Thursday, 10 May 2012

Hawthorn

Hawthorn  Hawththorn01  Cratyaegus monogyna

 

I’ve eaten the flowers and the leaves both are fine, the leaves are better in the spring than later in the year. The berries although I’ve heard are edible raw are cooked and made into jellies mostly I’ve yet to try either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crataegus_monogyna

Edible "berries", petals, and leaves

The fruit of hawthorn, called haws, are edible, but are commonly made into jellies, jams, and syrups, used to make wine, or to add flavour to brandy, rather than eaten fresh. Botanically they are pomes, but they look similar to berries. A haw is small and oblong, similar in size and shape to a small olive or grape, and red when ripe. Haws develop in groups of 2-3 along smaller branches. They are pulpy and delicate in taste. In this species (C. monogyna) they have only one seed, but in other species of hawthorn there may be up to 5 seeds.

Petals are also edible,[4] as are the leaves, which if picked in spring when still young are tender enough to be used in salads.[5]

Medicinal use

Crataegus monogyna is one of the most common species used as the "hawthorn" of traditional herbalism, which is of considerable interest for treating cardiac insufficiency by evidence-based medicine. The plant parts used medicinally are usually sprigs with both leaves and flowers, or alternatively the fruit. Several species of Crataegus have both traditional and modern medicinal uses. It is a good source of antioxidant phytochemicals,especially extracts of hawthorn leaves with flowers.[2]

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