Common Names: English Hawthorn, Haw (Black Haw is Viburnum Pruifolium L.), May, May Blossom, May Bush, May Tree, Quick-Set, Shan-Cha (Chinese Name), Thorn-Apple Tree, Whitethorn
Scientific Name: Crataegus Laevigata
Common Uses: Astringent, antispasmodic, cardiac tonic, carminative, diuretic, sedative, stimulant, vasodilator. Hawthorn normalizes blood pressure by regulating heart action; extended use will usually lower blood pressure. It is good for heart muscle weakened by age, for inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), for softening the arteries in arteriosclerosis, helps strengthen blood vessels, cures giddiness, reduces palpitations, angina pectoris, weak heart, vascular insufficiency, blood clots (embolism, phlebitis), and for nervous heart problems. People under stress and strain from pressures of the job can benefit from hawthorn tea, aids in digestion. The tea is also a good remedy for other nervous conditions, particularly insomnia. Dilates coronary vessels, to restore the heart muscle wall, and to lower cholesterol levels. Used to treat skin sores. Relieves abdominal distention and diarrhea, food stagnation, abdominal tumors, and is good for dropsy, drives out splinters and thorns.
*Warnings: Though non-toxic, hawthorn can produce dizziness if taken in large doses. Hawthorn contains heart-affecting compounds that may affect blood pressure and heart rate. Most hawthorn preparations are safe, but it is available in a highly concentrated form that should be used only under medical supervision. Hawthorn berries are considered best for blood pressure regulation and heart/vascular conditions. Avoid if colitis or ulcers are present. Used for centuries, no side effects have ever been noted.
Origin: England and continental Europe; in England it is widely grown as a hedge plant. Found by the roadside or in the meadows, along streams, in bottomlands and open woods from Nova Scotia to North Dakota and south to Alabama and Texas. Native to Asia, Africa and Europe. Naturalized to the United States.