Hawthorn for Heart Disease

Published: October 1, 2012

In Heart Health Part 1, we discussed a 4 part nutritional program that dramatically improves heart function in those with heart disease. Today, we will discuss the herb hawthorn, which a recent major medical review of 14 placebo controlled studies, with over 1,000 patients, found to be helpful in addressing the symptoms of heart failure.

In the review, hawthorn extract, an herbal which is often used for heart health, was shown to significantly decrease symptoms and improve exercise performance in chronic heart failure—without significant side effects. "The best evidence that is available suggests that hawthorn has significant benefits, compared with placebo… for patients with chronic heart failure," according to the authors, led by Dr. Max H. Pittler of the Peninsula Medical School in the UK.

The data showed that hawthorn extract has improved the strength of heart muscle contraction, while improving blood flow to the heart muscle. This makes hawthorne a useful addition to other natural and prescription therapies for addressing congestive heart failure. In addition, although the research focused on heart failure (which causes shortness of breath on exertion, swollen ankles, and shortness of breath on laying flat), the data suggests it may also be helpful for angina.

This is the recipe I recommend for most forms of heart disease to improve the efficiency of your heart's function (in order of priority):

  1. Ribose — 5 grams 3 times a day for 6 weeks, then twice a day.
  2. Coenzyme Q10 — Take 200-400 mg/day (I would do 400 mg/day for 6 weeks, then 200 mg/day). This nutrient is especially critical for anyone on cholesterol lowering medications, even if there is no heart problem.
  3. Magnesium — 200 mg/day and B Complex 50+ mg/day. I would get this plus over 40 other key nutrients easily by taking the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder and B Complex.
  4. Acetyl-L-Carnitine — 500 mg 2x day for 6 weeks, then 500 mg/day.
  5. Hawthorn — I would use Hawthorn Phytosome 2 tabs 3x day.

Give this recipe 6 weeks to work. You'll be glad you did!


Pittler MH, Guo R, Ernst E. Hawthorn extract for treating chronic heart failure. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008; DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD005312. pub2.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. His newest book (June 10, 2024) is You Can Heal From Long COVID. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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