Can Hawthorn Berries Cause Cancer – Hawthorn grows as both a shrub and a tree in North America, Europe, and Asia. As a member of the Rosaceae (rose) family, it protects itself with sharp thorns. Hawthorn has a little overlooked medicinal secret: hawthorn berries have a mild sweetness and a bitter bitter taste. From heart tonic to anxiety relief, here are five benefits of hawthorn.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), hawthorn is known as a heart tonic, and recent studies show that these “fiery berries” are cardioprotective.
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A 2018 review published by the NIH National Library of Medicine lists hawthorn berries as a cardiotonic herb. Hawthorn berries contain phytonutrients (anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins), antioxidants that tone and strengthen the walls of blood vessels. The plant has positive inotropic and negative chronotropic effects, as well as increased coronary blood flow and exercise tolerance.
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According to a report published in 2016, hawthorn extract, which includes berries, leaves and flowers, is also used to treat heart conditions such as bradyarrhythmias and angina.
. However, in general, hawthorn may increase the risk of bleeding in patients taking antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs.
Should you drink hawthorn berries for heart palpitations? Although hawthorn berries have been shown to be cardiotonic, consult your doctor before adding this herb to your treatment regimen, including extracts or teas.
Hawthorn berries contain fiber that aids digestion and acts as a prebiotic to reduce constipation. Prebiotics stimulate and nourish the growth of good gut bacteria essential for a healthy digestive system.
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According to a critical review published in 2015, hawthorn (its berries, leaves, and flowers) has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders and other digestive problems.
88 scientific articles were analyzed. The review shows that hawthorn provides useful applications for the treatment of abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and indigestion. The article mentions its use as an effective diuretic in European tradition.
Hawthorn berry is listed as a natural ingredient in some hair care and hair growth products, but is it effective? In the past, hawthorn berry has shown promise in stimulating the growth and volume of hair follicles in rats. It is believed that the polyphenol contained in these berries is responsible for this effect. However, further research is needed on the effects in humans.
How do you use hawthorn berries on your hair? Many people prefer to add hawthorn berries to their diet, for example, to make hawthorn syrup for pancakes and absorb nutrients in this way. Others invest in over-the-counter natural hair care products like hawthorn oils or tonics.
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David Hoffman, BSc, founder and past president of the American Herbalist Guild, recommends making a tea by steeping a teaspoon of hawthorn berries in a cup of hot water and straining it before drinking. He recommends no more than three glasses a day. A consultation with an herbalist can give you more guidance, but you should first talk to your doctor about using such complementary therapies.
Free radicals are unstable atoms associated with aging, chronic disease, and cancer. Review of scientific literature of 88 articles published in 2015
Noted that hawthorn berries contain high amounts of polyphenols, an antioxidant compound that fights free radicals. In addition to the antioxidant capacity of polyphenolic compounds, they protect against inflammation and other symptoms of chronic diseases.
Hawthorn extract may contain compounds from the berries, flowers, and leaves of the hawthorn plant that help reduce anxiety. Two older blinded studies have been published
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Analyzed a formula of hawthorn extract, California poppy flower, and magnesium and its effects on 264 people with anxiety. Results showed a significant reduction in mild to moderate anxiety levels compared to placebo. However, the specific role played by hawthorn has not been thoroughly analyzed.
The NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health also notes that hawthorn is promoted for use in the treatment of anxiety.
Hawthorn berry supplements often contain the berry, flowers, and leaves. According to the NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the most common side effects of taking hawthorn may include nausea, dizziness, and digestive symptoms. Those taking anticoagulants should avoid eating hawthorn.
Always consult your doctor or registered dietitian before adding any supplement to your diet. Many products have different dosage recommendations, and your healthcare provider can best guide you based on your medical history.
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Tiffany Chaney is an environmental and wellness writer focused on advocacy, ethics and transparency. Chaney earned a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Salem College and completed apprenticeships in Western herbalism and traditional Chinese medicine at Tree of Life Wellness Center and Piedmont Herbal School in Winston-Salem, NC. He is also a published creative writer and artist and currently resides in Virginia. By Ariane Lang, BSc, MBA and SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD – Medically Reviewed by Cathy W. Warwick, R.D., CDE, Nutrition – Updated December 13, 2021
These nutrient-rich berries have a bitter, tangy flavor and mild sweetness. Their color ranges from yellow to dark red (
For hundreds of years, people have used hawthorn as an herbal remedy for digestive problems, heart problems, and high blood pressure. In fact, the berry has been a staple of traditional Chinese medicine since at least 659 AD (
Antioxidants help neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals, which can damage your body when present in high levels.
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Free radicals can come from certain foods. Exposure to environmental toxins such as air pollution and cigarette smoke can cause you to have high levels of them (
Polyphenols are associated with many health benefits due to their antioxidant activity, including:
Although preliminary studies in animals and cells are promising, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects of hawthorn berries on disease risk.
Summary Hawthorn berry contains plant polyphenols with antioxidant properties that have many health benefits.
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Studies have shown that chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, asthma, and certain cancers.
In a study in mice with liver disease, hawthorn berry extract significantly reduced levels of inflammatory compounds, leading to reduced liver inflammation and damage (
In one study, researchers gave vitexin, which is found in hawthorn leaves, to mice that could inhale it. This treatment reduced the production of inflammatory molecules and decreased the inflammatory response of white blood cells (
These promising results from animal and test-tube studies suggest that the supplement may have anti-inflammatory benefits for humans. However, more research is needed.
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Summary Hawthorn berry extract has shown anti-inflammatory potential in both in vitro and animal studies. However, human studies are needed.
In traditional Chinese medicine, hawthorn berry is one of the most recommended foods to help treat high blood pressure.
Animal studies show that hawthorn acts as a vasodilator, which means it relaxes constricted blood vessels and, as a result, lowers blood pressure (
A 10-week study looked at the effects of taking hawthorn extract in 36 people with mildly elevated blood pressure.
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Researchers found that those who took 500 mg of the extract per day had lower diastolic blood pressure – the bottom number on the blood pressure reading (
In a 2006 study, researchers gave 79 people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure 1,200 mg of hawthorn extract every day for 16 weeks. People who took the extract improved their blood pressure more than those in the placebo group (
However, more research is needed to support these findings. It should also be noted that using the extract is not the same as eating the berries.
Summary Some research suggests that hawthorn berries may help lower blood pressure by helping to dilate blood vessels. However, further research is needed.
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Some studies show that hawthorn extract can improve blood cholesterol levels due to the flavonoids and pectins it contains. Pectin is a type of fiber involved in cholesterol metabolism (
Imbalanced blood cholesterol levels—especially high triglycerides and low HDL (good) cholesterol—play a role in atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in blood vessels (
If the plaque continues to build up, it can completely block the blood vessels, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
In one animal study, mice that received two doses of hawthorn extract had 28-47% lower levels of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as liver triglycerides, compared to mice that did not receive the extract.
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Similarly, a 6-week study in rats showed that when rats were fed hawthorn supplements, they significantly reduced fasting triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Finally, a 6-month study in 64 people with atherosclerosis showed that hawthorn extract at a dose of 2.3 mg per body weight (5 mg per kg) significantly reduced the thickness of harmful plaque buildup in the carotid artery.
Although this research is promising, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects of hawthorn extract on blood cholesterol.
Animal and human studies show that hawthorn extract can help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, more human studies are needed.
Hawthorn Berry Health Benefits And How To Use
For centuries, people have used hawthorn berries and extracts to treat digestive problems, especially stomach and colic pain (
Berries contain fiber, which has been shown to aid digestion by reducing bloating