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Registered Medical Herbalist
Luzia Barclay
Tel: 01722 330663

Hawthorn - Herbs for Healing Newsletter

A newsletter in association with the Sturminster Newton Transition Town Group. Part of the Transition Town Network.

Download the newsletter in PDF format. If you would like a printed version in the post, or to distribute all or part of the newsletter please contact me on 01722 330663.

I run a number of workshops in the local area, book online here or email me.
Hawthorn Berries: the heart of the matter

In the middle ages it was thought that if you hung hawthorn over your doorway it would prevent evil spirits from entering the home. Celtic folklore referred to hawthorn as the fairy bush and it should not be cut for fear of offending the fairies, who live in the bush.

Modern research however has shown in many publications that hawthorn berries have potent chemicals which promote the health of the circulatory system.

People who suffered chest pain due to angina (insufficient bloodflow to the heart) were able to exercise for longer periods of time after they took a hawthorn berry extract for three weeks. Other trials with people suffering from congestive heart failure concluded that hawthorn significantly improved heart function and also improved the patient’s ability to exercise. One study found that hawthorn extract taken for 2 months was as effective as low doses of captropril (a leading heart medication) in improving the symptoms of congestive heart failure.

Another condition which can arise in the circulatory system is atherosclerosis, hardening of the blood vessels due to sclerotic plaques. This can lead to heart attacks or to strokes when the blood supply to the brain is affected. It is the hawthorn’s antioxidant properties which help to protect against plaque formation.

Then there is the problem of high cholesterol. Millions of people now take statins (simvastatins etc) in the UK. What is the cost to the NHS? Are the short or long term side effects worth it? How much wiser would it be to use the medicine which nature provides us in the form of the hawthorn bush, flowers, leaves and berries, a whole medicine chest for most of the year, available free of charge and growing in abundance in the countryside.

Hawthorn tincture helps to remove LDL (“bad”) cholesterol from the bloodstream. These are porridge-like chemicals which clog up the arteries and cause all sorts of problems. Rats, who have been fed a highcholesterol diet, produced less cholesterol in their liver after they took hawthorn tincture. Studies to determine if the same effect will take place in people are needed.
Hawthorn - October 2010 Newsletter
Herbs For Healing Newsletter - Hawthorn. Modern research has shown that hawthorn berries contain potent chemicals which promote the health of the circulatory system. More information and recipes.
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