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Hawthorne (Crataegus dissona)
Info compiled by Joseph Lucier
Wikipedia Wikipedia © 2005 Botanical.com

Latin Name: Crataegus dissona (Northern Hawthorne)

Common Names: May. Mayblossom. Quick. Thorn. Whitethorn. Haw. Hazels. Gazels. Halves. Hagthorn. Ladies' Meat. Bread and Cheese Tree. (French) L'épine noble (German) Hagedorn (Chinese) Shan Zha

Family/Lineage: Kingdom Plantae – Plants, Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants, Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants, Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants, Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons, Subclass Rosidae – Order Rosales, Family Rosaceae – Rose family Genus Crataegus L. – hawthorn, Species Crataegus dissona Sarg. – northern hawthorn

Parts Used: Dried haws or fruits. The whole berry, dried, crushed and powdered

Habitat: Europe, North Africa, Western Asia.

Uses: Hawthorn berries are more often used to make tinctures than teas, smoothies and punches. May also be taken encapsulated or as an extract. they are used in many formulas for heart problems.

Hawthorn berries are antispasmodic, cardiac, diuretic, sedative, tonic and vasodilator. Like hawthorn leaves and flowers, hawthorn berries have a hypotensive effect as well as acting as a direct and mild heart tonic. The traditional use of hawthorn berries is the treatment of weak heart combined with high blood pressure. The berries are also used to treat a heart muscle weakened by age, for inflammation of the heart muscle, for arteriosclerosis, and for nervous heart. The effect of hawthorn berry on these heart conditions is not immediate; it may be necessary to take the herb for 4 to 6 weeks to see results. Leaf and flower preparations may work faster, but hawthorn berries are better for some specific problems. A specific use for hawthorn berries is the treatment of orthostatic hypotension, a sudden loss of blood pressure caused by moving from a seated position to a standing position. Orthostatic hypotension can cause temporary loss of consciousness, and is a common complication during the first few weeks of medical treatment of high blood pressure with beta-blockers. A tincture made from a combination of hawthorn berries and camphor will not eliminate orthostatic hypotension, but it will reduce it enough that it does not cause swooning or fainting. Another often-overlooked use of hawthorn berries"this time as a tea"is treatment irritable bowel syndrome. Making a cup of tea with no more than a half-teaspoon of crushed, dried berries can relieve the constipation and gas associated with the condition. Kampo (Japanese herbal) medicine often uses crushed hawthorn berries with other herbs to treat colitis diarrhea caused by CrohnÍs disease, and various conditions causing rectal bleeding.

An infusion of hawthorn is used to treat various heart and circulatory problems and to support Digitalis therapy. The young leaves are good in salads. The haws are used to make wine, jelly and to add flavour to brandy. Hawthorn jelly or hawthorn flakes are used to aid the digestion of large amounts of meat in Chinese medicine.

Actions: Cardiac, diuretic, astringent, tonic. Mainly used as a cardiac tonic in organic and functional heart troubles. Both flowers and berries are astringent and useful in decoction to cure sore throats. A useful diuretic in dropsy and kidney troubles.

Details/Description: Description---The Hawthorn is the badge of the Ogilvies and gets one of its commonest popular names from blooming in May. Many country villagers believe that Hawthorn flowers still bear the smell of the Great Plague of London. The tree was formerly regarded as sacred, probably from a tradition that it furnished the Crown of Thorns. The device of a Hawthorn bush was chosen by Henry VII because a small crown from the helmet of Richard III was discovered hanging on it after the battle of Bosworth, hence the saying, 'Cleve to thy Crown though it hangs on a bush.' The Hawthorn is called Crataegus Oxyacantha from the Greek kratos, meaning hardness (of the wood), oxcus (sharp), and akantha (a thorn). The German name of Hagedorn, meaning Hedgethorn, shows that from a very early period the Germans divided their land into plots by hedges; the word haw is also an old word for hedge. The name Whitethorn arises from the whiteness of its bark and Quickset from its growing as a quick or living hedge, in contrast to a paling of dead wood.

This familiar tree will attain a height of 30 feet and lives to a great age. It possesses a single seed-vessel to each blossom producing a separate fruit, which when ripe is a brilliant red and this is in miniature a stony apple. In some districts these mealy red fruits are called Pixie Pears, Cuckoo's Beads and Chucky Cheese. The flowers are mostly fertilized by carrion insects, the suggestion of decomposition in the perfume attracts those insects that lay their eggs and hatch out their larvae in decaying animal matter.

Preparation and Dosage: Fluid Extract of Berries, 10 to 15 drops.

An infusion of hawthorn is used to treat various heart and circulatory problems and to support Digitalis therapy. The young leaves are good in salads. The haws are used to make wine, jelly and to add flavour to brandy. Hawthorn jelly or hawthorn flakes are used to aid the digestion of large amounts of meat in Chinese medicine.

Taste: Bitter

Psychology:

Flower Essence:

Combines:

Constituents: active ingredients are Flowers: tannins, flavonoids, essential oil, triterpene-carbonic acids and purine derivatives. Fruits: tannins, flavonoids, pigments and vitamins.

Pulse:

Tongue:

Contraindications: Taken in excess, hawthorn berry teas can cause mild diarrhea. This does not occur when the berries are used to make tinctures or are encapsulated. Diarrhea is not a side effect of the leaf and flowers. Taken in excess, hawthorn berry soft drinks, especially if they are made with the powder, can cause mild diarrhea. (Rice is added to the blend to prevent stomach upset.) Diarrhea does not occur as a result of using the herb when the berry powder is used to make tinctures or are encapsulated. Diarrhea is not a side effect of the leaf and flowers.


Preparation and Storage: Hawthorn berries are more often used to make tinctures than teas, smoothies and punches.

Smoothie Recipe: Combines well with walnut milk or walnut/hawthorne berry shake. Walnuts also excellent for the heart as well as hawthorne.

Web Sources: Wikipidia (ww.wikipedia.com), Mountain rose Herbs (www.MountainRoseHerbs.com), Botanical Dictionary (www.botanical.com), Herbal Dictionary (http://alternativehealing.org/Herb_index_Latin_C.htm)


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