Hawthorn Berries - Crataegus laevigata
Hawthorn Berries are antispasmodic, cardiac, diuretic, sedative, tonic and a vasodilator. The traditional use of hawthorn berries is the treatment of weak heart combined with high blood pressure. The berries are also used to treat a heart muscle weakened by age, for inflammation of the heart muscle, for arteriosclerosis, and for nervous heart.
A specific use for hawthorn berries is the treatment of orthostatic hypotension, a sudden loss of blood pressure caused by moving from a seated position to a standing position. Orthostatic hypotension can cause temporary loss of consciousness, and is a common complication during the first few weeks of medical treatment of high blood pressure with beta-blockers.
Another often-overlooked use of hawthorn berries as a tea is to treat irritable bowel syndrome. Making a cup of tea with no more than a half-teaspoon of crushed, dried berries can relieve the constipation and gas associated with the condition. Kampo (Japanese herbal) medicine often uses crushed hawthorn berries with other herbs to treat colitis diarrhea caused by Crohn's disease, and various conditions causing rectal bleeding.