Hawthorn Interactions Overview

Check For Interactions With Hawthorn


Also known as
  • Aubepine
  • Aubépine
  • Aubépine Blanche
  • Aubépine Épineuse
  • Bianco Spino
  • Bois de Mai
  • Cenellier
  • Chinese Hawthorn
  • Crataegi Flos
  • Crataegi Folium
  • Crataegi Folium Cum Flore
  • Crataegi Fructus
  • Crataegus
  • English Hawthorn
  • Epine Blanche
  • Epine de Mai
  • Espino Blanco
  • Fructus C
Hawthorn Hawthorn is a shrub native to Europe, Asia, and North America. It is a member of the rose family and is known for its thorny branches and small, white or pink flowers, which bloom in the spring. The fruit, called a haw, is a small red berry that is edible and often used in traditional medicine. Hawthorn has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including gastrointestinal discomfort, heart disease, high blood pressure, and chest pain. For its purported blood pressure-lowering abilities, it is thought to work by dilating blood vessels and improving blood flow to the heart. Hawthorn dietary supplements are typically standardized extracts of the berry, leaf and flower of the plant.
There are 186 drugs known to interact with Hawthorn

Additional Details

Is Hawthorn Safe? Are There Any Warnings?

Hawthorn is generally considered safe when used orally and appropriately in the short term. Daily doses of up to 1800 mg for up to 16 weeks appear to be safe. However, the safety of long-term use has not been adequately studied. There is insufficient information about the safety of using hawthorn topically. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is recommended to avoid using hawthorn due to limited reliable information on its safety in these situations.

How Is Hawthorn Thought to Work? What Is the Mechanism of Action?

Hawthorn works through various mechanisms to potentially provide its beneficial effects. The active components of hawthorn include flavonoids, particularly oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) like procyanidin B2, procyanidin clusters, catechin, and epicatechin. These compounds contribute to the antioxidant properties of hawthorn, helping to combat free radicals in the body.

Hawthorn may also exhibit antineoplastic effects, which means it might have the ability to fight against certain types of cancer cells. Some triterpenes found in hawthorn, such as uvaol and ursolic acid, have shown cytotoxicity against cancer cells in laboratory studies.

Additionally, hawthorn has cardiovascular effects, such as increasing the force of heart contractions, lengthening the refractory period, and improving coronary blood flow. It may also have hypotensive and vasodilatory activity, helping to lower blood pressure and improve circulation. Hawthorn's mechanisms of action in the cardiovascular system include increased calcium permeability, inhibition of phosphodiesterase, and increased intracellular cAMP levels.

Hawthorn has been investigated for its potential antiplatelet effects, which means it may help inhibit excessive platelet aggregation and reduce the risk of blood clots. It may also have effects on cholesterol levels by increasing bile acid excretion, reducing cholesterol synthesis, and enhancing LDL-receptor activity. These actions contribute to its potential cardiovascular benefits.

Furthermore, hawthorn shows promising dermatologic effects, such as protection against UVB radiation damage and potential anti-aging properties. It may increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes, reduce oxidative stress caused by UVB radiation, and enhance collagen production in the skin.


There is insufficient reliable information available about the pharmacokinetics of hawthorn. Further research is needed to understand how hawthorn is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and eliminated in the body.

Interaction Overview

Hawthorn may interact with certain medications and supplements. Here are some notable interactions:

  • Anticoagulant/Antiplatelet Drugs: Hawthorn may increase the risk of bleeding when used with anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs.
  • Beta-Blockers: Concomitant use of hawthorn with beta-blockers might cause additive effects on blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Calcium Channel Blockers: Concomitant use of hawthorn with calcium channel blockers might cause additive coronary vasodilation and hypotensive effects.
  • Digoxin (Lanoxin): Hawthorn might potentiate the effects and adverse effects of digoxin.
  • Nitrates: Concomitant use of hawthorn with nitrates might cause additive coronary vasodilatory effects.
  • Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors: Concomitant use of hawthorn with phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors might result in additive vasodilation and hypotension.
  • Anticoagulant/Antiplatelet Herbs and Supplements: Hawthorn may have antiplatelet effects in some people when used with certain herbs and supplements.
  • Herbs and Supplements with Hypotensive Effects: Hawthorn might have hypotensive effects, and concomitant use with other herbs and supplements that decrease blood pressure might increase the risk of hypotension.

Common Side Effects to Watch For

Hawthorn is generally well tolerated when used orally in appropriate doses. No adverse effects have been reported with topical use, although comprehensive safety evaluations are lacking. Rarely, multiorgan hypersensitivity reactions resulting in acute renal failure have been reported with oral hawthorn. These reactions are serious but occur infrequently.

It's important to note that individual responses to hawthorn may vary, and it's always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or medication.

Are Supplements Standardized?

Some hawthorn supplements are standardized to specific compounds. For example, Hawthorn extract WS 1442 (Crataegutt forte) is standardized to a range of 17.3% to 20.1% oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs). Other products, such as Hawthorn extract LI 132 (Faros 600), Crataesor, and Hawthorn Supreme System Support liquid phyto-caps, have specific standardizations to flavonoids, procyanidins, or other active constituents.

It's important to check the labeling and product information to determine if a hawthorn supplement is standardized and to what specific compounds or constituents.

Hawthorn Information

What is Hawthorn Typically Used For?

Hawthorn has been traditionally used for various purposes related to cardiovascular health. Although more research is needed to fully understand its effectiveness, hawthorn has been investigated for the following conditions:

  • Angina: It is unclear whether oral hawthorn is beneficial in patients with angina.
  • Anxiety: The effect of oral hawthorn when used alone for anxiety is unclear. It has only been evaluated in combination with other ingredients.
  • Arrhythmia: There has been interest in using oral hawthorn for arrhythmia, but there is insufficient reliable information about its clinical effects for this condition.
  • Atherosclerosis: Oral hawthorn has been of interest for atherosclerosis, but there is insufficient reliable information about its clinical effects for this condition.
  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD): Oral hawthorn has been of interest for CVD, but there is insufficient reliable information about its clinical effects for this condition.
  • Cognitive function: The effect of oral hawthorn when used alone for cognitive function is unclear. It has only been evaluated in combination with other ingredients.
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF): The evidence on the effects of oral hawthorn in patients with CHF is conflicting. Some older research suggests it may be beneficial, but more recent and larger studies suggest it may actually increase the risk for complications.
  • Hyperlipidemia: Oral hawthorn has been of interest for hyperlipidemia, but there is insufficient reliable information about its clinical effects for this condition.
  • Hypertension: It is unclear whether oral hawthorn is beneficial for lowering blood pressure.
  • Orthostatic hypotension: The effect of oral hawthorn when used alone for orthostatic hypotension is unclear. It has only been evaluated in combination with other ingredients.

It's important to note that the current evidence for hawthorn's effectiveness in these conditions is insufficient. More research is needed to determine its true therapeutic potential. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice before using hawthorn or any other supplement.

Drugs that interact with Hawthorn

Return to the main herbal interaction checker page

Parts of this content are provided by the Therapeutic Research Center, LLC.

DISCLAIMER: Currently this does not check for drug-drug interactions. This is not an all-inclusive comprehensive list of potential interactions and is for informational purposes only. Not all interactions are known or well-reported in the scientific literature, and new interactions are continually being reported. Input is needed from a qualified healthcare provider including a pharmacist before starting any therapy. Application of clinical judgment is necessary.

© 2021 Therapeutic Research Center, LLC