Hawthorn: Complete Information

Hawthorn is belongs to the rose family that has been known throughout the world for its beauty for the past centuries. But theres more to it than just being that, it’s also a cardiotonic, which means it has the ability to produce and restore normal heart tone. Hawthorn contains flavonoids, a component known to fight against oxidizing agents. Hawthorn is known to help improve blood circulation and overall heart health as it improves the integrity of the veins and arteries.

There are a couple of ways in which Hawthorn may be used. And for you to truly understand its uses and benefits, we have listed some of the most common usage of Hawthorn below:

Oral Uses:

  • Cardiovascular conditions

  • congestive heart failure (CHF)

  • coronary circulation problems

  • angina

  • arrhythmias
  • Increase cardiac output reduced by hypertension or pulmonary disease

  • hypotension

  • hypertension

  • atherosclerosis

  • hyperlipidemia

  • Buerger’s disease

  • amenorrhea
  • Gastrointestinal Conditions
  • indigestion

  • enteritis

  • epigastric distention

  • diarrhea

  • abdominal pain


Hawthorn may also be used as:

  • sedative

  • anxiolytic

  • antispasmodic

  • astringent

  • treatment for tapeworm infections and acute bacillary dysentery

  • diuretic

Topical Uses:

  • poultice for boils

  • sores

  • ulcers

  • sores

  • itching

  • frost bite

Safety Concerns

As far as most medical studies are concerned, hawthorn is safe when used orally and appropriately on a short term basis, ideally up to 16 weeks. Although some other studies claim that hawthorn is safe for long term use, there has been insufficient evidence supporting ts safety of us after 16 weeks.

Hawthorn is often used for heart failure. However, a specific extract of hawthorn has been shown to increase death and hospitalizations due to heart failure. A retrospective safety analysis from a clinical trial in patients with New York Heart Association stages II or III heart failure shows that taking 450 mg twice daily taken for up to 6 months increases the risk of death associated with heart failure by 1.7% and hospitalization by 18%. Until further evidence has been gathered, patients are advised not to use hawthorn for heart failure.

Mechanism of action

The applicable parts of hawthorn are the leaf, fruit, and flower. The constituents responsible for the pharmacological effects of hawthorn preparations include flavonoids such as vitexin, rutin, quercetin, and hyperoside; and oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) such as epicatechin and procyanidins. Some hawthorn products are standardized based on their flavonoid (2.2%) and OPC (18.75%) content.

Hawthorn’s cardiotrophic properties are attributed to increased membrane permeability for calcium , and phosphodiesterase inhibition, which increases intracellular cAMP. Increased cAMP leads to increased coronary blood flow, vasodilation, and positive inotropic effects . Preliminary research suggests that hawthorn also has antiarrhythmic activity. Hawthorn also seems to have hypotensive activity, according to preliminary research. It seems to cause peripheral vasodilation and to induce endothelium-dependent arterial relaxation. The proantocyanidin constituents seem to cause this effect.

Some studies also suggest that hawthorn can lower serum cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides.It seems to lower accumulation of lipids in the liver and aorta. Hawthorn fruit extract may lower cholesterol by increasing bile acid excretion, reducing cholesterol synthesis by the liver, and enhancing LDL-receptor activity. Hawthorn also seems to have antioxidant activity.

Possible Side Effects

  • Vertigo

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • gastrointestinal problems

  • fatigue

  • sweating

  • palpitations

  • headache

  • dyspnea

  • nosebleeds

  • sleeping problems

  • agitations

  • circulatory problems

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About John Montague DC

John Montague DC is the owner of WebVitamins. He is active in the industry and is currently president of the NPA East.

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