Friday, May 6, 2011

Spring Wildharvesting: Rose family

Hawthorn (Crataegus species) offer us a wonderful heart tonic to heal and prevent complications of circulatory system disorders such as hypertension and heart attacks. Hawthorn is a member of the Rose family and both the North American native and European introduced species can be used.  
Hawthorn flowers can be collected along with some leaves in the spring. Collect flowers when the anthers are still pink and harvest at the stem rather than picking individual flowers. Can be prepared as a tincture or tea. Berries are also useful and can be collected in the autumn.

Wild Rose species (such as Rosa nutkana) will also soon be ready to harvest. Petals should be selected when in full colour. They contain volatile oils so they should be dried at a low temperature (max 25 degrees C) and dried without light to maintain colour. They can be used for teas or made into a syrup. Rose is astringent for the digestive system and is traditionally used as a cordial to cheer the heart.

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