The Benefits of Hawthorn for Heart & Cardiovascular Function

Published on November 25, 2023

By Kristen Boye BS, Natural Health

Kristen Boye

Kristen Boye is a natural health expert, writer, copywriter, and editor. Kristen was raised on an organic farm in British Columbia which inspired her life’s work. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Health, is a Certified Natural Foods Chef, co-owner of a medicinal herb farm, and is a natural foods and children’s health advocate. Kristen lives with her husband and two children on their medicinal herb farm in Western North Carolina.

Hawthorn has earned a reputation as one of the best herbs to support normal heart and cardiovascular function.*

Hawthorn berries, flowers, leaves, and seeds also have a rich history of traditional use as heart, digestive, and kidney tonics in herbalism and homeopathy.*

If you’re considering trying Hawthorn for cardiovascular support, you probably have a lot of questions.

In this article, we’ll explore the history, traditional uses, and benefits of Hawthorn, plus what makes Gaia Herbs Hawthorn supplements different.

What is Hawthorn?

Hawthorn is a large shrub or tree in the rose family native to North America and parts of Europe and is now grown and cultivated worldwide.

Its berries (technically drupes), flowers, leaves, and seeds have been used for centuries in different recipes and to support diverse facets of well-being, dating back to first-century Rome.

Some of Hawthorn’s traditional uses include:

  • Supporting heart function
  • Promoting digestive function
  • As a tonic during times of transition, grief, or difficulty
  • For emotional support, including setting boundaries
  • Supporting kidney function

Early records written about the Hawthorn tree declared it as a symbol of love. This may be why traditional herbalists believed it benefitted the physical and emotional heart and recommended it during times of grief or significant change.*

Hawthorn (as featured in the TV show “The Vampire Diaries”) has also been used as an herb for protection against vampires, monsters, and evil spirits.

Today, Hawthorn berries are primarily used in herbal supplements due to their concentration of antioxidants*. 

However, some brands, including Gaia Herbs, use Hawthorn leaves and flowers in addition to the berries for a more complete formula.

How Hawthorn May Benefit Heart and Cardiovascular Function

Hawthorn’s reputation as a heart tonic has made it the subject of multiple research studies, which revealed several active plant compounds believed to be responsible for its potential benefits.

For example, Hawthorn berries, leaves, and flowers have been shown to contain plant compounds such as: REF#3175 REF#3176 REF#3177

  • Oligomeric procyanidins in the flowers and leaves, which possess antioxidant properties
  • Flavonoids, such as Quercetin, Mucoxanthin, and Rutin, in the bright red berries of the plant, which also have antioxidant properties
  • Pentacyclic triterpenoids, such as Ursolic Acid, Hawthornic Acid, and Oleanolic acid, which may have a protective effect on cells and various organs, such as the liver, digestive system, and immune system

Hawthorn also contains an array of nutrients, including:

  • Dietary fiber
  • Pectin
  • Carotene
  • Minerals, most notably calcium
  • Eight essential amino acids
  • Vitamins A, C, B1, B2 
  • Organic acids that prevent vitamin C from being destroyed even when heated

Several studies have shown the activity of these, and other nutrients and plant compounds, may promote a healthy happy heart and support heart muscle function.REF#3178 REF#3179

Although it is difficult to prove the potential benefits of Hawthorn for the emotional heart, traditional systems of herbalism recommend (and still recommend) Hawthorn as an emotional heart protector during difficult or stressful times.*

This may be due to the protective effects of the active plant compounds during times of stress, but more research is needed.

The Gaia Herbs Hawthorn Difference

If you take a tour of the Gaia Herbs Certified Regenerative Organic herb farm in Western North Carolina, one of the first things you’ll see is organic Hawthorn trees growing next to the organic Ginkgo trees.

These were planted intentionally as a symbol of the connection between the mind—embodied by the Ginkgo trees, and the heart—symbolized by the Hawthorn trees.

The organic Hawthorn used in Gaia Herbs formulas is sourced from our farm and trusted organic regenerative growers worldwide.

As with all our products, you can trace the exact origins of the Hawthorn in your supplement through our Meet Your Herbs tool.

Gaia Herbs’ Hawthorn formulas, such as the best-selling Hawthorn Supreme, honor the beneficial properties of the whole plant and include Hawthorn berries, leaves, and flowers for a complete and holistic supplement.

These products contain certified organic Hawthorn for heart support and other aspects of wellness.


  • 1. , "Food Applications and Potential Health Benefits of Hawthorn", Foods..
  • 2. , "Pentacyclic triterpenoic acids: new chemoprotective compounds. Minireview", Neoplasma..
  • 3. , "Botanical, Phytochemical, Anti-Microbial and Pharmaceutical Characteristics of Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna Jacq.), Rosaceae", Molecules. .
  • 4. , "Benefit-Risk Assessment of Crataegus Extract WS 1442: An Evidence-Based Review", American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs..
  • 5. , "Botanical, Phytochemical, Anti-Microbial and Pharmaceutical Characteristics of Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna Jacq.), Rosaceae", Molecules. .