As love can be both spiritual and physical, Hawthorn honors the way of the heart. Its thorny limbs offers the protection that good boundaries provide in all our relationships.
Before fences, “haws,” or hedges, marked the boundaries between fields and worlds: the known and unknown, the safe and the wild, the sacred and the profane. Hawthorn’s role in marking these boundaries helps us to balance safety and risk in matters of the heart.
Here, in Georgia, on May 1, the modern Beltane observance, Hawthorn is already in flower. As it’s usually the last fruit tree to bloom in spring, it’s often covered in bees. My home state has more than 36 native varieties, with berries which our grandmothers would have gathered and “put up” into delicious, distinctive jams and jellies, fermented into wine, or baked into cakes.
The blossoms, we should say, are just beautiful.
Unless you are an herbalist, you may find working with Hawthorn as a flower essence preferable to working with the live plant. The blossoms contain trimethylamine, a chemical which gives off a scent that may not be pleasant to all.
Let’s touch on a few of the basics.
Hawthorn, the herb, is known for certain healing properties. It raises or lowers blood pressure, and is considered as a treatment for those who are diabetic or who have kidney disease.
All parts of the Hawthorn plant are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, which are known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial properties. The nutrients from the leaves, buds, flowers, and bright red berries (haws) also include magnesium and calcium. Altogether, the heart and circulatory system are actively nurtured, improving and strengthening the heart, arteries and immune function.
It’s obvious that Hawthorn, the herb, can support the healing of the physical body.
Using Hawthorn as a Flower Essence
Flower essences also offer health benefits, but they work on healing the emotional body. When flower essences are created, a dilution process captures the high vibration, healing energy of the flower in liquid form. Taking drops of the liquid therapeutically complements works alone or in complement to herbal medicine or homeopathy. The essences help address the underlying emotions that get stuck in the body. Clearing stuck emotions can help resolve ailments or illness.
Within this context, Hawthorn may be recommended for those who hope to heal emotional wounds, like those sustained during times of grief or when mending a broken heart.
Different people respond to different essences in different ways. Some essences may work quickly, while others take time. For many, taking flower essences often results in greater awareness of stagnant emotions, which can then be cleared from the body. In this way, they help affect personal change at a deep emotional level.
If there’s a heart that needs healing, a heart chakra that needs to open, grief that needs easing, love that needs to find its way, or emotions that need balance, Hawthorn is a friend indeed.
This Beltane, here’s to a life long-lived and well-loved.