The ultimate heart healer with magical lore...

The ultimate heart healer with magical lore...

Welcome to the plant of all plants when it comes to
heart health and healing…

The Hawthorn Tree and its potent and magical berries...
This is the Valentine's gift from Mama Earth that just keeps giving. The Hawthorn plant is a small, spiny, and thorny tree that is native to Europe. In fact, lone hawthorn trees in Ireland are thought to have fairies, or Sidhe (pronounced Shee) as they are called there, living under them and are revered as places where two worlds meet (Hawthorn Fairy Tree — Kenmare Stone Circle, n.d.). The lore around these potent trees is strong and people often leave offerings and are warned not to disturb, harm, or take from these lone trees for fear of the fairies' retaliation (IrishCentral Staff, 2023). 
A lone Hawthorn tree in Ireland decorated with offerings.
The berries, blossoms, and leaves have all been used from the tree throughout history, however the berries contain the most medicinal magic that is still being used today.

I’ve heard more than one herbalist describe the berries as offering both emotional and physical healing, offering courage to those going through a difficult time, offering peace to grieving hearts, and offering protection as we learn to open our hearts.
Bonus: I really enjoyed this Irish herbalist teaching all the magical things about the Hawthorn tree in case you want to dive further in (Danu’s Irish Herb Garden, 2023)
I love the lore and the history of folk medicine as a jumping off point as we delve into the science and current applications of this gift from Mother Earth. The Hawthorn berries contain high concentrations of flavonoids which are contained in many fruits and vegetables. They also contain Procyanidines and Anthocyanidins (see below).

Flavonoids in general, have been widely studied and valued for their anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral neuroprotective and cardio-protective properties (Ullah et al., 2020). 

In regards to the Hawthorn berry, the flavonoids have shown to have serum lipid-lowering, anti-oxidative, cardiovascular protective properties, as well as enhancement of blood vessel integrity, improvement of coronary blood flow, positive effects on oxygen utilization, and positive inotropic activity - meaning it tells your heart to beat/contract with more or less power as needed (Rigelsky & Sweet, 2002) (Wu et al., 2020) (Professional, n.d.).

Let’s look at some of the current uses for Hawthorn Berries:

  1. Used in conjunction with congestive heart failure therapy and stage I & II cardiac insufficiency (Pittler et al., 2003) (Tassell et al., 2010)

  2. Eases chest pain due to angina (Hibiscus, Hawthorn, and the Heart, 2022)

  3. Enhances the circulation of blood in the heart and its surrounding blood vessels (J. Wang et al., 2013)

  4. Increases the heart's ability to handle low levels of oxygen, which is important during times when the heart isn't getting enough oxygen (J. Wang et al., 2013)

  5. Helps decrease irregular heartbeats or abnormal heart rhythms (Long et al., 2006)

  6. Mildly reduces blood pressure (Asher et al., 2012)

  7. Lowers the fats in your blood by helping your body get rid of bile acids and makes it easier for your liver to grab onto bad cholesterol, also known as low-density lipoproteins (LDL) (Wu et al., 2020)

  8. Has shown benefits for ADHD due to its anti inflammatory properties (Collison-Ris, 2015)

  9. Helps to strengthen and stabilize arteries and collagen (S. Wang et al., 2018b)

  10. Has shown to be a potent antioxidant for atherosclerosis and inflamed connective tissues (Wang et al., 2018)

  11. Has shown to be a potent anti inflammatory for the entire body (Tadić et al., 2008)

  12. Has demonstrated gastrointestinal benefits by protecting the lining of the stomach (Tadić et al., 2008)


In summary, Hawthorn berries are powerful anti-inflammatories, with potent antioxidants, and strengthen not only the heart, but the whole body as well.

It is a safe plant to work with and wildly applicable regardless if, like me, your family has a strong history of heart disease, or not.
No known contraindications (yay!).



So how do we incorporate this magical heart healer into our lives? 

I always recommend choosing a method that will work best for you and that you know you can maintain consistency with. Maybe you are more drawn to tinctures, or teas, or syrups, or capsules…and your preferences may change over time. This is why it’s important to check in with yourself to see which of these intuitively resonates with you as time goes on. 

How to take Hawthorn Berries

Hawthorn Berry Capsules from Gaia
1-2 Capsules per day

Hawthorn Berry Tincture from Herb Pharm
1-4 droppers a day

Hawthorn Berries in Water Extract
Hawthorn Berry Tea
1-2 tsp per cup of water
Let the berries decoct or infuse in the hot water for at least 30 minutes
Drink 3x daily

Last but not least, you can add Hawthorn Berries to your Elderberry Syrup recipe for an added boost!1

Best results for all of these methods will be seen in 8-12 weeks.

I hope this has been helpful and illuminating as we celebrate matters of the heart. My hope is that you are able to find new ways to connect with the plants from these emails and that they help to add more richness to your precious life. 

May your heart be full of love and may you show yourself the same kindness to yourself that you do to others.

Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day and beyond.






Hawthorn Fairy Tree — Kenmare Stone Circle. (n.d.). Kenmare Stone Circle.,fairies%20in%20the%20other%20world.

IrishCentral Staff. (2023, December 11). The myth and stories surrounding Ireland's fairy trees. 

Danu’s Irish Herb Garden. (2023, October 1). Hawthorn - herb of myth and medicine [Video]. YouTube. 

Ullah, A., Munir, S., Badshah, S. L., Khan, N., Ghani, L., Jaremko, M., & Emwas, A. (2020). Important flavonoids and their role as a therapeutic agent. Molecules, 25(22), 5243. 

Rigelsky, J. M., & Sweet, B. V. (2002). Hawthorn: Pharmacology and therapeutic uses. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 59(5), 417–422. 

Wu, M., Liu, L., Xing, Y., Yang, S., Li, H., & Cao, Y. (2020). Roles and Mechanisms of Hawthorn and its Extracts on Atherosclerosis: a review. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 11. 

Professional, C. C. M. (n.d.). Inotropes. Cleveland Clinic. 

Pittler, M. H., Schmidt, K., & Ernst, E. (2003). Hawthorn extract for treating chronic heart failure: meta-analysis of randomized trials. The American Journal of Medicine, 114(8), 665–674. 

Tassell, M. C., Kingston, R., Gilroy, D. W., Lehane, M., & Furey, A. (2010). Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Pharmacognosy Reviews, 4(7), 32. 

Hibiscus, hawthorn, and the heart. (2022, April 20). Natural Medicine Journal. 

Wang, J., Xiong, X., & Feng, B. (2013). Effect ofCrataegusUsage in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: An Evidence-Based Approach. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013, 1–16. 

Long, S. R., Carey, R. A., Crofoot, K., Proteau, P., & Filtz, T. M. (2006). Effect of hawthorn (Crataegus oxycantha) crude extract and chromatographic fractions on multiple activities in a cultured cardiomyocyte assay. Phytomedicine, 13(9–10), 643–650. 

Asher, G., Viera, A. J., Weaver, M. A., Dominik, R., Caughey, M. C., & Hinderliter, A. L. (2012). Effect of hawthorn standardized extract on flow mediated dilation in prehypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults: a randomized, controlled cross-over trial. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 12(1). 

Wang, S., Wu, M., Chen, K., Liu, Y., Sun, J., Sun, Z., Ma, H., & Liu, L. (2018b). Hawthorn Extract Alleviates Atherosclerosis through Regulating Inflammation and Apoptosis Related Factors: An Experimental Study. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, 25(2), 108–115. 

Wang, S., Wu, M., Chen, K., Liu, Y., Sun, J., Sun, Z., Ma, H., & Liu, L. (2018). Hawthorn Extract Alleviates Atherosclerosis through Regulating Inflammation and Apoptosis Related Factors: An Experimental Study. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, 25(2), 108–115. 

Tadić, V., Dobrić, S., Marković, G., Đorđević, S., Arsić, I., Menković, N., & Stević, T. (2008). Anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, Free-Radical-Scavenging, and antimicrobial activities of Hawthorn berries ethanol extract. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 56(17), 7700–7709. 

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