How to Make Your Own Heart-Protective Hawthorn Berry Syrup

by Julie Behling-Hovdal on

By Rebecca Potter

hawthorn syrup1 1024x1024 How to Make Your Own Heart Protective Hawthorn Berry Syrup

What comes to your mind when you think of the word ‘heart’? Hearts are associated with a wide variety of things like love and other emotions, Valentine’s Day, our body’s life pump, and it’s even a huge part of our language. You’ll hear people use words and phrases like “I heart (fill in the blank)”, “brokenhearted”, “my heart sings”, “lionhearted” etc. We humans are very connected to our hearts.

How well do you take care of your heart? Some things that we do on a daily basis without thinking are actually very damaging to our hearts. We can truly help our hearts when we clear out fears and stress and adopt positive attitudes. It is also vital to include a healthy diet and exercise regime into your daily practices.

One of the best daily healers you can give your heart is the wonderful cardiotonic herb, hawthorn.  I have written about the benefits of hawthorn berries in the past here and here.

Dr. Christopher’s father-in-law was born with a leakage of the heart and had had lifelong heart problems. He could never take a job where a physical examination was required because he would always fail it due to his heart condition. He started taking hawthorn berry syrup at the ripe old age of 60.  He had a physical a couple of years later and the doctor told him “I wish I had a heart as good as yours.  He died peacefully in his sleep in his late 80′s in 1970. No heart attack, just the peaceful end of a beautiful life with a beautiful heart. This is one of my favorite stories because it demonstrates how consistent use of a healing tonic herb can truly make a difference in one’s life, no matter what age you start!

How to Make Hawthorn Berry Heart Syrup

Recipe courtesy of Dr. John Christopher

What You Need:

Dried or fresh hawthorn berries (can substitute hawthorn berry powder but whole berries are preferred)

Distilled water

Vegetable glycerine

Grape brandy

Amber/dark brown bottles


1. If you are lucky enough to have a hawthorn tree, pick tons of berries off of your tree or use dried hawthorn berries that you will need to reconstitute with distilled water until they are their natural size. Fill a stainless steel pot with the berries to about 2 inches away from the top of the pot and then pour distilled water over the berries. There should be one inch of water above the berries.

2. Simmer the mixture for 20 minutes, making sure it never boils. Set the mixture aside in a warm place to steep for 20 minutes.

3. Strain off the liquid and transfer it to a clean container and set it aside. Now mash the simmered and strained berries with a potato masher or some similar utensil.

4. Cover the mashed berries with new distilled water covering them with an inch of water above them.

5. Simmer these mashed berries and water for 20 minutes, then steep the mixture for 20 minutes, then strain off the liquid as before.

6. Mix this liquid with the liquid from the first straining which was previously set aside and measure the amount of liquid you have. This mixture of the liquids from the two strainings must now be simmered down slowly to 1/4 of its original amount. For example if you had one gallon of liquid, it must be simmered down to one quart.

7. Stir the mixture often while it is simmering down so it will not stick to the bottom of the container and burn. Do not boil. Even if hours are required to reduce the liquid to 1/4 of the original amount, only simmer slowly to do the job correctly. (This is when patience will be your greatest virtue!)

8. When the simmering is finished, measure the now concentrated liquid carefully and then add to it 1/4 of its own volume of pure vegetable glycerine and also 1/4 of its own volume of a good quality grape brandy (Christian Brothers or some comparable brand name) and mix together. For example, if the liquid concentrate after simmering measures 1 quart, then add 1 cup of the glycerine and 1 cup of the brandy.

9. Pour the mixture into dark brown glass bottles, date and label. If desired, when the bottle is tightly sealed, you can turn the bottle upside down and dip the top in melted sealing wax.

You can keep this formula for years at household temperatures. The dosage is 1/2 tsp 3 times a day. It is best taken over a period of several months or years to achieve results, being a tonic formula. It is entirely safe with no negative side effects, and appropriate for all ages.

After you make your own hawthorn berry syrup, you will have a very powerful, healing syrup for yourself and your family. Everyone could benefit from this syrup, and it tastes so good too! It’s rich in bioflavonoids, antioxidants, nutrients, and active compounds that can truly help transform your heart over time.



Rebecca Potter Master Herbalist 270x300 How to Make Your Own Heart Protective Hawthorn Berry Syrup

Rebecca Potter is a lifelong student of herbalism, a lover of herbs and natural healing. She feels passionately about sharing her knowledge and experience with herbs to empower all to achieve the greatest possible health potential. She received her Master Herbalist degree from The School of Natural Healing, and teaches herbal classes in her local area. She is a co-author along with Julie Behling-Hovdal and Col. Edward Behling of The Essential Survival Guide to Medical Preparedness. In addition to her herbal classes, Rebecca enjoys doing personalized herbal consultations, is involved in an integrative health clinic, and performs a variety of key functions at Essential Survival, LLC. Follow her on Facebook at for tips and ideas on herbal healing and nutrition.


These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.  These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

James December 6, 2013 at 3:23 pm

As long as you are publishing recipes, if you learned the recipe for Dr. Christopher’s wife’s sprout casserole or can ask for the recipe I’d be interested.

I know he told his students that they could make a casserole from sprouts and that if they planted it in the ground it would grow.

From the look in his eye I could tell that he thought it tasted pretty good.

Hopefully Grandma Christopher kept a recipe card for it.

I’m looking for something to do with plain sprouts.

Tom Jones December 7, 2013 at 8:13 am

This is amazing. I would love to try this out to have a healthy heart. Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful recipe.

Julie Behling-Hovdal December 9, 2013 at 1:42 am

You are welcome, Tom!

- Julie =)

Julie Behling-Hovdal December 9, 2013 at 1:42 am

Wow —

That sounds pretty interesting! I’ll have to ask Rebecca about it.

- Julie =)

paul mercer November 29, 2014 at 8:13 am

will soft tap water do if its boiled

Rebecca Potter November 29, 2014 at 12:58 pm

If all you have is soft tap water, that’s better than nothing. But distilled water is always best for herbal preparations because there’s nothing in it, (no minerals etc) which allows distilled water to pull 40% more of the herbs’ medicinal constituents from it, making your tea or tincture, etc, much more potent and efficient.

paul mercer December 6, 2014 at 10:12 am

Hi Rebecca thanks for the reply

Another question :- Grape brandy any specific brand or just any brandy of a decent quality
I asked in the wine shop today and they have never heard of it called grape brandy..


Rebecca Potter January 31, 2015 at 5:37 pm

If they don’t have grape brandy, I suppose just get what you can. :)

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