The hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) belongs to the family of Rosaceae and to the subfamily of Maloideae; it is a thorny shrub with white and scented flowers blossoming in rich clusters, with red pome fruits with one large seed and yellow flesh. The leaves have deep lobes. Making part of the Eurosiberian flora, hawthorn is widely spread. It is a shrub of the plain and hill, it grows in mass on fields and in devastated oak-woods.
It is the herb of the heart, but also called ’’Fruit of God’’. In traditional medicine it is one of the mostly used herbs.
It contains yellow and transparent flavonoids, as well as triterpenes.
We usually collect the bearings, but the leaves and flowers are also valuable. The end (approx. 2 cm) of the blossoming stems must be collected. The crops are collected before they grow ripe, already red, but not soft yet (before the first frost). The flowers must be dried in the shadow, at an airy, but dry space, protected from the direct sunlight. Before processing, put the crop into the freezer to make them softer.
It has a very smooth calming effect, so it can be used long-term. Stronger medication can be reduced if used simultaneously.
It is a ’’heart friend’’, strengthens and calms heart, it has antihypertensive effect, its tea prevents arteriosclerosis and reduces the level of cholesterol.
It can also be used for sleep disorders, arthritis and it is digestive and a good appetite enhancer (it does not have fat-reducing, but diuretic effects).
Herb tea: infuse one teaspoon of dried leaves with 2 dl boiling water for 15 minutes, then strain and drink 3-4 cups daily.
The tincture is made of the flower, leaves and crops.
The first notice about hawthorn originates back to 1305. It has been registered that hawthorn was used against heartache and gout.
There are several legends related to hawthorn. The Romans placed this plant in the cradle in order to lay the evil spirits. In Christianity it is the symbol of death, because the thorny crown of Jesus Christ was made of hawthorn.
According to the Germanic myths the hawthorn arose from the flash of lightning and it was used on stake in order to help the spirit getting through to the heaven.
The Celts consider hawthorn as being the tree of winter and darkness.