Thursday, October 1, 2009

hawthorne for health

Karen asks, "What do you think about using hawthorne berries to help prevent the flu?"

I am not an herbalist so I had to do a little digging to come up with some information but here is my opinion on this:

Hawthorne (Crataegus monogyna) is a small tree or shrub that grows mostly in Europe, Asia and Africa. It is usually grown as a hedge, the leaves are edible in salad and the fruits, or berries (called haws), are frequently made into jams, jellies, syrup, or used to flavor brandy for liqueur. It's herbal properties are cardiac, astringent, and diuretic; the parts used are the blossoms and berries. It seems to primarily be useful for lowering high blood pressure, as aid to help with diarrhea and for cardiac health.

I was not able to find any specific information relating to using the berries or their powder as a flu preventative.

I think the best ways to avoid the flu are the obvious ones of washing your hands frequently with soap; it's very important to monitor small kids who may skip the soap part, check out this article for proper hand hygiene including a video on how to wash your hands the right way. it's also important to avoid contact with anyone who has the flu and to make sure that you are consuming immune boosting foods such as garlic, ginger, cayenne, and vitamin C.

As an interesting side note I learned that the oldest known Hawthorne, called the Hethel Old Thorn, is reputed to be over 700 years old and is found in Norfolk East Anglia, United Kingdom

Photo courtesy of
The Complete Medicinal Herbal

No comments: