Many plants not only serve as a decorative element for our homes, workplaces or to decorate the streets, but also offer multiple benefits to keep our health in optimal conditions, from strengthening its natural functions, to prevent any future discomfort or disease.
It is for this reason that multiple herbs have been taken as the basis for creating homemade medical recipes from ancient times to the present day.
Have you ever done it? It is possible that you have not imitated the homemade recipes as they used to be done, but surely you have taken some infusion, made a mask or used in aromatherapy, so it is also valid as homemade recipes. But how effective are these herbs? Of course, they are not a replacement for medical treatments, but help to complement health, so it is very positive that you consume infusions on a regular basis but without disregarding medications.
What is your favorite herb? In this case we will talk about hawthorn and all those properties and benefits that you can get from the consumption of this plant. you can get from the consumption of this plant.
What is hawthorn?
Its scientific name is ‘crataegus laevigata’, although it is also known as hawthorn or hawthorn tree and is characterized by being a shrub or small tree (approximately five to fourteen meters high) with white flowers and red fruits, belonging to the family of rosaceae. Its origin comes from Europe, Asia and Africa, where they are more common and has various uses, from relaxing to astringent element.
Its first uses in natural medicine comes from the ancient Chinese eraThanks to its multiple biochemical compounds that allow to activate different functions of the organism. Especially in the prevention and reduction of future ailments or diseases.
Hawthorn: properties and health benefits
It may seem at first glance as a beautiful common plant for decoration, but here are some of the benefits you can get from this plant.
1. Prevents heart disease
This is the best known property of this plant and why it has been used since ancient oriental times, to form an important part of oriental medicine. It has a great benefit, known as positive inotropic effect, which improves cardiac muscle contractility. In other words, it helps our heart to become stronger, strengthens the muscles and can work at a healthy pace without losing its natural condition.
In addition, this condition is ideal for closing the mitral valve of the left ventricle, a valve with which we are born open but which, as the weeks go by, closes. But, when it does not, it can bring cardiovascular complications, because the blood cannot circulate properly through the heart and therefore, neither for the rest of the organs, causing extreme fatigue and lack of oxygenation.
2. Reduces blood pressure
Another of the benefits for the heart that gives us the hawthorn is the reduction of blood pressure and prevent it from originating in our body. This is because it has proanthocyanidins, which are molecules that are present in this plant and have vasodilator properties as well as anti-sclerosis, so it helps the coronary blood circulation to flow in a better way.
So if you take a hawthorn infusion on a regular basis, you can greatly benefit your heart and keep it always in optimal condition and healthy functioning.
3. Antioxidant properties
Another of the great benefits for which this plant is known is for its active antioxidant phytocomponents, which when transformed into compounds of alcoholic extracts, can help reduce the negative and oxidative consequences of the body’s metabolism.
This is of utmost importance because it has been discovered that stress or the generation of this oxidation of the metabolism is responsible for different pathologies related to the heart and inflammatory and rheumatic processes.
4. Sedative benefits
This plant also gives us relaxing properties, but mostly at a mental level, so that if we take an infusion of hawthorn, we may be able to help our brain to get a well-deserved rest from its agitation by relaxing the sympathetic nervous system. This system is responsible for keeping us constantly alert, to be in a continuous state of attention to any stimulus, the problem is that the brain can suffer from exhaustion after continuous activation, which may result from anxiety, worries or anticipatory thoughts.
So it is highly recommended to combat insomnia caused by stress, to reduce nervousness or reduce anxiety.
5. Combats insomnia
As we just mentioned, this is an excellent ally to combat insomnia problems. How? Well, surely you have deciphered that it is thanks to the relaxation of the sympathetic nervous system, after all, by reducing brain activity it is possible to achieve a relaxation of such magnitude that it is possible to fall into a deep and restful sleep.
What are the benefits of getting a restful sleep? Getting adequate sleep (i.e. for about 7-8 hours a day) gives both your mind and body a chance to rest and recharge from all that we have been through during the day and prepare to face what’s ahead.
6. Helps us recover from a heart attack
It should be clarified that this is not a mystical plant, much less a replacement for traditional medicine, but a complement to it, to help our body to gain strength in a natural way and thus increase the recovery process. Having clarified this, we can mention that the consumption of hawthorn can benefit people who have suffered a heart attack to recover, through the strengthening of the heart muscle, blood circulation and reduction of blood pressure.
7. Anti-inflammatory functions
Why is an inflamed muscle, tendon or organ extremely dangerous? Although inflammation is nothing more than a natural response of our body to an injury or pain suffered, if there is no reduction of swelling, there is no chance for that part to recover and return to its original functions, since there is no complete regeneration or good blood flow.
With hawthorn we can help our body to reduce inflammations, thanks to the generation of antioxidant properties and increased circulation.
8. Benefits menopause
Hawthorn is an excellent natural remedy to treat the inevitable discomforts that appear during the menopausal period, especially cardiac arrhythmias, feelings of pressure, anxiety and nervousness that may appear. Likewise, it helps to relax muscle tension and fall asleep.
9. Gastrointestinal discomfort
One of the benefits of hawthorn is its diuretic property, which promotes the elimination of toxins from the body naturally. In addition, combined with its anti-inflammatory properties, it brings benefits to the gastrointestinal system, as it reduces and prevents the accumulation of gases, spasms and accumulation of toxic waste.
10. Reduces cholesterol
Because hawthorn has anti-lipidemic and anti-cholesterolemic active ingredients, it is able to reduce the levels of cholesterol that accumulate in the bloodstream. This is because it boosts the low-density lipid receptors so that they can function properly. In the same way, it potentiates the metabolization of cholesterol, causing it to be transformed into bile acids to be eliminated in the body.
11. It prevents the reproduction of bacteria
Another of its great properties is that it can fight infections, with its bacteriostatic assets, which in effect helps to eliminate different types of bacteria that seek to lodge in the body and cause infections in it. Especially against those bacteria that cause diseases in our respiratory system, such as ‘Staphylococcus aureus’.
Contraindications to the use of hawthorn
In general, the consumption of this plant does not have any negative side effects, but we must take into account some contraindications that may arise in some people.
There are people who are allergic to this type of plant, so if you consume an infusion of it and you feel sick.If you consume an infusion of it and feel persistent discomfort (stomach, nausea, insomnia or increased palpitations), it is possible that you are allergic, so it is advisable that you no longer continue taking it.
Continuous consumption should be avoidedIt is better to take it once every couple of days, as it can have harmful effects for people suffering from heart diseases and under medical treatment. It is better to take it once every couple of weeks.
Be careful if you are going to undergo surgery.. Although its use is recommended to calm the nerves, it is necessary to warn that it should not be consumed before any operation, since it can be counterproductive for blood coagulation.
Another recommendation is not to consume this herb in infusions (or in other type of use) for more than 16 continuous weeks, as well as to do it in low doses. (or any other type of use) for more than 16 continuous weeks, as well as to do so in low doses. This is with the intention of avoiding developing any negative side effects.