Hawthorn for the Heart
Episode 25: Have you heard of Hawthorn? Herbalist Bonnie Rose Weaver is a big fan and in this episode fills you in on why she loves this plant!
Hawthorn, Latin name Crataegus, is a heart tonic extraordinaire. A member of the Rose family, (like Bonnie), Hawthorn is also known as May Apple, Mayblossom, and the May Tree. Edible parts of the plant include the young leaves and flowers and the fruits or berries. Medicinally, Hawthorn has been used to prevent and treat heart problems, to regulate blood pressure, and to increase vein health.
Hawthorn berries are rich in antioxidants and can be made into jams and incorporated into a medicinal honey. The flowers and leaves can be made into tinctures.
Hawthorn has a rich folklore and history. Fairies are said to hang out with Hawthorn and in Welsh lore, the Goddess Olwen walked an empty universe and left a trail of Mayblossoms which became the Milky Way.
Hawthorn also provides shelter and food for a biodiverse group of small mammals, insects, and birds. According to Bonnie, Hawthorn is also a valuable plant ally for those times when you are dealing with heartbreak or heartache.
Bonnie Rose Weaver is an urban farmer, community herbalist, artist and educator in San Francisco, CA. In 2014, Bonnie launched the seed to bottle apothecary – 1849 Medicine Garden, a project that teaches urbanites about the benefits of locally grown plant medicine. Bonnie is the author of the book, Deeply Rooted: Medicinal Plant Cultivation in Techtropolis.