For this blog post we will take a look at 2 herbs that can be used to help to support a healthy heart & circulatory system:

 

Hawthorn

Scientific name: crataegus oxyacantha

Best part to use: Flowering Tops & Berries

Actions:

  • Cardiac trophorestorative – brings balance to the heart.
  • Vasodilator – widening of blood vessels.
  • Antioxidant – inhibits oxidation.
  • Astringent – causes the contraction of skin cells and other body tissues.

Why is it good: The flowering tops and the berries of the shrub are used and both parts have the same beneficial action on blood flow, blood pressure and heart rate and are one of the best tonics to help support a health heart and circulatory system. The shrub contains flavonoids including one called Rutin which is also present in Buckwheat. These flavonoids have the action of helping to dilate the peripheral blood vessels which will help improve blood supply particularly to the extremities.

Fun fact about Hawthorn: Hawthorn is known as the “Nurse of the Old Heart”

 

 

Ginkgo

Scientific name: ginkgo biloba

Best part to use: The leaf

Actions:

  • Anti-inflammatory – reduces inflammation.
  • Vasodilator – widening of blood vessels.
  • Antioxidant – inhibits oxidation.
  • Astringent – causes the contraction of skin cells and other body tissues.

Why is it good: Back in the 1960’s a group of German scientists who were investigating the actions of exotic herbs found that the flavonoids contained in Ginkgo leaves were particularly active and beneficial for supporting a healthy circulation, particularly to the brain and the extremities, which is why it is recommended to help support horses and ponies “prone to laminitis”. 

Fun fact about Ginkgo: This deciduous tree with its attractive and distinctive leaf shape, is thought to have survived unchanged for the last 150 million years. The tree is held in great esteem by the Chinese who have historically planted them around their temples.