LATIN NAME: Crataegus laevigata

FAMILY: Rosaceae

GENUS: Crataegus

COMMON NAMES: midland hawthorn, English hawthorn, woodland hawthorn or mayflower

ORIGIN: native to western and central Europe, from Great Britain and Spain east to the Czech Republic and Hungary, as well is introduced in North Africa

BOTANICAL INFORMATION: It is a huge shrub that can grow into a small tree of 8-12 m height with a heavy crown. The leaves are polished, three-lobed, dark green, of 2-6 cm long. Flowers are produced in clusters from 6 to 12 with creamy-white, and sometimes pink or red petals. The fruit is a dark red pome of 6–10 millimeters long.



  • cardiotonic
  • spasmolytic
  • sedative
  • antihypertensive
  • hypotensive
  • anti-atherosclerotic
  • vasodilator


Useful properties of hawthorn are caused by biologically active substances contained in the plant. Studies have shown that different types of hawthorn are very similar in chemical composition and physiological effect on the body. Hawthorn:

  • normalizes blood coagulability
  • calms the central nervous system
  • increases the contraction of the heart muscle
  • regulates the heartbeat
  • normalizes cholesterol level
  • increases blood circulation of the coronary vessels of the heart and brain
  • prevents premature fatigue
  • expends coronary and brain vessels
  • improves the supply of oxygen to the myocardium and neurons of the brain
  • effects the level of venous pressure
  • improves vascular cell function
  • intensifies the action of cardiac glycosides
  • slows the pulse
  • helps to maintain normal body metabolism
  • normalizes sleep
  • speeds up the healing process after illness or operation


The healing properties of plants are widely used in traditional and folk medicine. Hawthorn preparations are taken orally, especially with

  • neurosis of the heart
  • hypertension
  • asphyxia caused by cardiac ailments
  • flush of blood to the head
  • severe nervous shocks
  • inflammation of the cardiac muscular tissue (myocarditis)
  • irregular heartbeat
  • narrowing of the blood vessels
  • chest discomfort
  • dizziness
  • shortness of breath
  • nervousness


Hawthorn decoction recipe: Add 1 tablespoon of dried hawthorn fruits to 200 ml of boiling water, infuse for 2 hours, then strain. Take half a glass 3 times a day before meals. Use it for cleaning of blood vessels.

Hawthorn tincture recipe: Add 10 gr of hawthorn flowers and leaves to 100 ml of vodka or 70% alcohol, infuse for 10 days, then strain. Take 20-30 drops mixed with water 3 times a day 30 minutes before meals. The course of taking this tincture is about 20-30 days.

It is used when having:

  • functional disorders of cardiac activity
  • cardiac weakness
  • anginoneurosis
  • insomnia in cardiac patients
  • hyperthyroidism with tachycardia
  • initial forms of hypertension
  • atherosclerosis

Hawthorn tincture reduces the excitability of the central nervous system, tones the heart muscle, strengthens coronary cerebral circulation, eliminates arrhythmia and tachycardia, and reduces blood pressure and dyspnea.


In some people, hawthorn can cause:

  • nausea
  • stomach upset
  • fatigue
  • sweating
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • palpitations
  • nosebleeds
  • insomnia
  • agitation

There is not enough information known about hawthorn consumption during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Thereby don’t risk taking linden during these periods. Stay on the safe side.


Major Interaction with Digoxin (Lanoxin):

Digoxin slows and strengthens heart contractions, enabling the heart to pump more blood with each beat. Hawthorn has an impact on the heart as well. Simultaneous consumption of hawthorn and digoxin (Lanoxin) can strengthen the efficacy of digoxin and intensifies the chances of side effects. Do not consume hawthorn together with digoxin (Lanoxin) without doctor’s supervision.

Major Interaction with Medications for high blood pressure (Beta-blockers):

Hawthorn can lower blood pressure. Parallel using hawthorn with such Beta-blockers as atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal), and others can lower your blood pressure to life-threatening level.

Major Interaction with Medications for high blood pressure (Calcium channel blockers):

Hawthorn can lower blood pressure. Parallel using hawthorn with such Calcium channel blockers as nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan), diltiazem (Cardizem), isradipine (DynaCirc), felodipine (Plendil), amlodipine (Norvasc), and others can lower your blood pressure to life-threatening level.

Major Interaction with Medications for male sexual dysfunction (Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors):

Hawthorn can lower blood pressure as well as some medications for male sexual dysfunction. Contemporary taking of hawthorn and such Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra) can lower your blood pressure to life-threatening level.

Major Interaction with Medications that increase blood flow to the heart (Nitrates):

Hawthorn intensifies blood flow. Parallel taking hawthorn with Nitrates such as nitroglycerin (Nitro-Bid, Nitro-Dur, Nitrostat) and isosorbide (Imdur, Isordil, Sorbitrate) can enlarge the risks of dizziness and lightheadedness.

“It feels so sweet to have a healthy heart beat”

 *This article is for informational purposes only. We suggest consulting with a physician before using these or any other herbal supplements.