Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
Hawthorn is a common sight in our hedgerows but you might also come across it growing in woodlands, where we’ve seen them growing to a good 15m tall.
My gran was born in 1888 and passed on a bunch of old sayings to me. One was “Cast not a clout til the May is out”. A clout is an old English word for coat, so I used to think she meant that you should keep your coat to hand until the end of May.
But I was wrong, the saying refers to the May Tree. In the west country(where I grew up), and other parts of the UK, the hawthorn is known as the May Tree and when it’s in flower the May is out.
So spring hasn’t arrived until the hawthorn flowers!
Property : Astringent
Constituent : Flavonoids, Phenolic acid, Tannins, Saponins, Ascorbic acid
Action : Cardiotonic, Coronary and peripheral vasodilator, Diuretic, Antihypertensive, Astringent
Indication : Abnormal blood pressure, Angina, Cardiac failure
A tincture made from hawthorn has been demonstrated to have a significant impact on treating chronic heart failure. But side effects include low blood pressure and cardiac arrythmia. Hawthorn shouldn’t be used by people taking digoxin.
Always seek the advise of a qualified medical professional.