February may call to mind Valentine’s Day and all the love it inspires but it’s also American Heart Month
(fitting, right?). Meaning, this is the month to think not only about the affection you feel towards others but also on what literally makes you tick: Your heart.
Chances are, you do plenty on the regular to keep your heart pumping properly, from engaging in frequent physical activity to eating your dark, leafy greens to knowing your family’s medical history. And yet, with the risk of dying from heart disease
continuing to increase across the U.S., you may want to give your heart even more TLC.
Which is precisely where Hawthorn comes in. Derived from the berries of the Hawthorn plant—deciduous trees and shrubs that grow throughout North America, Europe, and Asia—the ancient herbal remedy and mainstay in Traditional Chinese Medicine has been used for centuries for digestive issues, kidney problems, heart health, emotional wellness—even heartache. Dating back to 1st
century Rome, the member of the rose family possesses tangy, tart berries that are often made into jams, jellies and cordials.
Sweets aside, here are four excellent benefits of the storied herb—and four ways to take it.†
1. Naturally supports cardiovascular function
A healthy heart is central to overall wellness, helping you focus better, work out stronger, breathe deeper and have more energy. Hawthorn, also known as thornapple, organically encourages cardiovascular health, in part by supporting contractions of the heart muscle. Furthermore, a review
of 14 randomized studies that assessed over 850 people determined that Hawthorn extract supported healthy heart function and improved exercise tolerance (as well as less shortness of breath and fatigue).†
Take it in…
an herbal extract. Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum Hawthorn Extract
contains a blend of Hawthorn leaves, berries and flowers to give your heart some fondness.
2. Loaded with antioxidants
Hawthorn is jam-packed with flavonoids—potent polyphenols with antioxidant properties. Antioxidants, as you likely know, are crucial to well-being, as a diet rich in them can help ward off free radical damage from pollution, smoke, environmental toxins and more. In particular, Hawthorn contains a flavonoid that’s known as OPCs (or oligomeric proanthocyandins), as well as nutrients that include quercetin (the same terrific antioxidant found in green tea), choline, calcium, iron, phosphorous and vitamins B1, B2 and C. In other words? The herb is a nutritional powerhouse that may help protect your health.†
Take it in…
a heartwarming tea: Starwest Botanicals’ Organic Hawthorn Berries
deliver a cuppa that’s pure, simple and delicious.
3. Organically encourages healthy blood pressure
Roughly 76 million Americans have high blood pressure—or hypertension—which is as alarming as it sounds. Why? As Harvard Health puts it, “Inflammation of the body’s arteries resulting from high blood pressure creates a biological magnet for cholesterol and other substances that form artery-injuring plague. When plague ruptures, clots form that can cut off blood flow to the heart (causing a heart attack) or brain (causing a stroke).” What’s more, uncontrolled hypertension is the leading cause of strokes caused by ruptured blood vessels in the brain. Hawthorn may give you some insurance, so to speak, in this area, as the herb can help support healthy blood pressure within normal limits.†
Take it in…
a syrup. Christopher’s Hawthorn Berry Heart Syrup
contains a blend of fresh, organic, wild-crafted Hawthorn berries.
4. Promotes optimal coronary artery blood flow and pressure
Coronary arteries feed the heart by supplying your body’s most vital muscle with oxygenated blood. Meanwhile, maintaining healthy blood pressure—the pressure of circulating blood against the walls of your blood vessels—is essential to your wellness. Hawthorn naturally supports the health of both of these.†
Take it in…
an herbal supplement. Gaia Herbs Hawthorn Supreme
, a purity-tested, synergistic blend of Hawthorn berries, leaves and flowers, draws its inspiration from early historical records, which declared the Hawthorn tree a symbol of adoration and marriage. In capsule form, it can help you live—and love—at your fullest.
†These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.