Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in America – so it’s important to take care of your ticker.

The Medicine Hunter, Chris Kilham, said there are natural ways to protect your heart, like taking hawthorn berry.

“There are probably a couple hundred different species of hawthorn trees,” Kilham said. “And it's the leaves and the flowers and the berries that are used to enhance heart health.”

Kilham said there is a massive body of science on hawthorn, which looks like fat, red peppercorns.

“We know that it strengthens the heart; it makes the contractions of the heart more even,” he said.  “It actually enhances the amount of blood that comes out of the aorta. And it also reduces the sort of skittishness of the heart. If you get a fright or a shock it will keep the heart beat more regular and steady. So this is real medicine.”

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Hawthorn is widely used in Europe and the U.S. for strengthening the heart muscle, improving nerve function to the heart, making heartbeat more regular and improving blood flow, Kilham said. 

If you have a weak heart, are over the age of 45 or just want to maintain good cardiovascular health – then taking a hawthorn supplement or drinking tea with hawthorn berries and leaves is a good idea, Kilham said.

“This is real herbal medicine with real science behind it, and it's just plain good for the heart, which as you know, we all need," Kilham added.