An unusually beautiful bush is with equally beautiful and tasty pink fruits. All this about the hawthorn − which is one of the everlasting and most famous shrubs. There are about 200 varieties of hawthorn, but only some of them have valuable properties for the human organism. These include common hawthorn, heart and blood-red. The fruits of hawthorn are used for the culinary, aesthetic and medicinal purposes.
In this article, we will discuss the beneficial properties of the hawthorn fruits, its medicinal effect on the organism and also give recipes for the preparation of the hawthorn, including procurements on winter.
Use of Hawthorn for Human Organism
It is quite easy to explain the benefits of the hawthorn fruits because their composition contains a very large amount of vitamins and other biologically active substances. In these berries there is a number of vitamins A and K, as well as C and E. Here, there is a group of vitamins B and biologically active substances:
- saponin and flavonoids;
- starch and fructose;
- organic and krategic acids;
- essential oil and pectin, as well as choline and sorbitol.
Some substances in the hawthorn are extremely rare in the other edible fruits and plants. This makes it unique in its kind. For example, the ursolic acid, this has an antimicrobial effect and promotes vasodilation.
The hawthorn has an easy diuretic effect, antitumor effect and positively affects the cardiac pacing. The acids in the composition of fruit have a positive effect on the skin condition, have a rejuvenating effect and favorably affect the condition of skin's collagen. Due to the use of berries, the regeneration of cells is actively restored.
Useful properties of the hawthorn fruits are manifested in the cardiovascular system. The substances from this fruit dilate the coronary vessels; soften the work of the arteries of the brain because of which the saturation of blood and body oxygen increases. As a result, the number of dizziness and headaches decreases, sleep stabilizes and the body's fatigue rate decreases during the day.
Substances from the hawthorn fruits strengthen the vessels, reduce the level of harmful cholesterol and improve the blood coagulation. As a result, the risk of atherosclerotic plaques is reduced.
The juice from the hawthorn has a positive effect on the nerve cells and the system as a whole. Thanks to it, the insomnia, the excitability and the sedation are eliminated. Pectin, contained in the fruits, is a first-class antioxidant, which removes toxins and poisonous slags from the organism. It also helps increase the flow of blood, reduces the erosion of the blood vessels' walls and also renders the free radicals fighting.
The hawthorn is widely used in cooking. The large-fruits' sorts berries are very tasty. They can be eaten fresh, used for making compotes, jams, teas. Dried fruits are ground into the flour, which is then added to the baking.
For healthy and dietary nutrition more, of course, fit the fresh berries. A caloric content of one hundred grams of the hawthorn's pulp is 52.5 kcal. This is not enough for a full meal in the terms of caloric value. However, and for a snack or dessert − it is just right. But! More than a cup of fruit cannot be eaten. This will lead to a sharp drop in the blood pressure and a malfunction of the pulse. Let us look at the other measures for taking berries:
The hawthorn is effective for gastritis, high gassing, helps with diarrhea. The fruit's flesh contains an amount of mucus, which gets into the body, envelops the gastric mucosa, thereby neutralizing the effect of harmful substances that come from food.
Harm of Hawthorn Fruits
Among the harmful properties of this product, the several key points should be noted. First, a long-term using of the medications and drugs, based on the hawthorn fruit, can develop a depression of the nervous system, and significantly reduce the heart rate. The hawthorn's extract or infusion on an empty stomach can provoke the spasms of intestines, nausea and vomiting. Excessive consumption of the berries themselves can lead to poisoning. If you drink the hawthorn fruits with the water, intestinal colic may occur. So, be careful and helping your organism in right way.
Gathering and Storage of Hawthorn
Gather and procurement for winter the hawthorn should be done correctly. You can harvest both the fruits and the bush inflorescences. However, if you are going to harvest the flowers, do not miss the moment because the bushes bloom only during three-five days. Gather the fruits and the inflorescences are necessary in a dry weather.
Fruits are harvested in autumn − between September and October, when they are finally ripening. Fruits before storing must be dried in the dryer at 104 °F or in the oven , without closing the door strongly, at constant temperature control. The hawthorn's dry fruits are stored very long − up to eight years, inclusive.
Medicinal Recipes from Hawthorn
On the basis of the fruits of hawthorn, you can prepare medicinal tinctures. Moreover, you can make such drugs from the fruits or flowers of this bush.
Infusion of Flowers
An infusion can be prepared from the inflorescences (2-3 tablespoons dried raw materials for three cups of boiled water). Take infusion of 1-2 tablespoons three times a day. The dried fruits and the hawthorn flowers are also recommended brewing instead of a tea (mixed with the leaves and fruits of strawberry, black currant, dog rose).
The tincture of hawthorn is prepared as follows: the juice of fresh hawthorn flowers is mixed with a double amount of undiluted medical alcohol and infused for 15 days. Take three times a day for 40 drops per one tablespoon of water. In pharmacies, the hawthorn extract is sold; its application is analogous above tincture. Avoid drinking the alcohol at low pressure.
Home-made Hawthorn Recipes
Jam from the hawthorn. The picked and washed fruits are put into a saucepan, add water − half cup to a cup of fruit − and boil until they softened. The decoction is filtrated into a separate dish, and the cooked fruits are rubbed through a colander.
The seeds and the peel are thrown away, and the wiped mass is mixed with broth and sugar (32-35oz sugar per 35oz of wiped mass and decoction). Boil up to the density of a sour cream; during cooking the mass is mixed. It is advisable during the cooking to add the citric acid (0.04-0.05oz per 35oz of wiped mass and juice) or boil hawthorn with the acidic berries (cranberries, black currants and barberry).
Hawthorn rubbed with sugar. Hawthorn's flesh is blanched two-three minutes in boiling water or steam in a saucepan-steamer and rubbed. To 35oz of flesh add 11-18oz of sugar.
Compote from hawthorn. Ripened, but not overgrown fruits are washed, cut, cleaned of seeds, rinsed with the cold water, dipped in a nearly boiling 45-percent sugar syrup and left in it for the tincture for 8-10 hours (possible at night). Then, they are separated from the syrup and placed in the hot sterilized glass cans.
The syrup is heated to a boil, boiled it for several minutes and poured into the fruits' cans. Sterilize in the boiling water: half-liter's cans − 20 min., liter's − 25 min.
Fruit butter from hawthorn. Cooked fruits rub through a sieve. Into 35oz of fruit's mash add 18oz of sugar, 1 cup of water and cook until thick. Pack up in the sterilized cans and stored in a cool place.