The hawthorn is extensively used in Europe as a treatment for heart ailments, especially congestive heart failure, which involves fatigue of the heart muscle, fluid buildup around the body, and shortness of breath after mild physical exertion. This miracle herb is now starting to catch on in North America as well.
Hawthorn supports the heart in several ways. It opens the coronary arteries, improving the blood supply to the heart muscle. This strengthens the heart and helps it to beat more forcefully and efficiently. As a result, the herb boosts the heart's blood-pumping force, which is vital in congestive heart failure.
In addition, the herb dilates blood vessels around the body, which allows blood to circulate more freely with less strain on the heart. The herb helps counteract some types of heart rhythm instability, and it reduces cholesterol and blood pressure, both important risk factors for heart disease.
Many studies provide important evidence of the herb's benefits in treating heart disease, particularly congestive heart failure. An Irish doctor popularized the herb by using it to treat heart failure at the very end of the 19th century.
German researchers wave heart function tests to 3,664 people with congestive heart failure. Then all of the study participants were instructed to take hawthorn. After 2 months, the participants were tested again. Their heart function improved considering, about as much as would be probable from normal pharmaceuticals. No noteworthy side effects were detected in this test.
Although the herb is considered safe and may be useful in the handling of heart failure, angina, and cardiac arrhythmias, these are serious, potentially life-threatening circumstances require professional medical care. Consult your physician if you would like to use this herb as part of your overall treatment plan.
Large amounts of hawthorn may cause sedation and a major drop in blood pressure, possibly resulting in dizziness. The FDA lists it as an herb of indeterminate safety. Only people who have been diagnosed with heart ailments, angina, or cardiac arrhythmias, and then only in consultation with a physician should use this heart stimulant. Children and pregnant or nursing women should not take it.
With about 900 North American varieties, this herb is well tailor to many environments, from urban areas to hillsides. The tree tolerates a range of soils but preferentially alkaline, rich, moist soil. Some species prefer full sun, while others grow well in limited shade. Check with a nursery for the species Best appropriate to your region.