This little gem is also known as Shan Zha. Hawthorne may be new to us, but it is a medicinal supplement that has been used throughout history throughout Asia, Europe and North America for its health benefits.
The leaves and flowers contain beneficial flavonoids and procynaidins. Flavonoids activate endothelium-derived relaxing factor and inhibit phosphodiesterase, thereby increasing vasodilation. Therefore, patients who take warfarin/Coumadin, vasodilating, antiplatelet, and/or anticoagulant medications should make sure dosage of this herb is moderate.
Hawthorn fruit herbs are often included in herbal formulas for indigestion. Hawthorn fruit helps break down animal fat and supports digestive function. It has been found to be effective in lowering serum cholesterol and blood pressure.  
Check your family medical history and examine your daily diet. If you are concerned about your heart health or have history of high LDL levels, a small dose of hawthorn tea may benefit you. Every little bit counts!
 Rajendran, S. et al. Effect of tincture of crataegus on the LDL-receptor activity of the hepatic plasma membrane of rats fed on atherogenic diet. Atherosclerosis. 123(1-2)::235-41, June 1997.
 Zhe Jiang Zhong Yi Za Zhi (Zhejiang Journal of Chinese Medicine), 1991; (6)::245.