Crataegus monogyna seed
Crataegus monogyna -‘Common Hawthorn’
Rosaceae: thorny shrub or smallto 12m, a common hedgerow species. The flowers are white, and are in clusters, blooming for May-June. The berries are also in clusters and are bright red. A common sight across the country.
The fruit can be used raw or cooked, they are not very appetizing raw, but taste better once cooked, used for making jams and preserves. The flowers are used in syrups and sweet puddings.
Hawthorn is an extremely valuable medicinal. It is used mainly for treating disorders of the heart and circulation system, especially angina. Western herbalists consider it a ‘food for the heart’, it increases the blood flow to the heart muscles and restores normal heart beat, this effect is brought about by the presence of bioflavonoids in the fruit, these bioflavonoids are also strongly antioxidant, helping to prevent or reduce degeneration of the blood vessels. The fruit is antispasmodic, cardiac, diuretic, sedative, tonic and vasodilator. Both the fruits and flowers of hawthorns are well-known in herbal folk as a heart tonic and modern research has borne out this use.