Medicinal Flowers | Benefits of Hawthorn Flowers + Hawthorn Tea Recipe

hawthorne flowers and leaves offer so many gifts especially for nourishing our hearts in this video i'm sharing about the benefits of hawthorne flowers and leaves and how you can best work with this plant to support your cardiovascular system hello i'm rosalie de la force herbalist teacher and best-selling herbal author i created this youtube channel to share trusted herbal knowledge so that you can get the best results when using herbs for your health make sure to stick around to the end of this video to get my nourishing hawthorne tea recipe and while you're watching let me know in the comments below about your experience with hawthorne whether it's as medicine or simply loving this beautiful tree it's always interesting and insightful to hear the experiences of plant lovers out there and your suggestion may also help others okay let's dive in several years ago while visiting ireland i fell in love with hedges lining the roads and fields these boundaries of stone walls and plants are teeming with life hawthorne shrubs were some of the most prominent plants along these hedges sometimes they grow close to the stones and other times they would shoot far beyond the original stone fence i walked along those hedges for miles and miles i was infatuated with the abundance of hawthorns those red berries the gnarly textured branches and the many haphazard spines i snapped photo after photo thinking to myself what a beautiful world we live in to have such abundant heart medicine growing just outside people's front doors in european traditions hawthorne is immersed with mystery and folklore in the spring its branches are filled with white to pink blossoms that attract countless pollinators the scent of the flowers has been described as everything from death and decay to the divine and erotic depending on the location hawthorne is often found blooming in late april through may and has been long associated with beltane the cross quarter holiday between spring equinox and summer solstice i live in a northern latitude zone four and this beautiful tree here is blooming about mid may or so just a little bit past mid-may hawthorne is for the heart hawthorne is easily my most loved herb for the heart and while we can classify hawthorne with a handful of medicinal words like astringent antispasmodic diuretic hypotensive but a better understanding is simply that hawthorne nourishes and protects the heart as a result hawthorne's virtues benefit a wide variety of heart related problems oftentimes in western herbalism we focus on the berries which are ripe in the fall but leaves and flowers are also filled with medicinal benefits large long-term and short-term studies have shown that hawthorne offers many benefits for people who already have mild to heart disease studies have specifically shown improvement for ankle edema general cardiac performance reduced blood pressure cholesterol fatigue pain with increased exertion and palpitations that's a lot of powerful ways that hawthorne benefits the heart based on these studies researchers have concluded what herbalists have long known that hawthorne has a clear benefit for patients with mild to moderate heart failure so how does hawthorne provide so many benefits for the heart well like most herbs hawthorne works in many ways some of which we may never fully understand but here's what we do know hawthorne is rich in flavonoids that are known to protect the cardiovascular system much of the heart disease in western world is related to chronic inflammation regularly enjoying herbs and foods and flowers high in these flavonoids can protect the heart from chronic inflammation and oxidative stress there are over 280 species of hawthorne trees growing around the world the most commonly used species are cretagus monogyna cortegas oxycantha and cortegas lavagada hawthorns can easily hybrid making a definitive identification a bit difficult but for herbalists that isn't much of a problem a study published in january of 2020 looked at 15 different species of hawthorne plants growing around the world to determine if their levels of flavonoids and triterpenes were the same and the study concluded that all 15 species had similar amounts of these beneficial nutrients hawthorns are native to europe asia north america and parts of africa they are widely distributed across the earth hawthorne can grow as a shrub or as a tree reaching 15 to 45 feet tall the tree i'm standing beside is about 15 feet tall and it's been growing here for over 40 years the bark and branches are brown and the wood is very hard hawthorne is prized for making a variety of tools the tree has many thorns which are about a half inch to one inch long and are found along the branches the leaves grow from one to one and a half inches long and are oval and deeply lobed the flowers bloom from april to june depending on location as typical of the rose family which hawthorne is a part of the flowers are five petals with many stamens the flowers grow in clusters and are about one centimeter in diameter i just love this time of year i don't know if you can hear but all around me the birds are singing and it's so lovely to hear that there's also so many flowers blooming just off camera which you can't see there's these huge lilac shrubs and they're just scenting the air so beautifully i wish you could be here with me to see and smell it all but this is a good substitute once hawthorne blooms it's going to develop fruits and keep on giving and late summer to fall the berries or haws ripen to a deep red the fruits persist well into winter and are important forage for wildlife hawthorne leaves flowers and berries can be used as medicine all three are commonly used as medicine for the heart they can be prepared separately or in combination with each other this video i'm focusing on the leaves and flowers and later in the year i'll do a video specifically on the berries you can also see my first book alchemy of herbs how to transform everyday ingredients into foods and remedies that heal for more information about hawthorne as medicine including some of my favorite recipes the leaves and flowers make a nice tea or a nourishing herbal infusion and are noticeably astringent the leaves and flowers can also be extracted into alcohol to forage your own hawthorne leaves and flowers you want to pick a few flowers and leaves just here and there off of a single tree your goal is to make it look like that you were never there in other words you don't want to just strip one branch of all the flowers and leaves when looking at the flowers for harvesting i was taught to harvest the ones that have the pink stamens in them when harvesting you'll quickly learn to mind the thorns you can't harvest this plant without a lot of presence and attention another way to harvest the leaves and flowers is to carefully prune the tree with its health in mind and then harvest the leaves and flowers from the pruned branches if you're new to pruning then look for guides on how to prune fruit trees for guidance see my second book wild remedies how to forage healing foods and craft your own herbal medicine for more information on sustainable and regenerative harvesting if you aren't foraging your own leaves and flowers then i recommend buying those in bulk from a trusted herb supplier i'll include my recommendations in the video description hawthorne is a safe and nourishing herb for most people but there are some cautions people taking heart medications such as digitalis and beta blockers should consult with an experienced practitioner before taking hawthorne large dosages of the leaf and flower may cause stomach upset in some individuals if this happens decrease the amount hawthorne should not be used with people who have diastolic congestive heart failure in 2019 a study was published that was looking at the best practices for how to make hawthorne flower and leaf medicines the researchers looked at dry versus fresh hawthorne they also looked at the leaves versus the flowers and they also compared different extraction methods to see what's the most potent all of these methods were tested to see which had the highest nutrients this study was so in-depth and fascinating and i wish we had studies like this for all my favorite plants the tea recipe i'm sharing with you is based on the findings in that study out of all of the extraction methods tested a simple tea or infusion was found to be the simplest and best way to work with hawthorne medicine and i love that i love teas because they're simple to make they can be delicious and they're a wonderful way to immerse yourself with the plant world i also love that this study showed that you don't need to buy expensive supplements in order to get the best benefits with hawthorne they also showed that the flowers and leaves have different and complementary nutrients so working with both is a good idea they tested many different ways of making hawthorne tea and they concluded that the most important practice to increase the extraction of nutrients was to grind the dry plant they recommended doing this just before you make the tea otherwise the flowers and leaves can oxidize which isn't good the researchers really emphasize that grinding the plant material was important they wrote clearly grinding the dry plant is the most important parameter to increase the extraction yields for all of the quantified components with the results of that study in mind here's how i recommend you make your hawthorne flour and leaf tea the simple ingredients are three grams of dried hawthorne flour and leaf one cup of water you begin by measuring out three grams of hawthorne flour and leaf using a kitchen scale i highly recommend measuring this by weight so you get an accurate amount then you want to grind the leaves and flowers using a spice grinder that's reserved for herbs especially you don't want to use what you use for coffee because your tea will taste like coffee and vice versa as previously mentioned you'll want to grind your hawthorn up just before each cup of tea place the hawthorne herb into a french press or another glass container that has a handle with a pour spout boil the water then you're going to pour that water into the french press let that sit covered for three to ten minutes the researchers said it wasn't necessary to steep for more than three minutes but even steeping for ten minutes is fine strain off the flowers and leaves which can now be composted if there's a lot of little bits still left in the water you can pour that tea through a cheese cloth or a nut milk bag to gather those little bits some of you might be wondering about tea bags but researchers said that the bags hinder the extraction process and it's better to let the herbs freely float in the water you can flavor your hawthorne tea with a bit of honey or other sweetener as desired this preparation is a potent way to nourish your heart i also like to add other herbs for flavor a bit of lemon verbena is a favorite but any aromatic plants like mints will work great if you would like a printable recipe card for this hawthorne flower and leaf tea recipe you can visit the link in the video description to download your free copy also in the video description i've included other helpful links like where you can buy hawthorne herb as well as both of my books if you enjoyed this video on the benefits of hawthorne flowers and leaves and you value trusted herbal information then i hope you'll stick around the best way to get started is to hit the subscribe button and ring the notification bell so that you can be the first to get my best herbal insights and recipes see you next time

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