The tree of Hawthorn Herb is so rich in healing properties that nearly all of its parts have been used in alternative medicine for thousands of years.
The leaves of the Hawthorn tree were placed alongside any newborn in a cradle to ensure their survival. The Hawthorn could protect the children and the house from demonic spirits and witches.
One reason Hawthorn was linked to the protection of kids and nuptials was because it was the symbol of minor Roman goddess Cardea. Cardea presided over marriage and babies, using the branches and leaves of the Hawthorn tree as her tools. She was called “White Goddess” likely after the white buds of the Hawthorn.
Eventually, the power of the goddess became associated with the tree itself. Cardea is not credited for creating Hawthorn, however. That credit goes to the God Thor, who created the tree with a zap of lightning, according to legend. Because of that, Hawthorn was also thought to protect people during thunderstorms.
Today, Hawthorn is still believed to have protective energy, but not the superstitious kind. Many scientific studies have led to proof that Hawthorn can have a curative effect on the body.
10 Uses of the Herb
Hawthorn herb is in fact quite protective – although not in the mythic ways mentioned above. The leaves, berries, and flowers of the Hawthorn tree are filled with different types of bioflavonoids which bestow it with healing power.
Bioflavonoids, also known as simply flavonoids, are plant pigments that have the same heart-protecting effects as the dyes in red wine. There are more than five different flavonoids in the Hawthorn herb, but vitexin and hyperoside are believed to be the most coveted. Also coveted are oligomeric proyanidins. These are long chains of flavonoids and have a greater and more diverse power than single flavonoids.
These natural chemical dyes, which give a rich, vibrant hue to the flowers and berries of the Hawthorn tree, also give the herb the following health benefits:
Good for the Heart
The herb contains chemicals which block enzymes that destroy heart muscle and tissue. Research trials have shown that individuals with congestive heart failure can experience recovery and heart muscle repair while taking Hawthorn.
The Hawthorn herb strengthens cardiac muscles and fights heart disease by causing the heart to pump blood more easily and vigorously. The arteries in the heart are able to relax under the influence of the Hawthorn herb so there is better blood flow to the heart. This also relieves heart pain.
Studies show that people suffering from heart failure do so because their hearts do not pump enough blood. This can lead to shallow breathing, chest pain, and a continual state of exhaustion because there is not enough oxygen or nutrients in circulation. The Hawthorn herb can lessen or erase all these symptoms because it increases the forcefulness and the speed of the heart’s pumping action. This enables people with heart ailments to exercise and do other daily work without over-taxing their hearts.
Those who simply struggle to breathe or who have minor heart palpitations can also benefit from the Hawthorn herb. The herb has been used for heart palpitations and other heart problems since the 1700s.
Good for Blood Pressure and Circulatory Problems
The natural chemicals in the Hawthorn herb block enzymes in the body which cause constriction of the blood vessels. When blood vessels are too tight, the blood must force itself against the vessel walls to circulate throughout the body.
However, when the Hawthorn herb prevents constriction and instead allows the blood vessels to dilate or open wide, blood pressure is greatly reduced. A flavonoid in Hawthorn called rutin makes the blood vessel more elastic so that it can flex as the blood is circulating. Blood flow throughout the body becomes more efficient, reducing blood pressure. High blood pressure is known as hypertension. The use of Hawthorn for hypertension has been practiced since the 1600s.
The easing of blood pressure can help people diagnosed with a range of related ailments, such as angina and arrhythmia.
People who suffer from angina have frequent chest pain because there’s not enough blood flowing to their heart area. Research shows Hawthorn berry extracts can relieve angina after less than one month of use.
Circulatory problems such as having cold hands or feet due to lack of blood to extremities can also be solved by treating blood flow with Hawthorn.
Good for Lowering Bad Cholesterol
The Hawthorn herb was found in clinical trials to increase the body’s ability to break down and remove cholesterol, whether that cholesterol was created by the body itself or was acquired through unhealthy foods. Specifically, this herb has the power to cleanse the blood of LDL, otherwise known as the bad cholesterol. In addition to that, the Hawthorn herb can stop the body from producing excess cholesterol in the first place – a preventative measure.
Good for Atherosclerosis
When fat and plaque build up and harden on artery walls, the arteries can become blocked. This ailment is known as atherosclerosis. The Hawthorn herb has the ability to dissolve and remove plaque buildup in the arteries.
Good for Getting Antioxidants
Oxygen in free radicals causes the body to age. Antioxidants are chemicals that fight oxidation of body tissue by free radicals. The Hawthorn herb has been successful in fighting oxidation and aging because the pigments in the berries and flowers contain tons of vitamin C, a natural antioxidant.
Good for Arthritis or Gout
The joint pain caused by arthritis can be alleviated by Hawthorn extracts because the herb helps the body retain more protein and collagen to support joints and allow joints to move with ease. When someone gets arthritis or gout, the inflamed joints generally lose collagen and protein. Hawthorn has been used to treat gout since the 1300s.
Good for Insomnia
The Hawthorne Herb is a natural tranquilizer and can help one relax or fall asleep. To treat insomnia, infuse hot water with dried Hawthorn leaves.
Good for Ending Water Retention
The herb is a diuretic that can rid the body of excess water and even flush out kidney stones.
Good for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Many herbalists recommend boiling dried Hawthorne berries in hot water to make a tea that relieves irritable bowels and other digestive problems, like diarrhea.
Good for Sore Throats
A little known use of the Hawthorn herb is to drink a tea of Hawthorn leaves and berries to cure sore throats. The tea is an astringent which heals raw and sore areas and stops bleeding.
Dried berries of the Hawthorn tree originally were more popular than flowers and leaves. Today, the opposite is true. Flowers have been scientifically found to contain more of the flavonoids which fight aging and strengthen the heart. In that respect, flowers or preparations using dried flowers are best.
W Medycynie Ludowej:
Lecznicze działanie głogu wykorzystywane jest przede wszystkim w leczeniu serca. Uelastycznia jego tkanki, poprawia wydolność mięśnia sercowego. Zwalnia akcję pracy serca tym samym zmniejsza się zapotrzebowanie na tlen i chroni przed niedokrwieniem. Głóg delikatnie obniża ciśnienie krwi, wykazuje działanie uspakajające i przeciwmiażdżycowe. Preparaty i lekarstwa zwiększają zdolności adaptacyjne naszego organizmu oraz odporność na stres. Działa uspokajająco, łagodzi depresje oraz dodaje odwagi i podnosi na duchu. Poprawia pamięć, łagodzi zawroty i bóle głowy.
Medycyna chińska stosuje suszone owoce głogu w leczeniu niestrawności. Zaleca się szczególnie przy wzdęciach lub przy uczuciach pełności w żołądku – głównie po posiłkach tłustych. W tych i podobnych przypadkach poprawia trawienie i działa rozkurczowo.
Kuracje preparatami z głogu przez dłuższy czas likwidują większość schorzeń związanych z sercem. Jeśli osoba, której organizm wykazuje tolerancje na głóg może bez obaw stosować przez okres wielu miesięcy bez obawy przedawkowania. W nielicznych przypadkach poprzez spowolnienie pracy serca następowała arytmia. Osoba taka nie może stosować głogu.
Pozytywne działanie głogu można odczuć w niedługim czasie po rozpoczęciu kuracji (mniejsze tętno), ale konkretne działanie po ok. 2 miesiącach.