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Latin Name: cratageus spp.
Alternative Name: may tree, may blossom, white thorn, bread and cheese tree, gaxels, hagthorn, halves, haw, hazels, huath, ladies meat, may, may bush, mayflower, quick, thorn, tree of chastity.
Forms Available: berry, flower
Hawthorn – cratageus spp. – Also known as May Tree, May Blossom, or White Thorn. A Druid sacred tree, this deciduous, thorny shrub has serrated, lobed leaves, dense white flower clusters in late spring, and red false fruits (haws). The flowers consist of five white petals, sacred to the Goddess. During World War I, young Hawthorn leaves were used as substitutes for tea and tobacco, and the seeds were ground in place of coffee.
The berry is a superior heart tonic, useful for almost any heart condition. Cholesterol problems and valvular diseases are benefited. The berries also strengthen the appetite and digestion. Extended use lowers blood pressure. Hawthorn berry is a good remedy for the nerves and for insomnia. The berries are simmered or tinctured. Simmer two teaspoons of berries per cup of water for twenty minutes. The dose is a quarter cup four times a day. Take ten to twenty drops of tincture four times a day. The flowers are taken as a tea to benefit the heart. Steep two teaspoons of flowers per cup of water for twenty minutes; the dose is a quarter cup four times a day.
Aromatherapy & Health Uses: Benefits heart and circulation. A vasodilatory, improving blood supply and lowering blood pressure.
Other Uses: Hawthorn is the classic flower to decorate a maypole. An herb of fertility, it finds its place in weddings, May Day celebrations, and ritual groves. Beltaine was once reckoned as the day the hawthorn first bloomed. Wands of hawthorn have great power.