Organic Emily

Medicinal Herb – Hawthorn

Hawthorn tree

Medicinal Herb Post – #42 Hawthorn – Crataegus spp.

I took this picture from a friend’s tree. She has been so generous to share with me over the years. The berries were almost ready to be picked when I took this at the end of September. This is one tree I don’t have in my yard… yet. Hawthorne is such an amazing herb. I have also seen hawthorns growing wild in our Utah mountains. The trees in the mountains have thorns so be careful when harvesting. The flower, leaf and berry are all medicinal. This year I made a big batch of hawthorn berry and rose petal elixir, mixing organic vegetable glycerin and a rose vodka. My next tincture will include the flower and leaf.

Hawthorn is incredibly healing to the heart. It improves heart muscle function, supporting people with heart palpitations, or other heart irregularities, increases circulation in the whole body making it good for cold hands and feet, including Reynaud’s. It increases the diameter of the arteries and uptake of oxygen to the heart and vessels, lowers blood pressure, reduces hardening of the arteries and reduces inflammation of the connective tissues. It can be really useful for those with connective tissue disorders like arthritis and lupus. Use turmeric and gotu kola with hawthorn for connective tissue purposes.

Hawthorn can help clear toxins within the digestive system and regulate metabolism. It can calm someone with anxiety caused by grief or sadness. I had a friend who lost a loved one recently. I made this person a tea that included hawthorn berry, lemon balm, rose and oat straw. You could also add St John’s Wort if anti-depressant medications are not a factor. It has also been used for ADHD and PTSD.

The only contraindications for hawthorn is that it may interfere with beta blocker medications. Many doctors are moving toward using hawthorn for their patients.



Emily Saddler

Emily is a Master Gardener, wife of a professional landscape contractor, homeschool mom of 7 awesome kids, yoga/pilates instructor, a clinical and master herbalist, licensed massage therapist and soon to be traditional naturopath. She is a very passionate advocate of organic home-grown food! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Suburban Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients, herbal and natural home care product recipes and loves teaching classes on gardening, plant identification and herbal remedy workshops. Check out the events and classes page for more info.

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