Food is medicine.
It’s true. What we put into our bodies will have consequences for our energy levels, ability to ward off diseases, and maintain homeostasis in our body’s systems. We know this immediately if we pay attention to how we feel after eating poorly or well — we are either drained or renewed, weighed down or weightless. And of course, there are new studies added almost every day that link poor diet to the diseases we see so frequently in our culture that often revolve around a cluster of symptoms we call metabolic syndrome.
Adding herbs to our diets is an easy way to benefit from their protective and healing properties. They can also taste delicious!
Today, I’d like to share a recipe that utilizes the heart-healthy properties of hawthorn.
Hawthorn is Good for You?
On a walk with my parents a month or so ago, we passed a hawthorn tree and (I think) I surprised them after mentioning that this relative of the rose (coming from the Rosaceae family which also contains apples, pears, cherries, and more) is edible and good for your heart.
Although you can just nibble on the fleshy part of a hawthorn berry (the seeds, like apple seeds, should not be eaten), it can be easier to include hawthorn in our diet in the form of teas, tinctures, or powders.
Hawthorn is particularly respected for its ability to protect and heal the heart. The berries, leaves, and flowers are all rich in bioflavonoids and proanthocyanins that help to protect the heart and keep it functioning properly. In particular, these constituents relax and dilate the arteries which helps to increase the flow of blood to heart muscles. The bioflavonoids and proanthocyanins are also highly antioxidant which helps to prevent or reduce degeneration of the blood vessels.
While being a valuable herb to help with overall heart function, hawthorn has been used more specifically to treat mild congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeat, and high blood pressure. It has also been used in treating angina and coronary artery disease.
Some herbalists also feel that hawthorn is good to use in blends when dealing with problems of “heart sickness” — when we’re feeling deep grief, loss, or even when coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
“Heart Your Heart” Herbal Sprinkles
Thankfully, I don’t have any serious heart conditions, but it’s always a good idea to incorporate food and herbs that will help protect this most vital of organs!
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- 2 parts hawthorn berry powder
- 1 part cinnamon powder
- 1/2 part ginger root powder
- 1/8 part cardamom powder
Using a tablespoon equal to one part, place each of the powders in a bowl and mix everything together.
Transfer the mixture to a re-used spice jar and keep it nearby when you’re cooking or eating.
My favorite way to use this powder is with my oatmeal in the morning. I just add a generous sprinkle along with a few raisins and I’ve got a very heart healthy breakfast!
I’ve also enjoyed it on cooked squash, or it can be sprinkled on toast, cold cereal, and more. Let me know what else you try.
Note: I am not suggesting that this powder will treat or cure any ailments. If you have any heart conditions or concerns, check with a medical doctor before trying herbal sprinkles. Also, thanks go to Rosemary Gladstar for inspiration with this mix.
Reblogged this on permintic health & wellness and commented:
This is SOOOOOO good!! Try it on oatmeal with raisins. …after talking to your health care provider, of course. 🙂
How neat! I’ve never heard of hawthorn before but it sounds wonderful. I love the herbal sprinkles you made. It sounds like it would be delicious on oatmeal. I always learn something new here! Thanks for educating me 🙂
You’re welcome! I hope you get to try this someday! Now that you’ve got hawthorn on your mind, you’ll probably recognize it growing somewhere near you — it looks like a crab apple tree, but with spikes (hence the haw-THORN).
I love hawthorns as good hardy habitat plants for birds and bees producing fruit and flowers and lots of thorns to protect the birds but I hadn’t ever heard of anything (other than making wine) being done with Haw berries. This is very interesting and I am going to have to try this now 🙂 Thank you for sharing 🙂
You’re very welcome! I hope you have a chance to try this. It’s a great way to get a heart healthy addition into our diet!
Anything heart healthy is alright by me! And it is another use for a hardy useful shrub in our food forest 🙂
I have used Hawthorne in the past as a capsule, but the mix sounds like a great idea. Thanks for the inspiration!
Yes, it’s a great way to easily incorporate hawthorn into our diet!
Can you buy Hawthorne powder at health food stores? Sounds like a good addition to our diet!
You might be able to find hawthorn powder at a health food store — it’s worth a look, but will depend on their selection of herbs. I also like Mountain Rose Herbs for ordering online. However, maybe I can make you an extra jar and send it over!
I may take you up on your offer! That would be wonderful, and I will search locally for the hawthorne powder. I just finished making my first batch of sprouts, although will do a better job of de-hulling next time. Amazing what you can grow on the kitchen counter. 🙂
Great trees too 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing on The HomeAcre Hop! Hope to see you next time at:
Wow, really interesting! I didn’t know hawthorne was so good for you.
Thanks so much for sharing this on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday!
Love this post! I’ve been experimenting with hawthorne too. Pinned it.
I had no idea Christine, that Hawthorne had these healing properties. Thank you for sharing your herbal remedy with us and I hope to welcome you over at Seasonal Celebration again today! Rebecca @Natural Mothers Network x
Found my way here via Permintic. I tinctured hawthorn berries, leaves, and flowers in the spring, and today had my first dose. For those interested in the herbal properties of hawthorn, Susan Weed has a nice write-up.