If closely related plants are used by cultures on opposite sides of the globe, a scientific basis for the traditional use is likely. Such is the case with hawthorns, which have been used in European, Chinese, and American traditions alike to treat heart ailments. In traditional Asian medicine as well as European herbal traditions, hawthorn has been widely used in long-term prescriptions for hypertension related to cardiac weakness, arteriosclerosis, and angina pectoris.
Medical practitioners in Europe and China use hawthorn to treat early stages of congestive heart failure characterized by diminished cardiac function, a sensation of pressure or anxiety in the heart area, age-related heart disorders which do not require digitalis, and mild arrhythmias. Numerous pharmacological and clinical studies have shown that hawthorn fruit or berry extract improves blood flow to and from the heart by strengthening its contractions. Hawthorn flower and leaf extracts improve circulation to the extremities by reducing resistance in the arteries.
Add loose tea (1 to 2 teaspoons per cup, 250ml) to a teapot, or infuser basket. Pour very hot water (not boiling) over the tea and let it infuse for up to 10 to 15 minutes. Strain leaves from the teapot before pouring. Add honey or a slice of lemon to taste. Enjoy!
Seek professional health advice if pregnant, lactating, suffering from a medical condition or taking medication before supplementing.