Herbal Authority Hawthorn Berries – Hawthorn has a long history of use in traditional Western herbalism and is well-loved for its appeal to the heart. No red berries
An ingredient in jams, wines, cordials and candies for centuries. A member of the rose family, hawthorn is a large shrub covered with sharp thorns. Sometimes spelldhawthorne, its berries are taken fully ripe in autumn before the first frost. Hawthorn berries are often used in herbal vinegars and syrups, infused hawthorn tea, or tinctures.
Herbal Authority Hawthorn Berries
Hawthorn leaves, flowers and berries have been admired for centuries for their heart-stimulating properties. Believed to uplift and strengthen both the physical and emotional heart, hawthorn, because it supports healthy cardiovascular function, was also revered for ceremonial and spiritual purposes. The delicious red berries are used in candies, jams, jellies, wine and cordials and are widely available in many forms as dietary supplements.
American Herbal Products Association
A spiny shrub or tree with stems and trunks that have hard wood and gray bark, often with tri-lobed leaves and white flowers similar to other genera in the Rosaceae family, and bright red berries. There are about 280 known species, many of which are used in traditional medicine and are used interchangeably. generally,
Derived from Greek ‘kratos’ meaning hardness and referring to wood, ‘oxus’ meaning ‘sharp’ and ‘acantha’ meaning thorn. In some European countries, particularly Germany, hawthorn was used as a hedgerow, ‘ho’ being the old word for ‘hedge’. This shrub is also known as ‘whitethorn’ because of its light bark.
Most of the hawthorn that is grown for commercial purposes is obtained from the United Kingdom and other countries such as Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, the former Yugoslavia and Poland. Collect flowering branches in spring as all parts (leaves, twigs, spines, flowers) can be used for fresh tincture. Or if dry, remove stems and spines. Berries are best harvested in the fall when they are fully ripe, and before the first frost.
Hawthorn has been used since the Middle Ages, with some accounts going back as far as the first century to the Greek herbalist Dioscorides. It was later used by the Swiss physician Paracelsus (1493-1541 CE). Considered a particularly symbolic tree with many folklores and magical legends surrounding it, the hawthorn was the “sacred tree medicine” for the ancient Druids, and was said to house fairies, especially when grown with oak and ash trees. However, it was unlucky to bring flowers into the house, presumably because they would bring the fairy folk with them. Hawthorn twigs and flowers were included in wedding wreaths at Greek weddings to insure chastity and prosperity, and were also used to decorate alters worshiping Hymen, the goddess of marriage. In Ireland, couples wishing for Hawthorn’s blessing would dance around it at wedding ceremonies. Sprigs were attached to the cradles of newborns to protect them from evil and were also used to decorate maypoles for May Day or Beltane ceremonies, which celebrated fertility and renewal. The flowering of this tree coincided with the first day of summer which falls in May.
Hawthorn Berry Fruit Leather — Neantog Farm
All parts of the tree were appreciated and used in traditional European medicine: leaves, berries, flowers and wood. The flowers were used as a heart tonic and diuretic, and the berries and leaves were made into an astringent tea to soothe the throat. The bright red luscious berries were also made into a delicious brandy cordial. Additionally, wood was carved into small objects such as boxes and combs and burned as fuel, and wood fires were extremely hot.
Hawthorn or ‘shanza’ has been used in TCM since ancient times, although until recently most historical uses were related to digestion. It is associated with the Spleen, Stomach, and Liver meridians, is considered energetically slightly warm, and reflects both sweet and sour tastes. Currently, it is also used to support the cardiovascular system, and in fact, in China, its berries are so popular that they are made into hawthorn candies similar to ‘fruit roll-ups’ in the West.
Hawthorn is considered an excellent heart tonic by many herbalists. However, its effect on the heart is manifold. Many people consider hawthorn to be transformative for the emotional or spiritual heart as well. Herbalist Matthew Baker suggests that hawthorn is especially helpful for women with a “broken heart,” that is, women who “feel wounded and hurt.” Flowers and leaves are often made into floral essences to treat these types of emotional problems. Hawthorn is considered slightly hot in energy and both sour and sweet in taste.
Precautions Please note that hawthorn berries sometimes form a white film on the berry. Natural sucrose matures in this epidermis. We recommend that you consult a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any medications.
Impressive Hawthorn Berry Benefits, Dosage, & Side Effects
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.
All reviews reflect the views and opinions expressed solely by the reviewer and not those of Mountain Rose Herbs. We do not verify or endorse any claims made by any reviewer. None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.
Enter your email below to request a new password. An email will be sent to the address below containing a link to verify your email address. Written by Ariane Lang, BSc, MBA and SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD — Cathy W. Clinically Reviewed by Warwick, R.D., CDE, Nutrition — Updated December 13, 2021
This nutrient-rich berry has a tart, tangy flavor and mild sweetness. They range in color from yellow to dark red (
Hawthorn (shan Zha)
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 staple of traditional Chinese medicine since at least 659 AD.
Antioxidants help neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals that can damage your body when they are present at high levels.
Free radicals can come from certain foods. Air pollution and cigarette smoke (
Polyphenols are associated with numerous health benefits due to their antioxidant activity, including the following risks (
Hawthorn Berry Liquid Extract
Although preliminary research in animals and cells is promising, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects of hawthorn berries on disease risk.
Summary Hawthorn berries contain plant polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that are associated with numerous health benefits.
Research has shown that chronic inflammation is associated with many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, asthma, and certain cancers (
In a study on rats with liver disease, hawthorn berry extract significantly reduced levels of inflammatory compounds, leading to reduced liver inflammation and injury.
Hawthorn As An Herbal Remedy
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 inflammatory response of white blood cells (
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 extracts show anti-inflammatory potential in test-tube and animal studies. However, research in humans is needed.
In traditional Chinese medicine, hawthorn berries treat high blood pressure (
Greenlike Hawthorn Berry (shanzha/dried Hawthorne/??) Dried Bulk Herb ??? 12oz
Animal studies show that hawthorn can act as a vasodilator, meaning it can relax narrowed blood vessels, ultimately lowering blood pressure (
A 10-week study looked at the effects of taking hawthorn extract in 36 people with mildly elevated blood pressure.
Researchers found that those who took 500 mg of the extract daily had lower diastolic blood pressure—the bottom number of the blood pressure reading (
In a 2006 study, researchers gave 79 people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure 1,200 milligrams of hawthorn extract daily for 16 weeks. Those who took the extract experienced greater improvements in blood pressure than those in the placebo group (
Hawthorn, May, Maythorn, Whitethorn, Crataegus Monogyna/laevigata
However, more studies are needed to back up these findings. It is also important to note that consuming the extract is not the same as eating the berries.
Summary Some research suggests that hawthorn berries may lower blood pressure by helping dilate blood vessels. However, further studies are needed.
Some studies suggest 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 (
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 (
Hawthorn: Herb Of The Week · Commonwealth Holistic Herbalism
If plaque continues to build up, it can completely block a blood vessel, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
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 triglycerides.