How to make a hawthorn berry tincture for you, your dog or cat

Hawthorn berry is considered to be one of the oldest plants used for medical purposes. It is common in North America, Western Asia and Europe and dried berries can be bought all across the world. The effect of hawthorn on the cardiovascular system is particularly well known – it lowers blood pressure, supports the heart and blood circulation.

If you are using fresh berries for hawthorn berry tincture, use ratio 1:2 (one part of berries to 2 parts of alcohol). When you will be using dried hawthorn, the ratio should be 1:5, as dried ones are more essential. You can use the same ratio when making tincture without alcohol, only with glycerin. 

Hawthorn fruits and tincture jar
Hawthorn fruits and tincture beeing prepared

In the article you will find some more recipes with flavours added, like vanilla for example, I will also try to explain why hawthorn berry tincture is so valued and which other parts of plant can be used for tinctures. 

Do you want to know more about hawthorn tincture? Keep reading 🙂 I will cover uses, benefits, dosage and at the end of article you can also find a list of equipment that might be useful when you will be making a hawthorn tincture by yourself.

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Where to buy hawthorn for tincture?

If you are not using fresh herb you can find dried hawthorn on Amazon here – Hawthorn Berries (Crataegus monogyna) Dried Fruits Herbal Tea (Loose) 3 oz / 90gr

Hawthorn benefits, what is hawthorn tincture good for

Hawthorn (in latin Crataegus) according to has many properties that have beneficial effects on our health, including: 

  • it helps to lower the concentration of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides,
  • it raises the level of HDL cholesterol, which has a positive effect on the lipid profile,
  • it is believed to have an anti-aggregating effect, which reduces the risk of changes in blood vessels, thus reducing the risk of stroke or coronary syndromes,
  • it has immune-supporting, antifungal and antibacterial properties and hawthorn rinses are used in the treatment of inflammation of the mouth and throat,
  • hawthorn has an antioxidant effect that protects the body’s cells against aging and cancer,
  • it has also found its place as an antidote to diarrhea, indigestion, digestion and even insomnia.

Those properties have hawthorn berries and flowers, but for tinctures more commonly used are berries. 

Hawthorn tincture dosage

Suggested dosage of hawthorn tincture is 20 drops two to three times daily, it is recommended not to exceed this as it can be risky for people with heart problems. 

Hawthorn tincture for heart and high blood pressure, for anxiety

Hawthorn suggested uses include for arrhythmias, atherosclerosis, Buerger’s disease, circulatory disorders, congestive heart failure (CHF), hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure (hypertension), low blood pressure (hypotension), indigestion, and tapeworm infections.

Hawthorn is available under the following different brands and names: aubepine, Chinese hawthorn, Crataegus laevigata, English hawthorn, hagthorn, hedgethorn, ladies’ meat, maybush, mayflower, maythorn, oneseed hawthorn, shanzha, and whitehorn.

Hawthorn tincture side effects

Side effects of hawthorn may include, if used for to long or to much:

  • Agitation,
  • Circulatory disturbances,
  • Dizziness,
  • Fatigue,
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances,
  • Headache,
  • Nausea,
  • Nosebleeds,
  • Palpitations,
  • Sleep disturbances (insomnia),
  • Stomach upset,
  • Sweating.

Hawthorn tincture recipe

Hawthorn fruits should be harvested after the first frost. The finished tincture, in turn, should “mature” as long as possible – it will taste best after 8 months or even after a year.

You will need 4 glasses of ripe hawthorn fruits, 4 glasses of spirit, 1/2 glass of sugar, a piece of cinnamon, peel grated from 1 lemon, 4 cups of boiled water.

Hawthorn tincture bottled
Hawthorn fruits and tincture

Pour the fruits into a jar, mix the spirit with a 1 glass of water and pour over the hawthorn. Cover tightly and set aside for 2 weeks, shaking daily. After that time boil 3 glasses of water with sugar for a few minutes, until sugar dissolves. Peel off the foam gently, next drain the alcohol from the fruit, pour into the syrup while stirring. Pour into the jar, close it and set aside for 3 days. After that time filter and fill into bottles.

Hawthorn tincture dosage for dogs

Hawthorn (Crataegus oxycantha) therapy was recommended for dogs and cats with cardiac diseases, including cardiomyopathy and valvular heart disease. Researchers have identified many healthful substances in the berries, leaves and flowers. One group of compounds that have been identified is flavonoids. Flavonoids increase blood supply to the heart muscle and decrease blood vessel resistance thereby reducing the heart’s workload.

What type of alcohol to use for hawthorn tincture?

Most spirits used for drinking will work, but vodka or other grain alcohols that are at least 40% alcohol by volume work best. When using dried fruits, your best bet is to stick to an 80-90% alc/vol (160 or 180-proof alcohol), as they don’t have a lot of juices left, and it is best for extracting any water that’s left in the herbs out of them.

How long do hawthorn tincture last?

When stored in a cool, dry place, herbal tinctures last at least three years, if not longer. If you use dark bottles, they will last longer because the light will not damage them. If your area is humid or hot several months out of the year, try storing them in the refrigerator during the hot and humid season, so they last longer.

As you can see it is really easy to make hawthorn berry tincture at home. If you are planning to use hawthorn berry tincture or syrup for a prolonged period of time, you should remember that they can support the work of the heart, but not use them on your own, but only after consulting your doctor.

Recommened edequipment – what you may need to have to make such tincture at home

I hope that you have found my article useful. Below I’ve gathered all items that I am using when making my tinctures, some of them, like airtight jars, are necessary, some are just handy, you do not need to have them all to be able to make a good tincture.  

recommended tincture equipment
Tincture equipment examples
  1. Airtight jars.
  2. Mortar for herbs – granite.
  3. Mortar for herbs – stainless steel.
  4. Funnels for filling bottles.
  5. Large bottles, dark glass.
  6. Medium bottles, dark glass.
  7. Small bottles with dropper, dark glass.
  8. Cloth for tincture filtering.
  9. Coffee filters for tincture filtering.
  10. Alcohol meter to check how strong is your vodka/spirit.
  11. Tincture press for better extraction.

    Here you can also find a more detailed post with list of equipment that might be useful.

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Damian from PolishTinctures
Best regards from Kraków!

If you are looking also for other recipes, check out my blog – I have written about almost 100 other tinctures, use the search option below and you might find what you are looking for:

Other names of hawthorn

If you would like to check more info about the hawthorn here you can find article about it

It is also known under such names: Aubepine, Aubépine, Aubépine Blanche, Aubépine Épineuse, Bianco Spino, Bois de Mai, Cenellier, Chinese Hawthorn, Crataegi Flos, Crataegi Folium, Crataegi Folium Cum Flore, Crataegi Fructus, Crataegus cuneata, Crataegus kulingensis, Crataegus laevigata, Crataegus monogyna, Crataegus oxyacantha, Crataegus pentagyna, Crataegus pinnatifida, Crataegus rhipidophylla, English Hawthorn, Epine Blanche, Epine de Mai, Espino Blanco, Fructus Crataegi, Haagdorn, Hagedorn, Harthorne, Haw, Hawthrone, Hedgethorn, LI 132, LI132, May, Maybush, Maythorn, Mehlbeebaum, Meidorn, Mespilus laevigata, Nan Shanzha, Noble Épine, Oneseed Hawthorn, Poire d’Oiseaux, Sable Épine, Shanzha, Shen Zha, Weissdorn, Whitehorn, WS 1442, WS1442.


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