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What is Hawthorn?

Other names: Crataegus, quickthorn, thornapple, May-tree, whitethorn, Mayflower or Hawberry

Hawthorn is very rich in nutrients and beneficial constituents including amino acids, minerals, pectin, vitamin C, chlorogenic acid, epicatechol, and choline, hawthorn has a high therapeutic and health value[i]. Many studies have shown that hawthorn has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and digestion enhancing properties. It is also beneficial in terms of potentially lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease[ii][iii].

What are the benefits of taking Hawthorn supplementally?

Heart health support

Hawthorn is often used to promote good cardiovascular health. It may help protect against heart disease by improving blood flow, as well as reducing the risk of blood clots[iv][v].

Blood pressure management

Hawthorn has been traditionally used to help regulate high blood pressure. It may help dilate blood vessels, which can result in improved blood flow and reduced pressure on the arterial walls[vi].

Blood sugar balance

Studies have shown Hawthorn to significantly reduce fasting blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity compared to a placebo group[vii][viii]

Cholesterol management

Hawthorn may have a positive impact on cholesterol levels by helping to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels. This can contribute to a healthier lipid profile and overall cardiovascular health[ix].

Antioxidant properties

Hawthorn contains potent antioxidants that can help protect the body against oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals[x].

Digestive support

Hawthorn has been used to support digestion and relieve digestive discomfort. It may help improve digestion, reduce bloating, and alleviate symptoms such as indigestion[xi].

Anxiety and stress relief

Some studies suggest that Hawthorn may have mild mood-calming effects, potentially helping to reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress. This is because Hawthorn berry has anxiolytic properties, which calm the central nervous system[xii].


Allergies and sensitivities

If you have known allergies or sensitivities to plants in the Rosaceae family (such as apples, pears, or strawberries), you may be more prone to having allergic reactions to Hawthorn[xiii].


Hawthorn may have mild blood-thinning effects, so it's advisable to stop using Hawthorn supplements at least two weeks before scheduled surgery[xiv].


When it comes to the dosage of Hawthorn supplements, it's important to follow the recommended guidelines and consider consulting with a healthcare professional and following instructions. Read and follow the dosage instructions provided on the packaging.

Potential side effects

Rare side effects may include dizziness, vertigo, headaches, migraines, and palpitations. Seek medical attention if you develop symptoms like rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing[xv].

Starting with a lower dose and gradually increasing it may help minimise any gastrointestinal effects.

Hawthorn has been reported to cause headaches and dizziness in some individuals, particularly at higher doses. Likewise, it is advisable to reduce the dosage.

It is not recommended to take hawthorn if you already have low blood pressure or are taking medications that lower blood pressure[xvi], read more below.


Hypotensive supplements

Hawthorn has the potential to lower blood pressure. If you are already taking supplements with hypotensive effects, such as Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), L-arginine, or omega-3 fatty acids, combining them with Hawthorn may further reduce blood pressure. Monitoring blood pressure levels and consulting with a healthcare professional is recommended, especially if taking higher doses[xvii][xviii].

Some supplements, like foxglove (Digitalis), oleander, or lily of the valley, contain cardiac glycosides that affect heart function.

Before starting Hawthorn supplementation, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications.

Blood pressure and heart medications

For example, if you are currently taking medications for high blood pressure or heart conditions, it's essential to consult with your healthcare provider before adding Hawthorn supplements. Hawthorn may have a blood pressure-lowering effect and combining it with certain medications could lead to a drop in blood pressure that is too great. Please seek advise regarding concomitant use of Hawthorn supplements with beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, nitrates, and other cardiovascular medications[xix].

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Pregnancy and breastfeeding: There is limited research on the safety of Hawthorn supplementation during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It's best to avoid using Hawthorn supplements during these periods unless specifically recommended by a healthcare professional[xx].

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