a short play

Nora to her friend Max: You should take Hawthorne every day. It’s the number one Male Tonic according to herbalist Ryan Drum.

Max: Why?

Nora: It prevents the subtle depression that creeps up on modern men.

Max: Gah! I hate herbalism. If modern men are getting depressed, it is not because they need to eat more berries. It is because they need to quit their job or go on a bike trip.


He’s right. But he’s also wrong. Hawthorne is not a cure all, but it will definitely help keep the heart a vibrant force in the body and life. Because it’s main action is to increase nutrition and oxygen to the heart, it has a modulating effect--hawthorn is used for high and low blood pressure, hardening of the artery walls, heart palpitations, angina, hypertension and any other weakened condition of the heart.

Including heartbreak, anxiety and depression! Apparently, there are a bunch of neurons in the heart, so those must be affected by all the extra blood and oxygen that gets pumped there on account of the hawthorne.

But, listen, we don’t need to know exactly how and why hawthorne helps to heal heartbreak. All we need to know is that it does, and it has, for thousands of years.

If you are feeling shitty, and you start taking hawthorne every day, taking a bath in it, collecting some, making some hawthorne honey, your heart will start to mend. And, here is the very magic part, you will start getting help in other ways too. These plants are beings, bro. They want to help a sister out. By imbibing them, you pray to them and, usually, I mean not every GD time, they answer your call.

If you are taking it for a physical heart condition, take 2 dropperfuls of the tincture 2 times per day. For emotional conditions, I recommend sussing out the dose that is right for you according to your own intuition. I like to take a dropperful morning and night.


For heart health:

Hawthorne Berry Honey

Recipe by Corinne Boyer, herbal educator

Corinne brings inspiration and magic to people by sharing her experiences, observations and interests relating to plants. Corinne@OpalsApothecary.com

  • Freeze and dethaw hawthorn berries. Pick them over for leaves and twigs.

  • Place them in a pan with just a little water, enough to steam them, but no more.

  • Bring to a boil and “steam” with the lid on for about 10 minutes, careful not to burn, as the water may run out if you add too little.

  • Then, one half cup or so at a time, take a sturdy stainless steel sieve and a wooden pestle and work them through it. This is a sticky and tedious task, but keep going!

  • Scrape the bottom of the sieve with a rubber spatula every minute or so, saving the pulp in another bowl.

  • Once you’ve worked off all the pulp, remove the pits and skins from the sieve and add more steamed berries. Repeat until you have worked through all the berries.

  • Take the pulp and stir in an equal amount of honey.

  • Store in a mason jar in the fridge.

  • A fantastic way to enjoy the benefits of hawthorn! Take a few spoonfuls per day. Use within about 6 weeks.

If you don’t have the means to make a hawthorn honey right now, I suggest a good quality tincture from a local producer or from HerbPharm. Take a few squirts under the tongue or in water throughout the day. It works best if you stick with it even as your heart begins to improve. Keep strengthening!