Report on Hawthorn Side Effects and Usage


Natural health supplements sometimes have unexpected side effects or interactions with medication that can lead to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening. The following is a list of cautions that you should be aware of before using Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.). These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.

Warning 1 – Counterindications: Pregnancy and lactation.

Warning 2 – Cardiac glycosides: may cause increased toxicity and increased hypokalemia. Hawthorn may increase the effects of cardiac glycosides. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.

Warning 3 – Antihypertensives: may increase hypotension when used concurrently.

Warning 4 – Central Nervous System Depressants: May increase the sedative effects of CNS depressants.

Warning 5 – Iron salts: May decrease the absorption of iron salts; experts recommend separating dosages by at least 2 hours.

Used as a natural health remedy: Hawthorn is used internally for the following benefits and conditions:

  • Congestive heart failue; stage II of NYHA
  • Support healthy heart contraction
  • Increases coronary blood flow
  • reduce tinnitus

Side Effects of Hawthorn

Hawthorn is probably safe for most people but the long-term effects are still unknown. High doses of hawthorn are known to produce:

  1. Hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure)
  2. Sedation
  3. Nausea
  4. Fatigue
  5. Sweating
  6. Rash

Other side effects may also occur when using hawthorn internally. (See form below)

As with any herb, a serious allergic reaction is possible. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. These may include a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Return to the Herb List.

For questions and answers about the side effects of herbs see the Herb Forum

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