Every year wild forager and potion maker, Alison Barrell, makes a hawthorn heart potion - a beautiful heart-opening drink. “This is one of my favourite remedies, I have been making it for many years now. It’s so good for the heart and I use it like a rescue remedy and keep it in my handbag.

In late spring/summer I go out and pick the first leaves of the Hawthorn tree. I make this recipe every year and it takes time as the leaves and flowers come now and the berries we need are ripe in the autumn. But believe me, it’s so worth it.

First, find your Hawthorn tree. The leaves and flowers look like the photos here.

Wash the Hawthorn leaves and flowers and put them in a large clean jar. Pour a whole bottle of brandy over them and store it in a cool dark place. Label the jar so that you know what it is.

In autumn, you will add the hawthorn berries and a jar of your most local honey.

The reason it’s important to start the process now is that we want to extract the most circulatory-enhancing phytochemicals from the tree.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do and I really look forward to showing you the next bit of the process in October time when the berries are ripened by the summer sunshine.”

What you will need:
1 large clean jar
1 label
Hawthorn leaves and flowers
A bottle of brandy

In autumn:
Hawthorn berries
1 jar of local honey
100ml class bottles

If you're taking medication and you're considering using hawthorn, please consult your health care provider first.