Hawthorn

Latin:  Crataegus spp.

Family:   Rosaceae

Parts Used: Berry, flower, leaf

Taste/Energetics:  Warming, sour and slightly sweet

Properties:  Cardiotonic, astringent, nutritive (berries), antioxidant, anxiolytic

Actions: This is an herb that is often used for strengthening and regulating the heart.  Emotionally, it also has an affinity for helping people who have experienced shock and trauma, leading to anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, often with high blood pressure.  I think of it as a protective plant, especially for those who appear vulnerable and at times frightened.  In Chinese medicine, hawthorn berries are used as a digestive tonic, helping to strengthen appetite, digestion and assimilation.

Dosage:  The leaves and flowers lose their medicinal strength after a few months but berries can last up to a year in dry form.  The berries contain more nutrients and flavonoids.  Both commonly taken as tea 1-3 tsp infusion in cup of hot water, or in tincture form 2-3 ml twice a day.

Contraindications: Gentle but consider usage when taking other hypotensives.

Further Reading:

Hawthorn video by Jim McDonald

Hawthorn monograph  by Renee Davis

Hawthorn monograph  by Elise Krohn