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Crataegus laevigata


plant overview
fragrant flower, tart fruit

Hawthorn is a flowering shrub indigenous to Asia, Europe and North America. Like other members of the rose family, this hardwood shrub produces fragrant blossoms and sharp thorns for self-protection. Also known as Bread and Cheese Tree, Hagthorn, May Blossom and various other common names, hawthorn produces red fruits or berries that are botanically known as haws. In some parts of Europe, however, they are referred to as Cuckoo's Beads and Pixie Pears. The red-to-black fruits lend a tart flavor to teas, jams and baked goods. Hawthorn leaf and flower are used to make teas, extracts and tinctures.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information about hawthorn

Crataegus laevigata, a member of the Rosaceae family, is a large shrub or small tree growing to 8 m (rarely to 12 m) tall, with a dense crown. The leaves are 2–6 cm long and 2–5 cm broad, with 2–3 shallow, forward-pointing lobes on each side of the leaf. The hermaphrodite flowers are produced in corymbs of 6–12, each flower with five white or pale pink petals and two or three styles, can have a fetid scent, and are pollinated by midges. The fruit is a dark red pome 6–10 mm diameter, slightly broader than long, containing 2–3 nutlets. It is distinguished from the related common hawthorn, C. monogyna, in the leaves being only shallowly lobed, with forward-pointing lobes, and in the flowers having more than one style, however hybrids occur frequently.

common names & nomenclature
The common name for hawthorn comes from haw, which is an old English word for "hedge." The tree’s name means "thorny hedge”.

Also known as:
midland hawthorn, English hawthorn, woodland hawthorn, mayflower

Where in the World
habitat and range for hawthorn

Crataegus laevigata is a species of hawthorn native to western and central Europe, from Great Britain and Spain east to the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting hawthorn

A true woodland species, hawthorn grows well in quite dense shade, can tolerate more sun, grows well in woodland edges and as hedges.

Hawthorn prefers a well-drained moisture retentive loamy soil but adapts to many soil conditions.

Sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, some of the seed will germinate in the spring, though most will probably take another year. Stored seed can be very slow and erratic to germinate, it should be warm stratified for 3 months at 15°C and then cold stratified for another 3 months at 4°C. It may still take another 18 months to germinate. Seedling trees take from 5 - 8 years before they start bearing fruit, though grafted trees will often flower heavily in their third year.

Harvest hawthorn leaf-buds in the early spring, hawthorn flowers in the spring and hawthorn berries after they ripen in the fall. Use the various parts fresh or dry them for later use.

Store dried (whole or powdered) berries, leaves and flowers in airtight containers in a cool, dry place.

The Rest of the Story
hawthorn history, folklore, literature & more

hawthorn for your heart
When it comes to heart health, more and more people are working to stay healthy than ever before. The Western diet combined with a lack of physical activity has made heart disease the number one killer of both men and women. If you could take a supplement that actually helped your heart stay healthy, wouldn’t you want to do it?

Hawthorn is just that. It’s been used for many, many years to treat the problems of the heart such as high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries. No matter what heart ailment you have, hawthorn can help to treat it and it can even help to prevent heart trouble before it begins.

Hawthorn has an active ingredient that actually helps to dilate blood vessels. This helps to lower blood pressure and allow blood to flow more freely to the heart and other tissues of the body. It’s nature’s heart medicine.

Hawthorn has been shown to actually help recovery from a heart attack. It can be used to lower blood pressure and fight arteriosclerosis. It can also be used to treat congestive heart failure in its early stages.

In addition to the wonders it can work on your heart, hawthorn can also help to treat problems of the digestive system such as stomach upset and diarrhea. It can also be used to help you sleep at night. Hawthorn can actually soothe a sore throat as well.

Hawthorn comes in many forms. You can drink it in the form of a tea; you can also use the dried leaves and berries to form infusions. Liquid tinctures of hawthorn are also available. In addition, powdered hawthorn can be used to make capsules of the herb.

When it comes to hawthorn, make sure that you use the correct dosage. This is an herb that directly affects your blood vessels and your heart and you don’t want to take too much. You should also consult your healthcare provider before you take it to make sure it won’t interact with any prescription or over-the-counter drugs you take on a routine basis.

Hawthorn is one of the best herbs you can use to protect your heart. It’s commonly prescribed by both herbalists and physicians to keep the heart healthy and prevent heart attacks, high cholesterol, and arteriosclerosis.

When it comes to keeping your heart healthy, you can’t afford to miss out on something that can make your life so much better. Don’t wait to start using hawthorn—especially if you’re concerned about a healthy heart.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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