Superfood Spotlight: Hawthorn Berries

Watch out world, there’s yet another super-berry trending this year. The truth is, every berry, veggie and herb under the sun has special qualities for our health, but we love learning about berries like hawthorn that we’ve never tried before. Learn all about these fabled fruits from the herbalists at Urban Moonshine (read our interview about their wild-crafted herbal tinctures here – pretty cool!) and learn to make this cool herbal tincture with them….

What it is: Like its cousin the apple, hawthorn berries come in many species and varietals and grow all over the world. But the similarity stops there: Hawthorn (Crataegus species) is low in carbohydrates but packed with super-antioxidant flavonoids and prebiotic polysaccharides. Fabled in traditional European folklore, the tree is also called the whitethorn or May thorn, in reference to its beautiful flowers, and is still thought to be inhabited by a powerful faery-spirit skilled in love and revitalization.

Why use it: The chemistry of hawthorn is similar to that of many other superfood berries, including acai, goji and blueberry: flavonoid pigments known as anthocyanidins reduce inflammation, support regeneration and vitality and improve circulation. But out of all the berries, hawthorn has by far the best clinical research record: Consistent results show its effectiveness for blood pressure, heart failure, and poor circulation. The unique anthocyanidins seem to interface with the endothelial surface layer that lines arteries and capillaries, making it thicker and more resistant to the damage caused by free radicals. Hawthorn is also a lot more affordable than its more exotic cousins!

How to use it: Dry hawthorn berries make a wonderful ruby-red tincture (see below). Mix two teaspoons of the tincture with one tablespoon of raw honey to make a delicious spread for fruit or toast, or try the full recipe below for a tasty, super-safe and effective daily heart tonic.

Daily Berry Heart Tonic


For the hawthorn tincture:
4 oz dried hawthorn berries
12 oz vodka

For the tonic: 
2 tsp hawthorn tincture
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup apple cider


For the hawthorn tincture:
Using a pint-sized mason jar, steep berries in vodka for two weeks, then strain and enjoy!

For the tonic:
Blend all ingredients together and enjoy!

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