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Using Hawthorn for Congestive Heart Failure

 

These days more people are prone to challenge prescriptions because they are aware of the many harmful side effects and how drug interactions can also be adverse to the body's system. People are turning to herbs as a 

method to control many ailments instead of man-made drugs. In fact, herbal remedies are as old as man or woman himself. They are far safer than synthetic solutions and work with your natural healing abilities, not against them.

And while congestive heart failure is a serious affliction, it's still one in which some use of herbs can be extremely beneficial. One of the best herbs for heart failure is hawthorn. In fact, for many herbal care practitioners, hawthorn is practically synonymous with heart. In fact, its history extends all the back to the first century A.D. The Greek herbalist, Dioscordes, reportedly used the herb in treating his patients.

The leaves, flowers and berries of the hawthorn plant are all parts that can be used in treating congestive heart failure because of the high concentration of bioflavonoids found in this plant. It's these bioflavonoids that appear to be responsible for the positive actions on the heart. The flavonoids found in hawthorn include quercetin well known for its heart-healthy benefits as well as oligomeric procyanidins (you might know these as OPCs) and hyperoside, to name just a few. These compounds are already widely recognized in Europe.

Science is now confirming what the wise herbalists have known for thousands of years: hawthorn is indeed beneficial for those in the early stages of congestive heart failure. These individuals who take between 160 to 190 mg of hawthorn extract every day for eight weeks demonstrated an improved quality of life. This, according to the study, included the ability to exercise for longer periods of time without experiencing shortness of breath.

Today, licensed herbal practitioners most often use the leaves and flowers. If using a commercial supplement, most natural care practitioners recommend 80 to 300 mg of the extract in capsules or tablets to be taken two to three times daily. If you decide to try hawthorn, keep in mind that hawthorn is slow acting. It may take up to one to two months for you to realize the maximum effects of this legendary herb.

You don't need to worry about using hawthorn for long periods at a time. It's an extremely safe herb to use for extended periods. However, if you're already taking prescription medication for congestive heart failure, check with your health care practitioner before beginning your hawthorn supplements.


Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

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Greg Cryns
The Compleat Mother Magazine
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