The benefits of Hawthorn for Heart problems

Hawthorn has a marvellous folk-history as a heart remedy and restorative and modern studies fully bear out its traditional reputation. This is a fact, without increasing blood pressure or producing any other kind of strain, Hawthorn increases blood flow through the heart and strengthens the heart muscle.

Hawthorn can help:

  • Angina
  • Hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis)
  • Plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • Enlarged heart from over-work
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Mild high blood pressure
  • Risk of heart attack
  • Intermittent claudication (painful legs from poor blood flow)

The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia (BHP) describes the actions of Hawthorn as 'cardiotonic, coronary vasodilator, hypotensive, reputed to dissolve deposits in thickened & sclerotic arteries'. It says it is indicated for 'cardiac failure, or earlier myocardial weakness, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, paroxysmal tachycardia' and specifically indicated 'hypertension with myocardial weakness, angina pectoris' The BHP recommends a dose of 0.3-1gm or by infusion and the tincture at 1:5 in 45% ethanol at a dose of 1-2 mls.

Thomas Bartram writes that the actions of Hawthorn include 'positive heart restorative, coronary vasodilator, antispasmodic, antihypertensive, adaptogen, diuretic, sedative to nervous system, cholesterol and mineral solvent. Action lacks the toxic effects of digitalis; useful where digitalis is not tolerated'.
He suggests uses for it including 'to increase blood flow through the heart, strengthens heart muscle without increasing the beat or raising blood pressure. Enhances exercise duration. Myocarditis with failing compensation. Improves circulation in coronary arteries. Arteriosclerosis, atheroma, thrombosis, rapid heart beat, fatty degeneration, angina, enlargement of the heart from over-work, over-exercise or mental tension, intermittent claudication, risk of infarction, long-term dizziness, mild to moderate hypertension, insomnia, used by sportspeople to sustain the heart under maximum effort.
Bartram suggests doses for the leaves & flowers of 1-2 tsps to each cup of boiling water, infuse for 5-10 minutes and dose one cup; traditional for insomnia or for the heart under stress. For the berries; 1-2 heaped tsps to each cup water, simmer gently for 2 minutes, dose half to one cup. For the tincture; 1-2mls.

Sharol Tilgner writes 'Hawthorn is not used for acute illness. It is an adaptogen specific for the circulatory system and is used in numerous circulatory system problems. It is a slow acting, nourishing plant which needs to be taken for long term for best effects, 3 months or more.
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 heart disorders with pain, dyspnoea (difficulty breathing), rapid and feeble heart action, valvular insufficiency, cardiac hypertrophy, angina, venous stasis, endocarditis, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, cerebral circulatory disturbances, hypertension & hypotension.
Hawthorn improves coronary blood flow, reducing the likelihood or 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 normalised with the use of this herb. Most chronic heart diseases can be affected by it and research has shown objective proof of efficacy in patients with cardiac insufficiency'

David Hoffmann writes 'a tonic in the true sense, Hawthorn can be considered a specific remedy for most cardiovascular disease. A whole plant preparation should be used, as the individual effects of isolated constituents proved insignificant when tested in the laboratory. The whole plant, on the other hand, has unique and valuable properties. Hawthorn's primary attribute appears to be an ability to improve coronary circulation. It dilates the coronary arteries, relieving cardiac hypoxemia. Consequently, it reduces the likelihood of angina attacks and relieves symptoms of angina when they occur. The herb thus directly affects the cells of the cardiac muscle, enhancing both activity and nutrition.
Hawthorn increases the contractility of cardiac muscle; however it is quite different from cardiac glycoside containing drugs which impact the contractile fibres while Hawthorn assists with the availability and utilisation of energy, facilitating a gentle but sustained reversal of degenerative, age-related changes. It is especially beneficial for loss of function due to old age that has not yet resulted in overt pathology. It causes no toxicity, accumulation or habituation and is safe for long-term use in the elderly'

Click this link to purchase Hawthorn Tincture

Pink and white hawthorn flowersjpg