Hawthorn grows in the form of small trees and tall semi-evergreen shrubs.
Many of its species are valuable medicinal and edible plants. The fruits of hawthorn are of almost the same importance as the wild rose. No less useful are the flowers of the plant.
In medicine, hawthorn has been used for several centuries. It is effective in the treatment of heart diseases, helps to normalize pressure and digestion, to eliminate the effects of nervous tension.
But to maximize the result of its use, it is important to properly store hawthorn, as well as to know the basics of its use.
How to save hawthorn for medicinal purposes: inflorescences and fruits
Preparation of the plant should begin in the spring. As soon as the hawthorn begins to bloom, you can begin to collect.
The most high-quality raw materials are not fully bloomed or completely unopened inflorescences. That they need to tear.
Obligatory condition for long-term storage of hawthorn: the collection of inflorescences should be carried out only in sunny and dry weather. Even a little moisture can cause the workpiece to simply rot.
The collected inflorescences are dried. To do this:
- prepare a flat surface (table, baking tray, plank);
- cover it with a cloth or paper;
- inflorescences spread out in a thin layer.
Hawthorn flowers should be dried in a dark place with unlimited access to fresh air.
The most optimal storage container - cardboard boxes, the bottom of which is covered with paper. A small amount of dried flowers perfectly preserved in a linen bag. Hawthorn should be kept in a dry room with normal ventilation. Fruits plants are harvested after they are fully ripe. Before you dry them, you need to remove the stem and berries with a flaw. If unheeded fruits are accidentally picked, they will also have to be put off.
For drying hawthorn berries suitable:
- a warm room that is well ventilated;
- open oven, preheated to 50 degrees.
Just like the inflorescences, the fruits of the plant should be laid out in one layer.
Harvested raw materials should be stored in glass jars, although canvas bags will do as well. To place the container choose dry and darkened room. The air temperature in it should not exceed 18 degrees and fall below 10.
If the hawthorn is properly prepared, its healing properties will last for at least five years.
How to store hawthorn for the winter
To save the hawthorn fruit for a little longer, you should use the simplest solution - freeze This method allows you to save most of the nutrients.
It is best to apply a quick freeze at 18-20 degrees below zero:
- Berries need to be washed and bruised. Damaged fruits are not suitable for freezing.
- Arrange the berries on a paper napkin and leave until they are completely dry. This should be done because water can turn the fruit into a solid icy piece.
- Packed berries in small portions in plastic bags, remove the air from them as much as possible and tie them tightly. This will protect hawthorn from absorbing extraneous odors.
- Find a spacious place in the freezer and place the hawthorn fruit. They can be stored there for at least a year.
When it becomes necessary to use hawthorn, you need to get a bag out of the freezer and pour the required amount of fruit. If any part of them remains, it is impossible to freeze again. This will lead to the development of dangerous strains of bacteria and turn hawthorn into a potential pest for the stomach. Instead of a nutritious dish, you can easily get food poisoning. Therefore, it is important to use thawed hawthorn immediately. If the day the berries were not eaten, it is better to throw them away.
How to store fresh hawthorn
Some ripe hawthorn fruit can be left fresh. The best container for their storage is a small plastic container with holes.
Place hawthorn fruit should be in the compartment of the refrigerator, which is designed for fruits and vegetables. The optimum temperature is between zero and four degrees Celsius.
Fresh hawthorn fruits will remain no more than a month. Then they begin to dry, deteriorate and lose their healing qualities.
You can save the fruit in the form of compote, make jam, wine or grind with sugar.
Hawthorn helps in the treatment of many pathologies and helps get rid of various painful conditions. Compliance with all the desired storage conditions will allow the plant to save a maximum of healing properties.