A good health is denoted by a healthy body and a healthy mind. Irregular eating habits and sedentary lifestyle have significantly affected the health of the human heart negatively, where improper rest, inappropriate diet and hectic professional schedule are widely known contributors. However, in the midst of the invention of several medications, Hawthorn flowers have earned a huge respect for being the oldest natural and herbal medicine for discomforts related to the heart. Scientific studies have proved that these flowers have a considerable effect in terms of preventing and curing heart diseases of mild to moderate level. In comparison to other medicinal berries for heart diseases, these flowers have been found to cause fewer side effects.
Hawthorn, a common name for Crataegus species or Crataegus oxyacantha, belongs to the family of roses and assures greatly to help people with problems related to their heart across the world. It is a dense shrub that grows with thorns and white flowers similar to roses and is being known as the most beautiful of all the shrubs that grow during the spring season. Over 300 species of these flowers are found across the world, which has been used in Europe since the middle Ages as a medicinal plant for heart problems. The heart-healthy properties of these plants have also been recognized among the Native Americans and the ancient Greeks. The leaves, fruit and flowers of this plant are used for medicinal purposes, where the fruit is sour, but the flowers are slightly bitter with an unpleasant smell.
Use as a Medicine
Many healthcare practitioners recommend the use of Hawthorn for heart diseases due to its support to maintain the right shape of the cardiovascular system for the supply of essential nutrients. Medicinal supplements of this plant are available in a range of forms, from the common pills to others like liquid extracts, where the liquid form is used widely because of its fast working.
The effects of this plant are known to ensure an increase in the flow of the blood by dilating the coronary arteries. Also, it is observed to provide a relief from the symptoms of angina. This flower has been found very helpful as a booster for the immune system alongside minimizing the risk of cardiac disorders.
It also helps to enhance the circulation of the blood by cleaning plaque from within the arteries. It plays an instrumental role to reduce the psychological problems from a severe to a normal level like confusion and memory loss. According to health care experts, this plant has also been found to provide an incredible treatment for digestive disorders such as diarrhea and dysentery. Also, common problems like anxiety and stress can also be reduced significantly by the use of this medicinal herb.
Hawthorn helps by improving the blood amount that is pumped out during contractions by the heart, make the blood vessels wider and enhance the transmission power of the nerve signals. It is also known to reduce the blood pressure and offer a relaxation of the blood vessels, at a distance from the heart, which is known to be caused by a component called ‘proanthocyanidin’.
The fluid extract from this medicinal plant promotes better flow of blood across the whole body. This allows the circulatory system to carry more of the required essential nutrients and oxygen to the heart in an efficacious manner. However, researches have also suggested that the fluid extract is found to lessen the cholesterol level by increasing the bile excretion, which reduces the cholesterol formation and increases the receptors for LDLs.
On the contrary, this plant is also known to cause several side effects despite being proved beneficial in medical terms. Along with serving as a treatment for diseases and strengthening the body, this herb also holds a tendency to cause many side-effects, similar to other plants. However, an interaction with other medication, herbs and supplements can lead to worse side effects.
Some of the common side effects of Hawthorn include stomach disorder, mild skin rashes, fatigue, sleepiness, headache, perspiration, drowsy spells, dizzy smell and nausea. Some people might also experience abnormal mood changes, breathing difficulty, constantly drained out feeling, increased agitation, and a rapid, irregular pulse. Thus, it's always considered to be a wise step to go to a healthcare expert and get consultation about the use of this herb as a medicine.
Since Hawthorn can interact with several prescription drugs that are known for the treatment of heart diseases, its use without a medical professional’s recommendation is not advised. Also, there is not much research available for effects during pregnancy, so its use must be avoided during the period to be on a safe side.
Thus, Hawthorn plant is known to provide several benefits as a medicinal plant along with some side-effects. So, its use with a proper medical consultation can help you get the best treatment for your heart disease.