Crataegus Laevigata - The English Hawthorn
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Overview
The Hawthorn is a part of the Crataegus species, which is in the rose family. History shows that this species has been used as early as the 1st century to treat heart disease. The Crataegus species began to take notice by American doctors to treat circulatory disorders that relate to the heart functions in the 1800s. It is used on people with heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol. The berries that sprout from the hawthorn may treat high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and other heart related problems. There is still not enough research however, to prove the effectiveness of the hawthorn when treating heart problems today.
There are over 1,000 variations of hawthorn in the United States today, and over 60 variations around the rest of the world especially in China and Europe. Botanists have difficulty studying the plant because there are so many different variations although similar, they may have different effects when using the plant to treat illnesses. One of the most common of the Crataegus species is the English Hawthorn, or Crataegus Laevigata.

Quick Facts
Symbol:

CRLA80

Group:

Dicot

Family:

Rosaceae

Duration:

Perennial

Growth Habit:

Tree
Shrub

Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Plantae
(unranked):
Angiosperms
(unranked):
Eudicots
(unranked):
Rosids
Order:
Rosales
Family:
Rosaceae
Genus:
Crataegus
Series:
Crataegus
Species:
C. laevigata
Description
The Crataegus Laevigata (English Hawthorn) is one that is more like a tall shrub tree that can be around 25 ft tall and is self-fertile. The leaves are dark green and on the leaves in May are blooming flowers either whit, red, and sometimes pink. The berries come after the flowers bloom and are usually red but can be black. It grows in a North American type forest location and Canada with changing seasons and soil that can be moist. It can withstand harsh winters. Hawthorn contains antioxidants that are found in grapes (which are also known to be heart healthy) called oligomeric procyandins.





Locationexternal image CRLA80.png

View Native Status
Distribution Map Legend
Distribution Map Legend


USA (MI, WA, WI), CAN (ON, QC)


Forms
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Hawthorn can be taken in capsules non-standardized and standardized also liquid extracts, along with tinctures. The leaves, berries and flowers from a dried hawthorn can make a tea that tastes bitter but can have milder effects of the capsules.


Effects of Hawthorn with other Medications
Hawthorn is known to strengthen the effects of Beta-blockers that are used to treat heart disease through dilating blood vessels and lowering the person’s blood pressure. In addition, Hawthorn can strengthen the effects of calcium channel-blockers that are meant to treat angina (chest pain) and high blood pressure through dilating the person’s blood vessels. It can also increase Digoxin’s activity, a medication that treats irregular heart rhythms.
Negatively, if the hawthorn fruit is used on someone taking phenylephrine, which is used to constrict blood vessels (commonly used for decongesting the nasal passage) it can reduce the effects of such a medication. This type of medication can be seen in natural remedies like ginger, fish oil and fenugreek which aid as a decongestant so taking hawthorn medications will reduce the effects of these remedies as well.