花楸树 (huā qīu shù)
Mid to late autumn is the season of the Rowan tree, when the clusters of bright orange berries ripen and remain fresh long into Winter. This elegant and slim tree is tough and hardy, able to endure freezing temperatures and cold winds.
Birds love these berries, as they are main food throughout winter months. People do too, particularly Russians and those of Eastern and Northern European countries who long ago discovered the benefits and healing qualities of the Rowan. Although the berries are too sour and astringent when eaten raw, add a little sugar and they make tasty sweet and sour jams, healthy vitamin infusion drinks and sweet liqueur. In Russia, Rowan berries are gathered after the first frost, as the fruit becomes more sweet and palatable.
Slavic and Celtic tribes loved the Rowan tree and thought it had magical and protective powers. They often planted Rowan trees near houses and decorated the entrance to the house with clusters of its bright red berries.
The strong antiseptic qualities of the Rowan tree were discovered long ago, as in Russia its branches were soaked in water to clean it and make it drinkable and aromatic. The Rowan tree was considered to have a special energy or spirit to scare the illness out of a person, so sick people were often placed under the tree to heal.
Northern & Eastern Europe, Northern China.
Rowan berries have one of the highest levels of carotene, even more than carrots do. They are a source of vitamins C, B, E, sorbic acid, which is a natural preservative, disinfectant and anti-fungal agent. The berries are full of tannins with strong astringent qualities and pectin, a digestive aid. They are also diuretic, antiseptic and wound-healing. Due to these valuable properties Rowan berries have long been used as ingredients in natural medicine. The vitamin tea made of Rowan berries, particularly combined with rose-hip berries is a real immunity tonic and a cleansing, detox drink for liver and kidneys.
Due to its strong and unique taste, Rowan berries are widely used in the food and beverage industry - as a natural additive in confectionary, condiments and alcoholic beverages.
Rowan wood is very hard and durable, used in production of furniture, while its bark is a dyeing and tanning agent for leather products.
With its high vitamin content and astringent properties Rowan berries have a regenerative and energizing effect on skin. They stimulate blood circulation and brighten the complexion, while smoothing out fine lines. Combined with honey, these berries offer a real anti-ageing nourishment for skin, particularly in the winter months.
As the berries have a high content of sorbic acid, raw berries should be used with caution by people with gastric conditions and people with high blood coagulation.
Try the brightening and energizing effect of Rowan berries in our Cranberry & Rowan Berries with Almonds & Seabuckthorn Oil treatment in the Autumn Brightening line.