Hawthorn Tree And Berries – Hawthorn is a notorious heart tonic that works on the heart physically and energetically. Hawthorn’s many herbs come in the form of leaves, flowers and berries. Known to have supportive and protective properties, its name,
Which means strength. With heart disease and heart failure on the rise in Canada, let’s make hawthorn a household name! Read on to find out how you can support your heart and the health of your loved ones with hawthorn medicine. Plus, check out the recipe for delicious hawthorn berry syrup.
Hawthorn Tree And Berries
Hawthorn is a prickly, thorny tree of the rose family (Rosaceae). There are 280 species under the genus Crataegus but C. laevigata and C. monogyna are mainly used in phytomedicine. Hawthorn produces white or pink, five-flowered flowers in spring that yield bright red berries or “haws” in early fall. Blood red berries and white powdery flesh and a large stone. With a sweet and sour taste, it is used as food and medicine. The berries are enjoyed by birds and small animals that live on the thorny, protective branches of the tree.
Hawthorn Berries: Identify, Harvest, And Make An Extract |
As one of the oldest recorded medicinal plants used in Europe, the health benefits of hawthorn have been tried and tested. This herb has long been associated with heart health and research has shown it to be an effective treatment for a variety of cardiovascular conditions including high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, angina and varicose veins. Hawthorn has a restorative and balancing effect on the heart and circulatory system, changing the heart’s function, depending on what is needed for proper functioning. It is also shown to stimulate digestion and calm the nerves.
Much has been said about how the hawthorn’s physical form is related to its power. The plant stands tall and gives a lot of medicine but also maintains protection and boundaries as its thorns allow you to get very close. Herbalist Jim McDonald recommends hawthorn as a heart and soul tonic. Plant medicine provides an emotional safe haven for people recovering from grief, trauma and emotional vulnerability.
Some herbalists use the leaves, flowers and berries of hawthorn differently, depending on the season. However, berries are shown to be especially supportive
Heart rate, heart rate control. It should be noted that if all the flowers are harvested in the spring, there will be no berries in the fall! The leaves and flowers can be enjoyed as a tea, capsule or tincture. Packed with antioxidants and flavonoids, the berries can be eaten fresh or made into jams and syrups as well as prepared as a decoction or tincture.
Thornless Hawthorn Tree Berries #347687
Herb-infused syrups are a delicious and effective way to enjoy herbal medicine. Syrups can be taken on their own or added to tea, cocktails, or any food that needs sweetening. Syrups can be made with sugar or honey, but honey is often preferred as it is rich in nutrients and anti-microbial.
This recipe uses hawthorn berry tea mixed with honey in a ratio of 2:1. If you like a sweeter, thicker syrup, you can change the ratio to 1:1. You can make a larger batch of this syrup easily by adding berries and changing the ratio of honey to water.
The seeds of hawthorn berries contain mildly toxic compounds and should not be eaten. If you want to use the leaves left over from the tea, strain out the seeds first.
Mountain Rose Herbs. “Hawthorn, Plant Walk and Jim McDonald.” Online video clip. Youtube. 20 Dec. 2013. Web. 9 November 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGB9Do-IEv8 Harvesting Hawthorn berries is a new experience for me this year. They’re delicious and easy when you get them at the right time, and in years past I’ve had them in early fall. This year, Washington’s hawthorn was nice and mild in late October. But at that time, the one-seeded hawthorn was starting to rot, so next year I will look for mid-October ones.
Guide: Managing Hawthorn Around Waterways
I owe it 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, there are probably a thousand species, according to George Symonds (from his excellent Tree Identification Book: A New Method for the Identification and Recognition of Trees.
, my favorite guide for learning tree ID). Fortunately, you don’t need to be able to identify the 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; you just spit the seeds.
Why bother with hawthorns? It is a beautiful, attractive, and delicious wild edible grain with known health benefits. Some people use the berries to make hawthorn jelly, but I have never tried this. The berries, leaves and flowers can be used to make tea. Scroll down the page to see how I extract hawthorn berries.
I will describe two types here, to illustrate the general characteristics. That should help you recognize hawthorn when you see it, but it is
Hawthorn: Foraging And Using
If you are unsure of hawthorn when foraging, please check other sources until you are CONFIDENT, before consuming the berries.
This grows as a small tree or large shrub, and bears clusters of white flowers in late spring. The berries turn red in September (here), but are delicious later. On October 31st, they were good, and maybe a little over the top. Each berry contains 3-5 seeds.
The leaves are lobed and toothed, as you can see in my picture 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’s even easier later in the spring after most of the leaves have fallen and are no longer hiding the thorns.
Also called the common hawthorn, this is a European native that escaped cultivation and is native to North America. It’s sometimes called an invasive plant, but I don’t find it very often, and when I do, it’s rarely in one place. It may be invasive in other parts of the country, but it doesn’t seem to be particularly aggressive here. Like the Washington hawthorn, the single-seeded hawthorn grows as a shrub or small tree, and bears clusters of white blossoms in late spring. The oval red berries ripen earlier (than Washington hawthorn) in the fall and contain one seed (hence the name). The toothed leaves are deeper than those of the Washington hawthorn, but the thorns are much smaller, about 1/2 inch to an inch long.
Red Berries Hawthorn Tree Autumn Forest Stock Photo By ©konoplizkaya 214967586
Hawthorns are common in the woods here in Massachusetts, but they are a poor variety. There is a lot of shade in the forest. To find hawthorns in full fruit, look in hot areas, such as scrub fields and forests, on the edges of pastures and near streams. They are often grown as ornamentals, so if your friend has one and doesn’t mind you picking berries, you have an easy experience getting food on your hands.
This is my first experience using hawthorn berries, and I use them to make a mixture, the same way you would make vanilla. I hope to use the hawthorn extract as a flavoring in cooking and baking. I filled a clean canning jar about 3/4 full with berries, covered it 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 products, (like vanilla extract) take weeks, so that’s what I expect here., Hawthorn fossils found in the 1990s go back to the middle of the Miocene Epoch, 15 million years ago . The geological survey that discovered these fossils found them in the Black Hills, South Dakota.
The most popular type of hawthorn comes from a Central Asian and European group made up of about 100 species. Usually, it grows as a single tree with flowers that emit an unpleasant smell. The berries it produces are often used in the preparation of various medicines. They are also considered a source of nutritious food.
The hawthorn fruit is characterized by its oblong, pear or round shape. Berries are generally the size of large cultivated berries. Depending on its specific type, the color of the berries can be red, yellow-orange, blue, black or yellow. Its flesh is very similar to that of a rose—dry and powdery.
How Long Do Hawthorn Trees Live?
Although hawthorn berries are not specifically classified as poisonous, there are some conditions when they can cause adverse effects when eaten. Fruit seeds in
The family is known for having the compound amygdalin which is basically cyanide mixed with sugar. When eaten, this compound can turn into hydrogen cyanide as such