Are hawthorn berries safe to eat?

In this brief article, we will answer the questions, hawthorn berries are safe for consumption, what their uses are, how they are produced, how to prepare them, and also their advantages. 

Are hawthorn berries safe to eat? 

Hawthorn berries are safe for consumption. The seed of hawthorn berries is poisonous and should not be consumed. The berries contain a compound known as amygdalin which is composed of cyanide and simple sugar. 

Once consumed, amygdalin is broken down to produce hydrogen cyanide which may cause sudden death. For adults, there are no immediate threats after consuming two seeds but are fatal to children.

The leaves, flowers, and barks should be avoided especially when they are crushed and smell like almond nuts. Some of the berries contain pectin which alters the taste. Most of the berries are sweet and can be used to make jelly. 

What are hawthorn berries?

Hawthorn berries emerge as fruits of the hawthorn plant also called in Latin Crataegus. The berries are bright red. The berries are safe for consumption but their seeds are poisonous because they contain cyanide. 

The Hawthorn plant has a lot of variabilities and the species are estimated to be over 500. The tree has a lifespan of over 300 years. Some of them are grown as hedges and others are used for landscaping purposes. 

Why should you consider eating hawthorn berries?

Hawthorn berries contain antioxidant elements. These antioxidant elements help in lowering the accumulation of free radicals in the body cells. 

Free radicals are produced when the body respites and also when one is exposed to certain foods and items such as HDL cholesterol-rich fats and cigarettes. 

Free radicals cause diseases such as cancer and autoimmune conditions. Hawthorn berries help in lowering blood pressure. 

Some of the extracts act as vasodilators thus widening the coronary arteries for ample blood flow. This reduces blood pressure and the chances of a heart attack/stroke. 

Hawthorn berries extracts, flavonoids pectin help in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Pectin is a fiber-like element that aids in cholesterol metabolism. 

These extracts also help in reducing chronic inflammations. An example is the extract vitexin. They act by improving the health of internal body organs such as the liver. 

What are the uses of hawthorn berries?

They are used to make extracts such as vitexin and flavonoids which are of medical importance. Vitexin extract is used in reducing chronic inflammations by improving the health of the internal organs. Flavonoid and pectin aid in cholesterol metabolism. 

They are used in making jelly. The berries are split open and the seeds are withdrawn. The berries are then crushed to form a jell. This jelly can be used to serve other foods such as bread and cake. 

They are a supplement to your dietary needs. Since they contain medicinal value and can be eaten as snacks without the seeds. They can also be dried and made into powder form and liquid form. 

 Hawthorn trees can be used as ornamentals. Hawthorn trees produce nice white flowers. They are considered beautiful and are planted as hedges along the fences. 

The hawthorn tree is well bushy and has a nice shade. This makes them suitable for landscaping or bonsai. 

How are Hawthorn berries produced?

Hawthorn plants occur naturally but still can be planted at one’s evolution. They are planted as ordinary trees and when the fruiting season comes hawthorn berries are obtained. They are mostly propagated. Hawthorn trees grow in well sunny areas with well-drained soils.

Sprout the hawthorn seeds in a nursery until they are well grown. The nursery-grown trees are planted in early spring. After planting, water them well and mulch the soil around the tree with a 2-inch-thick layer of grass or any other mulching material to prevent weeds and soil-moisture evaporation. 

Water spring-planted trees regularly through the first 3 months. Hawthorn trees do not require pruning. Remove dead leaves and branches regularly to avoid fungal and pest infestations such as rust, fire blight, powdery mildew, and leaf blight. 

How to prepare hawthorn berries?

Hawthorn berries can be eaten as raw fruits. They can also be dried and taken with tea or crushed to be in powder form. In their raw nature, they can be smashed to form a jelly. 

They can also be cooked as shown here.

Conclusion. 

In this brief article, we have answered the questions, hawthorn berries are safe for consumption, what their uses are, how they are produced, how to prepare them, and also their advantages.

Citations. 

https://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/tree/hawthorn/#:~:text=Hawthorn%20 grows%20 best%20in%20 full,weeds%20and%20soil-moisture%20evaporation

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/hawthorn-berry-benefits#9.-Easy-to-add-to-your-diet

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.