There’s an Herb for that: Digestive Distress and Heart Health

You ate too much and you feel like crud, now what?

Are you concerned about your blood pressure and heart health? 

Lucky for us, there's an herb that addresses both concerns. Two for one! It's hard to beat that bargain. This herb will ease digestive distress and aid in heart health.

The magnificent herb in reference is Hawthorn Berry or Crataegus. It is known as Shan Zha in Chinese Medicine.

Before we jump in, "There's an Herb for That" is an ongoing series that identifies signs and symptoms that are alleviated by herbal medicine. Within each post, I identify a single herb for those specific signs and symptoms. Pretty cool, huh?

Let's dive in. As mentioned above, Hawthorn Berry is your go-to herb for two major systems of the body. Those two systems are your digestive system and your cardiovascular system. 

Click on the image to watch my video or continue reading below!

Digestive Health

Hawthorn berry is used to ease digestive distress after a large meal. Specifically, meals that consist of meats and/or greasy foods.

What is digestive distress? Digestive distress is abdominal discomfort such as bloating, abdominal pain, gas and/or diarrhea. These signs and symptoms often occur when our digestive system is struggling to break down food. Hawthorn berry gives your system the boost it needs to further breakdown and digest.  

According to Chinese Medicine, Hawthorn berry is one of the best herbs  to reduce digestive discomfort.

Heart Health

The cardiovascular benefits of Hawthorn have been researched for hundreds of years. It is the plant's bioflavonoid constituent that contributes to heart health. 

Bioflavonoids relax and dilate the arteries. When the arteries are relaxed as open, blood can flow freely and efficiently to the heart. As a result, blood pressure decreases and our heart rate improves.

When the arteries are stressed or clogged blood can not flow freely throughout the cardiovascular system. As a result, chest pains can occur. In the medical world, chest pain is known as angina. 

Here's a second plus for Hawthorn. This herb also contains powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help to reduce degeneration of blood vessels. The degeneration or decline of our blood vessels can be due to plaque formation and inflammation. With this in mind, hawthorn can also be used to lower high cholesterol. 

For research on Hawthorn and it's cardiac benefits, click on the links below. The Chinese Herbal Materia Medica also credits hawthorn as being a potent cardiovascular herb. It's always a win when east and west come together! 

American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy

Journal of Herbal Medicine and Toxicology

Journal of Functional Foods

How to Use Hawthorn Berry

The Hawthorn berry is especially useful for digestive distress. Whereas, scientific evidence has proven that the Hawthorn flower is best used for cardiovascular health.

It is recommended that you take this herb in its raw form. This means purchasing the herb in the form it grows in. Then extracting its medicinal properties into a tea. Mountain Rose Herbs in an incredible company that provides exceptional products. You can purchase Hawthorn Berry from them.

I understand that it can be difficult and time-consuming to make a tea everyday. Thanks to modern times, we have alternatives. These alternatives are pills or tinctures.

The best pills and tinctures are those that are sourced and prepared in a sustainable manner. This process also maintains the plant's potency. Gaia is a fantastic company that produces exceptional quality. You can find their products and like producers in most health food stores, including Spouts, Earth Fare, and Whole Foods.

Read more about Gaia and their Hawthorn products here. 

Why Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine is powerful. It teaches us that we can heal from the environment around us. We can also use herbal medicine to replace or reduce the use of pharmaceuticals and over the counter medications. Herbal medicine can be used for acute and chronic issues.

It is my intention to help you understand herbal medicine and it’s healing strength. I also hope that this information gives you the confidence to seek out a practitioner of herbal medicine. 

Take your application of herbal medicine one step further! Go beyond the basic of herbal medicine with me. Enroll in my four-part series, "Beyond the Benefits: Kitchen Herb for Health." We cover seven common kitchen herbs for medicinal use.

Please share in the comments below any experience you've had using Hawthorn Berry. Share this post with anyone you feel would benefit. Knowledge increases a healthy body and mind. 

Stay curious!

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Disclaimer: This information is intended for general reference only. It is not a replacement for professional health advice. The content in this post intentionally does not provide dosage information or possible interactions with prescription drugs or other medications. Please contact a certified health practitioner such as a physician of Oriental Medicine or Herbalist before considering use. To schedule an appointment with Malerie, visit the services page.