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Hawthorn-the most medicinal and most common are two species of hawthorn red hawthorn (lat. Crataegus oxyacantha) and white hawthorn (lat. Crataegus monogyna Jacg). Hawthorn is a deciduous and well-branched thorny shrub or low tree. It blooms in May or June with tiny white or light pink flowers. Red hawthorn hawthorns have 2 to 3 hard seeds. They are red. They are harvested in September. The fruits of white hawthorn are slightly smaller. They develop 15 days later than red hawthorn. They only have one bone.
Hawthorn picking: Hawthorn flower is harvested before the flowers open in dry and sunny weather. Hawthorn fruits are harvested in autumn. The fruit is dried in the sun or in an oven. If the fruit is well dried, it has a dark red color and a slightly pungent taste.
Medicinal properties of hawthorn: the flower, leaves and fruits of hawthorn are medicinal. In folk medicine, tea prepared from a mixture of flowers and leaves is most often used. The leaves contain numerous medicinal substances, vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin A and bioflavonoids. Hawthorn tea, tincture, extract and ready-made medicines based on hawthorn have a beneficial effect on the heart. It dilates blood vessels, improves heart function and circulation, lowers blood pressure, slows the pulse, helps with insomnia, calms, relaxes the muscles of the uterus and intestines.
Use of hawthorn: hawthorn flower tea is prepared by pouring a tablespoon of flowers with a cup of boiling water. Cover the dish and leave for an hour. Strain the tea. Drink half a cup of tea half an hour before lunch or dinner.
Important note: intolerance can occur during prolonged use, so pure hawthorn tea should not be used for more than seven days. After a break of 3-4 days, you can continue to use hawthorn tea again for a week.
Chamomile (lat. Matricaria chamomilla) – a low and annual herbaceous plant with an aromatic scent and a slightly bitter taste. It blooms in April or May or throughout the summer. It grows as a wild weed. Recognizing chamomile in nature and distinguishing it from similar plants is not always an easy task. It can be distinguished by its scent, by its smaller flowers and by the fact that the flower head is hollow in cross section. In other species, the flower head is hard and full in cross section.
Harvesting chamomile: it is recommended to harvest the first blooming chamomile in late April or early May. The flowers are harvested in the early morning as soon as the morning dew rises before the great heat. It dries in deep shade in a dark and windy place.
Medicinal properties: healing properties are due to dozens of medicinal substances and essential oil. The use in folk and scientific medicine is very diverse. Freshly brewed tea is the most healing. It has anti-inflammatory and mild antibacterial action. It is successfully used for rinsing the mucous membranes of the mouth, pharyngeal mucosa and tonsils. For rinsing the nose, eyes, minor wounds, burns, eczema, rinsing the genitals and the like. The beneficial effect of tea is on babies and small children, which effectively reduces cramps and abdominal pain. Chamomile has a calming effect. In adults, chamomile is recommended because it reduces bloating, removes gas in the intestines, soothes inflammation of the mucous membranes of the digestive organs, is used against constipation and to increase sweating. It is used in numerous combinations with other medicinal plants.
Usage: pour two full tablespoons of flowers with two decilitres of boiling water. Cover the pan and leave for half an hour. Strain the tea. You can sweeten the tea slightly with honey if you do not use it to rinse the mucous membranes or increase appetite.