Hawthorn Berries For High Blood Pressure

Hawthorn Berries For High Blood Pressure – 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 For High Blood Pressure

For hundreds of years, people have used hawthorn as a medicinal herb for digestive problems, heart problems, and high blood pressure. In fact, the berry has been a key part of traditional Chinese medicine since at least 659 AD.

Science Backed Hawthorn Berry Benefits

Antioxidants help neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals, which can damage the body in large quantities.

Free radicals can come from certain foods. Their levels may also be higher due to exposure to environmental toxins such as air pollution and cigarette smoke (

Polyphenols have many health benefits due to their antioxidant effects, including a lower risk (

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

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Summary Hawthorn berries contain plant polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that provide many health benefits.

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

In a study on mice with liver disease, hawthorn berry extract significantly reduced levels of inflammatory compounds, which reduced liver inflammation and liver damage (

In one study, researchers gave vitexin, a compound found in hawthorn leaves, to mice with breathing problems. This treatment reduced the production of inflammatory molecules and reduced the inflammatory response of white blood cells (

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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 effects in test-tube and animal experiments. However, human research is needed.

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

Animal studies show that hawthorn acts as a vasodilator, meaning it relaxes narrowed 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.

The researchers found that those who took 500 mg of the extract per day showed a decrease in diastolic blood pressure, the bottom line of blood pressure.

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 taking the extract improved their blood pressure more than the placebo group (

However, further studies are needed to support these findings. It is also important to note that using the extract is not the same as eating the berries.

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

Some studies show 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 cholesterol metabolism (

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

If plaque continues to build up, it can completely block a blood vessel, leading to a heart attack or stroke.

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

Similarly, a study in 6-week-old rats showed that when the rats were fed a hawthorn berry supplement, fasting triglycerides 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/kg (5 mg/kg) significantly reduced the thickness of harmful plaques in carotid arteries.

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

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Summary Animal and human research suggests that consumption of hawthorn extract may lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, more human research is needed.

For centuries, people have used the berries and extract of hawthorn 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 the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which are vital to maintaining healthy digestion (

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

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Additionally, a study in rats observed that hawthorn extract dramatically reduced the transit time of food through the gut.

In addition, research in rodents suggests that compounds in hawthorn berries may increase the production and activity of digestive enzymes—namely, enzymes needed to digest fatty and protein-rich 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 fatty and protein-rich foods.

Hawthorn berries can help prevent premature skin aging caused by collagen breakdown caused by excessive sun exposure or ultraviolet light.

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A test-tube study found that a mixture of hawthorn and ginseng extract can prevent the signs of aging by inhibiting the formation of wrinkles and increasing the skin’s moisture content (

According to research, this effect is 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 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 significantly reduced anxiety levels compared to a placebo. However, it is not clear what specific role hawthorn played (

Impressive Health Benefits Of Hawthorn Berry

Hawthorn has few side effects compared to traditional anti-anxiety medications. This is one reason scientists continue to research 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 the berry specifically. More research is needed.

If you want to try a hawthorn supplement for anxiety, don’t stop taking your current medications and be sure to talk to a healthcare professional first 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 studies are needed on the effects of hawthorn on anxiety.

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Hawthorn is best known in the traditional context of treating heart failure, alongside 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 without serious adverse effects in people with heart failure.

Studies mostly show improvements in heart function and symptoms of heart failure – such as shortness of breath and fatigue.

However, some evidence suggests that hawthorn may be harmful in certain types of heart failure. One study showed that taking it along with conventional treatments increases the risk of heart failure progression.

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Summary In some traditional medicine practices, people usually take hawthorn along with other traditional medicines to treat heart failure. However, it can be 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 contain only the leaves and flowers.

Different brands and forms of hawthorn supplements have different dosage recommendations. Usual doses are 250-500 mg three times a day. However, research has yet to determine the optimal effective dose (

How Healthy Is Hawthorn?

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 a seal of approval from independent organizations that evaluate supplement efficacy and quality, such as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, or ConsumerLab.

Summary Hawthorn can be consumed in many ways or as a supplement. However, appropriate doses are still undefined and further research is needed.

There are not many reported side effects of taking hawthorn berries. Those that exist range from mild to moderate.

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The most common 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 professional if you experience any of these symptoms.

Summary The side effects of consuming hawthorn berries are usually mild. Sweating, headache, drowsiness, palpitations, mild rash, agitation, and gastrointestinal effects are common.

The use of medicinal plants as alternative remedies for many diseases is becoming more and more common

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