Hawthorn, as Maia Toll so beautiful put it is…
♥︎‘The Hearts Home’ ♥︎
A tree of new life, of love and of new beginnings.
My approach to working with plants is one of ‘Nourishment’ , a symbiotic relationship of giving to one another. They nourish us and we nourish them in return. They are always there to guide and heal, when times are hard and illness creeps in, but I much prefer the approach of nourishing daily with the plants, not just calling on them when a ‘cure’ is needed.
Hawthorn is such a magical tree, and I think that as with all plants, some of the most profound gifts, and healing they can give us comes from not only their physical properties, but the life lessons, their historic relations with our ancestors and their energetic medicine.
A perfect example of this is how Hawthorn has long been celebrated by our ancestors for it’s ability to connect the material real with the spirit realm. Hence why it is known to be sacred to the Fae and why one of the folk names for the Hawthorn berries is ‘Pixie Pears’ , i’ve also read that depending on where abouts in the UK you are, rosehips are also known by the same name, which is exciting, because we normally harvest them around the same time and so all of our daily food then becomes ‘Provisions From The Pixies’ , both Roses & Hawthorn are heart healers, and so this makes makes perfect sense to me.
Two plants, from the same family, that have throughout time brought so much joy, and comfort to people through connection and heart based practice.
♥︎ Folklore & Magic ♥︎
A singular stand alone Hawthorn tree is also known as a ‘Faerie Tree’ because it is a portal to the spirit realm, and a personal connection with these trees will aid you in nurturing your connection to the other worlds.
We have one outside our kitchen window, hugging the river bank, she is tall, covered in moss and her branches weep down in such a way that she looks like she has the most beautiful head of hair.
In folklore witches were believed to turn themselves into hawthorn trees, and if I could turn myself into a tree as beautiful as her, I would. She is magic, and I like to think she is one of the many hedge witches that like me have blessed our beautiful home over the years.
We have started back up the tradition of celebrating her by decorating her with wish/ prayer ribbons on special occasions. This is something that once every village would have done, especially around Beltane. Every time we visit a new rural village I live in hope that this tradition is still going strong somewhere, i’ve seen many a Yew wishing tree, but no Hawthorn as yet. .
♥︎ Nourishing Properties ♥︎
Hawthorns love is magic, and her magic is LOVE, very much associated with romance, and fertility and commitment. I promise to share more on that with you another day but her physical heart healing ability is why I have shared the ketchup recipe with you today. Finding different ways to get plants into your daily meals, is the best fun!
I am sad to say that the ‘hearts’ on both sides of my family have not been as strong as they should have been. I know that we are not alone on this, it seems we are now a society of anxious beings all desperately seeking ways to piece our delicate hearts back together. The recurring heart defects, heart attacks & genetic cholesterol imbalances in my family mean that ‘on paper’ my heart is ‘high risk’, and therefore I make sure mine is nourished daily, and Hawthorns beautiful heart strengthening medicine is my very best friend.
The anti oxidant compounds found in the flowers, leaves and berries of the Hawthorn means it is a beautiful way to treat various heart conditions, and is best of all taken regularly as a preventative.
Strengthening blood vessels, and collagen in the body which enables it to heal damage to coronary arteries and valve deficiency. Hawthorn also lowers unhealthy cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
The berries are a nervine, and are calming & relaxing, and both the berries, and blossom can be used to help with anxiety, fearful conditions and grief. When your are in pieces Hawthorn holds your heart in her hands and slowly but surely knits you back together.
The Hawthorn berry recipe I have shared below is for more of a warming, tangy, sweet relish than a traditional ketchup, but it’s delicious, and a hearty treat. It’s very sweet but is made without any refined sugar, so is almost guilt free.
♥︎ Hawthorn ‘PIXIE PEAR’ Ketchup ♥︎
This recipe is enough for a small jar, you can make more, it just depends on how abundant your Hawthorn berry harvest has been.
I have adapted this recipe from the wonderful ‘Gather Victoria’, with what we had growing/ & in our pantry. I hope you can do the same, and let us know how you get on so we can start a Hawthorn Ketchup recipe club!
You will need a nut bag/ a sieve/ cheese cloth
1 Cup of your ‘Pixie Pears (Hawthorn Berries)
1 Cup of Chopped up fresh Tomatoes
1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of Stewed Apple
Salt To Season (as you like)
Teaspoon Of Maple Syrup (or more if you prefer it very sweet)
Teaspoon Of Smoked Paprika ( or more/less depending on your preference )
Gather your Berries, then spend some time removing the stalks
(it isn’t necessary to take the leaves & twigs as well, we only did because we are collecting them for a ribbon project, you can just harvest the berries by themselves).
Place both the berries & the tomatoes in a large sauce pan along with your water, and the apple cider vinegar. ~ Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 30mins/ or when you see that the berries skins have split, and are soft.
After the mixture has cooled remove the pits by putting the whole of the mixture into your milk bag/ cheese cloth/ or sieve to push through the pulpy liquid into your saucepan. - It’s really important that you spend the time squeezing out the thicker pulpy part of the liquid mix.
Add in your stewed apple & your paprika to the mix, and heat gently.
Bring to a low boil & simmer for 10 mins until the mixture becomes syrupy.
Remove from heat, and stir in your maple syrup to sweeten. If you think It is too sweet for you, then you can add small dashes of Apple Cider Vinegar instead. This just depends on personal taste.
Salt to season.
When you are happy with your ketchup you can pour into your container, and it should keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. We double the recipe and freeze batches of it.
We believe that learning and healing from the plants is our birthright, a remembering. What was second nature to our ancestors, becomes a liberating and empowering form of self healing. If we heal ourselves, we heal the wild from which we came.
The plants are our oldest and wisest ancestors, and we hope that by sharing the journey of our own ramblings down the plant path, you can take steps towards your own.
Please always do your own research, identify your plants properly, and cross reference any plant identification at least twice.
Any information given on our website and newsletters are not intended as a medical reference but as a source of information. The use of any herb or any derivative is entirely at the readers own risk.
Kintala Flowers are not responsible for the use and misuse of plants listed.
The information provided by our website and newsletter is not a substitute for face to face consultation with your Doctor and should not be construed as medical advice. All information provided is based on the personal opinions and research of Kintala Flowers.