavonoids in Hawthorn that act on the heart, having a dilating and strengthening effect on cardiac and circulatory problems. Hawthorn can help a damaged heart work more effectively. cientific research indicates that Hawthorn improves myocardial metabolism allowing the heart to function more effectively with less oxygen. The Chinese understood these healing properties very well. They would take a tough chicken and soak it in Hawthorn because of its ability to soften.
Hawthorn also has astringent properties and may be helpful in treating seborrhea and acne. The herb may also be beneficial in other skin inflammatory conditions. The gentle action of this berry promotes the regulation of a good circulatory system, dilates the blood vessels, and lowers resistance to blood flow.
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Some rare side effects may include nausea, rapid heartbeat, or headache. There are some drug interactions possible with Hawthorn Berry, so people using the herb should consult a physician if they are taking any prescription medications. For example, Hawthorn Berry may enhance the activity of the heart medication Digoxin. It can also counteract the effects of products, such as nasal decongestants, that contain phenylephrine. Phenylephrine constricts blood vessels, so the ability of Hawthorn berry to dilate blood vessels will decrease the effectiveness of medications that contain it. The methanol or alcohol extract of hawthorn berries seems to be more effective.
Hawthorn Berries and TheHerbProf.com: A Berry Good Match!
Hawthorn Berry Bonanza: At TheHerbProf.com, we’re all about hawthorn berries! We delve into their heart-healthy benefits and their role in herbal medicine.
Herbal Highlights: Learn how hawthorn berries can boost your herbal routine. They’re not just a fruit; they’re a wellness wonder!
Culinary Creations: Hawthorn berries in the kitchen? Absolutely! We share sweet and savory recipes that bring out the best in hawthorn berries.
Health and Wellness: We’re all about health and wellness, and hawthorn berries are a key part of this mission. They’re packed with antioxidants and other health-promoting compounds.
Community Connection: Join our community of hawthorn berry enthusiasts! Share your journey, learn from others, and make some new friends.
So, whether you’re a hawthorn berry buff or just starting your herbal journey, TheHerbProf.com is your trusty companion. Dive in, explore, and stay healthy!
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Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, by James A. Duke, Pub. CRP Second Edition 2007
The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Published by Dorling Kindersley