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While long-stem roses may make a personís heart flutter, the herb hawthorn, a member of the rose plant family, may literally have the opposite effect. Thatís because hawthorn herbal preparations support healthy heart and cardiovascular function.

To gain further appreciation of its health benefits, it is possible to study hawthorn (as well as other herbs, nutrients and foods) through the lens of herbal astrology. Through this periscope, we can further understand the ways in which hawthorn may serve to protect health and well-being.

Mars rules Hawthorn

Hawthorn rules, or is linked to, the planet Mars, the planet that rules Aries and co-rules Scorpio. The fiery energy of Mars initiates movement, propelling you from place to place to help you transform your thoughts into actions. According to medical astrology, Mars is the primary ruler of the red blood cells and the secondary ruler of the heart (the Sun is its primary ruler).

The physical characteristics of hawthorn are imbued with fiery Martian qualities. Its ripe fruit berries are blood red in color. Like many Mars-ruled plants, the hawthorn tree features sharp, stinging thorns. According to A Modern Herbal, the treeís timber makes ďthe hottest wood fire known.Ē

Hawthorn and Its Components

Hawthorn is rich in an array of bioflavonoids, pigment-rich phytochemicals that have been lauded for their health benefits by many medical researchers and practitioners. Hawthornís bioflavonoid palette includes oligomeric procyanidins, catechins and quercetin, compounds that are also found in such health-promoting foods as green tea, red wine, grapes and citrus fruits. Bioflavonoids are linked to the planet Saturn, which also governs Capricorn, a sign in which Mars is well placed.

The bioflavonoids featured in hawthorn perform many important activities in the body. They decrease the fragility of our capillaries. They provide anti-inflammatory protection to support the structural integrity of collagen, a protein that is an essential component of blood vessels, skin and cartilage. Additionally, several of the bioflavonoids found in hawthorn are potent antioxidants, having the ability to efficiently scavenge and neutralize harmful free radicals. Many researchers believe that hawthornís bioflavonoids play an important role in the beneficial effect that this herb has on the heart and the circulatory system.

Hawthorn and the Heart

While hawthorn was traditionally used for a variety of conditions, it is its ability to support the heart and the cardiovascular system that has earned it an aura of reverence by many medical scientists and nutritionally-oriented physicians. Hawthorn is noted to improve the action of the heart to efficiently pump blood throughout the body, a physiological function that is imbued with Martian energy. It seems to support this action by improving the force of the heartís contractions as well as by enhancing blood flow through the coronary arteries.

As a result of its physiological actions, some nutritionally-oriented physicians use hawthorn for patients experiencing conditions related to heart weakness, including early stage congestive heart failure, stable angina pectoris and other conditions where the heart muscle is compromised. In the treatment of these conditions, hawthorn is sometimes used as a complementary therapy to certain heart medications. Clinical research also suggests that hawthorn may be effective in improving other cardiovascular conditions, such as arteriosclerosis and mildly elevated blood pressure.

How to Use Hawthorn

Hawthorn herbal preparations are typically made from the plantís fruit berries, flowers and/or leaves. While using the berries has roots in traditional herbal medicine, modern scientific research seems to hail the most support for the combined use of the flowers and leaves.

Consistent with researchersí beliefs that hawthornís bioflavonoid components play an important role in its heart-promoting effects, many nutritionally-oriented health experts recommend that people use a hawthorn product that is standardized to bioflavonoid content (specifically, to a content of oligomeric procyanidins). According to the Commission E Monographs, the recognized dosage of hawthorn is 160-900 mg hawthorn standardized to correspond to 30-168.7 mg procyanidins. If you choose to use the berries, many experts recommend a dosage of 3-5 grams per day. The berries are available in capsule, tincture or tea form.

While Mars is famous for its quick action and lightning speed, hawthorn is not. People usually need to take hawthorn for six to eight weeks before they notice any effects.

It is important to consult a licensed healthcare provider if you are thinking of using hawthorn (or other dietary supplements) to treat a health condition, especially because heart conditions pose serious health consequences and should not be self-diagnosed or treated. Additionally, you should always tell your healthcare provider about all of the dietary supplements that you are taking so that s/he can evaluate any potential drug-supplement interactions.

Editorís note: The health information given in this article is not meant as a substitute for care from a qualified physician. This information is given for educational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe. StarIQ.com is not responsible for any mishaps that occur as a result of using this information.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephanie Gailing, MS, CN, is a Certified Nutritionist, astrologer and freelance natural health writer. She holds her Masters Degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University, where she currently serves as adjunct faculty. Stephanie has been involved in the natural products industry for more than ten years, with experiences ranging from operating her own natural products retail store to serving as a marketing consultant for dietary supplement companies.

Send an email to the author.

For more information about Stephanie Gailing, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Stephanie Gailing:

  • Herbal Astrology: Cayenne   4/3/2003
  • Herbal Astrology: Valerian   11/6/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: Bilberry   10/16/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: Vitex   9/4/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: Chamomile   8/7/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: Licorice   7/24/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: Horse Chestnut   7/10/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: Feverfew   6/5/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: Milk Thistle   5/8/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: St. John's Wort   4/10/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: Garlic   3/20/2000

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