Hawthorn: overview and uses of a plant symbol of love
With its scented flowers and a sacred allure, hawthorn has always been a synonym for prosperity and a peaceful life. Appreciated by the Celts and the ancient Romans, hawthorn is more than a simple plant and something like an amulet. Read this article to discover the origins, properties and uses of this precious ally for our well-being.
When you stumble upon it can’t help but notice it. With a delicate and discreet charme, hawthorn stands out for its incredible whiteness and for its strong symbolic charge loved by rising couples. Its scientific name is Crataegus Oxyacantha, it’s a plant of the rose family (Rosaceae) and is very common in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere; you can find it all across Europe, in Northern America but also in Northern Africa and Western Asia.
In Italy you can meet it in the plains and in the mountains up to 1500 metres in areas where the climate is warmer.
Hawthorn in history
Considered a sacred symbol in ancient times, hawthorn played an important role during wedding ceremonies and it was placed on altars as a good omen for marriage. In the Middle Ages this delicate plant (but only apparently harmless!) stood out in the middle of squares as a votive symbol for propitiatory rites: people used to sing and to dance around it.
The origin of its name comes from the Greek kratos, oxus e anthos, meaning “strength”, “sharp” and “flower”, and perfectly describing the two-faced personality of this plant. On one hand hawthorn hits for its pleasant and delicate scent, on the other this plant is known for its thorny shrubs.
Long-lived tree, a high mountain specimen of this plant can survive for 500 years and reach up to 5 meters in height. All of this thanks to its thorns which add a tough look and make it less harmless than you think. Did you know? For centuries hawthorn has been used as a natural barbed wire.
Hawthorn is regarded as a good-luck charm but…don’t say it’s only attractive! It’s full of properties and benefits indeed. Let’s discover them together.
Properties and benefits of hawthorn
Hawthorn is a natural mix of antioxidants and sterols and a source of well-being. From the extraction of flowers and dried leaves we can have flavonoids, anti-age elements useful to prevent cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, and proanthocyanidins that have a sedation and cardioprotection function. Hawthorn is very appreciated for its sedative and soothing effect indeed. Hawthorn extract helps reduce heart rate and soothes blood pressure, ensuring a good blood circulation. Precious ally against cholesterol, hawthorn inhibits atherosclerosis.
And again: do you suffer from anxiety and restless sleep? A good herbal tea with hawthorn is the perfect Remedium for golden slumbers! With its soothing and sedative action (even if you suffer from somatization disorders), hawthorn is a natural relaxant, truly useful to drain negative and worrying thoughts. Dedicated to all men out there: put it on your skin to reduce stress-induced hair loss.
How to use hawthorn?
Hawthorn infusions are the best way to consume this plant. Have you already guessed where you can find it in Wilden.herbals’ Remedia? That’s right, it’s in our Remedium n.1 – Night, together with chamomile, valerian, marsh mallow, lime tree. In this herbal tea hawthorn just gives the best of its soothing properties. Moreover a lot of women experiencing menopause have found this herbal tea to be excellent for lymphatic drainage. Hawthorn helps soothing swollen ankles indeed – just a coincidence? We don’t think so!
In ancient Greece hawthorn was regarded as a good omen and was used as a decoration for wedding altars; Celts celebrated this plant for a whole month, from mid-May to mid-June. Called “the fairy tree”, this plant generated a lot of legends according to which you could have seen fairy and magical creatures nearby it.
This plant was also attributed with magical powers to drive out evil spirits and nicknamed “alba spina” (white thorn) by the ancient Romans. Hawthorn twigs were used as a decoration on cribs in order to protect newborns.
www.riza.it; www.saperesalute.it/biancospino; ilgiardinodeltempo.altervista.org