Hawthorn berries may have potential health benefits relating to the heart, diabetes, and cancer. However, scientists must conduct more research to establish beneficial dosages and safety.
This article explores the hawthorn plant and its fruit. It discusses research about potential health benefits and possible adverse effects. Additionally, it answers some common questions about hawthorn berries.
Hawthorn is a wild fruit tree that
The botanical name of the genus is Crataegus. It belongs to the Rosaceae family of plants. Although there are hundreds of species of Crataegus, when people refer to the common hawthorn, they typically mean Crataegus monogyna.
Hawthorn is a thorny plant that produces berry-like fruits. Some people refer to these as “
People have used hawthorn berries, leaves, and flowers for traditional herbal remedies for centuries. Hawthorn has herbal properties that may have potential health benefits, and scientists have studied the plant’s effectiveness in treating various conditions.
A review notes that historic medical records going back to
Scientists have since studied the bioactive components of the plant. However, further research into them is necessary.
They may protect the heart
According to a
- reducing fats in the blood and lowering cholesterol
- having anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
- potentially helping prevent endothelial dysfunction (narrowing of the arteries)
The authors concluded that scientists need to further research hawthorn’s safety and efficacy for treating atherosclerosis. This means that people with heart conditions should talk with a healthcare professional for further advice before consuming hawthorn.
They may have anticancer properties
However, further studies on humans are necessary.
They may be beneficial for diabetes
- decrease triglycerides (fats in the blood) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
- increase the antioxidant activity of certain enzymes
- reduce inflammatory molecules
- regulate blood sugar and insulin secretion
- improve the health of certain cells in the pancreas
- may help reduce factors that can lead to obesity
It is important to note that the majority of the studies included in the 2022 review were animal studies, so their findings may not apply to humans.
The authors noted that researchers should further investigate hawthorn for potential diabetes treatments. People with diabetes should talk with a doctor for further advice before consuming hawthorn.
They may have antimicrobial properties
In addition, the berries contain complex carbohydrates and antioxidants, which may have potentially helpful uses in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
They may help digestion
However, the effect may not be the same in humans, so scientists need to study this potential benefit further.
However, it mentions one study that indicated hawthorn worsened heart failure in study participants. This may have been because hawthorn interacted with the drugs they were taking.
This is why it is important that people who wish to try hawthorn talk with their doctor first, especially if they are taking medication.
The NCCIH also states that hawthorn may cause side effects, including:
Below are some of the most common questions and answers about hawthorn berries.
Are hawthorn berries poisonous to humans?
Hawthorn berries are not poisonous. However, the plant
A person should talk with a doctor for further advice before consuming hawthorn berries.
Who should not try hawthorn berries?
Additionally, hawthorn may interact with medications, so a person should be sure to talk with their doctor before consuming it.
Can someone take hawthorn berries every day?
Individual hawthorn extracts that retailers sell will typically provide instructions on how often to take the preparation.
However, people should talk with a healthcare professional about whether they can or should take hawthorn berries and how often.
Evidence suggests that hawthorn berries may have potential health benefits for the heart and diseases such as diabetes and cancer. However, scientists need to conduct more studies to clarify hawthorn’s efficacy and safety.
People may consume hawthorn berries or take them as an extract. However, a person should talk with their doctor before consuming hawthorn berries or extract.