PART USED: Berry
PROPERTIES: Tonic (cardiac), Diuretic, Astringent, Antispasmodic, Sedative
SYSTEMS AFFECTED: Cardiovascular (specific for the heart), Digestive
POSSIBLE USES: as a heart remedy, blood pressure, (combine with Cayenne)
INGREDIENT IN: Cayenne/Hawthorn, LC, MH, MS
The constituents of Hawthorn relax and dilate the arteries, with a specific focus on the coronary arteries. The increased flow of blood and nutrients to the heart strengthens and rebuilds that muscle. Hawthorn is strongly antioxidant, which helps to prevent or reduce degeneration of the blood vessels. You don’t have to search very far to find studies that confirm Hawthorn’s value in treating chronic heart problems. This is a remedy that is specific to congestive heart failure.
Hawthorn is much prized for blood pressure issues. It will raise or lower the blood pressure according to the patient’s needs. This returning of a system to homeostasis is actually true of most remedies that have been left in their natural state, rather than pulverized and the supposed “key” constituents removed and administered separately—the definition of many drugs. Hawthorn shows this holistic feature as clearly as any herb that I know of. Bilberry and Hawthorn are related species and the healing properties of their leaves share many characteristics.
According to Michael Murray, the flavonoids in Hawthorn have a very strong “vitamin P” activity. This means that Hawthorn increases intracellular vitamin C levels, protects vitamin C from destruction or oxidation, and decreases capillary permeability and fragility. These flavonoids also protect collagen (and the cells that it makes up) from destruction during inflammatory episodes.