zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Hawthorn Berry & Pregnancy

by
author image Sharon Perkins
A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.
Hawthorn Berry & Pregnancy
Hawthorn berries growing on a tree. Photo Credit iosifbudau/iStock/Getty Images

Hawthorn berries have a long history of use by herbalists to treat heart conditions, including high blood pressure. The question of whether hawthorn use is safe in pregnancy depends on whom you ask. Alternative medicine practitioners such as herbalists use the red or black berries, called haws, to treat high blood pressure or other heart problems in pregnancy. Traditional medical practitioners do not condone the use of hawthorn in pregnancy, as clinical trials have not proved its safety. Do not use hawthorn to treat heart problems during pregnancy without your physician’s approval and supervision.

Actions

Hawthorn has strong vasodilator properties, according to herbalist and author Susun Weed in her book “Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year.” The berries also contain antioxidants, substances that can reduce DNA cellular damage by destroying molecules known as free radicals. This herb is used in Germany to improve irregular heartbeat and may also have blood-thinning properties.

Uses

Weed recommends hawthorn berries to treat essential hypertension in pregnancy rather than gestational hypertension. If you have high blood pressure before you get pregnant as well as during pregnancy, you have essential hypertension. If you develop high blood pressure during pregnancy, usually after the 20th week of pregnancy, you have gestational hypertension. Author and herbalist Jill Rosemary Davies also recommends using hawthorn to treat irregular heartbeat, varicose veins or thrombosis in pregnancy in her book, “In a Nutshell: Hawthorn.” Because hypertension, thrombosis and irregular heartbeat can have serious causes and effects, talk with your doctor before taking this herb.

Doses

You can buy hawthorn berry in several forms, including tinctures, capsules or liquid or solid extracts. You can also make tea from the dried berries, leaves and flowers. ( Weed recommends a tincture dose of 15 drops two to three times per day or one cup of a cold infusion, a type of tea, made by steeping 1 oz. of crushed dried berries in two cups of cold water overnight. Bring it quickly to a boil and strain, then sip during the day. Davis states that small doses are always advisable, but does not specify an amount.

Risks

Studies have not been done on the effects of this herb during pregnancy, so it’s not known whether the herb could affect the development of the fetus. This herb could reduce uterine tone and is not considered safe in pregnancy, the People’s Pharmacy warns. Side effects include headache, nausea and a rapid heartbeat.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.