Hawthorn tea has a long history in both folk medicine and clinical medicine as a heart tonic. The herb of the hawthorn plant is typically used to improve cardiovascular function, as it increases the supply of blood to the heart muscle, resulting in enhanced circulation throughout the body. It has been shown to help stabilize angina pectoris, as well as aiding recovery from heart attacks.
Hawthorn tea, when made from leaves, flowers, and berries of the hawthorn plant, contain a variety of bioflavonoid-like complexes that appear to be primarily responsible for the cardiac actions. These components of the plant are astringent.
Hawthorn tea also seems to inhibit angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) and reduce production of the potent blood vessel-constricting substance angiotensin II. Hawthorn thus reduces resistance in arteries and improves extremity circulation. The bioflavonoids in hawthorn are potent antioxidants.
As such, Hawthorn is an effective and low-risk herb for those with coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, and hypertension.
Numerous double-blind clinical trials have confirmed hawthorn tea is beneficial for persons with serious heart conditions.
Of course, a physician must be consulted in cases where symptoms continue unchanged for longer than six weeks or in case of swelling of the legs. Medical diagnosis is absolutely necessary when pains occur in the region of the heart, spreading out to the arms, upper abdomen or the area around the neck, or in cases of respiratory distress (dyspnea).