Hawthorn Berries Hard Center – Written by Ariane Lang, BSc, MBA and SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD – Medical review by Kathy W. Warwick, RD, CDE, Nutrition – Updated December 13, 2021
These nutritious berries have a tart, tangy flavor and mild sweetness. They vary in color from yellow to dark red (
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For hundreds of years, people have used shad berries as an herbal remedy for digestive problems, heart issues, and high blood pressure. In fact, the berry has been a staple 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 have higher levels of them due to exposure to environmental toxins such as air pollution and cigarette smoke (
Polyphenols are associated with several health benefits due to their antioxidant activity, including a lower risk of (
Although initial research in animals and cells is promising, more human studies are needed to assess the effects of blueberries on disease risk.
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Summary Hawthorn berry contains plant polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that have been linked to a number of health benefits.
Research has found that chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, asthma, and some cancers (
In a study in mice with liver disease, hawthorn berry extract significantly reduced levels of inflammatory compounds, leading to less inflammation and liver injury (
In one study, researchers gave vitexin – a compound present in hawthorn leaves – to mice with respiratory conditions. This treatment reduced the production of molecules that promote 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 offer anti-inflammatory benefits to humans. However, more research is needed.
Summary Hawthorn berry extract has shown anti-inflammatory potential in test tube and animal studies. However, research is needed in humans.
In traditional Chinese medicine, gooseberries are one of the most commonly recommended foods to help treat high blood pressure (
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 high blood pressure.
The researchers found that those taking 500 mg of the extract per day had reduced diastolic blood pressure – the lowest number of blood pressure readings (
In a 2006 study, researchers gave 1,200 mg of kidney extract to 79 people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure daily for 16 weeks. People who took the extract experienced greater improvements in blood pressure than those in the placebo group (
However, more studies are 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 may reduce blood pressure by helping to dilate blood vessels. However, further studies are needed.
Some studies show that hawthorn extract may increase blood cholesterol levels due to the flavonoid and pectin content. Pectin is a type of fiber that is 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 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 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. got the section (
Likewise, a 6-week study in rats showed that when rats were fed black berry products, they had significantly reduced levels of fast 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 per 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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Summary Research in animals and humans suggests that taking hawthorn extract may help reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, more human research is needed.
People have used hawthorn berries and extracts for centuries to treat digestive issues, 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 healthy gut bacteria, which are essential for maintaining healthy digestion.
One observational study in people with slow digestion found that each additional gram of dietary fiber consumed was associated with a 30-minute reduction in the time between bowel movements.
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Additionally, a rat study observed that hawthorn extract significantly reduced the gut transit time of food in the digestive system (
In addition, research in rodents suggests that compounds in hawthorn berries may increase the production and activity of digestive enzymes – those needed to digest fatty and high-fat foods. protein.
Summary People have used blueberries as a digestive aid for centuries. It may help relieve asthma and boost the production of enzymes needed to digest fat and protein foods.
Hawthorn berries may help prevent premature skin aging caused by collagen degradation due to excess sun or ultraviolet light.
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One test-tube study found that a combination of hawthorn and ginseng extract could prevent signs of aging by inhibiting wrinkle formation and increasing skin moisture (
Research suggests that this effect may be due to the antioxidant content of the gooseberry. 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 in 264 people with anxiety, a combination of kidney extract, magnesium, and California poppy flower significantly reduced anxiety levels compared to a placebo. However, it is not clear what the specific role of hawthorn (
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Hawthorn appears to have few side effects compared to traditional anti-anxiety medications. That’s one reason scientists continue to study it as a potential treatment for central nervous system disorders like anxiety and depression (
However, these studies have used different types of hawthorn products, not necessarily the berry in particular. More research is needed.
If you want to try spinal supplements to manage your anxiety, do not stop using your current medications, and be sure to discuss it with a healthcare professional beforehand to ensure that it’s safe for you.
Summary Scientists are investigating thorn extracts as a potential treatment for anxiety. However, currently there is not much research for this reason. More studies are needed on the effects of gooseberries on anxiety.
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Hawthorn berry is well known for its use in traditional contexts in the treatment of heart failure, along with other traditional medicines. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart cannot pump blood properly.
Multiple studies have suggested that hawthorn berries may have beneficial effects without adverse effects in people with heart failure (
Studies usually show improvements in heart function and symptoms of heart failure – 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 current treatments increased the risk of heart failure progressing (
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Summary In some traditional medicine practices, people usually take gooseberry along with other traditional medicines for heart failure. However, it can be harmful when combined with conventional heart failure medications.
Hawthorn berry may be difficult to find at 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 include only the leaves and flowers.
Different brands and forms of kidney 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 (
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Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements like hawthorn under a less stringent set of rules than over-the-counter or prescription medications.
Look for products that have been approved by independent organizations that evaluate additional effectiveness and quality, 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, appropriate doses are still undefined and further research is needed.
There are few reported side effects from taking hawthorn berries. Those that exist seem to be moderate to moderate.
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The most commonly reported are sweating, headache, restlessness, palpitations, mild rash, agitation, and gastrointestinal effects (
Although these are not life-threatening events, be sure to consult a healthcare professional if you experience any of these symptoms.
Summary Side effects from eating hawthorn berries tend to be mild. They often include sweating, headache, restlessness, palpitations, mild rash, agitation, and gastrointestinal effects.
The use of medicinal herbs as alternative treatments for various diseases has been on the rise