Hawthorn (Crataegus) supports the circulatory and respiratory
system, and in modern medicine is often used to treat mild and moderate heart failure. A tincture made from hawthorn leaves or flowers can also be used as a preventative to strengthen a weak
heart and circulatory system, and to forestall heart problems before they occur.
Traditionally, the plant's red berries were used in cordials. Modern medicine only utilizes its leaves and flowers.
Hawthorn in Modern Herbal Medicine:
Hawthorn in Fiction:
So far, I haven't come across any mentions of this remedy. If you know of a story in which hawthorn occurs, please let me know!
As mentioned in previous posts, herbal medicine -- be it the traditional, experience-based herbalism or the evidence-based phytotherapy -- has seen a revival in recent years. From alleviating depression, to strengthening the immune system, to fighting antibiotics-resistant bacteria: Herbal remedies are much sought after.
So let's see what the real world is doing with regard to the herbwoman's traditional remedies.
While many questions are still open concerning both the ingredients and healing virtues of medicinal plants, efforts are being made to research such plants and establish an evidence-based approach to herbal medicine.
Here are some medicinal plants from the herbwoman's medicine cabinet whose healing properties have been confirmed by long experience and/or modern science:
To treat heart disorders the local herb witch will prescribe a tincture made from Hawthorn (Crataegus) leaves and flowers. The herb supports the circulatory and respiratory system, and in modern medicine is used to strengthen the heart, and even to treat mild-to-moderate heart failure. Historically, Hawthorn berries were also used for these indications, so our imaginary village healer may also prescribe a potion or syrup made of the plant's red fruit.
As an antidote for mushroom poisoning, and to cleanse and protect the liver, a village healer should always have Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) seeds at hand. Milk thistle is the only effective antidote for death cap (Amanita phalloides) poisoning, and modern studies suggest (though do not prove conclusively) that the herb may support the liver's natural regeneration, making it the herbwoman's go-to remedy not only to treat poisoning, but also to fight yellow fever and other liver problems.
*** Please note: This blog is not intended as medical advice. ***
Do not try this at home.
(Or at least, don't use any of the remedies described here this without consulting your physician first.)