Is Hawthorne Safe To Take With Aspirin?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses combining aspirin and hawthorn.

Question

Can you take a small dose of aspirin with Hawthorn berry tea?

Asked by Rick On Aug 23, 2023

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Aug 28, 2023
Last updated Feb 21, 2024

Key points

  • Hawthorn might have mild blood-thinning effects but evidence is inconsistent, and the clinical impact of combining hawthorn with blood-thinning medications, like aspirin, is uncertain.

Answer

There is some evidence suggesting that hawthorn may have mild blood-thinning effects, which could be a concern when combined with drugs that also have blood-thinning effects, like aspirin.

However, the findings from studies focusing on hawthorn's effects are inconsistent, and the clinical significance of any potential interaction between hawthorn and medications with blood-thinning properties remains uncertain.

For instance, an observational study reported that individuals who consumed hawthorn shortly before undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery or valve replacement exhibited a 10% incidence of postoperative bleeding, compared to a 1% incidence among those who didn't take hawthorn extract. This indicates that hawthorn may increase the risk of bleeding.

However, another study focused on a specific preparation of dried hawthorn leaves and flowers (Crataesor, Soria Natural Lab). This study showed that a dosage of 800 mg taken three times daily for 15 days did not significantly affect platelet aggregation or levels of thromboxane B2 (a metabolite of thromboxane A2) in healthy humans. In other words, there were no blood-thinning effects noted.

Approaching the Interaction

Although concerns about the blood-thinning effects of hawthorn have been noted in animal and laboratory research (mentioned in the section above), the available information remains limited. Specific hawthorn-drug interaction studies are extremely limited.

Overall, individuals in good health with no history of cardiac or bleeding issues are likely to experience minimal to no ill effects from combining 81mg of aspirin and typical doses of hawthorn (whether in tea or supplement form). However, it's important to exercise caution and always be vigilant for signs and symptoms of bleeding.

If you are taking other blood-thinning drugs, like Plavix, there may be more to be concerned about.

Considering Individual Factors

As a precautionary measure, it's advisable to consult with your doctor before making any modifications to your medication regimen, especially if you have had serious health in issues in the past.

As mentioned, it is unlikely that combining hawthorn and a 'baby' aspirin (81mg) will cause an unwanted effect, but individual health factors and medical history are important to consider.

Final Thoughts

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References

  • Hawthorn Herb Increases the Risk of Bleeding after Cardiac Surgery: An Evidence-Based Approach, PubMed
  • Effects of hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata) on platelet aggregation in healthy volunteers, PubMed
  • Inhibition of platelet aggregation and 5-HT release by extracts of Australian plants used traditionally as headache treatments, PubMed

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 13 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical, program development, and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Dr. Brian Staiger also has herbalist training and educational certificates in the field of medical ethnobotany. Feel free to send him an email at [email protected]! You can also connect with Dr. Brian Staiger on LinkedIn.

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