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14 Health Benefits of Hawthorn Berries

Updated on October 5, 2018
Chuck Bluestein profile image

At age 16 I was a volunteer at a hospital bacteriology lab. I became a chemist for U.S. government. Then I studied health & related fields.

Hawthorn Berries

Hawthorn berries in a bowl.
Hawthorn berries in a bowl.
Hawthorn berries on a shrub or small tree. A shrub is a woody plant of relatively low height.
Hawthorn berries on a shrub or small tree. A shrub is a woody plant of relatively low height. | Source
Washington hawthorn tree
Washington hawthorn tree | Source
Another hawthorn berry tree.
Another hawthorn berry tree. | Source

Hawthorn Berry Health Benefits

On my article about Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper, I talk about how good this is for circulation. I say:

Other than hawthorn berry, cayenne pepper may be the best herbal food for cardiovascular health.

The cayenne pepper can burn your mouth and your eyes if you touch your eyes after handling this pepper. Hawthorn berries will not burn you. On the above webpage there is video of an N.D. (naturopathic physician) telling about using cayenne to stop a heart attack.

On the video she says that cayenne pepper is really a fruit not an herb. Since an herb can be any plant food used for medicinal purposes, cayenne pepper is both a fruit and an herb. Also hawthorn berry is a berry, a fruit and an herb. Keep in mind that words in the English language can have multiple meanings.

The University of Maryland Medical Center says:

Hawthorn (Crataegus species) has been used to treat heart disease as far back as the 1st century. By the early 1800s, American doctors were using it to treat circulatory disorders and respiratory illnesses. Traditionally, the berries were used to treat heart problems ranging from irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, chest pain, hardening of the arteries, and heart failure.

Hawthorn is a common thorny shrub in the rose family that grows up to 5 feet tall on hillsides and in sunny wooded areas throughout the world.

Note that heart disease can cause breathing problems (respiratory illness mentioned above). This U.S. National Library of Medicine webpage, Herbal Medicine, says:

The use of plants for healing purposes predates recorded history and forms the origin of much of modern medicine. Many conventional drugs originate from plant sources: a century ago, most of the few effective drugs were plant-based. Examples include aspirin (from willow bark), digoxin (from foxglove), quinine (from cinchona bark), and morphine (from the opium poppy). The development of drugs from plants continues, with drug companies engaged in large-scale pharmacologic screening of herbs.​

This webpage called Hawthorn says:

Hawthorn is a plant. The leaves, berries, and flowers of hawthorn are used to make medicine.

Hawthorn is used for diseases of the heart and blood vessels such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chest pain, and irregular heartbeat. It is also used to treat both low blood pressure and high blood pressure, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), and high cholesterol. So far, research suggests that hawthorn might be effective in treating congestive heart failure, but there hasn’t been enough research on other heart-related uses to know if it is effective for them.

The above points out the big difference between drugs (medicines) and herbs. It says that it helps both low and high blood pressure. Drugs force an effect on the body so they cannot do both.

On the other hand herbs nourish the body with phytochemicals (there are thousands of them like lycopene, curcumin and resveratrol) that are plant medicines. The body uses this extra nourishment to do what the body needs to be done. In other words nothing heals the body except the body itself and herbs assist in doing this.

Hawthorn made the list of the 13 best herbs of Dr. James A. Duke. He worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) for over 3 decades cataloging the different plant medicines (phytochemicals) in different plants (herbs). See 13 Best Herbs for Health and Healing.

14 Health Benefits of Hawthorne

1. Helps Cardiovascular Health

The above information from goes into more detail on this. A guy owned a pizza place that was open early in the morning so people could eat breakfast there and was open until very late. This way he could eat all of his meals there. So he had a bad diet. He was in his 50s.

Now he started having serious health problems where he had trouble walking and retained water in his ankles. The doctors knew he had a problem but did not know what it was so they just had him take some drugs.

Now I diagnosed him (I am not a doctor) as being in bad health due to a very bad diet. Now I got him to try an herbal supplement. His wife told me that it must to be helping him since he offered to go walking with his wife when she went shopping and he never does that since he has trouble walking.

Now when it was time that it would have run out I wondered if I should ask him if wants more. But they could easily tell me if they wanted more. Maybe they wanted me to ask them. I do not know. The wife smoked and was not very open to herbs for health. So he did not use any more after that and I never mentioned it.

Now a year after he first had this problem, he died. They performed an autopsy and found that he had had heart failure a year ago so that was his problem. Heart failure is when the heart is not get enough blood due to a partial blockage. He was a very easy going and nice guy and everyone liked him.

2. Hawthorn Berries Help Indigestion

They help the body to break down fats so it is especially helpful with meals that contain a lot of fat.

3. Prevents Liver Disease

This lowers the accumulation of fats in the liver. Hawthorn protects the liver from adverse changes during a heart attack.

4. Calms the Nervous System

This helps hawthorn berries to also help with insomnia and anxiety. It is said to balance the nervous system.

5. Helps Kidney Problems

Hawthorn berry has a diuretic effect. This causes there to be more urination that helps to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage the kidneys over time. What you can do to stop your kidneys from getting worse? Dr. Oz says that you should keep your blood pressureand your blood sugar levels down. Dr. Oz says to keep your blood pressure down, you should take hawthorn. Take 100mg of hawthorn 3 times a day to lower blood pressure, and lower your blood sugar with 1 tsp of cinnamon per day. Hawthorn was traditionally used in Europe for kidney and bladder stones and as a diuretic.

6. Helps to Lower High Cholesterol

This may be from it's ability to help the liver and break down fats.

7. Helps with Anxiety and Insomnia

Stress can wreak havoc on one's health and hawthorn is able to help with this. Many of the body's systems are strongly related. While medicines or drugs have bad side effects herbs or herbal foods have good side effects. This is why an herb can have so many benefits.

Dr. Oz says that hawthorn is one of the 3 best herbs for better sleep. See 3 Herbs for Better Sleep for more on this.

8. Hawthorn Helps the Body Recover After Heart Attacks and Strokes

Studies done with gerbils, mice and rats showed the above.

9. Hawthorn is a Heart Tonic

Studies in Europe showed that this can relax and dilate arteries. It can increase circulation and stamina. It helps to keep the arteries healthy.

10. Lowers High Blood Pressure

This happens when blood vessels relax and dilate.

11. Prevents Atherosclerosis

Hawthorn helps to prevent plaque from forming in the arteries.

12. Helps with Chest Pains (Angina)

The above happens when there is inadequate blood supply to the heart.

13. Helps with the Metabolism of Fat

This can really help in most of the above health challenges.

14. Helps with Hot Flushes

In Chinese medicine they use hawthorn to help with menopause-related hot flushes.

Hawthorn : Amazing Herb For Heart Health and Blood Pressure by James Merschino D.C. (doctor of chiropractic) N.D.

Talking with Trees - Hawthorne Herbal Remedy for Heart Health


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    • Chuck Bluestein profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuck Bluestein 

      5 years ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

      Oldiesmusic, Big Pharma wants people to think about herbs or herbal foods like drugs. You have to be very careful with medications since they are poisons. There are only a few herbs that you need to be concerned about and I have not written any articles on them.

      Like senna leaf is used for constipation. If you use too much, it will not kill you, but will give you intestinal cramping. You can fill your belly with hawthorn berries just like other berries. Also I have articles on 2 other herbs, grapes and watermelon, and tell all the health benefits of them.

      They are herbs or herbal foods and you can fill your belly with them. I even have an article on the grape cure for cancer. This is where you eat all the grapes that you want every day, but eat no other foods. You can do this for many weeks. This has been used to cure many things in Europe for hundreds of years.

      Thin and healthy people are bad for the economy. I have not seen a doctor in over 7 years and do not need to eat much food. Fat and sick people are good for the economy. They eat huge amounts of food and spend a lot on doctors and medications. If doctors had to depend on people like me, they would need to get another job.

    • oldiesmusic profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      I little know about hawthorn tree except as a lovely ornamental plant and its berries. Now I know that it is very good for the heart... I only don't know if it's edible? Or it has just medicinal purposes? Thanks for posting.

    • blueheron profile image

      Sharon Vile 

      5 years ago from Odessa, MO

      I didn't know about many of the health benefits of hawthorn! I've found it very helpful, and many older people who have no known heart or circulatory disorders find that it helps energy levels and well-being.

      Hawthorn is a lovely ornamental small tree, a nice landscape planting, especially in groups. The berries are showy in winter. It is also one of the trees sold by the Missouri Department of Conservation for $1 each (in bundles of 10), so I have several of these trees and look forward to seeing them grow to blooming and fruiting size.

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Cygnet Brown 

      5 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

      Thanks for this well written article on such an interesting subject. We used to have a home with a hawthorn tree in the yard. Not only did it have a medicinal purpose, but the tree was beautiful. White flowers in the spring and red berries in the fall. They have used Hawthorn in Europe for health problems for years with great results.


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