The Hawthorn berry. It has been around for some time now, as evidenced by archeological findings of the berry in pottery jars dating back 7000 B.C. Its name in Greek means “hard wood with sharp thorns”. It has been valued as a cardiac tonic by the Greek herbalist Dioscorides, who wrote about its healthful properties in the first century A.D. Both the Ancient Romans and Greeks consider Hawthorn as a symbol of love and marriage. The Romans use it as a charm to ward off evil spirits. The Ancient Chinese used it to treat circulatory and digestion problems. They also make fermented beverage out of Hawthorn.
Hawthorn, also known as Mayflower, is a deciduous tree belonging to the Rosaceae family of fruit bearing tree. It is native to Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa and Asia. It can reach a height of 30 feet and can live to a great age. It has thorny branches exhibiting beautiful white or pink flowers in spring. Hawthorn fruits look like miniature apples that seasons in the fall. Its scientific name is Crataegus oxyacantha.
Let’s now take up its nutritional components. This superfruit is a storehouse of nutrients like vitamin, bioflavonoids, polyphenols and cardiotonic amines. It also contains saponins and amygdalin.
In terms of health benefits that hawthorn can provide you, the most noteworthy is its overall heart health properties and even earned the title as “food for the heart”. It has been known as a natural heart tonic and used throughout Europe. The beneficial actions are derived from the fruits, flowers and leaves that contains mainly of flavonoid compounds which are all heart protective antioxidants.
It is effective in maintaining your blood vessels healthy, relaxes your arteries, keep your blood pressure in check, helps in reducing the amount of stress placed on your heart by inhibiting the angiotensin converting enzymes. And adding to this, it assures you of a healthy circulation by increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to and from your heart.
This wonder fruit can relieve you of digestion problems, stomach pain, menstrual problems and diarrhea. It can act as a sedative and can reduce anxiety and being a diuretic, it can increase urine output. You can also use this berry to treat sore, skin boils ulcers, and intestinal infections.
Hawthorn may be used for long term medication with no serious side effects. Not to be taken with other drugs for heart conditions. May cause nausea when used on an empty stomach. Consulting your health providers is still the best thing to do. Stay safe.
Try topping your vanilla ice cream with hawthorn jelly… It’s super yummy!
Hawthorn Fruit Fact: Hawthorn tree is great to use as firewood because of its high burning temperature.
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