Nourish your Stomach and Heart with Cranberry- Hawthorn Sauce

Nourish your Stomach and Heart with Cranberry- Hawthorn Sauce

Ready for a cranberry sauce update?

This Thanksgiving, try this recipe using hawthorn berries in your cranberry sauce! 

What’s Hawthorn, you say? Commonly called Haw or Haw Fruit, these delicious sour and sweet berries are related to apples. If you are picking them yourself, be careful! They are covered in thorns! In Asian groceries, you can often find candy made from them. 

In Chinese Medicine, we use them as an herbal remedy for food stagnation. Specifically, they help digest meats and fats. Even vegetarian Thanksgiving’s are pretty rich! What could be better way to balance a Thanksgiving feast?

Because they are also used as food- they’re safe to use for extended periods. 

In the springtime the trees are covered with beautiful flowers

Hawthorn blossoms. Abundant white hawthorn flowers on the bushes

Hawthorn berries are a Queen among herbs. They are indisputably good for the heart.

Among its actions:
  • They’re loaded with flavonoids, making them a rich source of Vitamin C.
  • They can lower blood lipids, helping to lower cholesterol naturally.
  • They are a gentle vasodilator with documented action of improving coronary circulation, dilating coronary arteries, and relieving cardiac hypoxemia.
  • They are cardiotonic, improving cardiovascular contraction. 

Ready to try them? Here’s a fun and simple way to prepare them

Cranberry- Hawthorn Sauce


  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup dried hawthorn berries/Shan Zha/Crataegus fruit
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange rind
  • ½ cup diced candied ginger (optional)


  1. First, wash and pit the hawthorn berries, soak in water for 10 minutes, then strain and discard the water. Sometimes, they have small pits, so watch for them and pick them out. 
  2. Place the hawthorn berries with the orange rind and ginger in a saucepan with the sugar and water. Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cranberries, bring them to a boiling point again, and simmer until the cranberry skins pop – about 8 to 10 minutes, then take the pot off the stove.

Serve warm or chilled.