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General Information

Hawthorn is a spiny, flowering shrub or small tree of the rose family. The species of hawthorn discussed here are native to northern European regions and grow throughout the world.

Common Name(s)

hawthorn, English hawthorn, harthorne, haw, hawthorne

Scientific Name(s)

Crataegus laevigata (also known as Crataegus oxyacantha), Crataegus monogyna

Scientific Name(s)

The hawthorn leaf and flower are used to make liquid extractextractto get, separate, or isolate a desired active ingredients, usually with water and alcohol. Dry extracts can be put into capsules and tablets.

What is this product used for?

Hawthorn fruit has been used for heart disease since the first century. It has also been used for digestive and kidney problems.

More recently, hawthorn leaf and flower have been used for heart failure, a weakness of the heart muscle that prevents the heart from pumping enough blood to the rest of the body, which can lead to fatigue and limit physical activities.

Hawthorn is also used for other heart conditions, including symptoms of coronary artery disease (such as angina).

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

There is scientific evidence that hawthorn leaf and flower are safe and effective for milder forms of heart failure.

There is not enough scientific evidence to determine whether hawthorn works for other heart problems.

NCCAM-supported research to date includes a study of the mechanism by which hawthorn may affect heart failure.

Hawthorn is considered safe for most adults when used for short periods of time. Side effects are usually mild and can include upset stomach, headache, and dizziness.

Drug interactions with hawthorn have not been thoroughly studied. It was once thought that hawthorn interacted with the heart medicine digoxin. However, a very small study in people without heart conditions found no interaction, but evidence is limited.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.


National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Herbs at a Glance. Hawthorn.

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