Hawthorn Berry Side Effects

hawthorn berry side effects

In April, we wrote a short blurb about the five largest benefits of ingesting hawthorn berry.  Today, we’re prepared to post a follow up with the five side effects that you need to be aware of should you choose to supplement with hawthorn berry or digest a manufactured product that contains hawthorn berry.  As per the usual, we at Vaxxen feel the benefits far outweigh the potential side effects.  Side effects of hawthorn berry supplementation aren’t known to be too common whereas the benefits are ringers for each man and woman that chooses to try it out!

The Five Side Effects of Hawthorn Berry Supplementation

  1. Nausea and Upset Stomach – Easily the most common side effect of really any supplementation, and hawthorn berry ingestion is no different. Hawthorn berry is going to deliver a variety of nutrients that your body probably doesn’t get enough off.  As we mentioned in the benefits blog post, the berry’s extract is also extremely rich with antioxidants.  The upset stomach and nausea is typically temporary and anybody who doses for prolonged periods will eventually not fall victim to the unfortunate side effect as their body starts to understand the new norm [1].
  2. Sleepiness – It’s been reported that a non-inconsequential number of users feel tired. Some natural sleep aids have been known to utilize hawthorn berry extract because of this.  It’s nothing to be afraid of and can easily be handled by simply taking your hawthorn berry supplement late at night, just before sleep [2].
  3. Headaches – Another super common side effect to natural supplements. The hawthorn berry is going to adjust some chemical balances in your body as the antioxidants set out to do their thing.  The headaches shouldn’t be persistent and should occur for the first week of supplementation.  If you are concerned or the headaches seem to persist, simply stop the supplementation entirely.  No harm, no foul [3].
  4. Mental State Changes and Mood Swings – We’re down to the more rare side effects. In some unfortunate cases, sensitive individuals have noticed that hawthorn berry supplementation has altered their state of mind, causing depression, anxiety, or agitation.  People who are on antidepressants and anxiety medications should be especially cautious.  You may use hawthorn berry, just monitor your situation closely.  Feel free to speak with your primary care physician before supplementation if you want peace of mind [4].
  5. Shortness of Breath and Irregular Heartbeat [1] – For reasons unknown, the rarest of side effects appears to be heart palpitations and shortness of breath. There is a correlation and link between hawthorn berry supplementation and these panic like symptoms but it’s extremely rare.  If you are to experience something like this, drink plenty of water and stop the supplementation right away.  It will pass.


Should you find that you’re having some bizarre reaction like hives, throat restriction, or stomach pains, you are likely allergic to hawthorn berry.  We don’t like to list allergens as side effects but it’s definitely worth mentioning.  Since you may never have ingested hawthorn berry or its extract in the past, you won’t know whether or not you’re allergic until your first use.


  1. Jie Wang, Xingjiang Xiong, and Bo Feng*
    Effect of Crataegus Usage in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: An Evidence-Based Approach
    Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 149363.
    Published online 2013 Dec 29. doi: 10.1155/2013/149363
  2. Can OD1, Ozkay UD, Oztürk N, Oztürk Y.
    Effects of hawthorn seed and pulp extracts on the central nervous system.
    Pharm Biol. 2010 Aug;48(8):924-31. doi: 10.3109/13880200903305500.
  3. Gary N Asher,corresponding author1 Anthony J Viera,1 Mark A Weaver,2 Rosalie Dominik,3 Melissa Caughey,4 and Alan L Hinderliter4
    Effect of hawthorn standardized extract on flow mediated dilation in prehypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults: a randomized, controlled cross-over trial
    BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012; 12: 26.
    Published online 2012 Mar 29. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-26
  4. Ann F Walker, PhD, Eleanor Simpson, RGNJessica L Hope, Paul A Robinson,Mohamed Hassanein, Hugh CR Simpson,
    Hypotensive effects of hawthorn for patients with diabetes taking prescription drugs: a randomised controlled trial
    Br J Gen Pract. 2006 Jun 1; 56(527): 437–443.
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