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Since time immemorial, man has depended on plants not only for food but also for medicine. Particular plants have been proven to offer specific benefits for important organs – such as hawthorn, the herb for the heart.
Plants are such selfless life forms: They prey on nothing to grow, depending, instead, on the process of photosynthesis which uses natural resources (carbon dioxide, water and sunlight) to produce food for themselves in the form of glucose. This complex chain of events produces a huge variety of species in the plant kingdom, many of which have generous and extraordinary health benefits, such as the herb hawthorn.
ABOUT HAWTHORNHawthorn (Crataegus laevigata) grows as a shrub or a tree with white or pink flowers that blossom in May and June. It has small clusters of berries and grows in the temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere: Europe, Asia and North America. In England it is widely grown as a hedge plant. Its trunk and stems consist of hard wood, with a smooth and ash-grey bark. The branches are thorny and the small, shiny leaves are dark green on top and have three irregularly toothed lobes.
BENEFITS OF HAWTHORN Herbalists regard hawthorn as the most important of all cardiovascular remedies. It is prescribed for a range of cardiovascular problems, including: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, angina, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, fatigue and tiredness in those suffering from congestive heart failure. Research shows that hawthorn improves blood flow to the heart itself, ensuring that muscle cells are well oxygenated. Hawthorn further reduces the build up of fatty plaques in blood vessels, which can lead to arteriosclerosis.
Hawthorn is also beneficial as an antispasmodic, a sedative, a vasodilator (good for heart muscle weakened by age), and as anti-inflammatory. Some of hawthorn’s active constituents have potent antioxidant activity, and these compounds may be responsible for the herb’s cholesterol-lowering effects, helping to prevent oxidation of LDL-cholesterol (so called bad-cholesterol) and decreasing both production and absorption of cholesterol.
HOW TO USE HAWTHORNHawthorn is available in capsules, tinctures, as a standardised extract and also as dried leaves, flowers and berries.To make hawthorn tea steep two teaspoons of hawthorn leaves and flowers in 350 ml of water for 10 minutes, strain and drink one to two cups a day. The brew may be sweetened with honey or stevia.
As a tincture, generally take 5 ml twice daily.As a decoction use one tsp. of the crushed fruit and half a cup of cold water, allow to stand for seven to eight hours, then bring quickly to the boil and strain. Take one to half a cup a day, a mouthful at a time. As with the tea, the decoction can be sweetened with honey or stevia.
Please note: It is not my intention to make specific claims. Any attempt to diagnose, prevent or treat illness should be under the direction of your health care provider.
Hawthorn is very safe and well tolerated but is best used under the supervision of a professional health care practitioner for anyone who suffers from congestive heart failure or being treated for heart disease.
Further reading1. Esselstyn AC, Esselstyn J. Prevent & reverse heart disease cookbook. Avery; 2014.2. Gersh BJ. Mayo Clinic heart book. William Morrow; email@example.com. Ornisl D. Reversing heart disease. Ivy Books; 1995.4. Schocken DD, Nasley S. 30 Day heart tune-up. Centre Street. 2015.5. Tompkins P, Baird C. The secrets of plants. Harper Perennial; 1973.
KLAUS FERLOW, HMH, HA.
Honorary Master Herbalist, Dominion Herbal College, Professional Herbal Advocate Canadian Herbalist's Association, founder of Ferlow Botanicals has retired and founded Neem Research. Due to his over 20 years experience working with Neem is publishing in September/October 2015 his book "Neem: Nature's Healing Gift to Humanity." The Neem tree offers better plant health, human health, animal health and environmental health. He is also a co-author of the book "7steps to dental health."
More information can be obtained from:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTCsaPEtCPg, www.neemresearch.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org
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