Hawthorn (Crataegus)

Other name: white hawthorn, white thorn, white thorn, red haw, haw, glogovac.

Description of the plant: Hawthorn is mostly medium in size. It thrives in favorable habitats in the form of knoted, branched trees with height of up to 5 meters. A Hawthorn tree is hard and tough. The bark is smooth, gray-ashen with branches on which have spread-out thorns the length of 1 - 1/2 inches. The leaves consist of three or five layers, the underside is bright bluish-green and the upper side dark green and glossy. They resemble oak leaves, only significantly smaller. White flowers are a gathered in rich bouquets with long and short stalks. Their smell strongly resembles that of honey. The fruits are red and are picked when ripe in late summer.

Habitat: Hawthorn is often found at the edges of low deciduous and coniferous forests, and often grows in thickets and along fences and hedges.

The medicinal part of the plant: The drug is gathered from flowers and flower stems, leaves and fruits are stemless. The flowers and leaves are collected in the spring. The flowers and flower tips are collected only with shrubs that are in full bloom home. They are dried in a thin layer where it is necessary to be careful not to change the color. The leaves are harvested after flowering. The fruits are harvested after ripening; first dried in the shade, making them wither, and then dried up on a warm oven.

Pharmaceutical action: It is believed that hawthorn is one of the most valuable and one of the most effective medicinal herbs for the heart. Hawthorn strengthens and regulates heartbeat. Moreover, hawthorn is outstanding blood pressure regulator, whereby it not only lowers elevated blood pressure, but also increases blood pressure in cases of weakened heart muscles. It's good with the treatment of damaged heart muscle in old age, with inflammation of the heart muscle, in the treatment of obstructive vascular and angina pectoris. Hawthorn generally acts as a sedative on the nervous system.