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Hawthorn And Heart Function
Q: What Is Hawthorn?
A: Hawthorn is a small common thorny tree or shrub and a member of the rose family. Its flowers grow in small clusters, and are white, red, or pink. Small berries, called haws, sprout after the flowers. They are usually red when ripe, but they may also be black. Hawthorn leaves are shiny and grow in a variety of shapes and sizes. Used since the Middle Ages, Hawthorn is considered a "cardiotonic" herb or heart tonic.
Q: Where does it come from?
A: Although Hawthorn is indigenous to the Mediterranean regions of the world, it is also found in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, Europe, Asia and North America.
Q: What types of heart ailments is Hawthorn good for?
A: Hawthorn is typically used to help treat heart ailments such as cardiomyopothy, angina, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, arrhythmia, chest pain and high blood pressure.
Q: What parts of the plant are used?
A: Traditionally, Hawthorn's flowers, leaves and berries are all used in herbal supplements.
Q: Why are the flowers, leaves and berries used and not the bark or roots?
A: Each is high in flavonoid content, which gives the plant powerful antioxidant properties. Hawthorn contains three groups of compounds which are key to the plant's positive effects on the cardiovascular system. By inhibiting free radical formation, hawthorn's antioxidant activity can be beneficial in maintaining healthy heart vessels and promoting overall heart health.
Q: So, how exactly does Hawthorn work in the body?
A: Well, aside from inhibiting the formation of free radicals, Hawthorn normalizes heart action, which benefits the entire body by improving circulation and increasing tolerance for physical exertion. It also increases the power of the heart's contractions, making the organ more efficient.
Q: Have any studies been done on Hawthorn?
A: Yes. In fact, many various scientific studies in the U.S. and Europe have been performed to prove Hawthorn's efficacy.
Q: Who can use Hawthorn?
A: For the most part, anybody can use Hawthorn. However, Hawthorn works best if any of the previously mentioned condition are mild to moderately severe. Hawthorn is also used successfully in severe cases, normally in combination with a prescription drug, prescribed by your doctor.
Q: How long should I use Hawthorn for and are there any toxic side effects?
A: The herb is best-used long term, because the active constituents do not produce rapid results. The benefits develop slowly, and have a direct effect on the heart itself, especially in cases of heart damage and heart problems associated with liver disease. It is gentle and safe for long-term use with no toxic side effects.
Q: Where can I find a good Hawthorn supplement?
A: Hawthorne is available for purchase in office at Dr. Wolff's or can be purchased at your local health food store. Wherever you buy it, make sure your bottle of Hawthorn states that it is "Standardized". The word should appear somewhere on the front of the bottle, normally right under the name of the herb.
Q: Why is it important that it is standardized?
A: Any herbal product that states that it is standardized, has gone through rigorous testing and guarantees that the active constituents are present which give the herb it's therapeutic effect.
Q: Is a non-standardized herb just as good?
A: A non-standardized herb may or may not work if you're going to use it for a specific ailment. If it does work, it may take longer and/or not work as well. Standardized guarantees active constituents which make the herb stronger in its intended action.