Over the centuries, hawthorn has been used to treat many disorders and diseased states. Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) has logged considerable time as a warrior against ailments of the gastrointestinal tract. A member of the rose family, hawthorn is high in antioxidants that confer its anti-inflammatory properties. The herb has used in treatments of diabetes, high blood pressure and anxiety. It has also been used as a remedy for insomnia and diarrhea. The most compelling proposed clinical use is in heart disease and related illnesses.
Numerous studies support the properties of hawthorn as effective in the treatment of heart-related conditions. Hawthorn has been used in America since the 1800s to address cardiovascular conditions. A recent work (Wang et al., 2013) pays tribute to the herb’s effectiveness in ameliorating the adverse impacts of arrhythmia, angina, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and congestive heart failure. In tests involving control groups and placebos, hawthorn has exhibited benefits relative to controlling platelet aggregation and reducing inflammatory processes. It has also shown the capacity to control blood pressure and to lower lipid levels. It has yielded favorable results in combination with other treatments for patients afflicted with heart failure over prolonged periods. Its antioxidant properties protect the cardiovascular system from the damaging effects of LDL oxidation. Studies in animal models also demonstrated that hawthorn reduced damage and improved revascularization of finer vessels of rats with myocardial infarction (Bone & Mills, 2013).
In many respects, the work with hawthorn is just beginning. As the surprisingly beneficial results roll in, they point scientists in new directions. Those new directions lead to further breakthroughs and thereby new applications for this amazing herb.
Bone, K. & Mills, S. (2013). Herbal therapeutic systems. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-443-06992-5.00001-3
Wang, J., Xiong, X., & Feng, B. (2013). Effect of Crataegus usage in cardiovascular disease prevention: An evidence-based approach. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: eCAM, 149363. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/149363