Ηawthorn (Latin name: Crataegus L.) belongs to the Rosaceae family. Depending on the location it grows, it can bloom from late April to early May. Its fruit is in the form of berries with a very deep red colour.
Etymology and Historical References
Its name comes from the Greek word «κράτος» which means strength, due to the strength of the wood. Furthermore, haw is an old English term, which means a fence with thorns. For the Romans, he drove out the “evil spirits”, while for the Christians it was previously considered ominous because from this plant was the wreath that was worn on his crucifixion.
Health Benefits and Uses
Its flowers, leaves, and berries have been used as a medicine in the past. The berries can be cooked and form some kind of a jam when mixed with honey, or they can be extracted into vinegar or an alcoholic drink.
Ηawthorn is rich in flavonoids that are known to protect the cardiovascular system. Furthermore, many of the heart diseases are related to chronic inflammations and the consumption of food rich in bioactive compounds (such as flavonoids) tend to protect the heart from oxidative stress. Moreover, it has a calming effect. However, in the past, it was used for the improvement of digestion, especially for greasy foods and meats.
It has anti-hypertensive, anti-anginal, anti-cholesterolemic properties and as a result, hawthorn benefits a wide variety of heart-related problems. Studies have shown that it has a positive impact on people who suffer from mild to moderate heart disease.
The consumption of the leaves or flowers of this herb could lead to stomach pains. Hawthorn must not be used by people who suffer from diastolic congestive heart failure.
Available Forms of Hawthorn:
Caution! Herbs should not be consumed uncontrollably. Consult your doctor before consumption. They are not substitutes for drugs and can cause side effects and allergies.