Hawthorn Berries Makes Me Cold – Harvesting hawthorn berries is a new experience for me this year. They are sweet and mild if you get them at the right time, and in years past I have tasted them in early fall. This year, the Washington hawthorn was sweet and mild in late October. But by then, the one-seeded hawthorn was starting to rot, so next year I’ll look for those in mid-October.
I owe a debt to Josh Fecteau’s recent hawthorn post, which inspired me to try hawthorn berries again. As Josh points out, there are many species of hawthorn, perhaps 50 in New England. And, in all of North America, perhaps a thousand species, according to George Symonds (in his wonderful Tree Identification Book: A New Method for Useful Tree Identification and Recognition.
Hawthorn Berries Makes Me Cold
, my favorite guide to learning tree ID). Fortunately, you don’t need to know how to identify specific species. You just need to know it’s a hawthorn, because all hawthorns have edible berries. HOWEVER, like apple seeds, hawthorn seeds contain cyanide, and should not be eaten. Don’t be afraid; just spit out the seeds.
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Why bother with hawthorns? They are beautiful, interesting, and wild edibles with known health benefits. Some people use the berries to make hawthorn jelly, but I have yet to try this. The berries, leaves and flowers can be used to make tea. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see how I make hawthorn berry extract.
I will describe two types here, to show the general characteristics. That should help you recognize a hawthorn when you see one, but the
If you are not sure if you have hawthorn when you want to eat it, please check other sources until you are SURE, before eating the berries.
This grows as a small tree or shrub, and bears clusters of white flowers in late spring. The berries turn red in September (here), but are delicious later. By October 31st, they were delicious, and probably past their peak. Each berry has 3-5 seeds.
Chilli Hawthorn Dipping Sauce
The leaves are lobed and toothed, as you can see in my photo above. Many other species of hawthorn have similar leaves. The tree is heavily armed with long thorns, up to 3 inches long. However, with reasonable care, you can easily harvest the berries, which often hang from the branch. It becomes even easier later in the season after most of the leaves have fallen and no longer hide the thorns.
Also called common hawthorn, this European native escaped cultivation and naturalized in North America. It is sometimes called an invasive plant, but I don’t see it very often, and when I do see it, there aren’t many in one place. It is probably invasive in other parts of the country, but it does not seem to be very aggressive here. Like the Washington hawthorn, the single-seeded hawthorn grows as a shrub or small tree, and bears clusters of white flowers in late spring. The red, egg-shaped berries ripen earlier (than Washington hawthorn) in the fall and contain one seed (hence the name). The leaves are more deeply toothed than those of the Washington hawthorn, but the thorns are much smaller, only about 1/2 inch long.
Hawthorns are common in the forest floor here in Massachusetts, but those are sharp specimens that don’t produce well. It is very shady in the forest. To find hawthorns full of fruit, look in sunny areas, such as fields with shrubs and bushes, at the edges of meadows, and along rivers. They are often grown as ornamentals, so if your friend has them and doesn’t mind picking the berries, you have the opportunity to easily find food at your fingertips.
This is my first experience using hawthorn berries, and I use them to make an extract, with the same process you would use to make vanilla extract. I hope to use the hawthorn extract as a spice in cooking and baking. I filled a clean mason jar about 3/4 full with berries, covered them with 80 proof vodka, and sealed the jar. I’m not sure how long it will take to extract enough flavor from the berries, so I’ll be checking it daily. I know that some extracts, (like vanilla extract) take weeks, so that’s what I expect here. Many years ago I planted a hawthorn tree in my garden. I’m glad I started then!
Herb & Spice Feature: Hawthorn Berries
It took ten years for this little tree to mature to produce the beloved berries—just in time to support my heart through my menopause.
Hawthorn berry is the main helper in the bosom of a wise female medicine to strengthen your heart in all ages and stages.
In the article, you will learn several simple and fun ways to extract the benefits of hawthorn berries to support your heart during the seasons of your life.
Botanically, the hawthorn is a tree or shrub of the Rose family—along with many fruit trees, including the apple, pear, cherry, peach, blackberry, blackberry, and blackberry.
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If you look closely at hawthorn flowers, you will see their resemblance to the petal pattern that characterizes the Rose family plant-radially symmetric, usually with 5 petals.
Traditionally, both “hawthorn” and “hawthorn” have been used to refer to this medicinal tree best known for its berries—the hawk—surrounded by thorns.
A favorite healing remedy for the wise woman’s chest herbal medicine, hawthorn shows you how the lines between food and medicine are blurring.
When you incorporate the benefits of hawthorn berry, your food becomes your medicine, and your medicine becomes your food.
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There are many ways to play with it—from water-based teas and decoctions, alcohol-based tinctures and vinegar-based oxymel. Not only the berries – but also the hawthorn flowers and leaves.
Want to hear more? Come, let us examine these beautiful hawthorn trees in the way of a wise woman. . .
To give you information about this powerful remedy, I reached out to a lovely wise woman who is a hawthorn practitioner.
EagleSong Gardener was my first plant teacher, 30 years ago. I was a college student hungry for more than I could find in the halls of school.
Organic Hawthorn Berries Rich In Tannin Create A Lovely
I was doing independent studies on plants and wild plants. That Eagle Song held my hand and shared the remedies he knows and loves, was a revelation. . .
EagleSong’s passion for the hawthorn is unparalleled—travelling around the world to explore the botany and traditional uses of the hawthorn, and making an amazing variety of hawthorn concoctions in his greenhouse kitchen.
I invite you to delve into the best botanical and culinary highlights of the hawthorn with EagleSong, the “Hawthorn Whisperer” himself. In the words of KoziIngoma. . .
Where do you find hawthorn (also known as hawthorne)? Hawthorn, Crataegus spp., is an example of a common plant, which is widespread on planet Earth in the northern temperate regions. A member of the Rosaceae family, this small to medium-sized tree takes its place in harsh environments with grace and even charm. There are thousands of Crataegus species found around the world! Growing 10′-50′ with small fruits, haws, and often sharp thorny branches, Crataegus is used as a specimen tree in gardens, as a foundation tree in rural areas, in the orchards of China and Mexico—and as a free agent. neglected areas that provide shelter and food for countless insects, birds, amphibians, small mammals and, occasionally, humans! The word hawthorn is an old English word for hedgethorn. Before that the word “hag” meant a fence. So, old hag of the fence! Whitethorn, Crataegus oxycantha and C. monogyna, as common as the shrubby trees used in European hedges—and their thorny counterparts the blackthorn, sloe plum, Prunus spinosa! A vigorous and adaptable tree, Crataegus occasionally turns to apomixis—a rare type of mating that does not require cross-fertilization to create entirely new species. Two other commonly used herbs in this capacity are Taraxacum and Alchemilla, our friends and helpers, the dandelion and the Lady’s mantle. Somehow, this just tickles my fancy! Getting to know hawthorn as a medicinal food Often considered a special food wherever it grows, hawthorn preparations include hawthorn sweets, juice, wine, herbal medicine—and it is used fresh and dried in soups, teas, punches, jams, butters, chutneys and relishes. Like many of its herbal counterparts, hawthorn is not universally accepted as beneficial. At least one county in Washington state has listed hawthorn as an invasive species. Ironically, this is the region where I harvest most of the haws used in my work. Heart health is a major issue in our communities and the world. By not understanding herbal medicine from the ground up, the opportunity for healing and communication may be missed. Considered a “heart food” and a heart remedy that is well suited by many herbal healers in several cultures, hawthorn is one of the herbs that, personally, brings me great joy in caring for. Wanting to have this tree deeply embedded in my life, I set myself the task of finding as many ways as possible to bring hawthorn into our daily diet. I invite you to do the same. As you get to know each other, remember to wrap up your senses