Helpful Weeds

Reporter: Rebecca Bergh

Millions of people all over the world claim to find peace and de-stress in the garden. But its not a place you'd expect to literally find a fix for heart failure or relief from osteoarthritis.

The Arthritis pain relief comes from a rose plant, and the fix for heart failure comes .from a weed. "Its something the herbalists have been using for years and it used to be part mainstream medicine, particularly in Germany its been much a thing for heart health for centuries".

Hawthorn Weed hails from Europe and, in its pill form, is helping thousands of Australians, like Gordon Hedger.

Cardiomax is readily available over the counter at pharmacies and Cardiologist Professor David Colqhoun believes that combined with conventional therapies, its got the potential to help millions of people with a multitude of heart conditions. "Its now been used in a trial in people with heart failure -- which is a big problem, merging problem in our elderly population -- and giving this in relation to standard drug therapy. You get extra benefits its like we've gone full circle", Professor Colqhoun said.

The pill's main use is in the treatment of heart failure. It has the potential to help people feel better and live longer.

Alex Thompson says it certainly put the pep back in his step, after suffering from angina and surviving a triple bypass.

It may not mean the difference between life or death, but another plant is helping thousands find relief from osetoarthritis. Rosehip is the fruit of the rose plant and Europeans have been using it to treat joint pain, arthritis and rheumatism for generations.

Now scientists agree it works. Why it works appears to be quite simple -- Rosehip has long been known to be one of nature's richest sources of vitamin C, an effective anti-inflammatory.

And scientific tests have shown the body absorbs the vitamin C in rosehip twice as effectively as synthetic vitamin C tablets. Doctor Keith Maitland has long been an advocate of the plant extract, having witnessed some major improvements in his patients mobility after they started taking it. "I'm a clinician, so I tend to go on clinical results but it certainly gives more oomph", Dr. Maitland said.

Debbie Fitzsummons is a convert. She works three jobs, is constantly on her feet and was suffering from aches and pains -- until she discovered the benefits of rosehip.

"This is a fantastic anti-oxidant so, along with Glucosamine, it helps rebuild the joints. Its really good but it also helps with swelling, inflammation and as a consequence of that, it helps increase joint mobility", Dr. Maitland said.

Roselyn Tom could never take Glucosamine for her arthritis because she's allergic to shellfish, one of the major ingredients. So she too turned to rosehip. "

For around a dollar a day, both woman say it's a worthwhile investment and as a bonus, they say the high concentration of vitamin C also boosts the immune system.

Cardiomax aids in the relief of symptoms in heart failure patients. Its available over the counter in pharmacies but consult with your doctor before taking Cardiomax.

For more information on rosehip go to