Botanical Name: Crataegus oxyacantha & c. monogyna | Family: Rosaceae

Common name(s): Hawthorn


  • Tree; deciduous | Zones 3-9 | 15-30 feet (most), some to 45 feet | White to pink flower clusters in the spring, yellow or red crab apple-like fruit in the fall. Has thorns and leaves are serrated.
  • Full sun | Well-drained soil


The flowering tops are harvested (along with leaves) in the spring. Berries are harvested in the fall when ripe.


Infusion: Steep 2 teaspoons of dried herb in 1 cup boiling water for 20 minutes. Drink 3x/day over a long period.

Tincture: (1:5 in 40%) 2.5ml, 3x/day. For acute, up to 5ml, 3x/day. For maintenance, 2.5ml, 2x/day in morning and evening.


Constituents: Bioflavonoids (including rutin and quercitin), triterpenoids, proanthocyanins, polyphenols (tannins), coumarins, amines, acids

Actions: Antioxidant, cardiac tonic, hypotensive, nervine, vasodialator

Uses: Normalizing heart function, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, angina pectoris, irregular heartbeat, mild congestive heart failure, ADHD. Historically also used for kidney and bladder stones.

Combinations: Combine with ginkgo to enhance memory. Combine the leaves, flowers, and berries with mimosa bark and rose petals for a “broken heart,” sadness, grief.

Cautions: Hawthorn enhances the activity of cardioactive drugs, but can be used to lower their toxicity by reducing the required dose when used alongside.


One of my field guides says that Hawthorn has become hybridized and there are a lot of species that experts even have trouble distinguishing. I do know that they grow around here, so I’m on the hunt to find them this coming year! 

Also, I’m intrigued to try the combination David Winston suggests for grief and sadness.