Hawthorn Extract Or Berries – Written by Erin Lang, BSc, MBA and SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD – Medically Reviewed by Cathy W. Warwick, R.D., CDE, Nutrition – Updated on December 13, 2021
This nutrient-rich dairy product has a creamy, delicious taste and mild sweetness. They range in color from yellow to dark red (
Hawthorn Extract Or Berries
For hundreds of years, people have used hawthorn berries as an herbal remedy for digestive problems, heart problems, and high blood pressure. In fact, the berry has been a key component of traditional Chinese medicine since at least 659 AD.
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Antioxidants help neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals that can damage your body when they are present in high levels.
Free radicals can come from certain foods. You can also have high levels of them as a result of exposure to environmental toxins such as air pollution and secondhand smoke (
Polyphenols are associated with many health benefits due to their antioxidant activity, including a lower risk (
Although preliminary research in animals and cells is promising, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects of animal berries on disease risk.
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Summary Hawthorn berries contain plant polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties associated with many health benefits.
Research has found that chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, asthma, and some cancers (
In a study on liver disease in mice, wild berry extract significantly reduced levels of inflammatory compounds, which cause liver inflammation and injury (
In one study, researchers administered vitoxin—a compound found in honeysuckle leaves—to rats with respiratory conditions. This treatment reduced the production of molecules that cause 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 for humans. However, further research is needed.
Summary Hawthorn berry extract has shown anti-inflammatory properties in test tube and animal studies. However, 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 show that hawthorn can act as a vasodilator, meaning it can relax blood vessels, ultimately lowering blood pressure (
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A 10-week study looked at the effects of hawthorn extract in 36 people with mild high blood pressure.
Researchers found that those who took 500 milligrams of the extract daily had a reduction in diastolic pressure—the bottom number in blood pressure (
In a 2006 study, researchers gave 79 people with diabetes and high blood pressure 1,200 milligrams per day for 16 weeks. People who took the extract experienced greater improvements in blood pressure than the placebo group (
However, more studies are needed to support these findings. It’s also important to note that using extracts is not the same as eating berries.
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Summary Some research suggests that hawthorn berries can lower blood pressure by helping to dilate blood vessels. However, further studies are needed.
Some studies show that hauntorin extract may improve blood cholesterol levels thanks to its 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 plaque buildup, in your 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 an animal study, rats that received two doses of the animal 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 lower levels of fast triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Finally, a 6-month study in 64 people with atherosclerosis found that 2.3 milligrams per pound (5 milligrams per kilogram) of body weight of wheatgrass extract significantly reduced carotid artery Thickening of harmful plaque buildup in arteries.
Although this research is promising, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects of hydrangea extract on blood cholesterol.
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Anecdotal research in animals and humans suggests that taking animal extracts may help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, more human research is needed.
People have used hanten berries and extracts for centuries to treat digestive issues, especially stomach and abdominal pain (
Dairy contains 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 vital to maintaining healthy digestion (
An observational study in people with slow digestion found that each additional gram of dietary fiber people consumed 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 intestinal transit time of food in the digestive system (
In addition, research on mice suggests that green fruit compounds can improve the production and activity of digestive enzymes—namely, those needed to digest fat- and protein-rich foods (
Summary People have been using bitter gourd berries as a digestive aid for centuries. It can help relieve constipation and promote the production of enzymes needed to digest fat and protein-rich foods.
Green berries may help prevent premature skin aging due to collagen degradation caused by too much sun or ultraviolet light.
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A test-tube study found that a mixture of hawthorn and ginseng extracts can 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. However, research in this area is limited, and requires human studies.
Summary Some research suggests that gooseberries may help reduce the 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 Hawthorne played (
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Hawthorn appears to have fewer side effects than traditional antidepressants. 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 a variety of animal products, not exclusively berries. Further 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 currently not much research on them for this purpose. More studies are needed on the effects of hawthorn berries on anxiety.
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Hawthorn berry is well known for its use in traditional conditions in the treatment of heart failure along with 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 often show improvements in heart function and symptoms of heart failure — such as shortness of breath and fatigue (
However, some evidence has suggested that the worm may be harmful in some cases of heart failure. One study found that taking it along with conventional medicine increased the 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 may be harmful when combined with conventional medications for heart failure.
Hawthorn berries may 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 berries with leaves and flowers, although some include only leaves and flowers.
Different brands and types of hawthorn supplements have different dosage recommendations. Usual doses are 250-500 mg three times a day. However, research has yet to determine an optimal effective dose (
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Note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements like cereals under less stringent regulations than drugs or prescription drugs.
Look for products that have received a seal of approval from independent organizations that evaluate 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 require more research.
Not many side effects have been reported from taking hawthorn berry. Those that do exist appear to be mild to moderate.
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The most common ones people have reported are sweating, headache, drowsiness, nausea, mild itching, anxiety, and gastrointestinal effects (
While 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 eating greens are few and far between. They often include sweating, headache, drowsiness, heartburn, mild cough, agitation, and gastrointestinal effects.
The use of medicinal plants as an alternative treatment for many diseases is increasing
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