What Are Hawthorn Berries

What Are 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.

Rich in nutrients, this berry has a sour, tangy taste and mild sweetness. Their color varies from yellow to dark red (

What Are 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 staple of traditional Chinese medicine since at least 659 AD (

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Antioxidants help neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals, which can damage your body when present in high levels.

Free radicals can originate from certain foods. You may also have higher levels of them from exposure to environmental toxins such as air pollution and cigarette smoke (

Polyphenols are associated with numerous health benefits due to their antioxidant activities, including lower risk.

Although preliminary research in animals and cells is promising, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects of hawthorn berries on disease risk.

Red Wild Hawthorn Berries On The Branches. Hawthorn, Hawthorn Fruit, Hawthorn Berries Stock Photo

Summary Hawthorn berries contain plant polyphenols with antioxidant properties that have been linked to numerous health benefits.

Research shows that chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, asthma, and some cancers (

In a study of 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, which is found in hawthorn leaves, to mice with respiratory diseases. This treatment reduces the production of molecules that trigger inflammation and reduces the inflammatory response of white blood cells (

The Benefits Of Hawthorn Berry & Leaf Extract

These promising results from animal and test-tube studies suggest that the supplement may offer anti-inflammatory benefits for humans. However, more research is needed.

Summary Hawthorn berry extract has shown anti-inflammatory potential in test tube and animal studies. Still, human studies are needed.

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 narrowed blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure (

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A 10-week study examined 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 per day had lower diastolic blood pressure—the lower number on the blood pressure reading (

In a 2006 study, researchers gave 79 people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure 1,200 mg of hawthorn extract every day for 16 weeks. People who took the extract improved their blood pressure more than those in the placebo group (

Again, more research is needed to support these findings. It should also be noted that using the extract is not the same as eating the berries.

Hawthorn: Foraging And Using

Summary Some research suggests that hawthorn berries may help to widen blood vessels and lower blood pressure. However, further studies are needed.

Some studies show that hawthorn extract can improve 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 — play a role in atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in your blood vessels (

If plaque continues to build up, it can completely block a blood vessel, causing a heart attack or stroke.

Hawthorn Berries: Gin, Brandy Or Tincture?

In one animal study, mice given two doses of hawthorn extract had 28-47% lower levels of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as liver triglycerides, compared to mice that did not receive the extract (

Similarly, a 6-week study in rats showed that when rats were given hawthorn berry supplements, their fasting triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels were significantly reduced.

Finally, a 6-month study in 64 people with atherosclerosis showed that taking hawthorn extract at a dose of 2.3 mg per body weight (5 mg per kg) significantly reduced the thickness of harmful plaque buildup in the carotid artery.

Although this research is promising, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects of hawthorn extract on blood cholesterol.

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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, especially 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 healthy gut bacteria, which are essential for maintaining healthy digestion (

An observational study of 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, May, Maythorn, Whitethorn, Crataegus Monogyna/laevigata

In addition, a rat study observed that hawthorn extract dramatically reduced the transit time of food in the digestive tract (

Additionally, rodent studies show that compounds in hawthorn berries can increase the production and activity of digestive enzymes, the enzymes needed to digest 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 degradation caused by excessive sun or UV exposure.

The History, Mythology, And Offerings Of Hawthorn

A test-tube study showed that a mixture of hawthorn and ginseng extracts can prevent signs of aging by inhibiting the formation of wrinkles and increasing skin moisture (

Research suggests that this effect may be due to the antioxidants in hawthorn berries. However, research in this area is limited and human studies are needed.

Summary Some studies show that hawthorn berries may help reduce the signs of aging due to the antioxidants they contain.

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 plays (

Hawthorn Berry ( Crataegus Monogyna )

Hawthorn has fewer side effects than traditional anti-anxiety medications. That’s one reason why scientists continue to investigate 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 the berries specifically. More research is needed.

If you want to try a hawthorn supplement to help manage your anxiety, don’t stop using your existing medications and be sure to discuss it with a healthcare provider first 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 research is needed on the effects of hawthorn berries on anxiety.

Hawthorn Berries On A Bare Winter Branch Stock Image

Hawthorn berries are well known for their use in traditional contexts in the treatment of heart failure, along with other traditional medicines. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart cannot pump blood properly.

Numerous studies show that hawthorn berries can have beneficial effects in people with heart failure without serious adverse effects (

Studies mainly show improvement 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 of developing heart failure (

Red Hawthorn Berries On A Tree In Rainy Weather Stock Photo

Summary In some traditional medicine practices, people take hawthorn berries along with other traditional medicines for heart failure. However, it can be harmful when combined with traditional medicines for heart failure.

Hawthorn berries can be hard 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 the berries along with the leaves and flowers, although some contain only the leaves and flowers.

Different brands and forms of hawthorn supplements have different dosage recommendations. Typical doses are 250-500 mg three times a day. However, research has not yet determined the optimal effective dose (

Ripe Common Hawthorn Berries (crataegus Monogyna Stock Photo

Note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements like hawthorn with 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 the effectiveness and quality of supplements, such as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, or ConsumerLab.

Summary You can eat hawthorn berries in a variety of ways or take them as a supplement. However, appropriate doses have yet to be determined and more research is needed.

Not many side effects of taking hawthorn berries have been reported. Those available range from mild to moderate.

Simple Ways To Harness The Healing Power Of Hawthorn

The most common ones people report 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 The side effects of consuming hawthorn berries are mild. These often include sweating, headache, drowsiness, palpitations, mild rash, agitation, and gastrointestinal effects.

The use of medicinal plants as an alternative treatment for a number of diseases is expanding

Hawthorn Berries Berry