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Why Could Chinese Hawthorn Leaf Extract Be Helpful in Managing Anxiety?

Why Could Chinese Hawthorn Leaf Extract Be Helpful in Managing Anxiety?

Herbal remedies have always been a popular solution for various health problems. Why would stress and anxiety be an exception? A wide range of natural remedies is available for those who experience anxiousness.

Chinese hawthorn leaf extract is on the list of herbs with potential anxiolytic properties. You might not be familiar with the specifics of this herb and how it promotes calmness and relaxation. Here is a detailed overview of scientific-based evidence regarding the efficacy of this plant for anxiety and stress.

What You Should Know About Chinese Hawthorn

Chinese hawthorn is a common name for the Crataegus pinnatifida plant. It is a tree that usually grows up to medium size. This hawthorn gives fruits that look like cherries due to their size and red color. In China, people call it the big red fruit, while the plant is named mountain hawthorn.

It is important not to confuse Chinese hawthorn with Cratageous monogyna. Although they both belong to the family of roses, the latter is native to Europe.

As for Chinese hawthorn, it has been a popular ingredient in traditional medicine in that country. The practitioners recommended it for hernia, cardiodynia, dyspepsia, and other medical issues. Dried fruits can promote digestion, while leaf extract is also popular for various applications.

You can consume hawthorn raw or go with teas, desserts, and jams. Even vinegar and vine that contain this herb exists. Alternatively, you can always look for a supplement that includes this herbal ingredient.

Modern Studies and Therapeutic Applications of Chinese Hawthorn

It is only natural that modern medicine became interested in Chinese hawthorn and its therapeutic effects. Here is what the research has to say about the connection between this plant and anxiety relief.

Research Study 1 (Chinese Hawthorn & Anxiety)


A study conducted in 2002 focused on the effectiveness of hawthorn extract in reducing blood pressure. The scientists included 36 subjects who reported mild hypertension.

The study lasted for ten weeks, and the participants were divided into four groups. The first received a placebo treatment, another hawthorn extract, the third one magnesium, and the fourth group a combination of both.

The hawthorn extract proved to help lower blood pressure. However, another interesting reveal was presented in the findings. Participants who received this extract exhibited a trend leading to anxiety relief.

That indicates the potential anxiolytic effect of the hawthorn plant.

Research Study 2 (Chinese Hawthorn & Anxiety)


Multiple research studies speak about combining hawthorn extract with other plants. According to the scientists, that could improve overall anxiolytic properties and ensure a stronger anxiety relief for the users.

A study conducted in France in 2004 involved a combination of hawthorn and California poppy extracts. The researchers included 264 patients, and most of them were women (81%). All of them reported anxiety behaviors that varied from mild to moderate on the Hamilton anxiety scale. The first group received placebo capsules, while others received a tablet containing the two mentioned extracts.

The results indicate that the reduction on the Hamilton scale was bigger in the group that received the plant extract. The difference was even more significant in the self-assessment process, where the change was -38.5 compared to -29.2 in the placebo group.

At least a portion of those results could be attributed to hawthorn. That is another confirmation this plant could assist in dealing with anxiety disorders.

Research Study 3 (Chinese Hawthorn & Anxiety)


Another research discussed a herbal blend and its effectiveness in treating anxious moods. The researchers used a combination of hawthorn, valerian, passionflower, horehound, Paullinia, and cola plants. The unique thing about these extracts is that the last two herbs have gentle stimulant properties. The first four on the list, including hawthorn, are famous for its relaxation and soothing effects.

The study involved 182 patients divided equally into the herbal blend and placebo categories. The research lasted for four weeks, and the comparison of Hamilton-anxiety rating results followed.

Compared to the beginning of the trial, those consuming plant extracts had a significant decrease in HAM-A scores. More than 40% of the patients had a rating lower than 10, which is 15% more than in the placebo group.

That proves herbal blends can help with anxiety disorders and anxious moods. Since hawthorn was a part of this extract, it is another indicator that this plant has anxiolytic properties.

Research Study 4 (Chinese Hawthorn & Stress & Depression)


An animal study conducted in 2019 focused on mice and the effectiveness of Chinese hawthorn on stress in these animals. The researchers induced stress in these animals for approximately two weeks. The measurements noted typical symptoms of depression.

The scientists decided to administer chlorogenic acid from Chinese hawthorn, or the extract of this plant to mice with depressive behavior.

The research showed that these two had a mitigating effect and helped to prevent depression-like symptoms. The scientists conclude that Chinese hawthorn and chlorogenic acid as its main compound are natural antidepressants.

Research Study 5 (Chinese Hawthorn & Depression & Anxiety)

Another study published in the Journal of Diabetes Nursing focused on the effects that hawthorn has on diabetic rats dealing with depression and anxiety. The researchers started by inducing diabetes in the studied animals. They divided them into multiple groups, and one of them received various doses of hawthorn extract.

The elevated-plus-maze test was used to measure the result. The conclusion is that Chinese hawthorn could provide relief from anxiety and depression symptoms in rats.

The changes were noted, although the difference was not significant.


Both human and animal studies confirm that hawthorn has anxiolytic potential and can assist in dealing with anxiety.



  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6271784/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11807965
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14741074
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9107558
  5. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mnfr.201800029
  6. http://jdn.zbmu.ac.ir/browse.php?a_id=325&slc_lang=en&sid=1&printcase=1&hbnr=1&hmb=1


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