Friday, November 30, 2012

Hawthorn for Holidays & Heartbreak

The beautiful red berries of the hawthorn is one of my favorite medicines to use in the colder months.  The berries are scrumptious with many of the fall and winter spices and so easily incorporated into food, syrups and ciders.  

That's my preferred way of taking herbs by the way.  I would much rather drink some herbal tea or eat a big bowl of soup that has my herbs in it.  Sure taking a few capsules or a squirt of herbal extract will work.  But there is something so wholesome and healing about including them in your food.

Holidays can be pretty rough for some people.  I know it has for our family this year.  A month or so ago, we lost a very dear person well before her time.  We are grateful for the family we have and are still determined to be joyful, but there is an undercurrent of sadness as we feel the lack of her presence. Add that to the normal amount of holiday stress and you have a perfect recipe for getting sick during the holidays.

This is where Hawthorn can play a key role in keeping you well during the holidays.  Hawthorn is a relaxant and a cardiac toner. Usually it's used for circulatory issues or helping with blood pressure.  But I find it very well suited to easing anxiety, especially if you get palpitations when you're stressed.  Since it has an affinity for the heart, it seems appropriate to use during matters of the heart.  Including heartbreak, stressful family get together and winter blues.

Lucky for us, the berries are pretty darn tasty. Which means you can add them to anything that tickles your fancy.   If you aren't confident in herbal medicine yet, start with something super easy.  Like adding powdered Hawthorn to a cup of apple cider.  If you've made herbal medicine before, then I have an amazingly delicious brandy recipe that will put a smile on your face.
Hawthorn Cider
1/2 tsp powedered Hawthorn berries
1 1/2 to 2 cups of Apple Cider
1/2 cinnamon stick, or a pinch of powder

Add everything to a little pot and bring to a boil.  Then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Take out the cinnamon stick and pour into your favorite mug.

Autumn Cordial
1/2 cup Cinnamon Sticks
1/3 cup Rose Hips (whole)
1 Tbsp Hawthorn, powdered (or 1/3 cup whole)
1-2 tsp Schizandra Berries
Up to 2 cups of Brandy
1 glass pint jar w/ lid

Put all of your herbs in the pint jar and cover with brandy until almost to the top.  If you are reusing a mason jar, place plastic wrap over the top before you screw the lid on.  If it's new this isn't necessary.  It just makes a better seal and prevents rust.

Give it a good shake and put it somewhere dark and cool for 2-4 weeks, shaking every other day or so.  When it's ready, strain out the herbs with a fine mesh strainer, clean cloth swatch, or cheesecloth and re-bottle.   It should keep for up to 3 years.

When all is said and done, you can add a tablespoon or two to a nice hot mug of cider to help you unwind after a long day of shopping and cooking.

Blessings to you and yours,


  1. Sarah, thanks for this! I'm glad to have found your site, goddess! So, I have a hawthorne in my front yard. Can I take the berries right off of there?

    1. What a lucky lady you are! Yes, you can take them right off the tree as far as I know. I'm sure you can find information online about how to harvest them. Happy medicine making!

  2. OMG what a lovelyyyyy and informative blog!! Thank you so much for this fellow goddess circle member!!! I'll send you an email because I would love for you to be a guest on my radio show!

  3. How lovely and interesting! I so want to learn more about herbs, and I'm excited to try the recipes you posted! Thank you for sharing your gifts!

  4. What a great herb for this time of the year. Loved reading this and the cider looks delish! Thank you for sharing!


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