Herb of the Month – Hawthorn

🌿 Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn), native to Europe and Britain also known as Whitethorn or Mayflower, is a deciduous shrub or small tree up to 10 meters high with large thorns/spines, white flowers, and red berries.

🌿 Hawthorn is often utilized as hedging in the fields and properties of Europe and America, a thick matting of bush and thorns acting as a deterrent to unwanted guests. Hawthorn’s leaves and flowers are harvested in Spring when the level of the plant’s important pharmacologically active constituents are optimal, the leaves being highest in oligomeric procyanidins [OPC’s] and the open white flowers highest in flavonoids.

🌿 Commercial products containing Hawthorn are often standardized to OPC or total flavonoid content. The berries are bright red when ripe and harvested in autumn. Other constituents of Hawthorn include anthocyanins, triterpenoids, cardiotonic amines, and phenylpropanoids.

🌿 Traditionally, Hawthorn was used for kidney and bladder stones, among other ailments. British tradition is to use the berries while the French and Germans prefer the leaves and flowers due to the supposed pharmacological activity. Hawthorn, one of the most widely prescribed heart remedies in Europe, is popularized in Germany being approved for use by the German Commission E for mild cases of heart failure due to the cardioprotective, cardiac tonic, trophorestorative, vasodilator, antioxidant, and hypotensive actions which directly benefit the workings of the heart essentially normalizing cardiac function.

🌿 Hawthorn is a relatively safe herbal preparation, however, exercise caution with concurrent Digoxin administration as it can potentiate the effects. Also, take 2 hours away from supplements, thiamine, or alkaloids.