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Hawthorn Monograph

botanical name:


Common Name

Hawthorn, thornapple, mayblossom, mayhaw, may tree, whitehorn, hawberry, hagthorn, ladies’ meat, gazels, halves, bread and cheese tree



Parts Used

Fresh or dried berries,flowering tops, leaves

Native To:

Europe, Asia, North America, North Africa

Harvesting Guidelines

Hawthorn is a plant that can be harvested for its flowers, leaves, and ripe berries. However, it's important to be cautious of the large thorns that can be found along the branches, especially when harvesting. The flowers and leaves are typically harvested in the spring, while the berries are ready for harvest in the fall.


Hawthorn, a tree native to temperate regions of Europe and North America, has been used for centuries as a symbol of love and a medicinal tonic for the heart. Its use as a cardiac tonic dates back to first-century Rome and has been employed by cultures around the world, including Native American, Chinese, and European. In addition to its physical benefits, hawthorn has also been traditionally used to support the emotional heart, providing protection during times of loss and transition and helping to maintain healthy emotional boundaries.

Hawthorn, a plant species native to North America and Israel, has been used for medicinal purposes by different cultures throughout history. North American tribes used hawthorn for stomachaches, sexual weakness , as a female tonic, and to strengthen the heart, while the indigenous Israeli hawthorn was used in traditional Arab medicine for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. These uses highlight the potential health benefits of this versatile plant. (2)

Hawthorn, specifically the combination of hawthorn leaf and flower, has been approved by the German Commission E for use in treating Class II heart disease as defined by the New York Heart Association. This includes patients with cardiac disease who experience slight limitations in physical activity and may experience fatigue, palpitations, dyspnea, or anginal pain during ordinary physical activity. The use of hawthorn for other conditions has not been approved by the Commission E.

In addition to its traditional uses as a heart tonic, hawthorn has been studied for its potential cardiovascular benefits. Hawthorn extract has been shown to have antioxidant properties, which can help protect the heart from damage caused by free radicals. It has also been studied for its potential to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Some studies have suggested that hawthorn extract may improve heart function and reduce symptoms of heart failure.

In Western herbal medicine, hawthorn is often used to support heart health and treat conditions such as high blood pressure, angina, and heart failure. It is believed to have a number of beneficial effects on the heart and cardiovascular system, including:

Hawthorn is believed to help improve blood flow to the heart and other parts of the body, which can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.

Hawthorn has anti-inflammatory properties that may help to reduce inflammation in the arteries and blood vessels, which can help to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Hawthorn is believed to help support heart function by strengthening the heart muscle, regulating heart rate and rhythm, and improving the ability of the heart to pump blood.

In addition to its physical benefits for the heart, hawthorn is also believed to have a positive effect on the emotional heart. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, hawthorn is said to have a calming effect on the Shen, or spirit, which is associated with the heart. It is believed to help relieve anxiety, nervousness, and other emotional imbalances.

The sharp thorns of the hawthorn tree were thought to symbolize protection, and the plant was used to support heart health and circulation.

This tree is known for its thorny branches and its heart-shaped leaves and fruit. According to the doctrine of signatures, this is a sign that Hawthorn is helpful for supporting cardiovascular health and protecting the heart. In herbal medicine, Hawthorn is commonly used as a tonic for the circulatory system and as a remedy for high blood pressure, angina, and other heart conditions.


Adult Dose

Hawthorn Leaf Tea: Steep 1.5 grams dried herb in 150 mL boiling water for 15 minutes, three times/daily.



Cooling(TCM), Warming (ayurveda


Hawthorn is a popular herbal supplement for heart health, but it's important for heart patients to consult with their doctor before taking it. While some sources suggest that the seeds may contain trace amounts of cyanogenic glycosides, which can be toxic (similar to apple seeds), others dispute this claim. Additionally, hawthorn branches are covered in thorns, so care should be taken when handling them to avoid injury.



(1)Foster, Steven. (2009). Hawthorn. Retrieved October 2014 from

(2) Ljubuncic P, Portnaya I, Cogan U, Azaizeh H, Bomzon A. (2005). Antioxidant activity of Crataegus aronia aqueous extract used in traditional Arab medicine in Israel. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Oct 3;101(1-3):153-61.


Scientific Research

Information offered on Achula and on this page is for educational purposes only. Achula makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Women who are pregnant or nursing, and persons with known medical conditions, should consult their licensed healthcare provider before taking any herbal product. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. Achula neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements.


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