Hawthorn Berries, Whole, 1 oz (Crataegus laevigata)
Herbal Uses of Hawthorn Berries
Cardiovascular health: Hawthorn berries have been used to support cardiovascular health, particularly in improving blood flow, reducing blood pressure, and strengthening the heart muscle. In addition, hawthorn berries are often used for issues involving the circulatory system and the cardiovascular system.  They are also used as a diuretic. Hawthorn berries can be consumed raw or juiced or used as an ingredient in many herbal teas, smoothies, and supplement formulations such as herbal capsules or tablets.
Digestive health: Hawthorn berries are beneficial for digestion, particularly in reducing any signs of discomfort such as bloating, cramps, and constipation. They have a high content of bioflavonoids and antioxidants. These compounds are believed to help tone and strengthen the digestive system, improving its ability to break down food and absorb nutrients. In particular, hawthorn berries have been shown to stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, which are necessary for the proper breakdown of food in the stomach and small intestine.  This helps reduce symptoms of indigestion, such as bloating, gas, and discomfort.
Anxiety and Stress: Hawthorn berries are used to relieve anxiety and stress, particularly in calming the nervous system and promoting relaxation. The bioactive compounds they contain, including flavonoids and oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), are thought to have a positive effect on the brain and nervous system. One of the primary ways that these berries have the ability to calm is by increasing blood flow to the brain. This helps to improve cognitive function and reduce tension. Hawthorn berries also contain compounds that help to regulate the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which are all involved in mood regulation.
Skin health: Hawthorn berries are used to improve skin health by reducing inflammation and promoting healing. They contain anti-inflammatory compounds that can help to reduce inflammation in the skin tissue and work to alleviate skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. Proanthocyanidins are found in abundance in the berries and have been proven to boost collagen production. Collagen is essential for maintaining the skin’s elasticity and firmness.
Respiratory health: They are used to improve respiratory health, particularly in reducing coughs and congestion. They have expectorant properties that can help to clear mucus from the respiratory tract. This can be beneficial for people with conditions such as bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Magical Uses of Hawthorn Berries
Protection: Hawthorn berries are believed to have protective properties and are often carried in a sachet or amulet to protect against evil spirits, witches, or negative energy.
Love and fertility: They are associated with love and fertility and are used in spells and rituals to attract love or to promote fertility.
Divination: They are sometimes used in divination practices, such as scrying or dreamwork, to enhance psychic abilities and intuition.
Faerie magic: In Celtic folklore, hawthorn trees are believed to be a portal to the faerie realm and are associated with the faerie queen. Hawthorn berries are sometimes used in rituals to connect with the faerie realm or to seek the guidance of the faeries.
Rituals and celebrations: These berries are also used in pagan and Wiccan rituals and celebrations, such as Beltane or May Day, which are associated with fertility and the start of summer. During these celebrations, hawthorn branches and berries may be used to decorate altars or to create wreaths and garlands.
This information on the use of hawthorn berries for magical purposes is solely for educational purposes. It is important to exercise caution when exploring these practices as they may have psychological effects and may also cause allergic reactions. Be mindful of any allergies and proceed with caution.
Keep in mind that the use of herbs and herbal remedies is not regulated by the FDA, who does not approve or evaluate them for safety and effectiveness. There is a potential for purity and quality issues as they may not have been tested. It is crucial to be cautious when using any herb or herbal remedy and to be aware of potential risks and interactions. Before using, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional if you have any health concerns. This information on the potential uses and benefits of herbs is intended to educate and is not meant to replace medical advice.