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Hawthorn is a well-known and recognizable plant that helps a lot in the treatment of heart diseases. Berries have a pleasant aroma, which is why they are used to make tinctures. Few people know that a tree can live for several centuries: it is a real long-liver, which helps people to live longer.
Botanical description and places of growth
Hawthorn is a genus of plants that belong to the Pink family. It grows in the form of large shrubs or medium-sized sprawling trees (up to 5 meters tall). There are species that grow 2-3 times higher. Hawthorn refers to deciduous, semi-evergreen trees.
Due to its undemanding environmental conditions, it spread widely in the temperate zone of the entire Eurasian continent - from Central Europe to the Far East of Russia. Basically, the plant loves to settle on the edges of the forest, where there is enough light, but it often grows successfully in shaded conditions. However, in dense forests they do not grow at all.
The first leaves of hawthorn are 2-3 times smaller than those that develop as the plant grows. An interesting feature of the boyars: it is growing at different rates:
- during the first 2-3 years up to 20 cm annually;
- up to 9 years of age, growth is very intensive - about 50 cm per year and even more;
- then the pace becomes less - 10-15 cm per year.
Blooming hawthorn no earlier than 10 years of age. Fruits are bright red berries of different sizes (1-2 cm in diameter). Seeds - from 1 to 5.
In general, he lives 200-300 years or more. The body of the hawthorn is covered with thorns, which, in essence, are former shoots. Initially, they are soft and green, but as they grow, they become lignified and become so hard that it is easy to scratch them. The length of the spines determines the species of the tree.
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The Latin name for Crataegus hawthorn is translated as "strong." This reflects the characteristics of the tree: it lives for centuries, is not demanding to care for and successfully resists pests and other harmful factors.
How to grow hawthorn
Description of Popular Views
Hawthorn has an extraordinary species diversity: only natural species, there are almost 4 hundred. And many more species were bred during hybridization and successfully adapted to local climatic conditions.
Common Hawthorn (prickly, flattened)
This species is ubiquitous throughout the temperate zone of Eurasia. It can be found both in Europe and in the harsh climate of taiga Siberia. A characteristic feature - the plant is found in the form of small bushes (up to 2 meters), and in the form of real trees (4-5 m). Small trees can be trimmed, so get a real impenetrable hedge.
Common hawthorn is very unpretentious to environmental conditions. It can be found both in the shade and in open sunny places, it is not picky about watering and soil features. Quietly tolerates cutting for decorative purposes. The berries are very small (no more than 1 cm in diameter), but no less useful in composition than other species.
The species in vivo grows in the temperate zone of North America. It grows to 6 meters. the leaves are oval, which gave the name to the tree. Top layer with a glossy surface, leathery. During fruit ripening, the tree looks especially beautiful due to the contrast of bright red berries against a background of foliage of saturated green tones.
The tree is one of the most resistant not only to frost, but also to arid conditions. Cultivated in culture for almost 3 centuries.
Siberian hawthorn (blood red)
The name was given to the species by its habitat: it is distributed almost everywhere in Western and Eastern Siberia, as well as in the Far East. Spines are straight, within 4 cm in length. It blooms in early summer and produces fruit with a distinctive rich red color.
It is interesting that at one time Michurin used pollen of this species, resulting in a hybrid pomegranate mountain ash. Cultivated in culture for about 2 centuries, has good winter hardiness and unpretentiousness.
This is a very tall tree, which sometimes grows up to 15 m (normally within 10). Forms a spreading crown. The thorns of the plant are few, red and gray in color up to 4 cm. It is used for park plantings, in the alleys, since weeping branches beautifully shape the area. It blooms in May, and gives fruit in early autumn.
This is a tree of typical height (up to 6 m). The species prefers to grow in Central Asia. Often it can be found singly growing, sometimes in the neighborhood with other plants. A characteristic feature is the fruit of yellow color, with shades of orange. Flowering continues from late spring to mid-summer. Begins to bear fruit from 5-6 years of age. This species is protected in reserves, so it is not used for medicinal purposes.
A characteristic feature of the species is foliage, which is very different from other representatives. The leaves are more like viburnum, three-lobed. In the wild, lives in the midland of North America. Reaches a height of 10-12 meters, the length of the spines is also quite large (up to 6 cm).
The berries are very small and do not even reach a centimeter in diameter. To breed such hawthorn in Siberia is quite problematic, since it does not differ in special frost resistance.
It grows in Siberia and the Far East. It grows 6-7 meters in height, while in shape it resembles a bush. It has great winter hardiness and excellent seed germination. Nevertheless, it is practically not used for medicinal purposes, since it is subject to protection. It is often grown in protected areas.
For the cultivation of different types of hawthorn, there are no fundamental requirements for soil or watering. Nevertheless, some rules should be observed so that the plant takes root more quickly and begins to bear fruit.
Technology and landing dates
Hawthorn loves mostly sunny places or with little shading, so it is better to plant it in an open area. In addition, the tree grows well and requires a place for its powerful shoots. The landing technology is simple and includes the following rules:
- The depth of the pit should correspond to the roots of the seedling and be at least 70 cm.
- Hawthorn loves almost any soil, but begins to grow much faster if before planting add a certain amount of slaked lime and well drain the hole with sand.
- Transplanting a young plant is acceptable at almost any time. However, if the hawthorn is more than 5 years old, then any movement can lead to a long illness.
- As for the planting dates, there are no special time requirements for young trees, however, it is best to do this in the spring, when the soil is sufficiently warm.
Crop Care Rules
Care for hawthorn consists, first of all, in the timely cutting of non-fruiting, dried branches. Trimming for decorative purposes is also well tolerated by the plant.
The rules for leaving are simple:
- Regular loosening of the soil so that a sufficient amount of oxygen enters the powerful root system.
- Regular weeding of soil under the plant.
- Fertilizers should be applied at the beginning of the season, when the buds open, and in early September. It is enough to make a complex feed or use urea in the calculation of a large pinch on a standard bucket of water.
- The main pest of hawthorn in our latitudes is the butterfly-boyar. If you can see that the leaves began to suffer from this insect, it is necessary to carry out treatment with any insecticide. The rest of the plant is very resistant to pests.
Useful properties of hawthorn
Plant propagation methods
Hawthorn can be propagated in many ways - shoots, seeds from berries and even vaccinations.
In this case, reproduction is carried out due to shoots that are no more than 2 years old. They are carefully cut and placed in a small hole, sprinkled with earth. In this case, the top should remain in the air. At the base of the shoot you need to make a constriction using a wire. All work is done at the beginning of the season. By September, the seedling is ready for transplanting into the ground.
Many species give young shoots from the roots, what sets them apart from most trees. These growths must be dug up and just transplanted to a new place. You need to act carefully, because the hawthorn really does not like to be disturbed by its roots.
In this case, young shoots are used that have not yet had time to lignify. They need to be cut with a sharp knife at an oblique angle to ensure maximum surface. Cuttings immediately placed in peat with sand (in equal proportions).
The soil is abundantly moistened. As soon as the stalk finally begins to grow and gives new shoots, it can be transferred to open ground.
This method is one of the best for propagating garden varieties. The stock is young plant seedlings (2-3 years). Vaccination is carried out at the very beginning of springwhen the juices move in the trees. An incision is made in the tree in the form of the letter T, where the stalk is grafted. The tree normally yields a crop after 3 years.
Seed propagation is a natural mechanism that a tree uses in the wild. For breeding in this way, it is important to consider several points:
- Seeds are used from half-ripe berries.
- First, they are aged in peat at a refrigerator temperature (about +4aboutC) within six months.
- After that, the soil is taken out of the refrigerator, poured with warm water and sodium nitrate and left at room temperature for several days.
- Seeds are sown in open ground in September and watered well.
The healing properties of the common hawthorn
The healing properties of hawthorn make it possible to use it to treat heart diseases and raise the general tone of the body, improve immunity. Medicinal effect is possible due to exclusively useful substances that are part of the juice of berries:
- carotene, from which the body synthesizes vitamin A;
- Vitamin E, useful for skin regeneration and rejuvenation processes;
- vitamin K, preventing bleeding and hemorrhage;
- flavonoids that quench free radicals and protect the body from aging, as well as increase immunity;
- trace elements (Fe, Cu, Zn, Cr, Al) involved in all metabolic processes of the body.
Such a rich composition allows you to successfully use different dosage forms based on hawthorn to treat the following diseases:
- various heart diseases: angina pectoris, ischemia, arrhythmia, atherosclerosis;
- blood pressure disorders;
- insomnia, nervous disorders associated with overstrain;
- viral infections (SARS, influenza);
- diabetes of both types (as a safe source of sugar).
Basically, to obtain medicines, the berries (fruits) of the plant and its flowers are used. Less commonly used infusion of the root.
Traditional medicine recipes with prickly hawthorn
Hawthorn has been known for its healing effects on the body for a long time. The most commonly used are its fruits, which in the simplest case are simply put into tea. It turns out a delicious drink, which is useful for the work of the heart and maintaining the overall tone of the body. Traditionally, recipes are based on the use of hawthorn decoctions and alcohol tinctures for internal and external use. Berries are often used with other plant components: fruits and herbs of other berry plants, aloe, etc.
- Using fruits to treat diabetes. This recipe is based on the fact that in the berries of the plant sugar is presented as fructose safe for diabetics, while glucose is present there in small quantities. Also, the components of the berries help control blood sugar. The recipe for diabetics is very simple: 2 large tablespoons of dried fruit are poured with two glasses of boiling water and infused in a dark place overnight. It is better to wrap the container with a warm cloth. After filtering, the broth is taken 30 minutes before each meal in half a glass.
Important! The fruits of hawthorn are especially useful in special diabetic gatherings, which also include blueberry leaves, hawthorn flowers and bearberry foliage.
- In the treatment of heart disease, you can take simple decoctions of hawthorn, but it will be more effective to mix them with aloe juice. To do this, freshly squeezed juice (half a cup) is mixed with the same amount of dried flowers of the plant and infused for 3 hours in 2 cups of boiling water. The drug is taken in an incomplete glass before each meal. This recipe is especially often used as an adjuvant in the treatment of angina pectoris.
- For the treatment of various diseases of the heart muscle (myocarditis, ischemia, arrhythmia, etc.), alcohol tincture is used.. It is also prepared from dried hawthorn flowers. The ratio of dry raw materials and vodka is 1:10. You need to insist at least 3 weeks and be sure to in a dark place. Reception of infusion - no more than a tablespoon before each meal (for 20 minutes).
- Hawthorn berries are infused with boiling water for angina pectoris, as well as heart rheumatism. The ratio of dry raw materials and boiling water is also 1:10. Infusion should be cooked for 10 minutes with a slight boil. This medicine is steamed overnight. And it is used in a full glass before each meal.
- And another recipe for improving heart rate is based on the use of fresh plant flowerswhich you need to fill the jar on 2/3, and you do not need to ram them. Pour vodka to the top and insist also in a dark place for 3 weeks. Reception - an incomplete tablespoon before each meal.
- To improve heart rhythm (with arrhythmia), a decoction of foliage of the plant and dry flowers is used. A mixture of these components (1: 1) is taken in the amount of a full tablespoon, placed in a half-liter jar and filled with boiling water to the top. You need to insist for several hours and take a full glass before each meal. The course of therapy usually lasts 3 weeks.
- Based on the alcohol tincture of the flowers of the plant, you can make a tool that helps not only with heart failure, but also successfully prevents SARS and influenza during the epidemic. To do this, 2 tablespoons of chamomile should be boiled in a glass of boiling water, let it brew for an hour and add a tablespoon of the tincture of hawthorn flowers made in it according to any recipe from the above. It is taken in a full glass per day (in the morning half and before bedtime as well).
- Hawthorn perfectly helps not only to normalize the activity of the heart. It is also used to remove chops in the stomach. Fresh berries of the plant are steamed in the oven or oven and taken together with the resulting juice in 3 tablespoons as an emergency.
- If sleep disorders are observed, you can make an aqueous infusion of 3 tablespoons of dried flowersthat need to pour a glass of boiling water. Such a remedy is taken before each meal for a tablespoon, and the last time it should be consumed before bedtime.
- Along with the fruits, the medicinal part of the plant is the root. For harvesting, it is better to dig it in October or November, rinse and dry well, so that the shoots break easily when pressed.Water infusions are prepared from the root in boiling water (the ratio of dry raw materials to water is 1:10). The broth is taken in a tablespoon before each meal. It helps a lot with heart failure.
The main purpose of hawthorn is the treatment of the heart and blood vessels, stabilization of blood pressure, but it also helps with diabetes and insomnia. His broths can be washed face skin - it will become more toned.
Important! In all of these recipes, it is assumed that the course of therapy should not exceed 4 weeks. In addition, taking the medicine on an empty stomach (immediately upon awakening) is also undesirable. In rare cases, it can cause abdominal pain and nausea.
Contraindications and harm to hawthorn
Any drug has its contraindications. In the case of hawthorn, it is important to observe not only the dosage, but also the course of treatment. To maintain heart, you should not use any dosage form of this plant for more than 3 weeks. Otherwise, abuse of the drug may lead to the opposite result.
The use of any preparations based on hawthorn is contraindicated to the following persons:
- Women at any stage of pregnancy and lactation.
- Undergoing recovery after heart surgery or after a stroke.
- Who are busy at work requiring a quick reaction - for example, driving. Do not take an infusion immediately before going to work.
- With severe digestive disorders (cancer of the stomach or intestines, cirrhosis).
How to plant a hawthorn
In general, the use of the drug has no particular contraindications, and in case of emergency, even pregnant mothers can start using it in small doses, but only after the doctor’s mandatory permission.
Important! If there are allergic reactions or the heart has become sick more often, then taking hawthorn should be immediately stopped and consult a doctor.
Hawthorn is an example of an excellent tree that requires the most modest care conditions, but in return gives good health and brings a special touch to the design of the garden.