In the first century, the Greek herbalist Dioscorides wrote about the health-giving properties of the berries of the white-thorn, or hawthorn tree. Thereafter, Romans, Greeks and even Renaissance herbalists utilized the rose-like petals and red berries of the hawthorn tree as a powerful tonic for heart health.
In modern Europe, doctors regularly prescribe hawthorn extract to alleviate a variety of mild to moderate heart related symptoms. Hawthorn is listed as an official drug in the Pharmacopoeias (official drug compendium) throughout China, Europe and South America, as an effective treatment for heart ailments and cardiovascular disease. It is used in cases of angina pectoris (chest pains), arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat), aged related cardiac insufficiency, arteriosclerosis and to regulate both high and low blood pressure.
European studies indicate that hawthorn can reduce strains on the heart by dilating peripheral blood vessels (lowering blood pressure), while it simultaneously increases cardiac output as it strengthens the contractility of the heat muscle (allowing it to pump stronger). Angina cases are often relieved because it is believed to dilate coronary blood vessels, increasing the oxygen supply to the heart muscle. This may reduce the risk of having a heart attack and increase your chances of survival if one does occur. Studies have also shown hawthorn to speed the recovery of those who have suffered a heart attack.
Hawthorn berries contain cardiotonic amines, polyphenols and vitamin C with significant amounts of bioflavonoids. Universally considered to be safe even in long term use, hawthorn is non-toxic, not habit-forming and does not appear to interfere with any conventional medications. It is sometimes given concurrently with much more toxic allopathic medicines to reduce the dosage and necessity of the drugs. Over a dozen clinical trials have concluded that hawthorn berry extract can be a safe and effective option in cases of chronic congestive heart disease.
Hawthorns valuable clinical effects include:
A powerful antioxidant free-radical scavenger to reduce the plaques of atherosclerosis
An arterial dilator to infuse more oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle, alleviating angina (chest pains) while lowering peripheral blood pressure
An anti-arrythmic (steadies the heart beat by stabilizing the hearts rhythmic contractions) to prevent deadly, vessel-plugging clots
A cardiovascular tonic which increases cardiac output and endurance
Is mildly sedative, reducing some of the nervousness associated with angina or palpitations
Hawthorn taken in conjunction with other heart healthy supplements like vitamin E, Co Q10 and omega-3 fats (from fish oils), is a ideal way to support longevity, endurance and preventive heart health at any age.