Long Term Use Of Hawthorn Berries – Written by Ariane Lang, BSc, MBA and SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD – Medically reviewed by Kathy W. Warwick, R.D., CDE, Nutrition – Updated December 13, 2021
These nutritious berries have a tangy, tangy flavor and mild sweetness. They vary in color from yellow to dark red (
Long Term Use Of Hawthorn 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 central part of traditional Chinese medicine since at least 659 AD. (
Hawthorn, May, Maythorn, Whitethorn, Crataegus Monogyna/laevigata
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 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 a number of health benefits due to their antioxidant activity, including a lower risk of (
Although initial animal and cell research is promising, more human studies are needed to assess the effect of hawthorn berries on the risk of disease.
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Summary Hawthorn berries contain plant polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that have been linked to a number of health benefits.
Research has found 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 liver inflammation and damage (
In one study, researchers gave vitexin – a compound found in hawthorn leaves – to mice with respiratory problems. This treatment reduced the production of molecules that trigger inflammation and reduced the response of white blood cells to inflammation (
Hawthorn Berries: Identify, Harvest, And Make An Extract |
These promising results from animal and test-tube studies suggest that the supplement may offer anti-inflammatory benefits in humans. However, more research is needed.
Summary Hawthorn berry extract has shown anti-inflammatory potential in test-tube and animal studies. Nevertheless, research on humans is necessary.
In traditional Chinese medicine, hawthorn berries are one of the most recommended foods for treating high blood pressure (
Animal studies show that hawthorn can act as a vasodilator, meaning it can relax constricted blood vessels, ultimately lowering blood pressure (
Ways Hawthorn Berry Improves Heart Health
A 10-week study looked at the effects of taking hawthorn extract in 36 people with mildly elevated blood pressure.
The researchers found that those who took 500 mg of the extract daily had reduced diastolic blood pressure – the bottom number on a blood pressure reading (
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. The people who took the extract experienced more blood pressure improvements than those in the placebo group (
Nevertheless, more studies are needed to support these findings. It is also important to note that using an extract is not the same as eating the berries.
Hawthorn Berry Decoction
Summary Some research suggests that hawthorn berries may lower blood pressure by helping to dilate blood vessels. However, further studies are needed.
Some studies indicate that hawthorn extract can improve blood cholesterol levels thanks to its content of flavonoids and pectin. Pectin is a type of fiber involved in cholesterol metabolism (
Unbalanced cholesterol levels in the blood – especially high triglycerides and low HDL (good) cholesterol – play a role in atherosclerosis, or plaque build-up in the blood vessels (
If plaque continues to build up, it can block a blood vessel completely, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
The Benefits Of Hawthorn Berry & Leaf Extract
In one animal study, mice given two doses of hawthorn extract had lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as 28–47% lower liver triglyceride levels, compared to mice not given the extract (
Similarly, a 6-week study in rats showed that when rats were fed 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 mg per pound (5 mg per kg) of body weight significantly reduced the thickness of harmful plaque buildup in the carotid arteries (
Although this research is promising, more human studies are needed to assess the effects of hawthorn extract on blood cholesterol.
Solaray Hawthorn Berry 1050mg
Summary Animal and human research 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 (
The 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 healthy gut bacteria, which are essential for 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 (
Hawthorn Berry And Weight Loss
In addition, a rat study observed that hawthorn extract dramatically reduced intestinal transit time for food in the digestive system (
Furthermore, research in rodents suggests that compounds in hawthorn berries can increase the production and activity of digestive enzymes – namely those needed for the digestion of fatty and protein-rich foods (
Summary People have used hawthorn berries 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 can help prevent premature aging of the skin caused by collagen breakdown due to excessive exposure to the sun or ultraviolet light.
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A test-tube study found that a mixture of hawthorn and ginseng extract could prevent signs of aging by inhibiting wrinkle formation and increasing skin moisture (
Research suggests that this effect may be due to the hawthorn berry’s antioxidant content. Nevertheless, research in this area is limited, and there is a need for human studies.
Summary Some research suggests that hawthorn berries may help reduce signs of aging due to 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 hawthorn played (
How Healthy Is Hawthorn?
Hawthorn appears to have few side effects compared to traditional anti-anxiety medications. That’s one reason scientists continue to research it as a potential treatment for central nervous system disorders like anxiety and depression (
However, these studies have used different types of hawthorn products, not necessarily borne specifically. More research is needed.
If you want to try a hawthorn supplement to help manage your anxiety, don’t stop using your current medications, and be sure to discuss it with a healthcare professional beforehand to make sure it’s safe for you.
Summary Researchers are investigating hawthorn supplements as a potential treatment for anxiety. But right now there is not much research on them for this purpose. More studies of the effect of hawthorn berries on anxiety are needed.
Plant Spotlight: Hawthorn
Hawthorn berries are best known for use in traditional contexts in the treatment of heart failure, together with other traditional medicines. Heart failure is a condition where the heart cannot pump blood properly.
Several studies have suggested that hawthorn berries may have beneficial effects without serious side effects in people with heart failure (
Studies mostly show improvements 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 certain cases of heart failure. One study found that taking it along with conventional treatments increased the risk that heart failure would develop (
Freeze Dried Pitted Organic Whole Hawthorn Berry
Summary In some traditional medicine practices, people often take hawthorn berries along with other traditional medicines for heart failure. However, it can be harmful when combined with conventional heart failure medications.
Hawthorn berries can be hard to find in your local grocery store. However, you may be able to 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 only include the leaves and flowers.
Different brands and forms of hawthorn supplements have varying dosage recommendations. Typical doses are 250–500 mg three times daily. However, research has not yet determined an optimal effective dose (
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Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements like hawthorn under a less stringent set of regulations than over-the-counter 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, appropriate doses are still undefined and more research is needed.
There are not many reported side effects from taking hawthorn berries. Those that do exist seem to range from mild to moderate.
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The most frequent people reported are sweating, headache, sleepiness, 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 tend to be mild. They often include sweating, headache, sleepiness, palpitations, mild rash, agitation, and gastrointestinal effects.
The use of medicinal herbs as an alternative treatment for several diseases has become increasingly common