Known as much for its long history and folklore background as for its health benefits, the hawthorn berry holds a special place in European herbal medicine. In Britain, the hawthorn tree is significant as the alleged burial site of King Arthur, located in Glastonbury. Hawthorn plants are also often sent to the Queen, who traditionally decorates her table with these berries and leaves on Christmas morning. However, hawthorn berries tea is also consumed throughout the rest of Europe, especially in Austria and Germany. Some of the most important studies that have been undertaken into the hawthorn berry are with the intent of proving its effects on cardiac improvement, and as a possible treatment for heart disease.
To gain the widest array of health benefits from hawthorn berries tea, it's recommended to use whole berries, which are then dried and crushed until they become a powder. You could purchase the berries whole or look for tea bags that have already done this step for you. In addition to teas, hawthorn berries are often made into tinctures, capsules, or extracts. These popular supplements are also added to smoothies when purchased in the powder form, to give your daily smoothie a heart-healthy boost.
One of the main benefits of hawthorn berries tea is the effect that it has on cardiac health. If your heart is inflamed, blocked, or simply weakened by age, studies have shown that regular intake of hawthorn berries can help make a huge difference. It does take continuous use for anywhere for four to six weeks to start seeing a real difference, however. They also can lower blood pressure if it has suddenly risen, help to clear out arteries, and improve circulation to the extremities of the body. The strengthened heart is the major cause of this improvement.
Other benefits that have been attributed to hawthorn berries tea include use as a remedy for irritable bowel syndrome. Although most of the attention has been given to the hawthorn plant's effects on the heart and hypertension, because this is the field that much of the clinical research has been undertaken in recent years, it is often forgotten that it is also an extremely effective digestive aid, and can help soothe irritable bowels or an upset digestive system. However, an excessive amount of hawthorn could lead to diarrhea, so it's important to strike a balance with your use of this herbal remedy, no matter what your intentions are for its use.