Welcome to Our Healing Roots, a blog exploring natural medicine that returns us to the roots of health and wellbeing. Our Healing Roots, LLC, is a private natural healthcare practice and experiential learning center that advocates the safe use of integrated, natural medicine. Many healing ways have gone by the wayside with the advent of conventional medicine. While it is important to receive professional medical advice for serious conditions, there are many things we can do at home to prevent disease and maintain our health. The Latin word for doctor is docere, which means to be a teacher. Our Healing Roots wholehearted embraces the importance of teaching in healthcare, so that people feel empowered about their health and wellbeing. More information about this business can be found at www.ourhealingroots.net.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Crataegus laevigata (Hawthorne)

One of my most beloved trees grows in my backyard near the garden gate--the hawthorne. True to its name, its thorns grab me from time to time, reminding me it is there.

The hawthorne tree is a favorite among herbalists. Commonly, it is the berries, flowers and leaves used in botanical medicine. Hawthorne is well known for its many effects on the cardiovascular system, and it is also suggested that it helps the emotional heart, as well. In my own clinical practice, I have been most amazed by its effect on blood pressure. It lowers blood pressure that is high, and it raises blood pressure that is low. Hawthorne exerts a normalizing effect, working in both directions. I have successfully used preparations of the berry for both high and low blood pressure. I have also found that the quality and type of hawthorne product makes a profound difference in some individuals.

A 2008 Cochrane review looked at 14 trials on hawthorne for congestive heart failure, mostly in combination with conventional treatment. These trials suggested that using hawthorne decreased symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue, while increasing exercise tolerance. It was concluded, "These results suggest that there is a significant benefit in symptom control and physiological outcomes from hawthorne extract as an adjunctive treatment for chronic heart failure." (Reference http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18254076)

It is advised that you meet with qualified health professionals to ensure correct diagnosis, to review any potential medication interactions, to determine therapeutic and safe dosage, and to be aware of potential adverse effects before beginning therapeutic regimens with botanical medicines.

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