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Hawthorn Berries (Crataegus laevigata)

Hawthorn Berries (Crataegus laevigata)

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A herbal food supplement

BOTANICAL NAME

Crataegus laevigata (monogyna) fructus

COMMON NAMES

Hawthorn Berry, Haws

FAMILY

Rosaceae

DESCRIPTION

Hawthorn is found throughout the British Isles and has been used for centuries in both food and medicine. A sweet and slightly sour, tangy tasting herbal tea.

PART SUPPLIED

The loose dried berries.

AVAILABLE AS

100g / 500g Pouch. Not currently available to customers in the EU.

SUITABLE FOR

Vegetarians and vegans.

DIRECTIONS

Infusion: About half a teaspoon of herb to a cup of cold water, bring to the boil and leave to sit for 5-10 minutes. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired.

Drink up to 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.

The herb can be added as a flavouring to gin, vodka and other infusions.

CAUTIONS

This herb is considered safe in food amounts. Do not take if you are allergic to this plant or other members of this plant's family (Rosaceae). Maximum of 6g per day may be taken as a powder or capsules. Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children, or if you are unwell, have health concerns or an ongoing illness. If in doubt, please ask us, your medical herbalist or healthcare practitioner. This herb is not suitable during pregnancy. If you are taking any medication, please speak to your healthcare practitioner before using this product. Discontinue use and consult a doctor if adverse reactions occur. This product should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet or lifestyle. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Overdose can cause cardiac arrhythmia and dangerously lower blood pressure. Plant extracts cause few side effects when taken correctly but if a side effect is experienced please contact us. Hawthorn is vasodilatory and increases coronary artery dilation, thus reducing the dose needed of some heart drugs. It should not therefore be taken concurrently with heart medication except under the advice of a doctor or medical herbalist. 

FOOD USE

The berries need to be cooked as they are too pithy and sour to eat raw. However, they make an excellent jam. The berries can also be used to make traditional Hawthorn Berry Gin.

HAWTHORN BERRY GIN

Pick, sort, top and tail enough hawthorn berries to fit into a preserving jar. Pack into the jar, sprinkling a little sugar between layers. Once you have reached the top of the jar, fill with gin. Seal and put in a cupboard. Every few days give the jar a shake. After a month the berries will have lost their colour and the gin turned a shade of rosé. Filter off into bottles and keep for three to six months to mature. Enjoy in moderation. 

HAWTHORN BERRY BRANDY 

Repeat the above process, substituting brandy for the gin.

HAWTHORN JELLY

700 g hawthorn berries (haws)
350 ml water (approx)
500 g sugar (approx)
1 lemon

Destalk and wash your haws. Put into a large saucepan and cover the berries with water. Boil for an hour, stirring 2 or 3 times and mashing the haws with a potato masher as they soften. 

After an hour remove from heat. Pour into a muslin bag and strain the haws, keeping the liquid. This is best done overnight. Don't be tempted to squeeze the bag as this will make the jelly cloudy.

Discard the haws and measure the juice. Add 1 gram of sugar for every ml of liquid (e.g. 350 ml liquid + 350 g sugar). Also add the juice of 1 lemon. Put all these into a heavy saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Then boil rapidly for 10 minutes until the jelly sets on a cold plate. 

Skim off any foam and pour into sterilised jam jars. Seal and store.

MEDICINAL USE

Traditionally taken to strengthen the heart and reduce high blood pressure. Both flowers and berries are astringent and useful in decoction to cure sore throats. A useful diuretic in dropsy and kidney troubles. 

Key actions: Cardiac, diuretic, astringent, tonic.

In clinic: Mainly used by herbalists as a cardiac tonic in organic and functional heart troubles including: Angina, bradycardia, palpitations, ventricular fibrillation, tachycardia, cardiac disease, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.

If you are interested in the medicinal use of this herb please consult a herbalist. Herbs are generally used at medicinal strength, in blends, prescribed for each unique patient's condition.

STORAGE

Keep in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Keep out of reach of children.

PACKAGING
Pouches: Packaged in a biodegradable stand-up resealable pouch. Made with 45% - 60% renewable wood pulp starch. When placed into a composting environment the pouches will biodegrade to compost within 3 months.