Hawthorne - Crataegus Spp.

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This Hawthorne (Crataegus spp.) monograph is an excerpt from the first edition of Dr. Sharol's book "Herbal Medicine From The Heart of The Earth." You can purchase the 2020, third edition of this book with an expanded materia medica/monograph section, herbal formulas and directions on making herbal products in Dr. Sharol's Book Store. You receive free shipping in the USA.

Hawthorne - Crataegus spp. in the Rosaceae or Rose family

Parts used: Flowers, leaves and berries.

Taste/smell: Fragrant flowers, astringent leaves, sweet and sour as well as slightly astringent berries. Note: It is best to use a mixture of berries and flowers, but berries or flowers can be used alone.

Tendencies: Warming.

Dosage: Infusion: 1 tablespoon per cup of water; or 1:5 dry strength liquid extract: 60-120 drops 1-4 times per day.

Mental picture and specific indications: Hawthorne is indicated for irritable, nervous heart conditions, heart conditions related to an emotional heartache or spiritual heartache from a disconnection with the spirit, in conjunction with weak or slow digestion. It helps open the heart to forgiveness of others or forgiveness of life events that may be keeping a person from healing. It is specific for all heart-related ailments. This herb is a source of nutrition and support for the heart. Symptoms are worse in a warm room and better in fresh air with quiet and rest.

Use: (a) Diuretic, (b) Mucilaginous (berries), (c) Astringent (especially the leaves), (d) Antioxidant, (e) Nutritious, (f) Cardiotonic, (g) Cardioprotective, (h) Trophorestorative for the heart.

Hawthorn can most certainly be called a cardiovascular tonic, improving overall cardiac function. It could be considered an adaptogen specific for the circulatory system and is used for numerous circulatory system conditions. It is a slower acting, nourishing plant which is generally taken long term for 3 months or more to get the best effects in chronic cases. Although more commonly used for its long term effects practitioners have seen immediate reactions in use of Hawthorn for angina and grief related heart disease.

 It helps maintain healthy arteries, veins and heart by enhancing the connective tissue structure of the endothelial lining of the heart, blood and lymphatic vessels. This gives these structures resiliency against injury, disease and the normal wear and tear of aging. It improves cardiac function in general. It is used for functional and organic heart disorders with pain, dyspnea, precordial oppression, rapid and feeble heart action, valvular insufficiency, cardiac hypertrophy, angina, venous stasis, endocarditis, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, cerebral circulatory disturbances, hypertension, hypotension and hemorrhoids. Hawthorne improves coronary blood flow, reducing the likelihood of anginal attacks and relieving anginal symptoms. The increased blood supply directly affects the cardiac cells, enhancing nutrition to the cells and their activity. It also decreases peripheral vascular resistance. These actions assist in lowering high blood pressure.

Arrhythmias are normalized with the use of this herb. Most chronic heart diseases can be affected by use of this herb. Research has shown objective proof of efficacy in patients with cardiac insufficiency.

The flavones affect the calcium metabolism of the myocardium by inhibiting phosphodiesterase. This increases its ability to contract and support a normal rhythm. Hawthorne improves overall cardiac function.

Contraindications: Hawthorn can decrease the need for cardiac drugs like digitoxin, digoxin and other cardiac glycosides. Herbs with cardiac glycosides include Pheasant’s eye - Adonis vernalis,  Lily of the valley - Convallaria majalis, Fox glove - Digitalis purpurea, False hellebore - Veratrum (various species), Ouabain - Strophanthus gratus and Squill - Urginea maritima/indica. Individuals who consume Hawthorn should have all heart medications monitored by a physician.

If you are looking for directions on making teas or tinctures, please see our "Making Herbal Products" page.

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Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.

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