Hawthorn fruit to heal the Heart (Shan Zha in Chinese)
Hawthorn is a fruit is more specifically a berry. As a plant, it is used in its entirety, the leaves, berries and flowers are considered medicinal in TICM.
Hawthorn helps conditions ranging anywhere from excess weight to overall Heart function and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Both Hawthorn tonic and Hawthorn tea are available to purchase from your TICM doctor or local Chinese grocery stores.
When summer is approaching, it is the perfect time to nourish the Heart. According to TICM, Summer is the season that correlates to the Heart organ system. The colour associated with the Heart is red. That means red foods provide extra healing energy now.
Hawthorn contains a sour, sweet and warm nature that manifests its therapeutic actions in the Spleen, Stomach and Liver meridians. The Liver "generates" the Heart and the Heart generates the Spleen. It is important to harmonise the corresponding organs of the Heart to support it best we can.
Hawthorn can promote Blood and vital energy (Qi) circulation, the very essences that sustain us. This berry actually has the ability to widen the Blood vessels, increasing the amount of Blood pumped out from the Heart which increases nerve signals responsible for smooth flow of Blood. Through these actions, hawthorn helps relieve stagnated conditions, cold conditions and dampness. It is even used for digestive imbalances and to relieve food stagnation from overeating heavier foods like meat and grease.
Modern TICM practices use hawthorn to treat the following: coronary disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, vocal cord nodules and polyps, and bacterial dysentery.
In the western world, CVD has become one of the single most significant causes of premature death. Hawthorne has been highlighted for its treatment of CVD. Results recorded from clinical trials, experiences of professionally qualified medical herbalists, and the low/negligible incidence of side effects experienced by patients would indicate that crataegus preparations (hawthorn berry) hold significant potential as a useful remedy in the treatment of CVD. There are research papers, please search them up if you are interested.