Hawthorn is a herb which has been used all around the world for a long time – the Chinese, for example, have been making fermented drinks from hawthorn centuries ago, and remains of the herb have been found in 9000 year old pottery! Hawthorn has been an important part of religion and folklore throughout history, with a legend saying that the thorn of Christ was made from the herb, while some myths link it with East-European vampire folklore.
Hawthorn was originally grown in Europe, Asia, North America and the Mediterranean before spreading all over the world.
A cure for your heart
The herb contains active ingredients with powerful antioxidant properties, while the flowers contain trymethilamine and glucoside oxyacanthine as well as essential oils. The hawthorn fruits also contain essential oils as well as tannin, saponin, glycosides and fructose with a portion of minerals such as potassium, calcium and sodium.
Hawthorn’s sudden rise in popularity occurred after it was mentioned in a homeopathic book written by the popular homeopath Vilmar Schwab. Later studies have found that the herb is a great medicine against cardiovascular diseases and can prevent heart attacks. Hawthorn is also a reliable natural medicine against high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arrhythmia and other cardiovascular problems.
The herb is considered a safe and secure treatment in early and advanced stages of heart diseases. Hawthorn is recommended for patients who have suffered a heart attack, since it can unblock the coronary blood vessels. Hawthorn tincture can improve the activity and nutrient absorption of the heart muscle cells, making it a great supplement for people over 50.
Other hawthorn uses
Hawthorn has powerful relaxing effects which is why it’s helpful against fatigue, lack of energy, restlessness, heavy breathing, dizziness, anxiety and stress. It is a recommended supplement for women going through menopause.
As it is a natural anti-inflammatory agent, hawthorn can help you in cases of digestive problems or ulcerative colitis, and it can also prevent free radical damage and atherosclerosis.
Although many studies have confirmed the herb as safe for consumption, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid it.
There are two hawthorn types used in medicinal purposes –red and white hawthorn. The herb can be found growing in the wild and it is easily noticed due to its thorns and three or five-lobed leaves. The hawthorn bark is harvested during the spring and can be used dry or fresh. The fruits are picked in autumn when they are bright red in color, and the white flowers are picked while they’re still buds or before blossoming (between April and June). They should be dried in shade before use.
Crush 20 gr. of hawthorn leaves and flowers and pour 200 ml. of alcohol over them, leaving the mixture for 3 weeks in a cool place, stirring it occasionally. After 3 weeks, strain the mixture and drink 20 drops of it dissolved in a glass of water every day. The drops can be used preventively or as a supplement in cardiovascular and nervous system disorders.
Put a kg. of hawthorn berries in a blender and add water until it’s about an inch over the berries. Blend until you get a smooth texture and leave the mixture for 24 hours, then cook it on low heat until it boils and simmer for an additional 30 minutes. In the end, take the pot off the heat and leave the mixture to cool down for half an hour, then strain it and store it in the fridge.
Now, blend some berries with water again and repeat the procedure as before. In the end, mix both juices and cook them on low heat until you have ¼ of the mixture left. Pour the syrup in sterilized bottles and take 6-12 tablespoons of the mixture every day.
Hawthorn and heart attacks
The herbalist Richard Schultz has a formula he recommends for heart attack patients. Here’s how to prepare it:
30 ml. of yellow gentian tincture
240 ml. of Hawthorn syrup
30 ml. of ginger root tincture
30 ml. of Selenicereus grandiflora cactus tincture
30 ml. of ground red paprika tincture
Fill half a liter plastic bottle with the hawthorn syrup and mix the other ingredients in a separate bowl, then add them to the syrup and mix everything well. Take a tablespoon of the remedy 3-8 times a day.