February's Herb of the Month-Hawthorn the "Heart Herb"
The scientific name for the hawthorn plant is Crataegus, it means strength.
Over the centuries, hawthorn berries, leaf and flower have been used to treat several health problems, particularly with the heart. The berries contain natural antioxidants even more powerful than vitamin C. Although you can eat hawthorn berries, many people take hawthorn extract in pill form. The hawthorn berry has been used for the treatment of heart ailments since the 1st century A.D.
In the United States, doctors began using this special plant to help with circulatory problems and respiratory systems back in the 19th century. The Hawthorn plant had been used to support a weak heart or an over active heart.
Properties: The effects of hawthorne on the heart muscle include increased contractility, increased conductivity, decreased excitability and normalized heartbeat. Hawthorn dilates peripheral blood vessels, especially coronary vessels. This results in improved coronary blood flow and mild anti hypertensive effect. Hawthorn also exerts mild sedative effect. (1)
Uses: Internally the plant can be used in early stage heart failure, minor coronary heart disease, and to prevent or alleviate angina pectoris. It also help with cardiac arrhythmais and hypertension. Originally, the whole plant was harvested, but modern-day treatments typically call for the flowers and leaves instead of the berries. Hawthorn products should be standardized to flavanoids or oligomeric proanthrocyanidins.
Caution: There are no reports of contraindications or side effects when used properly. Hawthorne is a safe herb, Nevertheless, due to the seriousness of heart problems and/or if you are on cardio active glycosides. it is best used on the the advice of a health professional. At Journey Health Shop we carry Dried Organic Hawthorne leaf and flower in bulk and in standardized supplement form.
1-Herbal Vade Mecum-Skenderi
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