Natural Health Benefits of Hawthorn (check the Evidence rating *)
*** Good Evidence of a health benefit.
** Some Evidence of a health benefit.
* Traditionally used with only anecdotal evidence.
Heart Disease ***
High Blood Pressure *
Hawthorn has been used in Greece as a medicine since ancient times. Hawthorn was used by herbalists for the treatment of heart problems such as angina, arrythmia, high blood pressure and to prevent heart attack.
In recent times it has been found to be effective for Angina and Heart Disease.
Hawthorn contains a variety of bioflavonoids and flavonoids, including the oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs), vitexin, vitexin 4’-O-rhamnoside, quercetin, and hyperoside. These are thought to be the primary active constituents in Hawthorn.
The main action of Hawthorn is that it exerts many beneficial effects on the heart and blood vessels, such as improved coronary artery blood flow and strengthening of the contractions of the heart muscle.
The combined effects of Hawthorn may mildly lower blood pressure.
These cardiac effects have been the reason why, Hawthorn is often used for angina and High Blood Pressure by herbalists.
Clinical trials have confirmed that hawthorn leaf and flower extracts are beneficial for people with early-stage heart disease. In one trial using people with congestive heart failure taking 160–900 mg of hawthorn extract per day for eight weeks showed an improved quality of life. They showed a greater ability to exercise without shortness of breath or exhaustion.
In another study hawthorn leaf and flower extract showed that it may also help those with stable angina.
Hawthorn does not seem to have side effects.
Hawthorn is regarded as one of the safest herbs for the treatment of heart disease as it is invaluable in correcting high blood pressure.
Hawthorn is considered safe during breast-feeding or during pregnancy.
Herb – Drug Interactions
Hawthorn does not have any known negative interactions with medication.
Always consult your Doctor if you are taking prescription medications before taking any new medicine.
Where does Hawthorn come from and what parts are used?
Hawthorn grows in Europe, western Asia, North America, and North Africa.
The leaves, flowers and berry fruit of Hawthorn is used for medicinal purposes.
How much is usually taken?
A normal safe dose is 80–300 mg Hawthorn capsules or tablets.
Heart disease symptoms normally require 4–5 grams per day of a concentrated extract in capsules.
Traditionally 4–5 ml tincture taken three times per day, has been used.
(Zaakirah Rossier/ Health24/ updated October 2010)