Hawthorns (Crataegus monogyna, C. laevigata) are small shrubby trees that produce procyanadin-rich berries, flowers, and leaves. Research shows the regular consumption of these compounds may help have a positive effect on a wide range of cardiovascular conditions, likely due to their significant antioxidant activity and ability to support the body's natural inflammatory response. Hawthorn berries are best known as tropho-restoratives (food for a tissue or organ) to the heart and cardiovascular system. They were first used in France in syrup form to strengthen and nourish the heart in the 1600’s. Their use spread throughout Europe (it was and is commonly used in Germany, Switzerland, and the UK) and eventually to the US, where it was used by the Eclectic physicians to support cardiovascular health.
Modern research has confirmed that Hawthorn berries (as well as the flowers and leaves) supports cardiovascular health. Although it is commonly thought as as cardiac support remedy, what is less known about Hawthorn is that it is also a nervine, and can be useful for disturbed shen conditions. 
Researchers have found that the heart not only pumps blood, but has receptors for many hormones and neuropeptides. The long-held belief that the heart is also the “seat of emotions’ turns out to have an actual physiological basis.  
Hawthorn can be taken as a tincture, a tea, capsules, and one of our favorite forms, as a solid extract. Our solid extract, made from the berries, tastes delicious and is a convenient way to add Hawthorn to your daily diet. Tinctures are also a very effective dose form for Hawthorn. The flowers actually contain higher levels of procyanadins than the fruits, so the most effective tincture is made with the berries, flower, and a little of the leaf.