Scientific: Crataegus laevigata [WikiPedia]
Appearance: Crataegus is a thorny shrub or tree with stems and trunks that consist of hard wood and grey bark, often having tri-lobed leaves and white flowers that are similar to other genera in the Rosaceae or Rose family and bearing bright red berries. There are around 280 known species, several of which are used in traditional medicine and may be used interchangeably.
Parts Used: Dried leaf and flower as a tea or capsule; fresh or dried as a tincture. Dried berry as a tincture, tea, or encapsulated; can also be made into smoothies, punches, cordials or even made into a fresh juice.
Common Uses: Hawthorn has been used since the Middle ages, with some accounts going back as far as the first century to Greek herbalist Dioscorides. It was later used by Swiss physician Paracelsus (1493–1541 CE). Considered to be a particularly symbolic tree with many folk-tales and magical myths surrounding it, hawthorn was “sacred tree medicine” to the ancient Druids, and was said to house fairies, specifically when growing with oak and ash trees. Hawthorn is widely regarded in Europe as a safe and effective treatment for the early stages of heart disease and is endorsed by Commission E- the branch of the German government that studies and approves herbal treatments. It is used to promote the health of the circulatory system and has been found useful in treating angina, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia. It has been found to strengthen the heart and stabilise it against arrythmias. Hawthorn leaf, flower, and berry have been praised over the centuries for their heart elevating properties. Believed to uplift and strengthen both the physical and emotional heart, hawthorn, as it supports healthy cardiovascular function, was also revered for ceremonial and spiritual purposes. The flavourful red berries have been used in candies, jams, jellies, wines, and cordials and are widely available in many forms as dietary supplements.
- Increase overall energy in the cardiovascular system
- Tone the muscle of the heart and promote health
- Regulate blood pressure within a normal range
- Maintain a regular heartbeat
- Restore heart muscles that have weakened, treat inflammation in the heart, and prevent arteriosclerosis (build-up of plaque that restricts blood flow)
Alternatives and Adjuncts:
Topic Specific References:
PLEASE NOTE that herbal and other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.