Hawthorn Berry and Flower
Supports the heart, liver, digestive system and more
Hawthorns are small thorny trees, belonging to the rose family (apples, pear, apricot, quince...), and bear fruit that resembles tiny apples. We are lucky to have two different endemic species of hawthorn in our garden, one with yellow fruit, and the other with little red “apples”. All hawthorn species are edible and medicinal, and have a long history of use in Europe, North America and Asia.
Hawthorn is known for its heart promoting and cardiovascular strengthening abilities. Its ability to dilate peripheral and coronary blood vessels eases hypertension, and increases the body’s metabolism. Hawthorn Berry has significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties making it an excellent choice for those with chronic illnesses such as autoimmune disorders and circulatory problems. Hawthorn flowers are also traditionally used for maladies of the heart, including grief and loss. The flowers know to infuse lightness and hope in a weary heart.
In addition to congestive heart disease, angina (chest pains), cardiac arrhythmia, myocarditis, hawthorn berries are also helpful in healing insomnia, diarrhea, blood clots, hepatitis, arteriosclerosis, high cholesterol, and a broad spectrum of digestive issues.
Hawthorn trees are associated with fairies and seen as a portal to the other world, which could explain why I’ve always been so attracted to this particular tree.
Hawthorn is a food-herb and can be ingested in a wide variety of mediums, used to make jam, honey, elixir, vinegar and tea.
It is important to notice that hawthorn stones, like apple, quince and apricot seeds, contain amygdalin (vitamin B17), which bonds with sugar and turns to hydrogen cyanide in the small intestine. There is a lot of controversy regarding the toxicity of these seeds. Some see them as dangerous, while others use them as a cure for cancer. Its fine to cook the berries containing the seed, just don’t eat the seeds.
Hawthorn tea is delicious and simple to make:
Pour 2 cups of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried hawthorn berries and/or flowers. Let steep for 10 minutes or more. Honey may be added as desired. The softened hawthorn berries can be eaten or discarded, just be wary of the pit.
Enjoy your fairy apples,
Information in this article was taken from: