Friday, 2 October 2009

The Hawthorn

Hawthorn leaves
From Earth Gazer

Hawthorn stick with Ogham symbol carved onto it.
From Earth Gazer

Certainly where I live, Hawthorn is an amazingly prolific tree/shrub. However, it was only in May 2008 that I really started to notice it - somehow the fantastic white flowers made their presence felt and I realised that Hawthorn was 'all around'.

In the early part of the year, you can simply pick and eat the fresh young leaves like a salad - it was once referred to as the 'Bread and Butter' tree because people used to eat the leaves to take the edge of their hunger before a meal (although personally I can't see the association between bread/butter and Hawthorn from the taste perspective!).

In the autumn, the Hawthorn shows off once more, proudly displaying it's red berries or 'Haws' which can be made into an edible 'leather' as a convenient way to take in the medicinal qualities of the tree. Flowers, leaves and berries can also be made into tinctures, the taking of which is said to act as tonic for the heart and circulatory system.

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