Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata) is a small thorny tree originally from northwestern Europe. For thousands of years, folk medicine has prescribed hawthorn for a variety of uses, from a sore throat to a troubled heart. Hawthorn is rich in flavonoids and other compounds which are responsible for its benefits to heart health.
The components of hawthorn exert their heart-helping actions in a number of ways. Hawthorn increases the force of heart contractions and blood flow, while reducing the demand for oxygen. It reduces deposits in the arteries, lowers blood pressure, reduces irregular heartbeats, reduces resting pulse rate and lowers cholesterol levels. Clinical trials with hawthorn have confirmed its beneficial effects on the heart and have found that it can relieve symptoms associated with heart failure. It also increases exercise performance.
- Country of origin: Spain
- Part used: Crataegus laevigata leaf and flower
- Solvent for extraction: Water / ethanol
- Stored form: Fine powder, greenish brown colour