2 Easy Ways To Use Hawthorn Berries

hawthorn tree

It's August and wild hawthorn trees are bearing these beautiful red bountiful berries resembling small crabapples. These are hawthorn trees, and they're all over the world.

@naturewithus_ Two easy ways to use hawthorn berries #medicinalplants #chinesemedicine #heartherbs ? Light country guitar instrument BGM(957269) - 2strings

You know they're hawthorns by these large spikes on the branches. They can grow to nearly two inches in length. Normally not a big deal though. Just be mindful of them when picking the berries.

hawthorn spikes

The berries are edible and medicinal, and there's many uses for them. They can be eaten right on the spot, but they're tart, and one thing to watch for is to avoid eating the seeds. Like apples, the seeds contain cyanide.

hawthorn seeds

If you have the patience, you can simply squeeze the berries and remove the seeds, then place the fruit flesh in your favorite baking recipe during the dough stage. Here I've added them to my wife's famous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. The tartness is a giveaway that hawthorn berries should be cooked in some way if you're going to eat them.

hawthorn cookies

My favorite way to use them is in a tea or soup. To make the tea, the berries should be dried first. This can be done using a dehydrator, the oven, or simply by laying them out in front of a sunny window for about a week (depending on how sunny it is).

hawthorn berries

Add a tablespoon per cup of boiling water, then simmer for about 30 minutes. The water will turn a nice orange to red colour. In my oppinion, the aroma is absolutely fantastic, and hard to describe. It reminds me of my childhood as it brings back memories of Chinese food, grocery stores, and candy made from hawthorn.


Hawthorn berries are high in antioxidants. They fight the free radicals which cause things like cancer and premature again. Hawthorn has been used to battle high blood pressure and to increase overall heart health. When you look at the red berries, let them remind you of their use for the heart.


Like all edibles and medicinals, be completely sure of proper identification and uses by consulting multiple sources of information. Also be mindful of the spikes. I was once hospitalized because one of them went into my knuckle and paralized my finger for days. That's my fault though, I was cleaning up fallen branches without proper gloves. I've never had any issues while just foraging for the berries.

hawthorn berries