The hawthorn, a small thorny tree belonging to the rose family.
It has long been a symbol of hope and happiness. In ancient Greece, brides carried it on their wedding day. Romans believed it kept evil spirits away but in the Middle Ages it was thought to be an evil herb.
Herbalists have used it for thousands of years. Since the turn of this century has it been studied for the best hope of all, to heal the human heart. As early as the 19th century Hawthorn was considered a “secret remedy” for heart disease. In the 1890’s a group of American physicians used hawthorn preparations to treat cardiac troubles such as weak heartbeat and angina. Today it is viewed as a potentially important drug source.
Over the past 80 years, research has confirmed that hawthorn has positive effects on the cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) system, probably due to its flavinoids which can regulate blood pressure and reduce angina pain. It dialates blood vessels allowing blood to flow more freely resulting in the lowering of blood pressure. It acts directly on the heart muscle to help a damaged heart to work more efficiently.
“German pharmacies carry three dozen hawthorn preparations, both prescription and nonprescription, to treat heart-related ailments. There, hawthorn is recommended to treat very mild cases of circulatory disorders or is used in addition to therapy with stronger heart drugs such as digitalis. “Tyler’s Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies (Tylers Honest Herbal)
Hawthorn works slowly and is generally safe if taken in proper doses.
It can be toxic in large doses but used properly it is a relatively safe, mild tonic. If you take any prescription heart medications or blood pressure drugs, don’t add any herbal preparations, including Hawthorn, without first seeking your doctor’s advice. Your heart is nothing to fool around with. Do not try to self-diagnose and self medicate when it comes to such an important functioning organ as your heart.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies suggests hawthorn as a remedy for tinnitus due to it being a tonic for the circulatory system.
You may also be interested in the Health Benefits of Fruit, which can help with heart disease.
See precautions here.