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Hawthorn And High Blood Pressure

Hawthorn is used to lower blood pressure naturally both in traditional and folk medicine.

hawthorm tree with berries

Hawthorn - food that lowers blood pressure

When in  Ukraine, I noticed that every old woman (“babushka”) had a bottle of hawthorn extract. Together with valerian, hawthorn was one of the cheap and available means to deal with heart and hypertension issues, so common in old age.  Russian hawthorn is prescribed by doctors and available over the counter as well.

During WWII, when heart medications were in short supply, people turned to herbs and natural medicines like hawthorn.

In fact, the first mention of hawthorn health benefits was found in the book of ancient Greek philosopher Pheophast  in 372-287 BC.

Later, Dioskorid, a famous ancient doctor, recommended eating hawthorn berries to patients with kidney, stomach problems and obesity.

And it is accepted in Western orthodox medicine  as well.  Much to my delight, I found a recommendation to use hawthorn extract to fight hypertension in the Wellness Report By Dr. Blaylock (see page 11) , a neurosurgeon and the  author of many books including ”Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills”

About Hawthorn Trees

Hawthorn trees look big and rich in colour, covered by bloody-red berries from top to bottom.  Even its Russian name, “Боярышник” (Bojaryshnik) came from the the word “боярин”, (Bojarin) – this is a title that respected members of old Russian society were addressed with.

More than 74 types of hawthorn grow on the territory of the former Soviet Union, and most of them are shorter than their American “cousins” . In the US and Canada, hawthorn looks more like a tree. For example, Duglas Hawthorn (C.dahurica) can grow up to 12 m tall with a trunk diameter of up to 1,5 ft.

In Canada,  hawthorn is widespread as well. This picture is taken at Sibbald Point Provincial park on Lake Simcoe, ON – I found a hawthorn tree  there:

Hawthorn Berries

Ontario Hawthorn Tree - Berries

Leaves, flowers, and berries of hawthorn are all beneficial for your health, although they are used to address different issues.

Hawthorn’s Health Benefits

Hawthorn’s health benefits go far beyond just fighting hypertension.

Hawthorn is used for heart problems, including angina, mild arrhythmias, and congestive heart failure, among others. Its main active constituents are antioxidant flavonoids, including quercetin, proanthocyanidins, and a number of other glycosides. It is used to normalize sleep. It acts primarily by increasing blood flow to the heart and improving its pumping action. For these reasons, it’s largely used for heart-specific pathology.

Not too many scientific studies are available about hawthorn’s effect on high blood pressure. The ones which are published, used very low doses and achieved moderate results. Please read more about this in the blog of Dr. Paddock, ND

Ways to use hawthorn

(Remember to consult with your physician or ND before you decide to use hawthorn for your own benefit.)

Interestingly enough, in Russia and Ukraine, hawthorn berries are used to make jam, either by themselves, or mixed with apples and other berries, for example, black currants. Hawthorn is so powerful that people know to use the jam in moderation. Even 4 tablespoons of hawthorn jam can cause significant drop in blood pressure.

  • Hawthorn extract is quite popular,
  • As is hawthorn berry syrup,
  • And so is hawthorn tea.
  • Hawthorn juice is easy to make if you have a juicer.
  • A jar of hawthorn blended with sugar can stay in the fridge for a while, and be used with tea or morning porridge.

Hawthorn tea is probably the safest way to introduce hawthorn into your anti-hypertensive diet.

When adopting the DASH diet, help your body normalize high blood pressure by adding hawthorn tea to your menu. Hawthorn tea is available in health stores and online.

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