Hawthorn Berries - The Heart Tonic

Published: 03rd May 2006
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Hawthorn (Crataegus Monogyna) is a small deciduous tree or shrub, with lovely white spring flowers, followed by oval red fruits, or berries. These Hawthorn Berries have been used for heart and circulatory problems for generations. Hawthorn Berries have been used medicinally since the 19th century & has been recognized as a prime source for advantageous nutrition, when an Irish doctor began using it successfully, to treat heart disease. Hawthorn Berries are native to the Mediterranean region and have been most popular in Europe. Hawthorn extract is commonly used as aroma therapy and is known for its benefits on the circulatory system. Hawthorn is perhaps best known for its use in cardiovascular conditions. The folk history of this herb is profound, with applications for several conditions relating to the cardiovascular system. Hawthorn Berries have a long history of use as a heart tonic. The Greeks employed Hawthorn Berries primarily for heart disorders and the Chinese used Hawthorn Berries for both digestion and circulatory problems.

Hawthorn is a flavonoid-rich herb, renowned for its ability to support the normal activity of the heart. Hawthorn has been used for centuries to aid circulation. Hawthorn has the ability to increase oxygen utilization by the heart, it increases enzyme metabolism in the heart muscle, it acts as a very mild dilator of the heart muscles, and it serves as a peripheral vasodilator dilating the blood vessels out in the arms, head and legs; thereby lowering the blood pressure and reducing the burden placed on the heart. Hawthorn has been shown to increase blood flow and improve the heart's metabolism which allows it to function with less oxygen. Hawthorn will dilate blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely and this is how it is effective at lowering blood pressure. Hawthorn can actually be used for both high and low blood pressure, because of its strengthening action on the heart. Studies have shown that Hawthorn Berries are excellent for both prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease when used on a regular basis. The active constituents in hawthorn are noted for their antioxidant activity as well.

Hawthorn Berries and Hawthorn supplements are known for their ability to enhance metabolism and the utilization of oxygen in the heart. This allows for protection of the arterial walls and dilation of the coronary blood vessels improving the pumping of the heart. Hawthorn Berries also have anti-oxidant properties and are a great way to get rid of free radicals that damage cells. Hawthorn acts on the body in two ways. First, Hawthorn dilates the blood vessels, especially the coronary vessels, reducing peripheral resistance and thus lowering the blood pressure. Hawthorn is thought to reduce the tendency to experience angina attacks. Second, it apparently has a direct, favorable effect on the heart itself, which is especially noticeable in cases of heart damage. Hawthorn 's action is not immediate, but rather develops very slowly. Its toxicity is low as well, becoming evident only in large doses. It therefore seems to be a relatively harmless heart tonic that apparently yields good results in many conditions. The actions of Hawthorn on the heart tissue make it suitable for use in conditions other than CHF as well. These may include; poor coronary blood flow, angina, and arrhythmias. For the peripheral vascular system, Hawthorn is employed for treatment of elevated blood lipids, lowers serum cholesterol, LDL, and triglyceride levels, Buerger's disease, and atherosclerosis.

Hawthorn is antispasmodic, cardiac, and sedative. Hawthorn is said to normalize blood pressure by regulating heart beat, and will lower the blood pressure. Heart muscle weakened by age will be greatly benefited by Hawthorn, and it is helpful in arteriosclerosis, and with nervous heart problems.
These medicinal benefits are thought to be due to a combination of the amines and the flavonoids. Hawthorn effects are not instant, but taken over a period of months Hawthorn will reduce symptoms and act as a tonic to the heart. Chinese usage in the digestive system suggests the use of Hawthorn to ease digestion of meat and greasy foods, and where there is pain, distension, and diarrhea. Many studies have shown that Hawthorn dilates coronary blood vessels, allowing the heart to be supplied with vital oxygen and nutrients. The various flavonoids present in hawthorn neutralize certain substances from constricting blood vessels.

This occurs not only because of the increased blood and oxygen supply to the heart, but also because of enhanced metabolism within the heart muscle itself. The result is an increase in the force of contraction. This is why using Hawthorn has been shown to be beneficial in cases of congestive heart failure and various heart rhythm disturbances such as arrhythmia and heart palpitations
In addition, Hawthorn has mild sedative properties which may be another reason it is so beneficial to those who are anxious, nervous and stressed -- commonly associated with heart problems.

Hawthorn Berries are effective in relieving restlessness and insomnia and tension.
Hawthorn Berries acts as Anti-spasmodic by preventing and relieves spasms.
Hawthorn Berries is a natural heart tonic and restorative
Hawthorn Berries may aids in digestion.
Hawthorn Berries restores, nourishes, and supports the heart; it exerts a gently strengthening effect on the heart.
Hawthorn Berries restores, nourishes, and supports the entire body; it exerts a gently strengthening effect on the body
Hawthorn Berries facilitates and regularizes menstrual flow.
Hawthorn Berries are effectively used to increase blood pressure.

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