Hawthorn Berries How To Prepare – This post is part of UK Herbarium’s ‘Herbal Treasures in March’ blogger party kindly hosted by Brigitte.
A friend just emailed me with a question: what can I do with hawthorn berries? (it is surrounded by fruitful hawthorns), so here is the list:
Hawthorn Berries How To Prepare
1. make herbal vinegar, same process as this. Hawthorn berry vinegar is one of the delicious vinegars – strong and fruity. Try a tablespoon in a glass of water.
Hawthorn (crataegus) Extract
2. make a liqueur – plain or fancy (at the bottom of the page. There is also an interesting recipe for salty sauce). Regular hawthorn spirit is basically a tincture, but you can use lower strength alcohol (which makes it cheaper).
3. make the tincture. Tincture of hawthorn berries is a world-renowned tonic for the heart and circulatory system (even scientists are chasing it). If taken for several months, it is considered a safe drug that helps with many heart problems. I also find the tincture helpful for the emotional heart of grieving – it seems to lighten things up and allow the process to move with more ease.
4. prepare an aperitif (the Chinese have historically used hawthorn as an aid in digestion, and it is especially good for meat meals).
6. make hawthorn jelly. I haven’t made this before (because I’m not a jam maker), but I have a friend who makes it every year and it’s very tasty. There seem to be two different types of recipes – those that include apples or crabs, and those that only contain hawthorn. I’m interested in any experience with this. I ate a friend’s jelly as a sweet on oatmeal, but it would also go with meat and help with digestion.
Energetic And Spiritual Medicine Of Hawthorn: Protective And Purifying Healing The Heart
7. Eat berries directly from the tree. Sometimes they are too dry inside, but other trees or other times provide a nice walking snack. I suspect trees with adequate water have better tasting berries. Hawthorn berries are full of goodness:
8. make fruit leather. This Eating British guy in the UK succeeded, but with mixed results. Hawthorn berries dry out very easily, so it may be a mold problem because it adds water. I might opt for the leftover berries when making the vinegar (ooo, sweet and sour fruit leather). Even boiling the berries in the smallest amount of water could be good.
9. Unfortunately, google doesn’t have recipes for hawthorn ice cream, so I’ll just have to make it up…
10. do everything you normally do with fruit. I’ve seen recipes for hawthorn chutney and hawthorn wine.
Homemade Ketchup With Hawthorn Berries
11. make a lining. Juliette de Bairacli Levy says that the peeled raw fruit “is in great repute as a remedy for pulling out deeply embedded splinters and thorns and for rashes” (from
12. make magic. Hawthorn in Europe/UK has a long tradition of magical use focusing on protection. If you’re not into the hippie/pagan aspects, hawthorn can help you focus on what’s good or what needs healing, etc.
If you now have spring and not autumn, you will be glad that the flowers and leaves of hawthorn are also very useful, and much that is true of berries also works on the spring plant (with a few adjustments). October/November, after the first frost, is also the time to harvest hawthorn berries. Hawthorn is relatively not used as a hedge berry, but is mainly used for hawthorn gin or hawthorn brandy. It can also be used to make jam or jelly. Hawthorn gin is much nicer than sloe gin. It’s not as sweet and syrupy, in fact it’s more like a spirited wine like dry sherry than a liqueur. It is worth maturing. Hawthorn gin made now will be perfect next Christmas. If you don’t think you can wait that long, then make a double batch – some to drink young this year and some to mature next year. Do a lot though, because there is so much more!
Sort the berries, top and tail. It’s quite time consuming and not the end of the world if you don’t do it – but it will create a sediment that is difficult to drain later and will reduce the clarity of your gin. Pack the berries in a canning jar and sprinkle a little sugar between the layers. Once you’ve reached the top of the glass (leaving a bit of wiggle room), fill with cheap gin (supermarket own brand will do). Close and put in the chest. Shake the jar every few days.
Hawthorn Berry Schnapps
After 4 weeks the strawberries will have lost their color and the gin has turned a rosé shade. (Leaving it longer before straining will intensify the flavor. However, a muddy sediment is more likely to appear. If you have light plump berries, you can let the gin macerate for several months, but if the berries are hard and discolored, one month is enough .) Once strained, filter into bottles and age for at least another three months. Enjoy in moderation!
Hawthorn also has a history as an herb that herbalists used to treat high blood pressure. It is also good for the heart as it has vasorelaxant properties and is very high in bioflavonoids – good for your heart too. This is well supported by research. (If your blood pressure is already high and you are taking medication, you should not just stop taking it. But in conjunction with a consultation with a medical herbalist, you may be able to reduce your dependence on the medication.) The best way to take hawthorn is as a tincture. A tincture is basically an herb (in this case hawthorn) macerated (soaked) in alcohol to make a tincture. So hawthorn gin is essentially a form of tincture. And a small regular bite, like in the old country days, can help keep the heart and circulation healthy. Leaf or berry tea is also a healthy way to keep blood pressure low, especially when combined with linden flowers and leaves. “Her thorns are like nails; inches long and strong; tensile. And yet a gentler, more nutritious medicinal plant is unlikely to be found.” -jim mcdonald
For today’s article, I’m sharing excerpts from Alchemy of Herbs about the many healing gifts of hawthorn. I’m also including one of my all-time favorite recipes: Hawthorn Cordial.
Hawthorn from Herb Alchemy: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Medicines That Heal Rosalee de la Forêt (Hay House, 2017)
Hawthorn Berries: Gin, Brandy Or Tincture?
Considering heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, I’m surprised more people don’t know about hawthorn. Before I start sounding like a snake oil salesman, I should point out that people get heart disease for many reasons and that hawthorn is not a medicine that can be taken while neglecting the main foundations of well-being such as a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.
European culture has always been fascinated by hawthorn, and many myths and bits of folklore are hidden about this thorny tree. In addition to its medicinal uses, the tree’s hardwood was used to make tools, and the thick, thorny nature of the tree made it popular as a natural hedge or fence. Various species of hawthorn are native to North America, where First Nations used it to treat a variety of ailments, including wounds and digestive problems. People in China also have a well-developed relationship with hawthorn, which they often use for stagnant digestion.
In spring, hawthorn trees produce masses of lovely white to pink flowers. After pollination, the tree begins to form many clusters of berries that ripen in late summer. These red berries are dry and mealy and can be bitter to sweet depending on the variety.
Hawthorn is a tree from the rose family that grows throughout the northern hemisphere. There are more than 280 species, and herbalists use them all in similar ways. In science, the most studied species were
Hawthorn Berry Health Benefits And How To Use
The current paradigm of Western medicine for treating chronic disease relies heavily on suppressing symptoms rather than addressing the factors causing the problem. For example, if you have seasonal allergies, your doctor might give you something to stop your body from trying to make histamine, but doctors often don’t give you anything to adjust your immune system and prevent allergy symptoms. This paradigm can be seen in the array of pharmaceuticals used by Western medicine to treat the symptoms of heart disease. While this attempted patch may save lives in the short term, it does not address why a person has heart disease in the first place.
In fact, many commonly prescribed medications actually deplete the body of nutrients needed for heart health. Statins, commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol, deplete the body of CQ10, an important enzyme for a healthy heart. Diuretics, commonly prescribed for high blood pressure, deplete potassium from the body. A lack of potassium causes an irregular heartbeat. In nourishing and strengthening the heart, hawthorn does something that no other medicine can claim.
How does hawthorn work? I like