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LATIN NAME : Crataegus oxyacantha.

COMMON / FOLK NAMES : English Hawthorn May bush May tree Quickset Thorn-apple tree Whitethorn Bread and Cheese Tree Gaxels Hagthorn Halves Haw Hazels Huath Ladies' Meat May Mayblossom May Bush Mayflower Quick Thorn Tree of Chastity

MEDICINAL PART : Flowers Fruit

PLACES OF ORIGIN : Ireland Europe

Mountainous regions Damp limey soils.

DESCRIPTION : The hawthorn grows as either a shrub or a tree in Ireland & Europe. In Ireland & England it is widely grown as a hedge plant. It trunk or stems have hard wood, smooth and ash-gray bark, and thorny branches. The small, shiny leaves are dark green on top, light bluish-green underneath, and have three irregularly toothed lobes.

FLOWERING PERIOD : The white flowers have round petals and grow in terminal corymbs during May and June. The fruit, or haw, is a 2- to 3-seeded, fleshy pome, scarlet on the outside, yellowish and pulpy on the inside.

PROPERTIES : Antispasmodic Cardiac Sedative Vasodilator


Medical Properties of Irish Herbs, Trees & Fungi


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GENDER : Masculine



CELTIC GODS : Manannan Mac Lír   Lír Nechtan


CELTIC GODDESS : Áine Brigit Grian

POWERS : Fertility Chastity Fishing Magic Happiness




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Hawthorn was once used to decorate May poles. At one time hawthorns were believed to be Witches who had transformed themselves into trees. Witches have long danced and performed their rites beneath the thorn.

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Hawthorn has long been used to increase fertility. Because of this power it is incorporated into weddings, especially those performed in the spring. Call on the Goddess Áine or the Goddess Brigit while holding a hawthorn branch or wand of hawthorn to increase fertility.

  Fishermen should carry some hawthorn and call on the Gods Manannan and Lír if fishing at sea, or Nechtan if fishing inland.
The leaves, curiously enough, are also used to enforce or maintain chastity or celibacy. The leaves are placed beneath the mattress or around the bedroom for this purpose.
 Worn or carried it promotes happiness in the troubled, depressed, or sad.  Call on the Goddess Grian to bring some sunshine and happiness into your life.
Hawthorn protects against lightning, and in the house in which it resides, no evil ghosts may enter. It is also powerful for protecting against damage to the house from storms. 
In the past most Witch's gardens contained at least one Hawthorn hedge.

  Care must be taken to propitiate the tree itself before removing any branches.  It is important not to damage the tree and certain sacred trees should not be disturbed at all, lest their guardian spirits become angered.  

Hawthorn trees standing alone should be avoided.  Take parts only from trees that are part of boundary hedges.
The Hawthorn is sacred to the fairies, and is part of the  fairy-tree triad of IRELAND and Britain: 'Oak, Ash and Thorn,' and where all three trees grow together it is said that one may see fairies.

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Magical Properties ; Magical Powers of Irish Herbs, Trees & Fungi

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Stories, Myths & Legends associated with Hawthorn


Crith Gablach - Brehon Law Poem



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