Scientific: Crataegus laevigata [WikiPedia]
Appearance: Crataegus is a
thorny shrub or tree with stems and trunks that consist of hard wood and
grey bark, often having tri-lobed leaves and white flowers that are
similar to other genera in the Rosaceae or Rose family and bearing
bright red berries. There are around 280 known species, several of which
are used in traditional medicine and may be used interchangeably.
Parts Used: Dried leaf and
flower as a tea or capsule; fresh or dried as a tincture. Dried berry as
a tincture, tea, or encapsulated; can also be made into smoothies,
punches, cordials or even made into a fresh juice.
Common Uses: Hawthorn has
been used since the Middle ages, with some accounts going back as far as
the first century to Greek herbalist Dioscorides. It was later used by
Swiss physician Paracelsus (1493–1541 CE). Considered to be a
particularly symbolic tree with many folk-tales and magical myths
surrounding it, hawthorn was “sacred tree medicine” to the ancient
Druids, and was said to house fairies, specifically when growing with
oak and ash trees. Hawthorn is widely regarded in Europe as a safe and
effective treatment for the early stages of heart disease and is
endorsed by Commission E- the branch of the German government that
studies and approves herbal treatments. It is used to promote the health
of the circulatory system and has been found useful in treating angina,
high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia.
It has been found to strengthen the heart and stabilise it against
arrythmias. Hawthorn leaf, flower, and berry have been praised over the
centuries for their heart elevating properties. Believed to uplift and
strengthen both the physical and emotional heart, hawthorn, as it
supports healthy cardiovascular function, was also revered for
ceremonial and spiritual purposes. The flavourful red berries have been
used in candies, jams, jellies, wines, and cordials and are widely
available in many forms as dietary supplements.
Alternatives and Adjuncts:
Topic Specific References:
PLEASE NOTE that herbal and
other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe
and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any
other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.
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