One of the most amazing things about hawthorn is how good this herb is for the heart. There are a lot of good, practical aspects that it embodies about cardiovascular health – but it isn’t just that. This herb truly helps to support the heart. Physically and energetically. It helps to heal an injured heart, or calm one that is anxious.

Hawthorn has the following actions:

  • Cardiotonic
  • Cardioprotective
  • Antioxidant
  • Collagen stabilising
  • Astringent (mild)
  • Hypotensive
  • Anti-arrhythmic
  • Diuretic
  • Hypotensive
  • Anti-ischemic
  • Antioxidant
  • Lipid-lowering

When and Where to Harvest

When you’ll see hawthorn on the side of the road all around Ballarat, those aren’t the bushes you want to harvest. Too close to the road means they’ll be contaminated with fumes from the passing vehicles. Find yourself some further away.

The berries are ready to harvest in Autumn (best after the first frost). The berries are ripe when they are a deep red colour. The texture is similar to an overripe apple, a little pithy. The sugars in them increase after the first frost, so this is the best time to pick them.

Usage of Hawthorn

Conditions that may benefit from the use of hawthorn include:

  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Anxiety
  • Congestive heart disease
  • Hawthorn increases the heart muscles’ ability to contract while it gently relaxes blood vessels. This means the heart can pump better and has less resistance to pump against.
  • Increasing sensitisation to cardioactive glycosides so that the dose can be reached and sometimes eventually replaced by crates (Sue Evans 1996).


  • For the treatment of high blood pressure and the circulatory system, it can be combined with Lime blossom, Mistletoe, Scullcap, and Yarrow. (Hoffman 2003 and Evans, 1996)
  • For the treatment of nervous conditions, it can be combined with Lemon balm and Lavender (Evans, 1996)

Your own personal circumstances are always best discussed with a naturopath prior to deciding on herbs, but one of these blends may be what they recommend.

Katherine Knott

Katherine is a certified naturopath and the founding director of Acorn and Oak.   Her journey into studying Naturopathy started when she was 18 years old.  Katherine  has also studied 2 1/2 years of nursing and midwifery, but decided that she was happier to work with women as a naturopath and support them through their […]

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