Herbal Hawthorn Berries – Hawthorn has long been used in Chinese and Western medicine to treat a variety of ailments. The most studied use of hawthorn in congestive heart failure (CHF). Its effectiveness in CHF and other diseases is limited, but so is its toxicity. However, it’s always best to check with your healthcare provider and pharmacist before starting any herbal regimen to avoid potential interactions with prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Genus and family of roses and includes hundreds of species of shrubs and trees. Other names for this plant include vivacity, may flower, shan za, and krataegus berry. Hawthorn is native to northern Europe, but is grown all over the world. Hawthorn plants are found as thorny bushes or small trees with bright green leaves, white flowers and red berries.
Herbal Hawthorn Berries
Hawthorn fruit is used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve digestion, circulation and treat heart problems such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Dried fruits used to improve digestion are usually made into jam, jelly, candy or wine. In European herbal medicine, hawthorn is the oldest known medicinal plant. Fruit, leaves and flowers are commonly used as a tonic, astringent, muscle spasms, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The leaves, berries and flowers can be used to make liquid extracts usually with water and alcohol. Dried extracts can be prepared as capsules or tablets.
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The most studied clinical effect of hawthorn is its use in chronic congestive heart failure (CHF). However, research results are inconsistent, and more data are needed to establish its use. A large 2008 study found that hawthorn, used in combination with standard CHF medical therapy, increased exercise tolerance and improved symptoms of fatigue and shortness of breath compared to a placebo. However, another study in CHF patients tested hawthorn extract against placebo and showed no benefit when hawthorn was used alongside standard medical therapy.
In general, hawthorn is well tolerated. The most common side effects associated with hawthorn include lightheadedness and dizziness. Other less common side effects include nausea, fatigue, sweating, palpitations, headache, shortness of breath, and nosebleeds. The only contraindication to the use of hawthorn is a known allergy to it
Products and plants. It should not be used during pregnancy due to potential uterine stimulation, and is not recommended during breastfeeding.
There were no cases of serious overdose with either hawthorn berries or food additives. However, it’s always best to check with your doctor and pharmacist before starting a hawthorn treatment to avoid interactions with prescription and over-the-counter medications. If you are taking digoxin or any antiplatelet, anticoagulant, or blood pressure medications, check with your doctor and pharmacist, as research shows that hawthorn may interfere with these medications.
A Cup Of Hot Hawthorn Tea Made From Freshly Picked Berries, Herbal Medicine For Heart Health Stock Photo
If you suspect someone has accidentally taken too much or is experiencing side effects from hawthorn, get help online through webCONTROL or call 1-800-222-1222. Both options are free to the public and available 24 hours a day.
It really happened. Two children, 3 and 4 years old, ate hawthorn berries from their yard. Both children were symptom-free 20 minutes after ingestion when their mother called surveillance for guidance. The watchdog recommended monitoring for any severe and prolonged symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea. The mother was contacted, and she said that she had no symptoms.
Hawthorn (herbs at a glance). Bethesda (MD): US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine; updated May 2008 [cited 2021 Nov 30]. By Arianna Lang, BA, MBA and Savannah Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD — Medical Review by Kathy W. Warwick, R.D., CDE, Nutrition — Updated December 13, 2021
These nutrient-rich berries have a tart, tangy flavor and a slight sweetness. Their color is from yellow to dark red (
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For hundreds of years, people have used hawthorn berries as an herbal remedy for digestive, heart and high blood pressure problems. In fact, the berry has been a key part of traditional Chinese medicine since at least 659 AD (
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 may also have higher levels of them as a result of exposure to environmental toxins such as air pollution and cigarette smoke (
Polyphenols are associated with numerous health benefits due to their antioxidant activity, including a lower risk (
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Although initial animal and cell studies are 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 have been linked to numerous health benefits.
Research has shown that chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, asthma, and certain cancers (
In a study in mice with liver disease, hawthorn berry extract significantly reduced levels of inflammatory compounds, leading to reduced inflammation and liver damage (
Hawthorn (crataegus Oxycantha)
In one study, researchers gave vitexin — a compound found in hawthorn leaves — to mice with respiratory disease. This treatment reduced the production of inflammatory molecules and reduced the white blood cell response to inflammation (
These promising results from animal and test-tube studies suggest that the supplement may have anti-inflammatory effects in humans. However, more research is needed.
Summary Hawthorn berry extract has shown anti-inflammatory potential in in vitro and animal studies. However, human studies are needed.
In traditional Chinese medicine, hawthorn berries are one of the most commonly recommended foods for treating high blood pressure (
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Animal studies show that hawthorn may act as a vasodilator, meaning it can relax narrowed blood vessels, which ultimately lowers blood pressure (
A 10-week study looked at the effects of 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 in blood pressure (
In a 2006 study, researchers gave 1,200 mg of hawthorn extract to 79 people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure every day for 16 weeks. People who took the extract experienced a greater improvement in blood pressure than those who took a placebo (
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However, more research is needed to confirm these findings. It is also important to note that consuming the extract is not the same as consuming the berries.
Summary Some research suggests that hawthorn berries may lower blood pressure by helping to dilate blood vessels. However, further research is needed.
Some studies show that hawthorn extract may improve blood cholesterol levels due to its flavonoid and pectin content. Pectin is a type of fiber involved in cholesterol metabolism (
Imbalanced levels of cholesterol in the blood—especially high triglycerides and low HDL (good) cholesterol—play a role in atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels (
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If plaque continues to build up, it can completely block a blood vessel, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
In one animal study, mice given two doses of hawthorn extract had lower levels of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, and 28-47% lower levels of liver triglycerides compared to mice that did not receive the extract (
Likewise, a 6-week rat study found that when rats were fed hawthorn berry supplements, their fasting triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol were significantly reduced (
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 in the carotid artery (
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Although this research is promising, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects of hawthorn extract on blood cholesterol levels.
Summary Animal and human studies show that taking hawthorn extract can help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, more human studies are needed.
People have used hawthorn berries and extract for centuries to treat digestive problems, particularly indigestion and stomach aches (
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 the growth of healthy gut bacteria, vital to maintaining healthy digestion (
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One 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 (
In addition, a study in rats showed that hawthorn extract dramatically reduced the transit time of food in the digestive system (
In addition, studies in rodents show that compounds in hawthorn berries can increase the production and activity of digestive enzymes, namely those needed to digest fatty and protein-rich foods (
Summary For centuries, people have used hawthorn berries as a digestive aid. It can help relieve constipation and increase the production of enzymes needed to digest fatty and protein-rich foods.
Dried Hawthorn Berries
Hawthorn berries can help prevent premature skin aging caused by collagen degradation due to overexposure to the sun or UV rays.
One test-tube study found that a mixture of hawthorn extract and ginseng could prevent signs of aging by inhibiting wrinkles