Hawthorn tea is a type of herbal fusion or tea that is made using the berries and leaves of the hawthorn bush. The berries are also sometimes used to create hawthorn extract or tincture, which can then be used to make the tea without the need to steep the crushed berries. As a dietary supplement, hawthorn tea is believed to aid in nourishing the heart and regulating blood pressure. There are also some claims that a hot cup of this type of herbal fusion will also help calm jangled nerves or other distress caused by stress or a sudden shock.
Making hawthorn tea involves steeping dried leaves, berries, or a combination of the two in a cup of hot water. Loose tea can be used, by placing a small amount of the product into what is known as a tea ball. Often constructed of stainless steel or some similar material, the body of the tea ball is perforated, allowing the water to mix with the contents. This in turn allows the berries and leaves to release nutrients into the hot water and provide what may users consider a pleasant taste. Today, it is also possible to purchase teabags that contain dried and pulverized hawthorn leaves and berries.
The purported benefits of hawthorn tea typically revolve around the combination of nutrients found in the berries and leaves. High amounts of selenium and vitamin C are present, along with significant amounts of calcium and potassium. There are also trace amounts of vitamin A, magnesium, and phosphorus, and very small amounts of various B vitamins. The end result is a supplement that is believed to have a positive effect on the heart, which in turn triggers a number of other health benefits.
Anecdotal evidence regarding the benefits of hawthorn tea include regulating blood pressure so that it remains within a normal range. Circulation is believed to be improved with regular consumption of the tea, while also helping to prevent hardening of the arteries. The combination of nutrients are also believed to help with various types of nervous disorders, especially generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder, and may serve as a tonic during periods of stress.
As with most herbal products, there is the potential for negative interaction with prescription medications. The sedative effects of hawthorn tea could amplify the effect of anti-anxiety medication to the point that the motor skills of the individual are impaired for a short period of time. There is also the potential of interaction with antidepressants, heart medication, and blood pressure medication. Before adding hawthorn tea, hawthorn capsules or any other form of hawthorn to the daily diet, check with a health care professional to determine if the tea is likely to cause problems with your currently prescribed medications.