Hawthorn: A Long History of Cardiovascular and Digestive Support

Once regarded as an ancient medicinal herb. It was used in the Middle Ages to address congestive heart failure, hawthorn may be under the radar as a supplement, except for those already interested in herbalism.

Hawthorn is a part of the ‘rose’ family and is typically native to North America, Europe, and Northern Asia. Both the berries – bright, tart, and exceptionally red, and the remainder of the plant are used in herbal medicine – leaves, flowers, bark.

No part of hawthorn is ‘poisonous,’. however, the seeds can contain trace amounts of amygdalin, which is converted to cyanide in the body. These seeds are not used in medicinal preparations or extracts.

What Are the Therapeutic Benefits?


Initially, only the berries were used when it came to medicinal purposes. Later, the use of the entire plant was adopted. Hawthorn contains an array of phytochemicals and beneficial compounds that have many beneficial effects.

  • Protective against oxidative stress: 

These include procyanidins, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. In particular, hawthorn is rich in “hyperoside,” a flavonoid that is extremely and can include the levels of serotonin in the body. Thus, there is antidepressant activity. Many people take hawthorn as a tonic for anxiety and stress levels.

Hawthorn has established us as a cardioprotective supplement, and this flavonoid, hyperoside, maybe one of the many contributing factors.

  • Improve cardiovascular function:

This flavonoid appears to improve cardiovascular function and hypertrophy damage in one study. And It improved blood glucose levels and damage caused by diabetes in another study. Hawthorn is also being studied for its use in the treatment of liver fibrosis and cancer.

Further to this, hawthorn has a history of use in addressing heart failure, hypertension, myocardial injuries, blood circulation, digestive disorders, indigestion, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and anxiety disorders.

In an overview of various clinical studies, “significant protective effects on cardiovascular cells were noted.”

Many of the compounds naturally present in hawthorn berries and leaves are found to exert powerful antioxidant capabilities – “vitexin,” another compound that appears to reduce inflammation and the response of white blood cells to inflammation, displaying an anti-inflammatory effect that may have benefit in those with overactive immune systems.

  • Get rid of multiple dieses:


Hawthorn appears to provide therapeutic relief for asthma, type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, LDL cholesterol levels (due to the high pectin and flavonoid content), digestion (compounds in hawthorn appear to enhance digestive enzymes), heart failure, protect against cytokine overproduction, thrombosis, inflammation, liver cirrhosis, and potentially cancer. 

The anti-bacterial activity was also well documented in hawthorn extracts against a variety of gram-positive bacteria like Bacillus and Listeria strains.  

These positive biological effects are attributed to the wide variety of active compounds in all parts of the hawthorn plant.

I’m Already Taking Medication for Circulation and on Blood Thinners – Can I Still Take Hawthorn Supplements?

 We would advise caution against using hawthorn for those on vasodilator drugs or those using blood thinning medication due to the cardiotonic and hypotensive effects of extracts of the plant. It may interact with medications for thinning the blood or for circulation by enhancing their effects. You should always consult with a medical professional, or a nutritionist before use if these conditions apply to you.

Are There Any Negative Effects of Hawthorn or Adverse Reactions?

As hawthorn has a rich history in culinary use – in wines, drinks, jams, preserves, and toppings…the level of toxicity from standard dosage is thought to be low, even in the dosages used during studies.

This also must be compared to traditional prescription medication for the conditions for which It would be addressed. And many such medications can cause reproductive damage or other bodily harm due to their toxicities.

Conversely, hawthorn extracts appeared to reduce toxicity: improving testes’ weight, sperm count, reduction in DNA damage, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, reducing genotoxicity.

At the therapeutic dosage studied in trials, the adverse side effects reported were very limited. It Includes sweating, headaches, gastrointestinal upset, and rash (in those that were allergic).

Currently, no clinical studies or trials have reported significant adverse reactions to hawthorn supplements. Nor have there been any adverse reactions associated with the consumption of It berries, leaves, flowers, bark, or stems.

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