Hawthorn, the wonder herb!

Hawthorn/ May Blossom

Latin name:-Craetaegus oxyacanthoides

You will not be surprised to know this is one of nature’s wonder herbs when I tell you it is documented as having been used for its beneficial actions on the heart by the 1st Century Greek Herbalist Dioscorides.

Hawthorn has a long history of use, confirmed safety and clinical evidence to support its cardiovascular benefits. The reason it is a wonder herb is because it improves circulation both to the peripheries of the body (hands and feet) as well improving the circulation to the heart itself, without increasing the heart beat or raising blood pressure.

Hawthorn in flower

The flower, leaf and berries are used in Herbal Medicine, which contain Flavonoids, phenolic acids, tannins and amines

I use it as my preferred herb to improve circulation to all parts of the body, because I know I can trust it to have a gentle but effective action on all circulatory problems.

It grows absolutely everywhere in England along the hedgerows, making a wonderful display of mile after mile of beautiful white blossoms in early May. This year the weather over here was abnormally warm in April so the Hawthorn flowered about two weeks early, not living up to its name of May Blossom giving rise to the saying, “ cast not a clout ‘til May is out” meaning don’t take your winter woolies off until the May blossom has finished.

I give a lot of W.I. talks and during these many of the ladies tell me interesting facts they remember from their childhood about different herb usage.

Many of the ladies have told me that they remember going along the hedgerows with their Grandmothers, picking and eating the buds of the Hawthorn flowers which their Grandmothers called Bread and Cheese. Of course in the past April/May was a very bad time for fresh vegetables and Vitamin C levels in the diet would have been very low.

Hawthorn hedge

Picking and eating the buds of the hawthorn was a source of fresh vegetable high in vitamin c and bioflavonoids, which at the same time improved circulation and would have been a true spring tonic.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist

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