Hawthorn Berry

Hawthorn Berry

crataegus sp.

Hawthorn is a great cardiac tonic and will help lower blood pressure. It is the go-to herb for any heart-related condition.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: Mayblossom, Maytree
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: No
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Berries, Flowers & Leaves
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About Hawthorn Berry

Hawthorn is scientifically called Crataegus monogyna, which is way too fancy for our classic tongue. Not just the berries, but its bark, twig, sap, and roots are edible and were utilized by ancient people. Hawthorn twigs, especially, were used to seek relief from pain and urinary tract infections.

Hawthorn is also recognized as quickthorn, whitethorn, maythorn, and may blossom around the globe. Its tree can reach a good height of approximately 45 feet with a dense crown, full of long leaves, and clusters of pinkish-white flowers.

However, hawthorn berries are red to bluish-black in color that emerge after the fertilization of highly fragrant pinkish-white blooms. Hawthorn berries are around .3 inches long and bear a single seed for the further perpetuation of its life.

Traditionally, hawthorn leaves and berries are used for making the increasingly valuable herbal medicines (capsules, tablets, or liquids) to help a failing heart. These medicines aid in diseases such as angina, congestive heart failure, ventricular arrhythmia, and atherosclerosis.

Hawthorn berries are loaded with flavonoids, procyanidins, triterpene acid, and phenolic compounds which possess a heavy pharmacological background. Hawthorn berries also attenuate aggressive muscle spasms, and anxiety disorders by posing sedative activity. Also, hawthorn berries do not back down when they come across dyslipidemia. They prolifically lower the fatal levels of triglycerides and LDL, all the while increasing the levels of HDL.

Growing

This deciduous ornamental tree is capable of adding glam to any average garden. They do not require much maintenance and can do well in both full sun and partial shade exposure. Regardless of the type of soil, what they strictly want is nutrient-rich soil with good drainage and neutral pH.

Hawthorn can be started by seeds, cuttings, and divisions. It can be planted both indoors and outdoors.

The seeds can be planted in garden beds from November till March to witness their robust growth whereas, for a containerized plant, seeds can be sown in autumn, winter, or spring.

Hawthorn seeds take forever to germinate. The process can stretch up to even a year. After germinating, they germinate healthily upon receiving a good amount of water and sun.

The spring brings new blooms with a heavenly fragrance. They invite pollinating insects that help with the process of pollination. The pollination is then followed by the fertilization that leads to the formation of red to bluish-black berries with a single seed.

Harvesting

The hawthorn flowers are harvested when they appear to be fully developed i.e. from mid to late spring. As for berries, they should be harvested when they are ripped and depending upon the region, the berries can be collected anytime in autumn.

The hawthorn flowers, leaves, and berries are harvested by making use of sharp pairs of pruning shears.

The hawthorn berries can be oven-dried whereas the flowers and leaves can be air-dried on the drying sheet. Hawthorn can then be stored in an airtight jar to preserve its fragrance.

Usage

Since ancient times, hawthorn berries are being utilized for their medicinal benefits. They are incorporated into various dosage forms to seek their perks.

  • Tincture - Infuse dried hawthorn berries in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea - Dried hawthorn leaves and flowers are steeped in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. The plant material is strained and hawthorn tea is enjoyed.
  • Decoction - Dried hawthorn berries are simmered in water for 30 minutes or more and strained to form hawthorn berry decoction.
  • Salve - Hawthorn infused oil is employed in making hawthorn salve.
  • Syrup - Dried or fresh hawthorn berries are rolled to boil in honey and water solution. The berries are strained and the liquid obtained is labeled as hawthorn syrup.
  • Infused oil - Dried hawthorn leaves and flowers are infused with olive oil to make hawthorn oil.