Benefits Hawthorn Berries

Benefits Hawthorn Berries – Written by Ariane Lang, BSc, MBA, SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD — Medically reviewed by Kathy W. Warwick, R.D., CDE, Nutrition — Updated December 13, 2021

These nutrient-rich berries have a tart, sour taste and a mild sweetness. They are yellow to dark red in color (

Benefits Hawthorn Berries

For hundreds of years, people have used hawthorn berries as a remedy for digestive problems, heart problems, and high blood pressure. In fact, at least 659 A.D. The berry has been an important part of traditional Chinese medicine since (

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Antioxidants help neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals that can harm your body at high levels.

Free radicals can occur from certain foods. You can get high levels of them as a result of exposure to environmental toxins such as air pollution and cigarette smoke (


Although preliminary research in animals and cells is promising, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects of hawthorn berries on disease risk.

Health Benefits Of Hawthorn Berries

Summary Hawthorn berries contain plant polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties and have been linked to numerous health benefits.

Research has found that chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, asthma, and some cancers.

In a study in mice with liver disease, hawthorn berry extract significantly reduced levels of inflammatory compounds that cause liver inflammation and injury (

In one study, researchers administered vitexin — a compound found in hawthorn leaves — to mice with respiratory conditions. This treatment reduced the production of inflammatory molecules and reduced the white blood cell response to inflammation (

Impressive Health Benefits Of Hawthorn Berry

These promising results from animal and test-tube studies suggest that the supplement may provide anti-inflammatory benefits to humans. However, more research is needed.

Summary Hawthorn berry extract has shown anti-inflammatory potential in test tube and animal studies. However, research in humans is needed.

In traditional Chinese medicine, one of the most commonly recommended foods to help treat high blood pressure is the hawthorn berry (

Animal studies show that hawthorn acts as a vasodilator, meaning it can relax constricted blood vessels and ultimately lower blood pressure (

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A 10-week study looked at the effects of taking hawthorn extract in 36 people with mildly high blood pressure.

Researchers found that those taking 500 mg of the extract per day had lower diastolic blood pressure — the bottom number in blood pressure (

In a 2006 study, researchers gave 79 people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure 1,200 milligrams of hawthorn extract daily for 16 weeks. People who took the extract had greater improvements in blood pressure than those in the placebo group (

However, more studies are needed to back up these findings. It’s also important to note that using an extract is not the same as eating the berries themselves.

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A small amount of research suggests that hawthorn berries may lower blood pressure by helping blood vessels to dilate. However, further studies are needed.

Some studies suggest that hawthorn extract can improve blood cholesterol levels due to its flavonoid and pectin content. A type of fiber involved in cholesterol metabolism is pectin (

Imbalanced blood cholesterol levels — especially high triglycerides and low HDL (good) cholesterol — play a role in atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in your blood vessels (

If the plaque continues to build up, it can completely block the blood vessels and lead to a heart attack or stroke.

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In an animal study, rats that received two doses of hawthorn extract had 28–47% lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol and liver triglyceride levels compared with rats that did not receive the extract (

Similarly, a 6-week study in rats showed that when rats were given hawthorn berry supplements, they significantly reduced fasting triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

Finally, a 6-month study of 64 people with atherosclerosis found that taking hawthorn extract at a dose of 2.3 milligrams per pound (5 mg per kilogram) of body weight significantly reduced the thickness of harmful plaque in the carotid artery (

Although this research is promising, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects of hawthorn extract on blood cholesterol.

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Summary research in animals and humans suggests that taking hawthorn extract may help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, more human research is needed.

People have used hawthorn berries and extract for centuries to treat digestive problems, especially indigestion and stomach pain (

Berries contain fiber, which has been shown to aid digestion by reducing constipation and acting as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are foods that nourish and promote healthy gut bacteria, which are essential for maintaining healthy digestion (

An observational study in people with slow digestion found that each additional gram of dietary fiber was associated with a 30-minute reduction in time between bowel movements (

How Healthy Is Hawthorn?

Additionally, a rat study observed that hawthorn extract significantly reduced the gut transit time of food in the digestive system (

In addition, research in mice suggests that hawthorn berries can increase the production and activity of digestive enzymes—those needed to digest foods high in fat and protein (

Summary People have used hawthorn berry as a digestive aid for centuries. It can help relieve constipation and increase the production of enzymes needed to digest foods rich in fat and protein.

Hawthorn berries can help prevent premature aging caused by collagen degradation caused by excessive sun or UV rays.

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A test-tube study found that a mixture of hawthorn and ginseng extract could prevent signs of aging by preventing wrinkles and increasing skin moisture.

Research suggests that this effect may be due to the antioxidant content of hawthorn berries. However, research in this area is limited and human studies are needed.

Summary Some research suggests that hawthorn berries may help reduce the signs of aging due to their antioxidant content.

In an older study of 264 people with anxiety, a combination of hawthorn extract, magnesium, and California poppy flower significantly reduced anxiety levels compared to a placebo. However, it is not clear what role Hawthorne played (

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Hawthorn appears to have fewer side effects compared to traditional anti-anxiety medications. It is what scientists continue to research as a potential treatment for central nervous system disorders such as anxiety and depression (

However, these studies used different types of hawthorn products, not necessarily the berry. More research is needed.

If you want to try a hawthorn supplement to help manage your anxiety, don’t stop using your existing medications, and be sure to discuss it with a healthcare professional to make sure it’s safe for you.

Summary Scientists are investigating hawthorn supplements as a potential treatment for anxiety. However, not much research is being done on them for this purpose at present. More studies are needed on the effects of hawthorn berry on anxiety.

Amazing Health Benefits Of Hawthorn Berries

Hawthorn berry is known for its traditional use in treating congestive heart failure along with other traditional medicines. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart cannot pump blood properly.

Multiple studies have suggested that hawthorn berry may be beneficial in people with heart failure without severe adverse effects (

Studies mostly show improvements in heart function and heart failure symptoms — shortness of breath, fatigue (

However, some evidence suggests that hawthorn may be harmful in some cases of congestive heart failure. One study found that taking it along with conventional treatments may increase the risk of heart failure progressing (

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In a few traditional medical practices, people commonly consume hawthorn berry along with other traditional medicines for heart failure. However, it is harmful when combined with traditional heart failure medications.

Hawthorn berries are hard to find in your local grocery store. However, you may be able to find it at farmers markets and specialty health food stores.

Hawthorn berry supplements usually contain the berry along with the leaves and flowers, although some include only the leaves and flowers.

Different brands and forms of hawthorn supplements have different dosing recommendations. Usual doses are 250-500 mg three times a day. However, research has not yet been able to determine the optimal effective dose (

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Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements like hawthorn under stricter regulations than over-the-counter or prescription drugs.

Look for products that have received a seal of approval from independent organizations that evaluate supplement effectiveness and quality, such as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, or ConsumerLab.

Summary You can eat hawthorn berries in many ways or take them as a supplement. However, appropriate doses are still undefined and further research is needed.

Not many side effects have been reported from consuming hawthorn berries. Current ones seem to range from mild to moderate.

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Sweating, headache, drowsiness, palpitations, mild rash, agitation, gastrointestinal effects (

Although these are not life-threatening events, be sure to talk to a healthcare professional if you experience any of these symptoms.

Summary Side effects from consuming hawthorn berries are mild. They often include sweating, headache, drowsiness, palpitations, mild rash, agitation, and gastrointestinal effects.

The use of medicinal plants as an alternative treatment for many diseases is increasing

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