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Hawthorn and the heart.

Hawthorn isn't hypotensive or antihypertensive, per se.

A question on the ForageAhead mailing list:

>I recently heard someone saying that they ate hawthorne berries like any dietary berry. It seemed odd to me as it has hypotensive/antihypertensive properties.

Hawthorn is not hypo- or antihypertensive. It:

  • strengthens capillaries and larger blood vessel walls
  • strengthens the heart muscle itself
  • enhances the oxygen uptake of the heart muscle
  • is, lemmesee now (from R. F. Weiss): a positive inotrope, chronotrope and dromotrope, and a negative bathmotrope, and it enhances coronary and myocardiac blood supply. (Tell that to a doctor and watch him nod his head, looking as if he understood it.)
    (positive inotrope: strenghtens muscular contractions;
    positive chronotrope: strengthens the heart beat;
    positive dromotrope: strengthens the nerve impulses of the heart muscle;
    negative batmotrope: lessens the excitability of the heart muscle.)

So there's no straightforward hypo- or hypertensive action; instead, hawthorn is an all-round heart strengthener, and an all-round blood vessel strengthener, which incidentally will help both with low and with high blood pressure.

Hawthorn is bad for you if you can't take a slower heartbeat, but if that's no problem, go for it, whatEVER your heart problem is: you'll stave off the need for heart meds for years on end. That is a Good Thing (TM), seeing that heart meds go for symptoms (which means the problem will show up as a different symptom very shortly), whereas hawthorn goes for the reason for said symptom (which means the problem goes away, for at least as long as you take hawthorn).

And, although I've read that hawthorn should start working only after a few weeks of regular use: one elderly gentleman with heart problems whom I gave it to a few years ago felt very much better within a day of starting it, and, unfortunately, got really bad arrhythmia on day three (... he couldn't take the slower pulse).

> Any one heard about such a thing as eating hawthorne in such amounts?

You can't really do more than nibble on real hawthorn berries, and that only when they're fully ripe and the "meat" is very soft. Almost all of the berry is made up of two or three rather large and very hard seeds. You can make a juice of the berries, provided you give them a good three days in the freezer first; if you try to steam juice hawthorn berries straight off the tree you'll end up with dirty water, not juice.

Jam, well, just don't go there ... it's really not worth all the blisters you'll get, trying to get at least some meat off those berries, rubbing your take (which you've boiled for HOURS, waiting for the berries to soften (... they never do)) through a sieve or a food mill.

Some Chinese medicine dried "hawthorns" are tiny sliced-up apples. You can tell the difference from the apple-shaped seed nests; no hawthorn worth its salt looks like an apple inside.

To illustrate in ascii signage: hawthorns don't look like this inside: (*), they look like this: (), where is another.

And for real berry apples, or apple berries: y-u-m, especially after a frost, for things like ripe soft Malus toringo berries. Like, wow.

Henriette

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Related entry: Crataegus - hawthorn

Comments

Nice! I love your sense of humor mixed into your monographs, there's (almost) nothing worse than boring, dry herbalism. Interesting about the little apples, hmmm. And now I have to go check my baby Hawthorns to see how they're doing (hurry up, little plants).

Heh. Gotta spice things up, else people will lose interest in no time at all.

You mentioned an older gentleman who "got really bad arrhythmia on day three (... he couldn't take the slower pulse)." What arrhythmia specifically? A simple brachycardia? I've begun taking it for atrial fibrillation. I'll let you knowhow it works. Mainstream medicines "cures" seem a little drastic.

It was so bad that he called for an ambulance in the middle of the night -- and his doc told him, later on, that he'd have managed as well with just a good shot of whisky. (Gotta love old docs, who know what works and what doesn't - a young'un would never have said that, having never seen it work ...)
Dunno what kind of arrhythmia that was, sorry.

Hi Henrietta, love your page. Re Hawthorn, leaves are excellent for the heart too. I used to chew them as a boy (please don't ask how long ago - suffice it to say that a fire permit has to be obtained before I light the candles on my birthday cake). I remember that the leaves were referred to as old mans bread and butter - or some such name. A lot of the old folks around where I grew up oin Northern England used to chew them to strengthen their hearts.

Lovely, many thanks for that!

REPAIRS HEART VALVES!

CHINESE HAW OR HAWTHORN WORK EXCELLENT!
BOIL FOR TWO HOURS..........WORK THROUGH A MESH STRAINER........PUT THE
STRAINED MATTER BACK TO BOIL slowly for two hours. ..YOU HAVE APPLE HAWTHORN BUTTER! wHAT DOES NOT GO THROUGH STRAINER........pUT IN A
GALLON OF WATER AND BOIL FOR TEN MINUTES, ADD A CUP OF HONEY OF SUGAR AND A DRAM OF YEAST!..ADD AIRLOCK FERMENT 3 DAYS(READY IN 3 DAYS!)
.......DOSE............TWO SLICE OF TOAST N HAW A TEA CUP OF THE WINE
MORNING NOON AND NIGHT (PS. ENGLISH TEACUP CONTAINS 3-5 OZ) FOLLOW THIS COURSE FOR 6- 8 WEEKS FOR HEART VALVE REGROWTH!

i was promised pork replacement valves by a doctor.......6 weeks later he confirmed all valves in heart now in working order! He and his team of 5 specialists had booked golf course also my operation day as i was convinced my heart was ok or could be OK! Couldn't have been happier to see Doctors Golfing that Day!

Came across the REBUILDS HEARTVALVES phrase in an old Nova Ncotia herbalists claims and refferences....... like the doctrine of signatures the haws are true red.

Hope you are doing Personally Fine
hp

This is quite challenging text for me to read but as far as I understand it this is good stuff. Have to bookmark this page for another read and with a good dictionary with me. I'm always looking for good info like this on medical stuff.

What is the typical dosage for an infusion? Most of what I have read says 3-4 cups per day but how many grams of berry and how many grams of leaf do you put into each cup?

the usual for teas: 1-2 teaspoons dried herb to 2 dl boiling water, let steep 5-10 min., strain, drink.

My doctor detected my high blood presure 6 weeks ago, and prescribed medication, I said, I will return in 100 days for another BP test, and in that period I will exercise and take hawthorne, the doctors reply was ... it wont work.
Its has now been 60 days past.... I have been walking for an hour every day & taking 2x 450mg capsuls with food twice daily......the exercise has become a lot easier now.
I will post the outcome after my next test.

I have today finished my 100 day exercise and hawthorne program.......@ 85 days my BP had not decreased, still 150/90.
on the 85th day. I commenced taking (4) x 1000mg fish oil caps daily + (2) carlic caps along with the hawthorne and still exercising.
TODAY MY BP READING IS: 135/72
and hopefully still decreasing
just wonder what my doctor is going to say now ......

What are you doing about the diet? Ditching the simple carbs, the beer after exercise, and similar? (Check my blog posts about syndrome x.)

This was a great read I definitely have a better understanding of hawthorne berries and why they are good for those with high blood pressure :) also like how you used symbols to illustrate in ascii signage :]



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