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What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Hawthorn Side Effects and Warnings

Written by FoundHealth, ColleenO.

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Safety Issues

Hawthorn appears to be generally safe. Germany's Commission E lists no known risks, contraindications, or drug interactions with hawthorn, and mice and rats have been given very large doses without showing significant toxicity. 1 In clinical trials, reported side effects were relatively rare and nonspecific, consisting primarily of mild dizziness, stomach upset, headache, and occasional allergic reactions (skin rash). 2 Perhaps the biggest risk with hawthorn is that using it instead of conventional treatment might increase risk of death or other complications of CHF. In addition, it is not known whether hawthorn can be safely combined with other drugs that affect the heart. Therefore (to reiterate), do notself-treat CHF with hawthorn. A physician's supervision is essential.

Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver, heart, or kidney disease has not been established.

Interactions You Should Know About

  • If you are taking any medications that affect the heart: It is possible that taking hawthorn could cause problems. It is not clear whether one can safely combine hawthorn with other drugs that affect the heart.


  1. Ammon HPT, Handel M. Crataegus, toxicology and pharmacology. Parts I, II and III [translated from German]. Planta Med. 1981;43:105-120, 209-239, 313-322.
  2. Daniele C, Mazzanti G, Pittler MH, Ernst E. Adverse-event profile of Crataegus spp.: a systematic review. Drug Saf. 29(6):523-35.


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