Hawthorn Berries Benefits Circulation

Hawthorn Berries Benefits Circulation – 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 tart, tangy flavor and mild sweetness. Their color ranges from yellow to dark red (

Hawthorn Berries Benefits Circulation

For centuries, people have used hawthorn berries as an herbal remedy for digestive problems, heart problems and high blood pressure. In fact, the berries have been a central part 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 high levels.

Free radicals can come from certain foods. You can also get higher levels of them from exposure to environmental toxins such as air pollution and cigarette smoke (

Polyphenols are associated with many health benefits due to their antioxidant activity, including a lower risk of

Although the initial research in animals and cells is promising, more studies in humans 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 that have been linked to many health benefits.

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

In a study conducted in mice with liver disease, hawthorn berry extract significantly reduced the levels of inflammatory compounds, leading to reduced inflammation and liver damage (

In one study, researchers gave vitexin—a compound found in hawthorn leaves—to mice with respiratory conditions. This treatment reduced 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-tube studies suggest that the supplement may offer anti-inflammatory benefits to humans. However, further research is needed.

Summary Hawthorn berry extract has shown anti-inflammatory potential in in vitro and animal studies. Still, human research is needed.

In traditional Chinese medicine, hawthorn berries are one of the most commonly recommended foods for treating high blood pressure (

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

The History, Mythology, And Offerings Of Hawthorn

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 reduced their diastolic blood pressure – the bottom number of a blood pressure reading (

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

Still, more studies are needed to back up these findings. Also, it is important to note that using the extract is not the same as eating berries.

Getting To Know Hawthorn Berry Benefits

Summary Some studies suggest that hawthorn berries may reduce blood pressure by helping to dilate blood vessels. However, further studies are needed.

Some studies suggest that hawthorn extract may improve blood cholesterol levels thanks to its flavonoid and pectin content. Pectin is a type of fiber involved in cholesterol metabolism (

Imbalanced cholesterol levels in the blood – 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 a blood vessel, leading to a heart attack or stroke.

Ways Hawthorn Berry Improves Heart Health

In one animal study, mice given two doses of hawthorn extract had lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as 28-47% lower levels of triglycerides in the liver, compared to mice that did not receive the extract (

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

Finally, a 6-month study in 64 people with atherosclerosis found that taking hawthorn extract at a dose of 2.3 mg per pound (5 mg/kg) of body weight 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 effect of hawthorn extract on blood cholesterol.

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A summary of animal and human research indicates that taking hawthorn extract may help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, further human research is needed.

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

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

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

Hawthorne Berry As Herbal Medicine For Healing Your Heart

In addition, a rat study observed that hawthorn extract dramatically reduced the transit time of food in the gastrointestinal tract (

Furthermore, research in rodents suggests that compounds in hawthorn berries may improve the production and activity of digestive enzymes—that is, those needed to digest fatty, high-protein foods (

Summary People have used hawthorn berries as a digestive aid for centuries. It may help relieve constipation and increase the production of enzymes needed to digest fatty foods and protein.

Hawthorn berries may help prevent premature aging of the skin caused by collagen breakdown due to excessive exposure to the sun or ultraviolet light.

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One in vitro study found that a mixture of hawthorn extract and ginseng can prevent signs of aging by delaying the formation of wrinkles and increasing skin moisture (

Studies indicate that this effect may be due to the antioxidant content of the adjuvant. However, 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 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 specific role hawthorn played (

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The adjuvant appears to have few side effects compared to traditional anti-anxiety medications. This is one of the reasons scientists continue to investigate it 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 a specific berry. Further research is needed.

If you want to try a hawthorn supplement to manage your anxiety, don’t stop using your current medications, and be sure to discuss it with a medical 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 purpose. More research is needed on the effects of hawthorn berries on anxiety.

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Hawthorn berries are mainly known for their use in traditional contexts in the treatment of heart failure, alongside other traditional medicines. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart cannot pump blood properly.

Multiple studies have suggested that hawthorn fruit may have beneficial effects without serious adverse 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 some cases of heart failure. One study found that taking it alongside conventional treatments increased the risk of advanced heart failure (

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Summary In some traditional medicine practices, people usually take hawthorn berries along with other traditional remedies for heart failure. However, it may be harmful when combined with conventional heart failure medications.

Hawthorn berries may be difficult 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 berries along with the leaves and flowers, although some include only the leaves and flowers.

Different brands and forms of hawthorn supplements have varying dosage recommendations. Typical doses are 250-500 mg three times a day. However, research has not yet determined an optimal effective dose (

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Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates nutritional supplements like hawthorn under a less stringent set of regulations than over-the-counter or prescription drugs.

Look for products that have been approved by 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 are still undefined and further research is needed.

There have not been many reported side effects from taking hawthorn berries. Those that exist seem to range from mild to moderate.

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The most common ones people have reported are sweating, headaches, sleepiness, palpitations, mild rash, agitation and gastrointestinal effects (

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

Summary Side effects from consuming hawthorn berries tend to be mild. They often include sweating, headaches, sleepiness, palpitations, rash, agitation and gastrointestinal effects.

The use of medicinal plants as alternative treatments for several diseases has become more and more common

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