Improve Heart health as well as digestion and bowel movements
Hawthorn fruit (Shan Zha) is a beloved tiny berry in TICM herbal medicine. The berry, leaves and flower of the plant are all used because of their magnitude of benefits and in fact, it has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries and is still one of the most famous herbs in TICM.
Hawthorn acts like a prebiotic when ingested which feed healthy gut bacteria in order to maintain healthy digestion. They are also a great source of fibre which helps normal bowel movements. The nature of this berry helps indigestion when having over eaten heavy foods like meat and greasy types of meals.
Hawthorn is used to treat digestive disorders, Heart failure and high blood pressure. In TICM, it's classified as promoting Blood and vital energy (Qi) circulation, treating stasis, stagnation and helping relieve internal cold and dampness. Its essence is categorised as sour and sweet and slightly warm in nature. This combination helps people who have too much cold either due to Cold/Yin excess or warm/Yang deficiency. Depending on your condition, hawthorn berries can help restore a harmonious balance between cold/Yin and warm/Yang.
The therapeutic actions of hawthorn fruit manifest in the Spleen, Stomach and Liver meridians but greatly help the Heart because of their ability to circulate Blood and vital energy through the Liver. When the Liver is healthy, the Heart is healthy, too because Liver generates.
TICM uses hawthorn fruit to treat Heart problems because of its ability to invigorate Blood and vital energy. It is used to treat the following: coronary disease, hypertension, hyperlipemia, vocal cord nodules, speech, polyps, and bacterial dysentery. Hawthorn has the ability to widen the vessels, increasing the amount of blood pumped out from the heart and increasing nerve signals responsible for smooth flow.
Hawthorn berry is a rich source of polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidant compounds found in plants. Antioxidants help neutralise unstable molecules called free radicals that can harm your body when they are present at high levels. These molecules can come from poor diet, environmental toxins like air pollution and cigarette smoke.