Nurture Integrative Health

“Scattered among the fragrant white blossoms of spring, or the deep red berries of autumn, are sharp thorns that warn us to treat this generous member of the rose family with respect. In this way she teaches us that we must be willing to protect our compassionate open-heartedness and generosity, insisting on respect, even if it means speaking sharply at times.”

Deborah Frances, ND, RN aka; Dancing Crow 

Crataegus Spp or Hawthorne is a powerful ally for the heart. It is often thought of as just a cardiovascular herb, but she is so much more than that. She enhances cardiovascular health through decreasing inflammation, opening coronary vessels, lowering blood pressure, and strengthening the heart. She addresses cardiac arrhythmias, angina, coronary artery disease, valvular disorders, cardiac hypertrophy, and prevents strokes. 

Hawthorne is available in multiple forms, tea from the leaves and flowers, tinctures, and extracts. The berries when eaten whole are a tangy-sweet snack. The berries and flowers provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity and improve cross-linkage in the connective tissue of the blood vessels. Hawthorne is a diuretic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, vasodilator, endothelial protector, and stabilizes collagen. Her ability to stabilize collagen makes this plant useful in soothing hypermobility syndromes as well. 

She contains flavonoids which promote vasodilation and increasing the strength of the heart. This plant is highly nutritive for the heart. This herb is a wonderful ally for mental health and combines well with other nervines. 

This herb is safe, however, use caution when using it with patients with histories of heart failure, atrial fibrillation, anemia, and hyperthyroidism. 

You should always consult your physician before starting botanical medicine to meet your individual needs. 

A Supportive Ally for Mental Health

Hawthorne’s heart health extends from the physical body to the emotional body, making her a powerful ally for the heartache. This plant helps to open the heart no matter what form you take her in. A few drops a day can help with grief or sadness. She provides us with tender compassion and a deep connection to the Divine Mother, allowing for our hearts to open. Hawthorne is helpful in soothing many forms of loss, grief, betrayal, trauma, or abuse to allow space for suppressed emotions to bubble their way to the surface. It does not matter if it is past or present; she can hold all of it. It can be especially helpful for patients that working to open to self-love or integrate closed off parts of themselves. 

Benedict Lust, a founder of naturopathic medicine, stated that Hawthorne was useful for “dispelling gloomy forebodings and causes a general sense of wellbeing.” In Ireland, they still consider this plant sacred. It is central to Celtic spiritual practices, and there are stories of it being worn by Jesus during his crucifixion.

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