Between properties of hawthorn there is that of being part of the so-called 'tranquilizing herbs', that is, those that relieve the heart and regulate pressure. Since it is an easy to find herb, not only in herbal medicine, in this article we talk about how to use it.
In phytotherapy the use of the hawthorn to those who feel tired, sleep badly, are hypertensive, suffer from tachycardia, anxious states, dizziness and to protect themselves from cholesterol and arteriosclerosis. Other property of the hawthorn is to have no toxicity and no contraindications, except for specific sensitivities and the possible overlap with drugs that regulate blood pressure.
Hawthorn: the plant
The common hawthorn, Crataegus Monogyna, is a shrub of variable size (it can also become very large) which forms tangles of thorny branches with light gray bark and small very shiny and crinkled green leaves. It is also called tormentor plum or white thorn and is part of the rosaceae family with rose hips and apple trees. It is used for the construction of hedges and borders, but its habitat is the wooded countryside where it grows well in all terrains and climates even at a certain altitude.
The flowers have 5 white (sometimes pink) petals and yellow stamens. Characteristic of hawthorn flowers (April-June) is the unpleasant smell (for the human sense of smell at least) which is perhaps the weapon with which the plant defends its treasure. In autumn, red berries appear, which in some less common varieties are orange or yellow.
Hawthorn: the harvest
To take advantage of the properties of hawthorn the individual parts must be collected at the right time and used in the correct way. The bark is taken in spring when the sap rises, removing strips that can be used fresh or after you have dried them.
Of the flowers, the whiter ones are preferred, immediately before full flowering which occurs between April and June depending on the climates and seasonal trends. The flowers should be picked one by one, or in clusters if there are, eliminating the leaves. Then they are left to dry in the shade in a thin layer.
THE hawthorn fruits, the berries, are harvested in autumn after they have taken on the full color: usually red, or orange or yellow.
If you harvest hawthorn in the countryside, make sure it is not near fields where pesticides are used. In built-up areas, avoid plants near busy roads.
Hawthorn: the use
The properties of hawthorn harvested in nature, they are enhanced especially with decoctions and infusion.
The decoctions are prepared with the bark (10 pinches in 1 liter of water to drink 2-3 times a day) or with dried fruits (10 pinches in 1 liter of water to be drunk in glasses within 48 hours).
L'hawthorn infusion (recommended for circulatory disorders) is prepared with flowers: 2 pinches for a cup of boiling water.
Two other related articles that we recommend you read are:How to grow hawthorn is Medicinal plants: list and cards, Ornamental garden plants.
If you have a garden and want to try planting a hawthorn you can also buy a seedling online of Crataegus Monogyna (Hawthorn)