Bastyr Center for Natural Health, Seattle, Washington
Health Information
Overview Health Conditions and Concerns Conditions A-M Conditions N-Z Healthy Lifestyle Tips Bastyr Health-E News News and Events Recommended Reading List Recipes National and Community Resources
Schedule an appointment today
Diabetes | Health Conditions | Diabetes | People with Diabetes: Keep Blood Pressure in Check with Hawthorn

People with Diabetes: Keep Blood Pressure in Check with Hawthorn

June 29, 2006—More and more, people are developing diabetes and high blood pressure (or hypertension) together. New research shows that people with both these diseases may find help from an ancient remedy: hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata), which has been used medicinally since at least the first century AD.

The British Journal of General Practice reports that a hawthorn extract can lower diastolic blood pressure (the lower number on a blood pressure reading), even in people already taking blood pressure drugs.

“In our study of people with diabetes, 71% were taking drugs to control hypertension,” said Ann F. Walker, PhD, a senior lecturer in nutrition at the University of Reading in Great Britain and lead author of the study. “We wanted to know if a daily hawthorn supplement would lower blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes, and if it would provide additional benefit to those who were taking blood pressure medication already.”

Hawthorn berries, flowers, and leaves have been used traditionally throughout Europe to treat cardiovascular diseases. The herb is probably best known as a treatment for congestive heart failure, and several studies have validated its use for this condition. There is also evidence that hawthorn can lower blood pressure in people with hypertension, but not all studies have found a benefit.

The 79 people who took part in the present study were randomly assigned to receive either placebo or hawthorn extract (1,200 mg per day, which is equivalent to 6 grams per day of dried flowering tops extract) standardized to contain 2.2% flavonoids. Blood pressure and other measurements were taken at the beginning of the study, at eight weeks, and at sixteen weeks.

Compared with the placebo group, the group taking the hawthorn extract had a significant reduction of 2.6 mm Hg on the blood pressure gauge.

People with diabetes are about twice as likely to get hypertension as people without the disease, possibly due to an abnormality in the way their bodies react to insulin. Hypertension can speed up diabetes-related complications, such as eye and kidney damage and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which in turn raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.

“This is the first study to show a reduction in diastolic blood pressure using hawthorn in people with type 2 diabetes taking prescribed medication,” said Dr. Walker. “The study provides further evidence for the safe use of hawthorn, and we hope it stimulates research into its blood pressure–lowering effects in other groups.”

Learn more about the services provided by Bastyr Center for Natural Health, or schedule your appointment today.

(Br J Gen Pract 2006;56:437–43)

Jeremy Appleton, ND, CNS, is a licensed naturopathic physician, certified nutrition specialist, and published author. Dr. Appleton was the Nutrition Department Chair at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, has served on the faculty at Bastyr University of Natural Health Sciences, and is a former Healthnotes Senior Science Editor and a founding contributor to Healthnotes Newswire. He has worked extensively in scientific and regulatory affairs in the supplement industry and is now a consultant through his company Praxis Natural Products Consulting and Wellness Services.

Copyright © 2006 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of the Healthnotes® content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Healthnotes, Inc. Healthnotes Newswire is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. Healthnotes, Inc. shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. HEALTHNOTES and the Healthnotes logo are registered trademarks of Healthnotes, Inc.

Learn More About It

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 |

Find a Provider

Want to find the provider that's right for you? Learn more about our health care providers.  »

Bastyr Center Disclaimer

The health information contained in this site is not intended as medical advice and should not be considered a substitute for appropriate medical care. Any products mentioned in studies cited in Healthnotes articles are not necessarily endorsed by Bastyr. As with any product, consult with a natural health practitioner to discuss what may be best for you.


Appointments: 206.834.4100
Bastyr Center clinic appointments

Submit a contact request or call us to schedule an appointment »

Bastyr University Clinic in San Diego

Are you looking for Bastyr University Clinic, our new teaching clinic in San Diego? More »

Learn More About Our Services

Natural medicine can treat many types of conditions including:

More treatable health conditions »

Bastyr Center healthcare providers

Interested in finding a provider who's right for you? We recommend that your first visit at BCNH be with a Naturopathic Medicine Provider. »

Home  | Health Information  | Health Care Services  | Our Providers  | Patient Care  | Dispensaries

About BCNH  | Contact Us  | Appointments  | Privacy Policy  | Site Map | Bastyr University