What Are Hawthorn Berries And Leaves Goof For – With the arrival of autumn, I am happy that the hawthorn trees will begin to ripen their fruits to crimson, soon ready for harvest. Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) is a member of the Rosaceae family. This botanical family also includes red raspberry (Rubus ideaus) and wild rose (Rosa woodsii), each of which, like hawthorn, protects itself by the thorn it bears. How amazing is it that herbs in the rose family are so easy to love, and yet they know how to protect themselves too? It seems they have firm boundaries in place and therefore demand respect.
I often find that my clients can use the support of hawthorn in a wellness formula or even as a simple tea or tincture as it offers different actions that lovingly guide us through the modern world. Although we may be bombarded with information and opinions, the hawthorn stands unmoved, ready to hold us steady.
What Are Hawthorn Berries And Leaves Goof For
Hawthorn is so exciting with its history and present. With nearly 300 hawthorn species, it’s no wonder there are many interesting tidbits passed down over time. Although this abundant tree is the subject of various stories, mythology and interesting facts, hawthorn also provides us with more than just stories – it provides us with a range of supportive measures for both the physical and emotional bodies. The most common of the hawthorn species are Crataegus monogyna, C. oxyacantha and C. laevigata. All hawthorn species have health benefits (de la Forêt, 2017) and herbalists use them in similar ways. In this article, I will touch on some of the myths, as well as the benefits of hawthorn. You will also find two simple hawthorn recipes to use during the fall season.
Medicinal Plants Hawthorn
Hawthorn has many common names such as May, May and Thorn Apple, and it usually produces its white flowers around May 1st. Interestingly, the maypoles were said to be made from hawthorn trees (Masé, 2013) which is very fitting as the beautiful flowers appear just in time for May Day and Beltane celebrations.
The folklore behind cutting hawthorn is quite interesting. Some say it can be bad luck to cut hawthorn branches, especially if you bring the cut branches indoors. Conversely, leaving cut hawthorn branches outside was often thought to prevent witches from entering the home. However, fallen hawthorn branches are believed to have been made into powerful wands and brooms for witches.
Another interesting bit of hawthorn history is that the Mayflower ship was said to be named after the hawthorn tree for the sense of hope this flowering tree inspired in England. The hawthorn symbolized not only hope but love, marriage and intimacy.
Hawthorn can often be found in small groves as well as hedgerows – where it has been planted to create a physical barrier between homes and properties. This weaving is called a hedge and haw, in fact translates to hedge. You can begin to guess how this tree would make good borders.
Hawthorn Berries With Leaves Isolated On White, Close Up Stock Photo
I remember the first time I consciously spent time with a hawthorn tree. It was autumn, and it was among both linden and rose—a spiritual herb garden if ever there was one! I was drawn to the thorns, the lobed leaves and the darkening fruits. That’s when I heard about the playful myth surrounding the hawthorn’s history. It is said that the hawthorns are the guardians of the river. If you take a nap under a hawthorn tree, you will be escorted away to the world of the Fae. Images of sprites, childish images, colorful clothes and lively dancing flood my mind. Could this tree connect us to the innermost parts of ourselves—the parts that haven’t forgotten how to experience joy through the lens of wonder?
The hawthorn tree offers many gifts: leaf, flower, berry, and some herbalists even use the thorn. Hawthorn supports the physical heart by acting as a cardiac tonic (Easley & Horne, 2016), the spiritual heart, and personal boundaries. The berries have a sweet-sour flavor profile, while the leaf and flower are more astringent (Tilgner, 2009).
Chinese, Native Americans and European peoples have a longstanding relationship with hawthorn as a heart tonic. Its use as a tonic dates back to 1st century Rome, where it was also seen as a symbol of both love and marriage.
As mentioned above, hawthorn can nourish the spiritual heart (emotional body), but it also works on the physical body. The berries are full of vitamin C and flavonoids, making a nutritious, antioxidant herbal infusion. Flavonoids can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress (de la Forêt, 2016), and taken regularly, hawthorn berry is known as a strengthening herb for the cardiovascular system (Tilgner, 2009). Hawthorn leaves and flowers can also provide a calming, unnerving quality. Combine all three plant parts – leaf, flower and berry – and you get a tasty and nourishing tea that is relaxing.
Hunter Gathering: Wild & Fresh Food: The Strange Properties Of Hawthorn
Hawthorn is known as an herb for the physical heart. Use of hawthorn can improve oxygen utilization by the heart as well as improve circulation and provide energy to heart cells (Easley & Horne, 2016). It is known to tone and strengthen the heart muscle (Easley & Horne, 2016) and acts as a cardiovascular troforestorative agent (Tilgner, 2009).
With supportive nutrition and exercise, the addition of hawthorn has been used by many herbalists to support the maintenance of healthy blood pressure (Easley & Horne, 2016).
Hawthorn does more than just support the physical heart. Hawthorn berries can be a gentle digestive aid (Easley & Horne, 2016). When taken as a cordial after meals, hawthorn can calm the digestion and open the heart.
Hawthorn’s energy is cooling and mixed with moisture depending on which part of the plant is used. (Easley & Horne, 2016). The berries tend to be moisturizing and have a slightly sweet and sour flavor, and the flowers and leaves tend to be astringent (Tilgner 2009) which can have an overall drying quality.
Magical Hawthorn Mulled Apple Cider & Gathering To Heal
Hawthorn is a lovely and generous plant to use in times of tenderness, especially when grief is present. It can soften our hearts and promote forgiveness of ourselves and others. When you feel in need of a hug, turn to hawthorn. I think of hawthorn as being able to help us honor the innate strength and connection to who we truly are at our core. It matches both strength and softness while allowing the ability to cultivate healthy boundaries as well as gentleness. It also helps support stress with its nerve functions (Easley & Horne, 2016). Navigating through grief and a broken heart is nerve wracking and stressful. As a nervine, it can support an overworked nervous system as well as calm worn-out sleep patterns. It is not uncommon to shut ourselves down as we try to protect our tender heart in times of transition and pain. Again, reach for hawthorn when you need that hug or feel lonely. Hawthorn has your back and your heart when you need a little extra care.
There are a couple of precautions when considering using hawthorn, especially for those with chronic heart conditions. People taking beta blockers or other heart medications should consult an experienced physician, such as their primary care physician, before taking hawthorn, and those with chronic heart failure are advised not to take hawthorn (Gardner & McGuffin, 2013).
Hawthorn berries are similar to regular berries that you can find in the market and have similar safety (Gardner & McGuffin, 2013). Since hawthorn berries are a food, they can be taken in large quantities over time as a tonic (Easley & Horne, 2016). Hawthorn berries can be used in a variety of ways, from vinegar, jam, syrup and other flavonoid-rich recipes to herbal tinctures and teas.
A tincture is also a readily available way to take in the hawthorn’s gifts. The berry can be tinctured fresh or dried. When life is busy and tea just seems like too much to add to your day, taking a tincture of hawthorn is yummy and easy. Toss the tincture in your bag or pocket and reach for it a few times a day when you feel the urge.
Organic Hawthorn Berry Tea
As you can see below, taking hawthorn as tea is an easy way to benefit from its actions. Tea can be made from the hawthorn’s dried berries, leaves and flowers.
A hawthorn infusion is nutritious and rich in flavonoids. During the fall months, it’s a good idea to load up on nutritious plants to keep us healthy as we transition into cooler weather.
A delicious afternoon snack to settle the stomach, open the heart and connect with friends and family during the harvest season. Share this delicious drink with those you love.
1 cup organic dried hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) berries 1 chopped organic McIntosh apple, seeds removed 1 teaspoon fresh organic ginger (Zingiber officinalis) root, chopped 3 cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) pods, crushed 1 teaspoon sin orange (C one piece organic orange ) 1/2 cup organic dried rose hips (Rosa canina) 1 organic cinnamon stick (Cinnamomum spp.) 2 tablespoons dried organic hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) calyces 1/3 cup organic 100% unsweetened blueberry juice 1/2