Can You Eat Hawthorn Berries Uk – Written by Ariane Lang, BSc, MBA and SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD – Medically reviewed by Kathy W. Warwick, R.D., CDE, Nutrition – Updated December 13, 2021
These nutritious berries are tart, savory and mildly sweet. They range in color from yellow to dark red (
Can You Eat Hawthorn Berries Uk
For hundreds of years, people have used hawthorn berries as a natural remedy for digestive problems, heart problems, and high blood pressure. In fact, the berry has been a key component of traditional Chinese medicine since at least 659 AD.
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Antioxidants help neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals that can harm your body when present in large amounts.
Free radicals can come from certain foods. You can also have higher levels of them due to exposure to environmental toxins such as air pollution and cigarette smoke (
Polyphenols are associated with numerous health benefits due to their antioxidant activity, including a reduced risk of (
Although early animal and cell studies are promising, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects of hawthorn berries on disease risk.
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Summary Hawthorn berry contains plant polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that have been linked to numerous health benefits.
Studies have found that chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, asthma, and certain cancers (
In a study of mice with liver disease, hawthorn berry extract significantly reduced levels of anti-inflammatory compounds, leading to less liver inflammation and injury (
In one study, researchers administered vitexin—a compound found in hawthorn leaves—to mice with respiratory disease. This treatment reduced the production of molecules that trigger inflammation and reduced the response of white blood cells to inflammation (
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These promising results from animal and test-tube studies suggest that the supplement may have anti-inflammatory benefits in humans. However, further research is needed.
Summary Hawthorn berry extract has shown anti-inflammatory potential in test tube and animal studies. Still, human studies are needed.
In traditional Chinese medicine, hawthorn berries are one of the foods most often recommended for treating high blood pressure (
Animal studies show that hawthorn can act as a vasodilator, meaning it can relax narrowed 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 elevated blood pressure.
The researchers found that those who took 500 mg of the extract daily had lower diastolic blood pressure – the bottom number on a blood pressure monitor (
In a 2006 study, researchers gave 1,200 mg of hawthorn extract to 79 people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure every day for 16 weeks. The people who took the extract experienced a greater improvement in blood pressure than those in the placebo group (
However, more research is needed to support these findings. It is also important to note that using the broth is not the same as eating the berries.
Hawthorn, May, Maythorn, Whitethorn, Crataegus Monogyna/laevigata
Summary Some research suggests that hawthorn berries can lower blood pressure by helping to dilate blood vessels. However, further research is needed.
Some studies suggest that hawthorn extract can improve blood cholesterol levels thanks to its flavonoid and pectin content. Pectin is a type of fiber that is involved in the metabolism of cholesterol (
Imbalances in blood cholesterol — especially high triglycerides and low HDL (good) cholesterol — play a role in atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in your blood vessels (
If plaque continues to build up, it could completely block a blood vessel, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
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In one animal study, mice given two doses of sea buckthorn extract had lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as 28–47% lower liver triglyceride levels, compared to mice not given the extract (
Similarly, a 6-week study in rats showed that when rats were supplemented with hawthorn berries, they had significantly lower levels of fasting triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol (
Finally, a 6-month study of 64 people with atherosclerosis found that taking hawthorn extract at a dose of 2.3 mg per pound (5 mg per kg) of body weight significantly reduced the thickness of harmful plaque buildup in the carotid artery (
Although these studies are promising, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects of hawthorn extract on blood cholesterol.
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Summary Animal and human studies suggest that taking hawthorn extract may help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, further human studies are needed.
People have used hawthorn berries and extract for centuries to treat digestive problems, especially indigestion and stomach aches (
Berries contain fiber, which has been proven to aid digestion by reducing constipation and act as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are foods that nourish and promote healthy gut bacteria, which are essential for maintaining healthy digestion (
One observational study of people with slow digestion found that each additional gram of dietary fiber people consumed was associated with a 30-minute reduction in the time between bowel movements (
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In addition, it was found in a rat study that hawthorn extract significantly reduced the transit time of food in the digestive tract (
Furthermore, studies in rodents suggest that compounds in hawthorn berries may increase the production and activity of digestive enzymes – ie. of those needed to digest high-fat and high-protein foods (
Summary People have used hawthorn berries as a digestive aid for centuries. It can help relieve constipation and increase the production of enzymes needed to digest high-fat and high-protein foods.
Hawthorn berries can help prevent premature skin aging caused by collagen breakdown from too much sun or UV light.
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One test-tube study found that a combination of hawthorn and ginseng extract could prevent the signs of aging by inhibiting the formation of wrinkles and increasing the skin’s moisture (
Research suggests that this effect may be due to the antioxidant content of the hawthorn berry. Nevertheless, research in this area is limited and human studies are needed.
Summary Some studies suggest that hawthorn berries may help reduce the signs of aging due to their antioxidant content.
In an earlier 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 unclear what role Hawthorn played (
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Hawthorn appears to have few side effects compared to traditional anti-anxiety medications. That’s one reason researchers continue to study it as a potential treatment for central nervous system disorders such as anxiety and depression (
However, these studies have used various types of hawthorn products, not necessarily berries specifically. More research is needed.
If you want to try a hawthorn supplement to manage your anxiety, don’t stop using your current medication and be sure to discuss it with a healthcare provider beforehand to make sure it’s safe for you.
Summary Researchers are investigating hawthorn supplementation as a potential treatment for anxiety. However, currently there is not much research on them for this purpose. More research on the effects of hawthorn berries on anxiety is needed.
Redwing (turdus Iliacus) Eating Hawthorn Berries, Warwickshire, England, Uk, December Stock Photo
The hawthorn berry is best known for its use in the traditional context of heart failure, along with other traditional remedies. Heart failure is a condition where the heart cannot pump blood properly.
Many studies have suggested that hawthorn berries can have beneficial effects without serious side effects in people with heart failure (
Studies mainly show improvements in heart function and heart failure symptoms — such as shortness of breath and fatigue (
However, some evidence has suggested that hawthorn may be harmful in certain cases of heart failure. One study found that taking it along with conventional treatments increased the risk of developing heart failure (
Red Wild Hawthorn Berries On The Branches. Hawthorn, Hawthorn Fruit, Hawthorn Berries Stock Photo
Summary In some traditional medicines, people usually take hawthorn along with other traditional medicines for heart failure. However, it can be harmful when used with traditional heart failure medications.
Hawthorn berries can be hard to find in your local grocery store. However, you may 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 contain only the leaves and flowers.
Different brands and types of hawthorn supplements have different dosage recommendations. Typical doses are 250–500 mg three times a day. However, studies have not yet determined an optimal effective dose (
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Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements like hawthorn less strictly than over-the-counter or prescription drugs.
Look for products that have received a seal of approval from independent organizations that evaluate the effectiveness and quality of supplements, such as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, or ConsumerLab.
Summary You can eat hawthorn in many ways or take it as a supplement. However, appropriate doses are still undefined and further research is needed.
There have not been many reported side effects from taking hawthorn berries. Those that do exist appear to range from mild to moderate.
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The most common ones people have reported are sweating, headache, drowsiness, palpitations, mild rash, agitation, and gastrointestinal effects (
Although these are not life-threatening events, be sure to talk to a healthcare provider if you experience any of these symptoms.
Summary Side effects of consuming hawthorn berries tend to be mild. They often include sweating, headache, drowsiness, palpitations, mild rash, agitation, and gastrointestinal effects.
The use of medicinal plants as an alternative treatment for several diseases has become increasingly common