Hearts and love. The two go hand in hand. We post heart emojis on social media to say, “I love you,” and send Valentines covered in hearts to our beloved. February is the month when we celebrate love, but it’s also National Heart Health Month. So, what better time to talk about Hawthorn?

Hawthorn has been used at least since the first century for heart ailments. Even today, hawthorn is considered one of the best and most specific herbs for cardiovascular health. It is generally considered to be safe, but you should always discuss herbs with a knowledgeable healthcare professional before taking them, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.

According to Natural Standard, “Numerous well-conducted human clinical trials have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of hawthorn leaf and flower in New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class I-II heart failure (characterized by slight or no limitation of physical activity).” It is used widely in Europe for treating this condition.

Herbalist James Green, in his book The Male Herbal, states that hawthorn nourishes the heart and helps it return to a normal state. It is therefore often used for heart palpitations. He suggests that its use over time can strengthen the heart and reduce hypertension, arteriosclerosis, and insomnia. He also says it combines well with yarrow, lavender, and motherwort for high blood pressure and rapid or arrhythmic heartbeat.

Hawthorn also combines well with hibiscus, another health-healthy herb. Traditional Medicinals has a lovely Organic Hawthorn with Hibiscus tea that is available at many grocery stores and online shops. You can find the herb in a tincture or capsule as well.

Copyright © by Bobbi Mullins, originally published February 1, 2013

As always, consult your doctor before adding herbs, especially if you take prescription drugs or have a health condition of any kind.


Green, J. The Male Herbal. 1991. California.

Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.www.naturalstandard.com