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I am a work from home, home schooling Mom who loves her Kids...yep, I think my kids are great. You will find me: Knitting, cross stitch, embroidery and working with felt are things I enjoy for fun. I also love to decorate and find deep satisfaction in decorating my home with great finds and my handmade items.  Gardening is one of my great loves, it like decorating outside!

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hawthorn Berry Herbal Tincture

Do you have a Hawthorn Berry Tree?  If you do you have one of the if not the best herbal heart remedies.  Hawthorn Berry or Haw Berry is known for its heart and circulatory system rejuvinators.  It increases coronary blood flow and decreases blood pressure.  It is also an antioxidant and I have heard that it is also good for diabetics. So don't curse those long spiky thorns but praise its beautiful fruit.  The fruit is small and has several hard seeds, so if you eat them straight off the tree be careful don't bite too hard.  The fruit  has a very mild sweet flavor.
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Picking the Berries
 First you will want to attract some good help, the best way to do that is stand on a ladder with a floppy hat singing while you pick the berries...pop a berry in your mouth every now and then for good measure.  Soon you will attract a smallish person in a watermelon dress. Keep making joyful noises you don't want to scare the little helper off.  Soon they will ask what you are doing and can they eat one...at this point you've got them ...invite them to pick one or two. 
Before you know it you are sitting on the grass sipping tea while the smallish person cant believe her luck...to be on the ladder getting the best berries while donning a pair of sun glasses...Life is good!
Once the bag is full...you'll have to finish the job...because big brother attracted her away by climbing the cedar and shouting "Neat-O"
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Prepping The Berries
Really, this is very easy.  Just find a nice shady spot and take your tea.  The berries have tiny stems and you don't want to have to pick each little stems off.  So get a hand-full and roll them gently in your palms.  The twigs will come off and lay in the bottom of you hand then you can gently roll the berries off of your hand and into the bowl.  Lots of giggling and turning it into a game will attract the little person again.
Before you know it the bowl is full and the little person is playing with the berries.

 Great Job!  What a big helper I have and so cute and sweet too.
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Making the Tincture
Easier still is making the tincture.  After you have washed the berries toss them in a blender or food processor until they are slightly crushed. 
Place the crushed berries (seeds and all) into jars with tight fitting lids, leaving 1-2 inches head space.  I use canning jars with canning lids and rings. 
Top off jar with 80 - 100 proof vodka, gin or brandy.  Make sure the berries are submersed. (For those of you who prefer not to use alcohol you can use vegetable glycerin or apple cider vinegar.  It wont make as strong tincture but it will work.)  Place the jar in a warm location and let it macerate (soak) for four to six weeks the longer the better. Shake your jars daily during the maceration period. As you can see these are very eye catching and the colors are just right for fall.  So I let them steep on the counter and decorate the kitchen all at the same time.
Once they have soaked for a long time strain the berries using a stainless-steel strainer, reserve the liquid and compost the berries.  Store out of the reach of children in a cool, dark location.  The tincture will keep indefinitely.

3 comments:

Laurie said...

I've never had a hawthorn berry. Do they taste like any other berry??
I love that you make your own tincture ~ and they look pretty too!
So nice to have such a cute little helper!

nini2033a said...

once you have the tincture, what is the normal dosage? I have 2 Hawthorne trees on my property. I would love to do something with them. Am currently collecting recipes for Haw jelly and teas.

nini2033a said...

once you have the tincture, what is the normal dosage? I have 2 Hawthorne trees on my property. I would love to do something with them. Am currently collecting recipes for Haw jelly and teas.