Hawthorn Benefits and Uses in Natural Medicine
Hawthorn, botanically known as Crataegus oxycantha, is a plant with great significance. It has been regarded as sacred among Christians and Jews worldwide, as it was said the crown of thorns on Christ’s head was made from this tree. In fact, a grove of these trees still stand on the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem! Beyond the spiritual significance, hawthorn benefits our bodies in many ways too.
Hawthorn is commonly used for both medicinal and culinary purposes! The berries of the tree make wonderful syrups and jellies. The leaves can be blended with rose hips and violet for a soothing tea.
A great benefit of hawthorn is that you can enjoy it on a regular basis, as it’s not typically used for acute illnesses. It’s slow acting and nourishing–and can help you maintain healthy arteries, veins, and aid the heart and all its connecting tissue (from the lining to blood to lymphatic vessels)!
Hawthorn Benefits: The Heart and Beyond
Hawthorn is best known as a cardio tonic…but it’s so much more than that! This wonderful tree–fruit and all–is beneficial for relieving pain from the emotional heart too. It can help whether it’s melancholy, despondency, or a “closed mind, closed heart” feeling that’s bugging you.
Hawthorn benefits us by digging deep and bringing things to light to help us overcome what has knocked us down.
This herb also assists us in many other ways. For instance, here are the effects Hawthorn can have on the body:
- Antispasmodic: Prevents or relieves spasms
- Astringent: Has a constricting or binding effect
- Cardiotonic: Heart tonic or restorative
- Digestant: Aids digestion
- Diuretic: Increases the secretion and flow of urine
- Sedative: Soothing to a body system
What Hawthorn Can Be Used For
Because of its gentleness and flexibility in its uses, Hawthorn can be used to benefit many conditions and ailments. Here are some things I’ve used Hawthorn for over the years.
- Blood pressure and overall cardiac care
- Bronchial asthma, in herbal blends
- Allergic rhinitis, also in blends
Like all herbs, there are certain precautions to take. Hawthorn is a wonderful herb, but you don’t want to get crazy with it! If you have any of these conditions or take these medications, it’s best for you to avoid Hawthorn.
- If you take digitaloids, beta-blockers, or prescription diuretics
- If you have bradycardia
Keep in mind that our diets play a huge role in our health and should always be our starting point. Think nutrient density, fiber, water and physical exercise…it always helps!
When starting any new herb, it’s beneficial to get a consultation with a trusted practitioner (book a consultation with me right here). Each of us lives with a different story and has different needs, after all. So, check in with your ND, Herbalist, or other practitioner before beginning Hawthorn.
Products to Access Hawthorn’s Benefits
Heart Chakra Tea: This energetic center impacts the heart both physically and emotionally…so, of course this blend has Hawthorn–both the berries and the leaves! It’s where the healing “magic” truly begins, and it tastes delicious too. Get it right here.
Happy Herbal Heart: Although this one doesn't actually contain Hawthorn, it's another great option if you're looking for additional help for your heart and stress levels! Get it here.
Custom Formulations: If your health needs are more complex or nuanced, reach out to me for a custom formulation. Contact me here for more info!
*For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. (Because why would we want to do that?)