The Enchanted Leaf

The World of Herbs: Medicinal, Magickal, Meliorative


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Hawthorn

Hawthorn for your heart!  If you have high blood pressure, this is the herb for you. Actually, hawthorn is the best thing ever for your heart.  Some years ago I was having some symptoms of heart attack.  So, as we should do, I went to the local ER.  They eased my symptoms, thankfully it was not a heart attack.  Then they referred me to a cardiologist just as a precaution.

I did the follow-up visits with the cardiologist.  Had stress tests and echocardiograms and was, at one point, put on three different blood pressure medicines.  At this point, I knew I had to do something besides go along with the status quo.  Through all the testing, they decided that there really wasn’t anything so wrong with my heart.  Except for a slow heartbeat and could possibly one day have to have a pacemaker.  Not looking forward to that at all.

I began to research natural methods of bringing blood pressure under control.  I thought that was a good place to start.

This herb is completely safe.  So, if you love the taste, rest assured you cannot overdose on it.  Hawthorn is especially good for aging hearts, hearts with an irregular heartbeat, hypertension, those who are recovering from heart surgery, and well, any type of heart issue.

INFUSION:  I prefer to take hawthorn as an infusion. (To find out how to make an infusion, click here ) You may try the powdered form or a tincture.

COLOR:  Once the infusion is complete, hawthorn has a medium golden color.  Much like a weak black tea.

TASTE: The taste is mild, again, much like a weak black tea.  If you would like to sweeten it, use honey or stevia.

DOSAGE:  4 ounces of hawthorn infusion 2 times per day.  In the morning and in the evening.

If you prefer to use a tincture and want to make your own, consider using the haws or berries. You can find instructions on making tinctures here .

Hawthorn takes some time to work its magic.  If you are primarily using it to regulate your blood pressure, expect it to show lasting results in about 3 months.  Hawthorn is not fast but it is enduring. The is undoubtedly the very best herb for heart health.

The German Commission E, a group of scientists that determines the effectiveness of herbal medicines, recommends hawthorn for:

  • Cardiac insufficiency (weak heart)
  • Pressure and tightness in the chest
  • Aging hearts
  • To increase circulation
  • Arrhythmia

SIDE EFFECTS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS

Well, there aren’t any.  If you are currently taking medication for hypertension, you can still use Hawthorn.  It will not cause your blood pressure to drop too low.  After a few months, you will probably be able to wean off of the blood pressure medicine.  There is no danger of overdose on Hawthorn. Since it is not a diuretic nor does it block calcium channels, Hawthorn is a safe way to lower blood pressure in those who have kidney disease or are diabetic.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor nor do I diagnose disease.  Please contact your personal healthcare practitioner before trying any herbal remedy.

 

 


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Passionate About Passion Flowers

Passion flowers are blooming!!  These gorgeous little flowers look as if they came from a planet far, far away.  The scent of the passion flower is also otherworldly.  Here in Western Kentucky, passion flowers grow wild and free.  The species here are also known as Maypops. The best part is, I have a few vines at the side of my front yard.  This is better than a gold mine for me!

 

As I have recently become aware of being hypertensive. Passion flower has a wonderful  propensity to lower blood pressure.  This is a major issue for many Americans.  Other medicinal uses of passion flower are:

 

Antispasmodic.  This helps relieve the tremors of Parkinson’s Disease, and eases the breathing for asthma sufferers.

 

Antianxiety.  Just the scent of a passion flower blossom can give you a sense of peace.  The tea or tincture calms even the most anxious and hysterical.

 

Heart palpitations, insomnia, and even nerve pain can be relieved with passion flower.

 

 

You may use the whole above ground part of the plant if you like.  The leaves are especially good for infusions. The flowers make an delicate, calming tea. Since the leaves are more plentiful than the flowers or fruit, it is advisable to make your infusion from the leaves.  The fruit ripens to a pale greenish yellow from mid-July to mid-August.  This is the variety that is native to the Southeastern region of the US.

The more exotic passion fruit will be a dark purple color.

 

 

I have gotten myself so hyped up over my passion flowers blooming and the many benefits that they house, I decided to try an experiment.

 

I made a passion flower tea to see if it did have an effect on my blood pressure.  I took my blood pressure reading, drank the tea, 20 minutes later took a second reading.  The results:  WOW! Even I didn’t expect this.  My systolic pressure dropped from 144 to 115, the diastolic pressure dropped from 85 to 78.  That my friends, is impressive.  Now, to see the duration of the lowered blood pressure.  I will keep you informed! Please do not try this experiment for yourself if you are taking medications for blood pressure.  Always consult your personal healthcare practitioner first.

 

Passion Flower Tea

 

4 passion flower blossoms (I chopped mine, you may get the same or better results using whole flowers)

6 oz. hot water  (Make this tea as you would any green or white tea.  The water does not need to be boiling.  The delicate flowers do not require intense heat.  If you are in doubt about how hot the water should be, allow it to just come to a boil, take it off the heat and let it sit one minute before pouring onto the blossoms.)

Allow the tea to steep for 5 to 7 minutes.  Sweeten with honey or stevia, if you prefer sweet.  I do.

 

You can drink this warm or cold.

 

 

Warnings:  Not recommended for children under 4 years of age, may cause stomach upset or overexcitability.

Do not use with any sedative or blood pressure lowering medications.

 

Since these beautiful vines have such an enchanting look and scent, it only stands to reason that this particular lovely would have some very special magickal properties also.    True  to its nature, passion flowers and passion fruit are used in rituals that promote peace, friendship, and well, of course, to enhance libido it is a passion fruit after all.