hawthorn, a small thorny tree belonging to the rose family, has long been a
symbol of hope and happiness -- in ancient Greece, brides carried it on their
wedding day. Romans believed it kept evel spirits away but in the Middle Ages
it was thought to be an evil herb.
used it for thousands of years. Since the turn of this century has it been
studied for the best hope of all, to heal the human heart. As early as the 19th
century Hawthorne was considered a "secret remedy" for heart disease. In the
1890's a group of American physicians used hawthorn preparations to treat
cardiac troubles such as weak heartbeat and angina. Today it is viewed as a
potentially important drug source.
Over the past
80 years, research has confirmed that hawthorn has positive effects on the
cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) system, probably due to its
flavinoids which can regulate blood pressure and reduce angina pain. It
dialates blood vessels allowing blood to flow more freely resulting in the
lowering of blood pressure. It acts directly on the heart muscle to help a
damaged heart to work more efficiently.
"German pharmacies carry three
dozen hawthorn preparations, both prescription and nonprescription, to treat
heart-related ailments. There, hawthorn is recommended to treat very mild cases
of circulatory disorders or is used in addition to therapy with stronger heart
drugs such as digitalis."Tyler's
Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies
(Tylers Honest Herbal)
slowly and is generally safe if taken in proper doses. It can be toxic in large
doses but used properly it is a relatively safe, mild tonic. If you take any
prescription heart medications or blood pressure drugs, don't add any herbal
preparations, including Hawthorne, without first seeking your doctor's
advice. Your heart is nothing to fool around with. Do not try to
self-diagnose and self medicate when it comes to such an important functioning
organ as your heart.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies
suggests hawthorn as a remedy for tinnitus due to it being a tonic for the
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