Home Made Hawthorn Remedies For Blood Pressure and Heart

Natural Herbal Remedies

‘Hawthorne for the Heart’s Woes’, methinks.  Hawthorn is considered by many herbalists to be ‘the traditional organ remedy for the heart’, whether the problem be of a physical or emotional origin.

As my Uncle Ivor used to say, ‘It’s very good for what’s wrong with you’.

Botanical names for Hawthorn: Crataegus Oxyacantha. Crataegus Monogyna.

The common Hawthorn is also known as the ‘Mayflower’, because it flowers in May, in Britain, from whence it originates.  The famous pilgrim ship to America was named ‘The Mayflower’ after the English Hawthorn bush.

Hawthorn is a wonderful remedy which has been known since ancient Roman times.  For strengthening the heart, for circulation problems, and stabilizing the  blood pressure, there is no other herb that can beat Hawthorn for its safe and tonic effect.

It was known as a gout medicine around 1695, according to Robert Barnett.  He also says that Hawthorn is used in Chinese medicine for what they call ‘food stagnation’ of the gut and intestines.

Homeopathic Crataegus   Homeopaths often use Hawthorn (Crataegus) combined with Arnica, which  is considered to be a mild heart tonic.

General Tonic For The Blood: Hawthorn Berries and the leaves are rich in antioxidant flavanoids.  These chemicals, plus its abundant Vitamin C and B content, and trace elements such as iron, make the Hawthorn a great blood cleanser and general tonic.

Insomnia and Nervous Depression:  Hawthorn can be helpful as a tonic for the relief of these aforesaid conditions, since Hawthorn has a mildly sedative effect on the nervous system.  The homeopathic combination of Crataegus and Arnica would be an efficacious remedy for treating nervous conditions and insomnia:  The Arnica would enhance the sedative and calming effect of Hawthorn.

High Blood Pressure: People suffering hypertension, or high blood pressure, would do well to begin drinking  Hawthorn tea, simply made with the Hawthorn leaves  and mixed with some peppermint or spearmint herb for flavour. Below is a recipe to make palatable Hawthorn tea.

Note:  Do not begin using Hawthorn tea, or using the tincture, if you are already on prescription medicine of some sort.  Doubling up on a remedy which affects blood pressure may not be helpful.  The cardiac glycoside drugs such as Digitalis or Digoxin should not be mixed with herbal medicines which will do the same thing. Ask your doctor or naturopath about using Hawthorn if you are taking medication.

Low Blood Pressure:  Hawthorn Tea is equally good for treating low blood pressure, according to Louise Tenney and other herbalists.

Hypoglycaemia: Whilst Hawthorn can be helpful for normalizing either low or high blood pressure, it can  also have a stabilizing effect on the blood sugar levels.  It is a useful herb for treating hypoglycaemia, when the blood sugar levels plummet from high to low, leaving the person feeling lifeless and depressed.

Tasty Hawthorn Tea Combination

Crumble  1/4 cup  of dried Hawthorn leaves into the teapot. You can use your fermented leaves if you have them – see the previous post on making fermented Hawthorn tea leaves.

Add 1/4 cup of fresh or dried Peppermint or Spearmint leaves.

Pour over 4 cups of boiling water.

Leave to infuse for 5 minutes, then add the juice of one lemon and a tablespoonful of honey.

Drink one cup of this tea three or four times a day as a general tonic.

Hawthorne Tea To Help Lower Blood Pressure

Pour 250 mls of boiling water over either dried leaves, flowers or berries of Hawthorn, or a mixture of these.

Infuse for 20 minutes, then strain off the tea.  Drink two or three cups of cold tea per day over a period of around two months or so to help reduce high blood pressure. (see ‘Your Complete Guide To Natural Health’)

Hawthorn Tea To Help Angina and Arrhythmias

Use two teaspoons of Hawthorn berries.  Pour over 250 mls of boiling water and leave to infuse for twenty minutes.

Strain the tea.  Drink cold.

‘Your Complete Guide To Natural Health’ recommends drinking two or three cupsful of this tea each day, one cup at a time, of course,  for around two months or so, for the effect of helping the conditions of angina and arrhythmias.

Home Made Hawthorn Tincture – Heart Remedy

See the previous post for another method of making Hawthorn tincture.  This simple recipe here below is adapted  from one found in ‘Your Complete Guide To Natural Health’. International Masters Publishers, Auckland, NZ.  No date.

Take a clean jar with a screw top lid.

Put in 20 gms of dried Hawthorn, leaves and flowers. Crumble the herbs a little.

Cover the herbs with vodka.

Screw on the lid.

Shake every day for 10 days.

Strain into a clean, dry bottle.

To strengthen the heart, take between 20 to 40 drops in a little water three times a day.

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Living Without Vitamins

We are going to have to become a lot more creative and inventive in our healing methods if the government and the ” powers that be”  manage to ban the counter-sales of vitamins and minerals, herbs and homeopathic medicines.

We are told that this is for the benefit of our health, that these things can be dangerous if taken without consultation, that safe dosage may be exceeded, and so we need an intermediary, if we are to use these things at all. This intermediary, a doctor or a qualified health practitioner then will be paid to prescribe for us, sell us expensive equivalents of the relatively cheap herbs and vitamins we use already, and tell us what to do with them.

It is hard to believe that our safety is the main cause of concern  by either the government or the drug companies.

Alcohol and tobacco and party drugs cause more ill health and deaths than do the taking of vitamin and mineral supplements. But we don’t have to go to the doctor or any other accountable body to get prescriptions for these potentially dangerous items.

Comfrey, or “Knit-bone” was banned several years ago. This was a  famous and well-tried healing herb, used from olden times unto the present day. Its name “knit-bone” impies its healing nature, which derives from its high silica content,  its high content of minerals, vitamins, and a cell proliferant which speeds up the growth of new cells in the body, including bone tissue.

Comfrey tea is soothing to the digestion, and because of its high silica, is good for hair, bones and teeth when used as a herbal tea.

We usually add some peppermint or chamomile herb to the tea, as it is fairly tasteless on its own. It puts a wonderful shine to the hair if used as a rinse. (The next best thing to compare to comfrey for hair, bones, teeth and nails is oat-straw tea.)  I used to add comfrey to silverbeet,  so that we could benefit from its nutrients. The alkaline quality of comfrey counteracts the acid from the silverbeet.

Its silica-sliminess makes a fantastic dressing for burns and wounds. I once cured a scald on my child’s arm by placing cooked, cold, wet comfrey dressings continually over the wound. This took about five days or so to heal, but when it did, there was barely a trace of a scar.

An article came out in our New Zealand papers which suggested eating comfrey could cause cancer in pigs. That was the end of it, basically. The herb was taken off the shelves of the health stores, and, furthermore, the plant itself was made illegal here in New Zealand.

I never knew anyone who ate comfrey in quantities. It was unpalatable to eat on its own, so there was never any danger of eating too much of the stuff. I never knew anyone who had “O-Deed” or died from eating comfrey. My opinion is that the green outside skin of a potato would be  more potentially hazardous to the health, as this contains a poison, saponin, which does affect the liver badly, and could contribute to a cancerous condition if you ate enough of it: yet potatoes have not been banned.

The idea of banning potatoes on the grounds that the saponin contained within the green of the skin , known to be a carcenogen, is hazardous to health, is as ridiculous as it was to ban comfrey on the grounds it could cause cancer in pigs.

I doubt that comfrey has accumulative effects of a negative nature. So few people used the herb, but the people I knew who did use it, used it moderately. They were generally  health-conscious people who avoided the use of toxic chemicals and the ingestion of allopathic medecines, and generally were very fit and strong.

I have never found out who engineered the comfrey ban, but I can guess. Comfrey saved us on many an occasion from having to go to a doctor and from using prescriiption medecines.

Drug companies have already successfully won over the rights to produce iodine and gentian violet. These medecines were taken, respectively, off the market in New Zealand at precisecly the same time they were taken off the shelves in Australia, between 5 and 10 years ago. This shows that, even then, drug companies were working globally toward gaining control over pharmaceuticals. The reason that both these medecines were hated by drug companies is that they were cheap and lasted for many a long year, as opposed to the concocted products which drug companies sell for the treatment of the same conditions and for about three times the price.

It is a pity that iodine had to go: apart from preventing infection when painted onto a wound or graze, a weekly daub of a small part of the sole of the foot gave us enough iodine to help our immune systems, keep the endocrine system in balance, prevent thyroid problems, help form healthy teeth, bones, nails, and grow healthy hair.

In the days when I still had iodine to use, I found its effects remarkable in encouraging hair growth.

I found this out after using iodine to treat eczema-like patches on the scalp.  I had allowed this condition to developed mainly because of using milk which I was allergic to. After several weeks, on the spots where I had been dabbing iodine every two or three days, thicker hair began to grow.

Cider vinegar, which you still can buy, is the next best thing in maintaining a healthy scalp and in promoting hair growth. I just rub the neat vinegar into the scalp after washing, which neutralizes the alkaline effect of soap or shampoo, and feeds the scalp with potassium and other mineral salts.

Since the writing of this article several years ago, iodine has been reintroduced, but it is an extremely diluted form, and you have to buy it from the chemist, or drugstore if you live in U.S.A. Previously, you could buy it in supermarkets, and it was, of course, a very cheap option for an iodine source.

The thing which we will probably all feel compelled to do before long, is to grow our own vegetables in soil which we ourselves have enrichened with the nutrients it is lacking. The best way to do this is to collect sea-weed from the beach after a storm and to bury this well underneath the top-soil layer.

Sea-weed is extremely high in iodine, and contains all the other trace elements which we need, and  we therefore need to put this into our soils for our vegetables to be a rich source of these things.

Then, we would have no need for buying iodine or for buying health supplements such as the minerals and vitamins which are now under threat by a change in legislation.

Of course, this will result in a radical change of life-style for all of us: hopefully, more shared, communal gardens will evolve in the cities and towns, with the land mass breaking up into smaller, more manually manageable farm plots being developed to feed and maintain the health of their local communities.