Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha) medicinal herb comes from the rose family also referred to as Rosaceae and it dates back to hundred of years and was used traditionally in the treatment of heart diseases. It is also used as a diuretic herb. It bears black or red berries which are called haws and the berries are made into beneficial tonic which is seen as one of best herbal heart tonics.
It is a perennial plant that is native to Europe, North America as well as Asia. The common names are May bush, May tree, Hawberry, Quickset, Thornapple, Whitehorn as well as Haw. It has sweet smelling odor and the main parts used as herbal medicine are the flowers, leaves and the dried berries. The primary use of this plant has to do with heart problems and to protect against the early stages of heart diseases.
The medicinal properties are tonic, diuretic, antiseptic, sedative, astringent, antioxidant, immunity booster and relaxant.
The constituents are vitamin C, tannis, amine, polyphenols, flavonoid, triterpenoids, coumarins and phenolic acid.
As mentioned before, it is an excellent tonic for the heart. Therefore, it is suitable and effective to treat high blood pressure or hypertension. In the process of treating hypertension, it aids in dilating the blood vessels while supporting the heart with the amount of energy it needs to pump the blood.
Due to the abundance of anti-oxidants that are found in this medicinal herb, it has the ability to retain plaque from building up on the arterial walls which can decrease the risk of heart attacks. This is possible when it is consume for a period of time.
Therefore, it is seen as a blood pressure remedy and this plant possesses antioxidants as well as flavonoids which are contributory to these ailments. Extracts can be found in herbal formulas for easy access. It is also a good remedy for Alzheimer's disease, diarrhea, stroke, menopause, sore throat, arthritis, insomnia, anxiety, angina, osteoporosis and cancer of the blood.
Hawthorn leaves are edible and they can also be used as salad primarily in the Spring season because during this time the leaves are very tender and more ideal.
On the culinary side the berries can be made into jellies and preserves and in China it is used to make Chinese snacks, jams, jellies, juices, as well as alcoholic beverages. These Chinese snacks include tanghulu as well as haw flakes. It is also a perennial plant.
The tea is useful for nervousness and anxiety, in addition to acute insomnia. Just take one to two tablets one time per day. Make a powerful brew simply by steeping one teaspoonful of the flowers in one half cup of water. Take one or two cups of the tea a day, taking only a swallow at a time.
Another dosage is combining two teaspoons of the berries and crushed leaves. Add it to one cup of boiling water and allow to steep for about twenty minutes. This will be followed by straining hawthorn tea and consuming two cups per day.