Tips for Growing a Hawthorne Tree

COMMON NAMES:
Commonly known as Hawthorne berry or May blossom.

LATIN NAME:
Crataegus oxyacantha or Crataegus monogyna, Crataegus spathulata

HISTORY:
This plant is found in temperate climates of Europe, Asia and North America. It was used commonly in Europe as a hedge plant, and in both ancient and modern China as a medicinal plant. The tree was considered sacred in parts of the Middle East, and may historians believe that is was possibly the Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus during the Crucifixion

HERBAL PROPERTIES AND USES:
Hawthorn berries have been widely used for their medicinal properties, and most recently have been endorsed in evidence-based medicine for treating chronic heart failure. Hawthorne berries have also been used as a digestive aid and to strengthen overall cardiovascular function, lower blood pressure, and to lower levels of harmful cholesterol.

Hawthorne Cultivation and Growing Methods

ANNUAL/PERRENIAL PLANT:
Perennial

PARTS USED:
Hawthorn leaf, berry and flower extract

SOIL REQUIREMENTS:
Prefers slightly acidic well-drained soil, but can tolerate slightly alkaline soil.

SUN REQUIREMENTS:
Varies by species, but usually can stand full sun.

GROWING ZONES:
Hawthorns grow well in the U.S., Europe, Northern Africa, the Mediterranean and Asia. USDA Zones 4a-7b

POLLINATION:
Propagated by the berries and by hard-wood cuttings.

HARVESTING:
Flowers can be harvested in the spring, and berries in the fall.

DRYING METHODS / YIELD:
Fresh raw hawthorn berries should be picked when ripened, carefully removing thorns and leaves. Wash the fresh berries with purified water and use raw or dry in the sun for several days.

PLANT YIELD:
Unsure.

PRESERVATION / PACKAGING METHODS:
Berries can be eaten raw, cooked or dried and stored in an air-tight container.

FLOWERING/SEEDING:
Flowers in early February.

ESSENTIAL OIL USE:
May be used for aromatherapy for the heart and circulation. It works as a vasodilator, increasing healthy circulation and lowering blood pressure.

PLANT CHEMICALS:
Holds a flavonoids called quercetin, as well as tannins, Vitamin C, glycosides, anthocynaidins, proanthocyanidins, saponins and cratetegin.

IS THIS AN EDIBLE PLANT:
Yes, the leaves can be cooked like greens and the berries can be used for jellies and jams. Flowers and seeds are edible, and make an excellent addition to salads and deserts.

CAUTIONS / CONTRAINDICATIONS:
Generally safe for most people. Infrequent side effects may involve digestive upset, headache and heart palpitations.

DRUG INTERACTIONS:
Hawthorne increase the action of drugs containing cardiovascular effects, so consult with your doctor if you are currently taking heart medication.

Clinical Research About Hawthorne Berry

  • Dietary intervention with AHP, a functional formula diet, improves both serum and hepatic lipids profile in dyslipidemia mice.. Luo Y, Chen G, Li B, Ji B, Xiao Z, Yi G, Tian F. J Food Sci. 2009 Aug;74(6):H189-95. [PMID: 19723204]
  • Hawthorn extract reduces infarct volume and improves neurological score by reducing oxidative stress in rat brain following middle cerebral artery occlusion. Elango C, Jayachandaran KS, Niranjali Devaraj S. Int J Dev Neurosci. 2009 Aug 25. [Epub ahead of print]. [PMID: 19712738]
  • The comparison of anti-oxidative kinetics in vitro of the fluid extract from maidenhair tree, motherwort and hawthorn.. Bernatoniene J, Kucinskaite A, Masteikova R, Kalveniene Z, Kasparaviciene G, Savickas A. Acta Pol Pharm. 2009 Jul-Aug;66(4):415-21. [PMID: 19702174]
  • D-camphor-crataegus berry extract combination increases blood pressure and cognitive functioning in the elderly - A randomized, placebo controlled double blind study. Werner NS, Duschek S, Schandry R. Phytomedicine. 2009 Jun 25. [Epub ahead of print]. [PMID: 19560327]
  • Investigation of contribution of individual constituents to antioxidant activity in herbal drugs using postcolumn HPLC method.. Raudonis R, Jakstas V, Burdulis D, Benetis R, Janulis V. Medicina (Kaunas). 2009;45(5):382-94. [PMID: 19535885]

 

References

  1. Lust, John, N.D. "The Herb Book", Bantam Books. 1979.
  2. Ullsperger, R. (1951) Preliminary communication concerning a coronary vessel dilating principle from hawthorne. Pharmazie 6(4):141-144.
  3. Rewerski, W and Lewak, S. (1970) Hypotonic and sedative polyphenol and procyanidin extracts from hawthorne. Ger. Offen. 2:145-211.
  4. Mowrey, D. (1986) The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine. Cormorant Books.
  5. Phipps, J.B., O’Kennon, R.J., Lance, R.W. (2003). Hawthorns and medlars. Royal Horticultural Society, Cambridge, U.K.
  6. Pittler, M.H., et al. (2008). Hawthorn extract for treating chronic heart failure.
  7. Alternative Medicines for Cardiovascular Diseases--Hawthorn by Harry Fong and Jerry Bauman. Journal_of_Cardiovascular_Nursing Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 16(4):1-8 (July 2002).

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.