With clinical studies backing up its effectiveness at helping out the heart, paired with its delicious taste and it’s affinity for the spiritual heart as well, Hawthorn has quite a bit going for it.
Hawthorn is a small flowering shrub in the Rose family, and like most rose family plants, it is edible, and quite tasty at that. Similar to other rose family plants, hawthorn has a special affinity for the heart, both spiritually and physically.
Hawthorn has well documented clinical studies showing its effectiveness in both treating and preventing cardiovascular disease, particularly congestive heart failure, damaged myocardium, and coronary artery disease.
It is also a gentle herb, so it is well tolerated by most people who take it with very few risks for side-effects or over-dosing…so eat your heart out!!
The leaf, flower, and berries are all used medicinally, so if you are harvesting the flowers, be sure to leave enough behind so you can get some berries in the fall.
The berries are often made into concentrated extracts which can be eaten by the spoonful…which is a delicious way to get your heart healthy herbs in. They can also be made into a tea or a tincture.
Energetically hawthorn is helpful for healing a broken heart. A giving and loving plant, hawthorn shrubs are also covered in large thorns; you must approach with caution and respect, similar to the way you would want someone to approach you in situations concerning the heart and love.
Hawthorn is also a wonderful boundary promoting herb, for people who tend to love too freely and often end up getting hurt; hawthorn will help you create the needed boundaries that keep your protected but also allow you to give your love to the right people.
So whether your heart troubles are physical or emotional, or if you just want to give your heart some love and protection of its own, hawthorn can be a wonderful ally.
Latin Name: Crataegus spp.
Part used: Leaf, Flower, & Berry
Energetics: Slightly moist, neutral temperature, sweet
Actions: Antiarrhythmic, antioxidant, nutritive, cardiotonic, cardioprotective, trophorestorative for the heart
Congestive heart failure
History of familial heart problems
Coronary artery disease (angina)
High blood pressure
Orthostatic hypotension (a lowering of blood pressure that occurs when a person goes from a lying down position to a standing position)
Preparation and Dosage
Tea – 1 tablespoon in 8-10 oz hot water, allow to steep for 15-25 minutes, three or more cups/day for therapeutic effects in cases of heart issues
Tincture – 90 drops 3 times/day
Standardized Extracts – 200-300mg 2-3 times/day
Use with caution if taking cardiovascular drugs as hawthorn may add to the effects
Use caution in those who are prone to hypotension (low blood pressure), particularly in elderly populations