Hawthorn Berries Lower Blood Pressure – Written by Ariane Lang, BSc, MBA and Savannah Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD — Clinically reviewed by Kathy W. Warwick, RD, CDE, Nutrition — Updated 13 December 2021
Rich in nutrients, these berries have a tangy, tangy taste and mild sweetness. Their color ranges from yellow to deep red.
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For hundreds of years, people have used hawthorn berry as an herbal remedy for digestive problems, cardiovascular problems, and high blood pressure. In fact, the berry has been an important 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 may have higher levels of these as a result of exposure to environmental toxins such as air pollution and cigarette smoke (
Polyphenols are associated with many health benefits due to their antioxidant activity, including the risk of (
Although preliminary 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 have been linked to many health benefits.
Research has found that chronic inflammation is linked to a number of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, asthma and some cancers.
In a study in rats with liver disease, hawthorn berry extract significantly reduced levels of inflammatory compounds, leading to reduced liver inflammation and injury (
In one study, researchers gave vitexin – a compound present in hawthorn leaves – to rats with respiratory conditions. 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 provide anti-inflammatory benefits for humans. However, more research is needed.
Summary Hawthorn berry extract has shown anti-inflammatory potential in test-tube and animal studies. Still, research in humans is needed.
In traditional Chinese medicine, hawthorn berries are one of the most commonly recommended foods to help treat high blood pressure.
Animal studies suggest that hawthorn may act as a vasodilator, meaning it can relax constricted blood vessels, ultimately reducing blood pressure (
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One 10-week study looked at the effects of taking hawthorn extract in 36 people with mild to high blood pressure.
Researchers found that those taking 500 milligrams of the extract daily had reduced diastolic blood pressure — the lower number of blood pressure readings (
In a 2006 study, researchers gave 1,200 mg of hawthorn extract every day for 16 weeks to 79 people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Those who took the extract experienced greater blood pressure improvements than the placebo group (
Nevertheless, more 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 reduce blood pressure by helping to dilate blood vessels. However, further study is needed.
Some studies indicate that hawthorn extract may improve blood cholesterol levels due 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 plaque buildup in your blood vessels (
If plaque continues to build up, it can completely block a blood vessel, causing a heart attack or stroke.
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In an animal study, rats that received two doses of hawthorn extract had lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as 28–47% lower liver triglyceride levels, than rats that did not receive the extract. (
Similarly, a 6-week study in rats showed that when rats were given hawthorn berry supplements, they had 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 milligrams per pound (5 milligrams per kilogram) of body weight significantly reduced the thickness of harmful plaque buildup in the carotid artery. has come (
Although this research is promising, more human studies are needed to assess 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 problems, especially indigestion and abdominal pain (
Jamun contains fiber, which has been proven to aid digestion by reducing constipation and acting as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are foods that nourish and promote healthy gut bacteria, which are important for maintaining healthy digestion (
An observational study in people with slow digestion found that people who consumed each additional gram of dietary fiber was associated with a 30-minute reduction in the time between bowel movements.
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Additionally, a rat study found that hawthorn extract dramatically reduced the gut transit time of food in the digestive tract (
In addition, research in rodents suggests that compounds in hawthorn berries may increase the production and activity of digestive enzymes – namely those that are essential for the digestion of fatty and protein-rich foods (
Summary People have used hawthorn berry 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 may help prevent premature skin aging due to collagen degradation caused by exposure to excessive sun or ultraviolet light.
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A test-tube study found that a mixture of hawthorn and ginseng extracts may 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. Nevertheless, research in this area is limited, and human studies are needed.
Summary Some research suggests that hawthorn berries may help reduce signs of aging as a result of their antioxidant content.
In an older study in 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 the hawthorn played (
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Hawthorn appears to have few side effects compared to traditional anti-anxiety medications. This is why scientists continue to research it as a potential treatment for central nervous system disorders such as anxiety and depression (
However, these studies have used a variety of hawthorn products, not necessarily specifically berries. More research is needed.
If you want to try a hawthorn supplement to manage your anxiety, do not stop using your current medications, and discuss it in advance with a health care professional to make sure it is safe for you. Be sure to do
Summary Scientists are investigating hawthorn supplements as a potential treatment for anxiety. However, there hasn’t been much research on them for this purpose yet. More studies of the effects of hawthorn berry on anxiety are needed.
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Hawthorn berry is best 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 is unable to pump blood properly.
Several studies have suggested that hawthorn berry may have beneficial effects without serious adverse effects in people with heart failure (
Studies mostly show improvement 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 was associated with an increased risk of heart failure (
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Summary In some traditional medicine practices, people usually take hawthorn berry along with other traditional medicines for heart failure. However, it can be harmful when combined with conventional medications for heart failure.
Hawthorn berries can be difficult to find at your local grocery store. However, you can find it at farmers markets and specialty health food stores.
Hawthorn berry supplements usually contain the berry with leaves and flowers, although some include only the leaves and flowers.
Different brands and forms of hawthorn supplements have different dosage recommendations. Typical dosages are 250–500 mg three times daily. However, research has not yet determined an optimal effective dosage (
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Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements like hawthorn under a less strict set of rules than over-the-counter or prescription drugs.
Look for products that have received the seal of approval from independent organizations that assess supplement effectiveness and quality, such as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, or ConsumerLab.
Summary You can eat hawthorn berries in several ways or take them as a supplement. However, appropriate dosages are still undefined and more research is needed.
Not many side effects have been reported from taking hawthorn jamun. Those that are present seem to be mild to moderate.
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Those most frequently reported are sweating, headache, sleepiness, palpitations, mild rash, agitation and gastrointestinal effects (
Although these are not life-threatening, be sure to speak with a health care professional if you experience any of these symptoms.
Summary The side effects of consuming hawthorn berries are mild. They often include sweating, headache, sleepiness, palpitations, mild rash, agitation and gastrointestinal effects.
Medicinal herbs are increasingly being used as an alternative treatment for many diseases.