Hawthorn Berries And Neuropathy – 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 nutrient-rich berries have a tangy, tangy flavor and mild sweetness. They range in color from yellow to dark red (
Hawthorn Berries And Neuropathy
For hundreds of years, people have used hawthorn berries as an herbal 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 AD. since 659 (
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Antioxidants help neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals that can damage your body when present in high levels.
Free radicals can come from certain foods. You can also have higher levels of them from exposure to environmental toxins, such as air pollution and cigarette smoke (
Polyphenols are associated with numerous health benefits due to their antioxidant activity, including (
Although initial 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 berries contain plant polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties 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 in mice with liver disease, hawthorn berry extract significantly reduced levels of inflammatory compounds, reducing liver inflammation and injury (
In one study, researchers gave vitexin – a compound found in hawthorn leaves – to mice with respiratory diseases. This treatment decreased the production of inflammatory molecules and reduced the response of white blood cells to inflammation (
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These promising results from animal and test studies suggest that the supplement may have anti-inflammatory benefits for humans. However, more research is needed.
Summary Hawthorn berry extract has shown anti-inflammatory potential in tests and animal studies. However, research in humans is needed.
In traditional Chinese medicine, hawthorn berries are one of the most recommended foods to help treat hypertension (
Animal studies show that hawthorn can act as a vasodilator, meaning it can relax constricted blood vessels, ultimately lowering 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.
Researchers found that those who took 500 mg of the extract daily had lower diastolic blood pressure, the bottom number of the blood pressure reading.
In a 2006 study, researchers gave 1,200 mg of hawthorn extract daily to 79 people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure for 16 weeks. People who took the extract had more improvements 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 an extract is not the same as eating the berries.
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Summary Some research suggests that hawthorn berries lower blood pressure by helping to dilate blood vessels. However, further studies are needed.
Some studies indicate that hawthorn extract can improve blood cholesterol levels thanks to its flavonoid and pectin content. Pectin is a type of fiber involved in cholesterol metabolism (
Imbalanced blood cholesterol levels – particularly high triglycerides and low HDL (good) cholesterol – lead to atherosclerosis, or plaque build-up, in your blood vessels (
If the plaque continues to build, it can completely block a blood vessel, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
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In an animal study, mice that received two doses of hawthorn extract had lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as 28-47% lower liver triglyceride levels, compared to mice that did not receive the extract.
Also, a 6-week study with rats showed that when rats were fed hawthorn berry supplements, their fasting triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels were significantly reduced.
Finally, a 6-month study of 64 people with atherosclerosis found that taking hawthorn extract at a dose of 2.3 mg per pound of body weight (5 mg per kg) significantly reduced the thickness of harmful plaques in the carotid artery.
Although this research is promising, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effect 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, more human research is needed.
People have used hawthorn berries and extracts for centuries to treat digestive problems, especially indigestion and stomach pain (
Berries contain fiber, which has been shown to aid digestion, reduce constipation, and act as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are foods that feed and promote healthy gut bacteria, which are essential for maintaining healthy digestion (
An observational study in people with slow digestion found that every gram of dietary fiber people consumed was associated with a 30-minute decrease in bowel time.
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Additionally, a rat study found that hawthorn extract dramatically reduced the intestinal transit time of food in the digestive system (
Additionally, rodent studies suggest that compounds in hawthorn berries can improve the production and activity of digestive enzymes, which are necessary for the digestion of foods high in fat and protein.
Summary People have used hawthorn berries for centuries as a digestive aid. It can help relieve constipation and improve the production of enzymes needed to digest fatty and protein-rich foods.
Hawthorn berries can help prevent premature aging of the skin caused by collagen degradation caused by excessive sun or ultraviolet light exposure.
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One study tube found that a blend of hawthorn and ginseng extract can prevent signs of aging by preventing the formation of 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 exact role the hawthorns played (
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Hawthorn appears to have few side effects compared to traditional anti-anxiety medications. That’s one reason scientists continue to investigate it as a potential treatment for central nervous system disorders such as anxiety and depression (
However, these studies have used different 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 professional beforehand to make sure it’s safe for you.
Summary Scientists are investigating hawthorn supplements as a potential treatment for anxiety. However, there is currently not much research on them for this. More studies are needed on the effects of hawthorn berries on anxiety.
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Hawthorn berry is known for its use in traditional contexts to treat heart failure, along with other traditional medicines. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart cannot pump blood properly.
Several studies have suggested that hawthorn berries may have beneficial effects in people with heart failure without serious adverse effects (
Research primarily shows 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 some cases of heart failure. One study found that taking it along with conventional treatments increased the risk of developing heart failure (
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Summary In some traditional medical practices, people commonly take hawthorn berries along with other traditional medications for heart failure. However, it can be harmful when combined with common heart failure medications.
Hawthorn berries can be hard to find in your local grocery store. However, you can find it at farmers markets and specialty health food stores.
Hawthorn berry supplements contain the berries along with the leaves and flowers, although some only collect the leaves and flowers.
Different brands and forms of hawthorn supplements have different dosage recommendations. Typical doses are 250-500 mg three times a day. However, studies have yet to determine the best effective dose (
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Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements like hawthorn under less stringent regulations than prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Look for products that have received the 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 berries in many ways or take them as a supplement. However, the appropriate doses have yet to be determined and further research is needed.
There are not many reported side effects from taking hawthorn berries. Those that exist seem to be mild and moderate.
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The most common complaints people have are sweating, headache, drowsiness, palpitations, rash, agitation and 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 The side effects of consuming hawthorn berries are usually mild. The most common are sweating, headaches, drowsiness, palpitations, mild rash, agitation and gastrointestinal effects.
The use of medicinal plants as an alternative treatment for various diseases is increasing
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