Hawthorn is highly respected as a tonic to support healthy circulation. Studies have demonstrated the ability of hawthorn berries to positively assist with cardiological indications, utilizing active flavonoids in the herb producing simultaneous cardiotropic and vasodilatory action, thus dilating blood vessels for improved circulation.  The berries possess a potent and effective astringent effect which is very useful in the treatment of problems such as diarrhea and dysentery.
The leaves, flowers, and ripe berries of Cratageus oxyacantha taste great and are easily consumed in teas, infusions, and tinctures. Consistent, long-term use of hawthorn is especially recommended for ageing hearts, weak hearts, damaged hearts, and those with hypertension, angina, arrhythmia, heart valve disease, or Reynaud's disease (arterial spasms).
According to herbalist, Susan Weed, regular use of hawthorn can:

* Lower blood pressure
* Increase the effectiveness of the heart's pumping action
* Strengthen the heart muscle
* Slow the heartbeat
* Dilate coronary arteries
* Prevent heart disease, heart attack, and stroke
* Help those healing from heart surgery
* Support the immune system
* Increase longevity

The German Commission E - a scientific body which determines the effectiveness of herbal medicines - recommends tea or tincture of hawthorn for:

* Cardiac insufficiency corresponding to stages I and II of the NYHA
* Feelings of pressure and tightness in the cardiac region
* The ageing heart not yet requiring digitalis
* Mild bradyarrhythmia
* Increasing coronary and myocardial circulation.

Hawthorn's ability to slowly lower blood pressure is well documented, although the mechanism of its action is unclear. Hawthorn does not block calcium channels nor is it a diuretic. In fact, it is highly regarded as a safe way to lower blood pressure when the patient is diabetic or has kidney disease.
In addition to flavonoids, hawthorn is rich in minerals, and contains a small amount of the active principle oligomeric procyanidine (1-epicatechol). Numerous scientific authors have scratched their heads in amazement that hawthorn can have any helpful effect since it has no harmful effect.  Hawthorn is a popular ingredient in herbal immune system formulas.