Origin and history

Hawthorn ( Crataegus ) is also known as hawthorn in Germany and is a genus of plants that includes several hundred shrubs and trees. The plant is native to the northern hemisphere, which includes Europe, Germany, Asia, North Africa and North America, with the latter having a particularly large number of species. The densely branched bushes usually grow with small thorns, flowers and typical red fruits. Most fruits are also edible and have a sour-sweet taste that is often used in teas, juices or jellies. The flowers and fruits have been used as traditional medicine since the 1st century AD, in Europe, in Chinese medicine and even by the native Americans. In mythology, the assumption developed that hawthorn can protect against evil. Hawthorn branches were also woven into children's cradles to protect children from evil fairies.  




As in folk medicine, the main use of hawthorn today is to treat heart failure. In traditional medicine it is also often used to strengthen circulation, reduce blood lipid levels and stimulate appetite and digestion. It can help with digestion by presumably acting as a prebiotic and promoting the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria.  


Studies indicate possible anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective and digestive properties. Some studies have also observed a supportive effect of hawthorn in patients with heart failure. Hawthorn stimulates the contraction force of the heart and ensures better oxygen supply and blood circulation. Many different mechanisms are involved in the possible heart-protective effect of hawthorn; studies have shown that some ingredients can regulate cholesterol levels and thus reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, a narrowing of the blood vessels caused by fats. Hawthorn extracts may also have a positive influence on blood sugar levels and thus prevent diabetes and the associated stress on the cardiovascular system.  

Some active ingredients in hawthorn are also suspected to have a neuroprotective effect. Hawthorn can also potentially act as a remedy for nervousness.  



Possible side effects 

In general, hawthorn is well tolerated. However, some people may experience mild symptoms such as an upset stomach, nausea and a feeling of dizziness. An overdose can cause more serious symptoms, such as an irregular heartbeat and low blood pressure.  

Pregnant women and people on certain medications should consult their doctor before taking hawthorn.  



People taking heart medications such as digoxin/lanoxin should not take hawthorn. People who take platelet aggregation inhibitors or anticoagulants should also avoid taking them or consult a doctor beforehand.  


Other applications  

Hawthorn is available in various forms such as tea, tincture, extract or capsules. The recommended dosage varies depending on the form of application.  





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