HAWTHORN


Flavonoids, vitamin B, vitamin C, choline, acetylcholine, quercitin, triterpenoids, cratetegin, rutin, procyanidin in hawthorn berries help treat high blood pressure, improve contractions of the heart, enhance coronary-artery blood flow, lower blood pressure & reduce production of angiotensin II, a substance that constricts blood vessels.

Hawthorn is used to treat arteriosclerosis, heart attack & cardiovascular disease.
Hawthorn is an herb that helps in the treatment of angina & congestive heart failure by dilating the coronary arteries & improving blood circulation in the heart.
It can be used to regulate cholesterol levels.

It is high in antioxidants, which can reduce oxidative damage on capillary walls.
Its relaxing nervine properties are helpful when a person is stressed out, which puts further hardship on the heart.
Hawthorn can be used for children & adults who are restless & irritable with a difficulty in focusing.

Hawthorn also helps stabilize collagen & supports the health & repair of ligaments, tendons & muscles.

Hawthorn is excellent for strengthening the capillaries, which makes it useful for people who bruise easily.
Try hawthorn tincture, tea, or capsules for 3 - 4 weeks & see if it helps reduce the amount of bruising.

The Chinese have used the leaves & flowers for stagnant digestion
associated with poor lipid metabolism. Indications for this include heartburn
indigestion.

Hawthorn is also a remedy for grief & deep sadness. Combine it with lemon balm, the milky tops of oats & St. John’s wort for a tea that helps alleviate the deep feelings of grief that often accompany loss.

 Crataegus monogyna

PRECAUTIONS:

Most herbalists feel that hawthorn preparations are safe to use in conjunction with allopathic heart medication, because hawthorn works through a nourishing & supportive mechanism, rather than drug like chemical changes.
But if you’re taking heart medication, check with your doctor before taking hawthorn or any other type of remedy, allopathic or herbal.


RECIPES:

To make an infusion of the dried leaves or berries, add 1-2 tsp of herb to 1 cup of boiling water & allow to steep 10 minutes.
Drink up to 3 cups daily.
Allow 1-2 months for the effects to be noticeable.

Hawthorn Honey:

Gather enough ripe berries to fill a jar.
Cover the berries with honey, stirring well to remove any air pockets.
Let the mixture sit for a couple of days to a week.

Tea for deep-seated grief & feelings of loss:

2 parts hawthorn leaf, flower & berry
1 part green oat top
1 part lemon balm leaf
1 part St. John’s wort flower & leaf
Prepare an infusion of the herbs. Drink 3 - 4 cups daily.
It’s also an effective remedy for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), when the lack of light during the long winter months brings on depression & lethargy.

Hawthorn Tincture:

Gather fresh young hawthorn leaves, pack them loosely in a widemouthed glass quart jar & add enough brandy, vodka, or gin to cover them by 5 cm.
Place in warm spot & shake daily.
Later in the season, as soon as the flowers begin to open, collect a handful & add to the jar.
Top up with more alcohol, if needed, to keep the liquid 5 cm above the herbs.
In the fall, collect a handful of the ripe berries & add to the jar.
Again, top up with alcohol if needed.
Let the herbs infuse in the alcohol for 4 - 6 weeks, shaking daily.
Then strain & bottle the liquid.

As a heart tonic, take 1 tsp of tincture once or twice daily for 3 - 4 weeks. Discontinue for 1 week, then repeat the cycle.

Hawthorn Berry Syrup:

Add 1 cup of fresh hawthorn berries to a medium sized saucepan.
Add 2 cups water.
Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer the hawthorn berries for 5 minutes. 
Remove the pan from heat & mash the berries in the water using a potato masher.
Strain. 
Add 1 cup of sugar & stir thoroughly to combine.
Pour the resulting hawthorn berry syrup into a glass bottle or jar. 
Store the syrup in the refrigerator. 
Take 0,5 tsp 3 times per day.


MAGIC:

In England it was once believed that the hawthorn was one of the three trees most sacred to the fairy-folk (the others being the oak & the ash).

In ancient times,many a superstitious souls believed that hawthorns were actually Witches in disguise. Many Witches were thought to have been able to transform themselves into trees at will by means of magical spells, or according to Christians,through the aid of the devil.

Others were said to have danced so wildly around the hawthorns in their frenzied rites that they permanently became as one with the tree.

Take care not to sit beneath the boughs of a hawthorn tree on Halloween the time of year when the invisible veil between the human & supernatural realms is thinnest, otherwise, you may fall under a fairy enchantment.

Cutting down a hawthorn tree is said to greatly anger the fairies & therefore brings the worst of luck to the one who fells it.

There exist contradicting legends concerning the bringing of hawthorn blossoms into the house. One holds that the blossoms are beneficial, offering the household protection against evil, sorcery & lightning.
Another claims that they are extremely unlucky & may even bring about a death in the family.


As well as for hedges around his fields, the Hawthorn had an additional benefit for the farmers of old, for cattle were known to thrive within its protection. During birth if a calf was premature, hanging its afterbirth on a Hawthorn tree was thought to magically protect the calf & give it quick growth. The Hawthorn was also planted around Oak & Ash tree groves in order to protect them from damage by storms or grazing cattle.

Any Hawthorn tree standing alone should be avoided & only parts from trees forming hedges should be taken.

Today in pagan Ireland, newly wed couple still adhere to the old practice of dancing around a Hawthorn tree to bless & ensure a long & fruitful marriage.

In Ireland it is believed that food left over from the May Eve dinner should not be thrown away or wasted, but left near the Hawthorn tree as an offering to the spirits that inhabit the tree.

On May Eve it was an old custom to make a wish by tie ribbons or shreds of personal clothing onto a Hawthorn tree, especially where they grew near wells. The strips of cloth needed to be symbolically appropriate to the nature of the wish (i.e. blue for health, pink or red for love, green or gold for prosperity). These were said to be gifts for the fairies who dwelt in the tree & if pleased they would make your wish come true.

The Hawthorns wood is an ideal for making talismans & wands, which can be used for protection, health & luck.

Another old custom was to make a Hawthorn globe or charm ball from its twigs & foliage & tied with a white ribbon on the old Celtic New Year’s Day (i.e. at Samhain) .

The old charm ball from the previous year was then burned on a bonfire of straw, ash twigs & acorns.

This represented your old self with all the previous years troubles & sorrows being consumed in the fire.

Your new self with all your hopes & aspirations can then be forged into the new globe & hung in a safe place until the next New Year.

The hawthorn was often planted near running water which associated it with the spirits of the ancestors. It is still the custom in parts of Britain & Ireland to tie pieces of cloth to the hawthorn if you want the ancestors to give you help with something.

It can be used for fishing magic, to encourage a good catch & can also be worn in a pouch by those who are troubled, depressed or sad in order to bring happiness.

Irish Rag Tree.Hawthorn is dressed in clothing rags. It is believed that the bush cures illness & answers prayers, so when a piece of the persons clothing is placed on the bush, once the rag has rotted to nothing, their prayers & intentions will be answered.



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