Hawthorn Health Benefits Explained
Roses are my absolute favorite flowers. There’s something so delicate and feminine about them, and besides for their looks, they also smell delicious. Of course, the worst part about roses are their thorns. When the florist hasn’t cut them off the stems, they can make handling the roses pretty tricky.
Roses aren’t the only plants or flowers to have thorns though – and another such plant is the hawthorn plant. While it’s far from being as beautiful as the rose, it does have many uses, and can benefit your health in many ways. So don’t get turned off by the thorns – because, like with the rose, they are simply protecting a most important plant!
What Is The Hawthorn Plant? Where Does Hawthorn Come From?
It’s called hawthorn because it’s a plant comprised of both fruits (‘haws’, meaning hedge) and thorns (no explanations needed there). The fruits (haws) can be used to make wine or jellies, as they have a fruity taste, like that of overripe apples. In fact, most of the plant (besides the thorns) is edible – the leaves, flowers, and fruits can all be used in a variety of dishes. The plant is native to North America, Europe and Asia, which makes it pretty common. Besides its culinary benefits, the hawthorn plant has medicinal and healing properties, as well.
Hawthorn Plant Benefits Explained
The most famous of the hawthorn plant’s health benefits are its cardiovascular benefits. In fact, it’s often referred to as the ‘heart herb’, because it is seriously that good for your heart. Besides being anti-inflammatory (and inflammation has been linked to various illnesses and disease, including heart disease), hawthorn is also great at combating angina. Angina is a chest pain that is associated with coronary heart disease, and hawthorn has been proven to both prevent and fight off this condition. It does this by helping blood vessels to the heart to dilate, thus easing blood flow to the heart.
High blood pressure can have severely damaging effects on the heart. These include coronary artery disease, enlarged left heart, and even heart failure, which come along with serious side effects like heart attacks or irregular heart rhythms. Therefore, in order to keep your heart healthy, it’s essential to make sure that your blood pressure is at a proper level. Interestingly, studies have shown that hawthorn extract is a great way to stabilize blood pressure readings – at times, even more effectively than medication!
It’s also known to be great for your digestive system. Hawthorn is a wonderful source of fiber, which keeps your system moving along smoothly and helps you avoid uncomfortable conditions like bloating, cramping, and constipation.
And because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, hawthorn can also help your skin to stay healthy when applied topically. It’s especially helpful at reducing the itchiness or pain of skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, or other wounds on the skin.
Hawthorn is loaded with powerful antioxidants known as flavonoids. Antioxidants work hard to keep every part of your body healthy by fighting against free radical damage – so whether or not your health is compromised, you can benefit from having a little hawthorn in your diet.
Hawthorn Tea DIY Recipe
Get the maximum cardio benefits of hawthorn, by making this tea at home. It’s loaded with all kinds of good-for-your-heart herbs, and its guaranteed to get your attention!
Recipe from andreabeaman.com.
1 tablespoon nettle leaf
1 tablespoon violet
2 tablespoons hawthorn berries
1 tablespoon red clover
1 tablespoon motherwort
32 oz mason jar
Combine all the ingredients in the mason jar.
Cover with boiling water, and allow to steep for at least 45 minutes (overnight is best).
That’s it! It’s super easy, and your heart will be healthier than ever.
Are There Any Side Effects To Using Hawthorn?
Hawthorn can have some minor side effects in some people, like nausea, dizziness, sweating, upset stomach and other such symptoms. Obviously, if you find yourself having a reaction to hawthorn, stop taking it immediately. And while it does help to treat heart palpitations, ironically, it can also cause them if you take too much. If you have a heart condition and/or are on any medication for your heart, you should definitely take hawthorn ONLY on your doctor’s advice, as it can react badly with the medication.
In any event, you should only take hawthorn after consulting with a medical professional. This is due to the possibility of having a severe allergic reaction (although this is rare). Symptoms like difficulty breathing, itching/swelling, or severe dizziness are all signs of a severe allergic reaction, and they require immediate medical attention.
Hawthorn may prevent blood from clotting, and if taken too close to surgery could be dangerous. If you take hawthorn regularly, stop taking it two weeks prior to scheduled surgery.
Most of the negative side effects of hawthorn are due to people taking too much, or taking it of their own accord. This could potentially interact badly with the medication they are already taking. The amount you’re advised to take is crucial, and you should be able to enjoy the health benefits of this wonderful herb without any side effects.
You will definitely like this hearty herb! Hawthorn is not only healthy for your ticker, but it’s also great for your immune system in general. This is largely due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. If you feel you can benefit from this extraordinary herb, bring it up with your doc at your next visit. If he or she gives you the green light, then go ahead and try it out for yourself! You’ll soon find yourself feeling better and more energized than ever.