A member of the rose family, hawthorn (Crataegus species) was popularly planted alongside edges to keep trespassers away with its prickly branches.
The red berry-like fruits of this spiny plant have been used widely for medicinal purposes, especially to treat heart problems such as angina (chest pain), arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) and congestive heart failure.(1,2) The potent antioxidants present in hawthorn open up the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart and increase the heart-pumping power.
Atherosclerosis or clogging of the arteries due to low density lipoproteins (LDL or ‘bad cholesterol’), could contribute to hypertension. Hawthorn is a source of polyphenols that prevent plaque formation in the arteries by inhibiting the deposition of LDL.(3)
A significant study found that those taking hawthorn extract had a drastic reduction in systolic (the highest pressure when your heart pumps blood around the body) and diastolic (the lowest pressure when your heart relaxes between beats) blood pressure after three months of treatment. It was conducted on 92 men and women suffering from primary mild hypertension (high blood pressure) between 40 and 60 years of age and were given a hawthorn extract three times a day.(4)
How To Take It:
- You can take 300mg of hawthorn extract supplement three times a day to see an improvement. Buy it online here.
- You can also prepare a hawthorn tincture and take 1tbsp daily to obtain relief. Here’s how you can prepare a heart-healthy hawthorn tincture.
2. Chang Q, Zuo Z, Harrison F, Chow MS. Hawthorn. J Clin Pharmacol. 2002 Jun;42(6):605-12. PubMed PMID: 12043949.
3. Quettier-Deleu C, Voiselle G, Fruchart JC, Duriez P, Teissier E, Bailleul F, Vasseur J, Trotin F. Hawthorn extracts inhibit LDL oxidation. Pharmazie. 2003 Aug;58(8):577-81. PubMed PMID: 12967038.
4. Asgary S, Naderi GH, Sadeghi M, Kelishadi R, Amiri M. Antihypertensive effect of Iranian Crataegus curvisepala Lind.: a randomized, double-blind study. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 2004;30(5-6):221-5. PubMed PMID: 15700749.