What is Crataegus oxyacantha?
The hawthorn (including crataegus oxyacantha) is a deciduous tree of which there are approximately 1000 different species. They are all hardy and can endure drought, cold and urban pollution.
Crataegus oxyacantha is a variety of the English Hawthorn, It can grow to 15 feet and is thickly branched and produces a pink flower but rarely bears fruit. Whilst the berries are the most often used part of the plant, the flowers and the leaves also have a role to play.
Hawthorn is the best known of the herbal/plant cardiac tonics and possibly the most valuable tonic remedy for the cardio-vascular system found in the plant kingdom.
How does it work?
The flavenoids present in Hawthorn have shown to enhance the connective tissue structure of the endothelial lining of the heart cavities and the blood and lymph vessels. Hawthorn dilates the coronary artery and thereby enhances blood flow to the heart muscle.
Hawthorn is also a peripheal vasodilator and dilates blood vessels away from the heart. This lowers blood pressure and relieves the burden placed upon the heart.
Hawthorn's flavans have a favourable effect on the heart muscle's calcium metabolism, thereby increasing its contractile power and promoting its normal rhythm.
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