The medicinal values of herbs is due to the presence of certain active ingredients such as amino acids, enzymes, alkaloids, vitamins etc. Hawthorne herb or Crataegus species is one of the most popular medicinal herbs used to treat the most vital part of a human body i.e. heart. The use of Hawthorne Herb dates back way back to the 1st century. Traditional medicine practitioners used Hawthorne berries to treat arrhythmia, frequent chest pain, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and heart failure. The leaves and flowers of Hawthorne Herb are still prescribed for treating mild to moderate heart failure. Hawthorn herb has also been endorsed by the German Commission E (therapeutic guide that approves herbal formulations). This powerful medicinal herb has diuretic, sedative, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cardiotonic, stimulant and vasodilator properties. Different species of Hawthorne Herb are used as ornamental plants. Hawthorns are amongst the plants highly recommended for water conservation landscapes.
Where does the plant grow: Hawthorne Herb thrives well in the temperate regions of Asia, Europe, and North America. Hawthorns commonly grow in hilly areas and sunny wooded areas across the world.
Looks: Hawthorne plants are basically thorny shrubs. Hawthorn leaves are glossy and grow in a variety of sizes and shapes.
How tall: The plants are generally tall with an approximate height of 5–15 meters.
Flowers: Small red, white, or pink flowers bloom in the month of May. After the flowering season, small berries (haws) containing 1 to 5 pyrenes sprout. Interestingly, Hawthorns provide shelter for many species of birds such as thrushes and waxwings. Nectar-feeding insects collect pollen from their flowers. Larvae of the Lepidoptera species feed on Hawthorne leaves.
Fruits: Ripe fruits are deep red or blackish in hue. The tart fruits of Hawthorne Herb are used to make popular Chinese snacks, including tanghulu and haw flakes. The fruits are also used to produce jellies, jams, marmalades, juices and alcoholic beverages. In South Korea, bright-red fruits are made in liquor called "sansachun". In Mexico, the fruits known as "tejocotes" are eaten raw, or cooked during the winter months. Rielitos, popular Mexican candy is made from Hawthorne fruit paste, sugar, and chili powder.
Dosage: Large doses of hawthorn herb can cause dizziness.
Seek Medical Advice: Individuals suffering from poor heart conditions must seek medical supervision before using Hawthorne herb extract.
Existing conditions: Patients suffering from colitis or ulcers must avoid this herb.
Pregnancy & children Safety: It is not recommended for children, pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Drug Interaction: Hawthorne Herb should not be taken along with medicines containing Digoxin or Phenylephrine.
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