Hawthorn Berries Ulcer – Written by Ariane Lang, BSc, MBA and SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD — Medically reviewed by Cathy W. Warwick, R.D., CDE, Nutrition — Updated December 13, 2021
These nutrient-rich berries have a tart, tangy taste and mild sweetness. They are yellow to dark red in color (
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For hundreds of years, people have used hawthorn berry as an herbal remedy for digestive problems, heart problems, and high blood pressure. In fact, Berry dates back to at least 659 A.D. has been an important part of traditional Chinese medicine since (
Get To Know Hawthorn Berry And Its Health Benefits
Antioxidants help neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals, which can harm your body when they are present in high levels.
Free radicals can come from certain foods. You can have high levels of them as a result of exposure to environmental toxins such as air pollution and cigarette smoke (
Polyphenols are associated with several health benefits due to their antioxidant activity, including reduced 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 have been linked to numerous 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 anti-inflammatory compounds, which reduced liver inflammation and injury (
In one study, researchers gave vitexin — a compound found in hawthorn leaves — to mice with respiratory conditions. This treatment reduces the production of molecules that trigger inflammation and reduces 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. Still, research in humans is needed.
In traditional Chinese medicine, hawthorn berry is one of the most commonly recommended foods for treating high blood pressure (
Animal studies show that hawthorn acts as a vasodilator, meaning it relaxes 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 taking 500 mg of the extract daily had lower diastolic blood pressure — the bottom number of a 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 experienced greater blood pressure improvements than those in the placebo group (
Still, more studies are needed to back up these findings. It is important to note that consuming the extract is not the same as eating the fruit.
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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 suggest that hawthorn extract improves blood cholesterol levels due to its flavonoid and pectin content. Pectin is a type of fiber involved in cholesterol metabolism (
Imbalanced blood cholesterol levels — especially high triglycerides and low HDL (good) cholesterol — can play a role in atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in your arteries (
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, rats 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 rats that did not receive the extract (
Similarly, a 6-week study in rats showed that when rats were given hawthorn berry supplements, they significantly reduced fasting triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Finally, a 6-month study in 64 people with atherosclerosis found that taking hawthorn extract at 2.3 mg per pound (5 mg per kg) of body weight significantly reduced the thickness of harmful plaque formation in carotid arteries (
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 lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, more human research is needed.
People have used hawthorn berries and extract for centuries to treat digestive problems, especially indigestion and stomach pain (
Berries contain fiber, which has been proven to aid digestion by reducing constipation and acting as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are foods that feed and promote healthy gut bacteria, which are key to maintaining healthy digestion (
According to an observational study in people with slow digestion, each additional gram of dietary fiber people ate was associated with a 30-minute decrease in the time between bowel movements (
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Additionally, a rat study noted that hawthorn extract dramatically reduced the intestinal 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 protein-rich foods (
Summary People have used the hawthorn berry as a digestive aid for centuries. It helps relieve constipation and increases the production of enzymes needed to digest fatty and protein-rich foods.
Hawthorn berries help prevent premature skin aging caused by collagen degradation caused by excessive sun or UV exposure.
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A test-tube study found that a mixture of hawthorn and ginseng extracts prevented signs of aging by inhibiting the formation of wrinkles and increasing skin moisture (
Research suggests that this effect may be due to the antioxidant content of the hawthorn berry. Nevertheless, 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 as a result of 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 unclear what specific role Hawthorne played (
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Hawthorn has few side effects compared to traditional anti-anxiety medications. This is one reason why 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. 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 not much research on them for this purpose right now. More studies are needed on the effects of hawthorn berry on anxiety.
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Hawthorn berry is known for its use in traditional cases 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 berry may have beneficial effects without severe adverse effects in people with heart failure (
Studies often show improvements in heart function and heart failure symptoms — such as shortness of breath and fatigue (
However, some evidence suggests 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 heart failure progressing (
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Summary In some traditional medicine systems, people often take hawthorn berry along with other traditional medicines for heart attack. However, it can be harmful when combined with traditional medicines for heart attack.
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 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 dosing recommendations. Typical dosages 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 less stringent regulations 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 many ways or take them as a supplement. However, optimal doses have not yet been defined and further research is needed.
Not many side effects have been reported from taking hawthorn berries. Those that do exist are found to be mild to moderate.
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The most commonly reported by people 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 Side effects from consuming hawthorn berries are mild. They usually include sweating, headache, insomnia, palpitations, mild rash, agitation, and gastrointestinal effects.
The use of medicinal herbs as an alternative treatment for several ailments is increasing
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