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Introduction

Hawthorn is a shrub with small red berries. It has been used to treat symptoms of heart failure. All parts of the plant can be taken as a pill or extract. Hawthorn can also be made into a tea.

Dosages

500 milligrams 2 to 3 times daily

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Heart failure —may help control symptoms A1-A3

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It may be safe for most adults to take hawthorn orally for a short time, but lightheadedness, nausea, and stomach upset can happen. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period or during pregnancy and breastfeeding.B1

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • People taking blood thinners should talk to their doctor before taking hawthorn. It may increase the risk of bleeding.
 

References

A. Heart Failure

A1. Pittler MH, Guo R, et al. Hawthorn extract for treating chronic heart failure. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jan 23;(1):CD005312.

A2. Zick SM, Vautaw BM, et al. Hawthorn extract randomized blinded chronic heart failure (HERB CHF) trial. Eur J Heart Fail. 2009 Oct;11(10):990-999.

A3. Holubarsch CJF, Colucci WS, et al. Benefit-risk assessment of crataegus extract WS 1442: An evidence-based review. Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2018 Feb;18(1):25-36.

B. Safety

B1. Dahmer S, Scott E. Health effects of hawthorn. Am Fam Physician. 2010 Feb 15;81(4):465-468.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 5/27/2020