Is Indian Hawthorn Poisonous? [To Dogs, Cats, Humans]

Indian Hawthorn is a popular evergreen shrub that is mostly grown for its attractive flowers and berries. We grow it indoors as container plants or outdoors for hedges or flower beds as well. 

Since the plant is always at arm’s length, there are some potential questions that need to be answered. One of them is if they are poisonous to us and other animals. 

In this article, we are going to talk about how toxic they are to us and to our pets and animals and what we can do to reduce the toxicity. 

So, let’s get started–

Is Indian Hawthorn Poisonous To Humans?

The berries of Indian Hawthorn are not really considered poisonous. However, sometimes they can be mildly toxic to humans if ingested in large quantities.

The thing is, these Indian hawthorn berries contain small amounts of saponins and cyanogenic glycosides, which can release cyanide when they are crushed or chewed.

Though the amount of cyanide present in these barriers are not that high to be considered as dangerous. However, if it’s consumed in large amounts, it can cause some symptoms such as stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, and headache.

In addition, the stems and leaves of Indian hawthorns also contain the same toxins and it’s better not to ingest them on purpose. 

Besides, some individuals may be allergic to Indian Hawthorn, which can cause symptoms such as skin rashes, itching, and respiratory problems.

However, if you cook these berries before eating it can reduce their toxicity and make them safer to eat. This is because high heat denatures some proteins and this is why the toxicity is reduced. Though, you have to remember that cooking will not completely eliminate all of the toxins.

If you have accidentally ingested them or are experiencing any of these symptoms and are worried about their potential toxicity then you should definitely consult with a qualified healthcare professional immediately.

Is Indian Hawthorn Toxic to Dogs?

Yes, Indian Hawthorn can be toxic to dogs if ingested in large quantities. The plant contains some chemicals that can cause stomach upset, lethargy, loss of appetite, drooling, weakness, difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, pale gums, vomiting, and diarrhea.

In severe cases, the toxicity can result in respiratory failure, seizures, and even death in dogs.

So, It’s very important to keep your dog away from Indian Hawthorn plants and other potentially toxic plants to prevent accidental ingestion. But if you suspect your dog has ingested Indian Hawthorn or is exhibiting any of these symptoms, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

Is Indian Hawthorn Toxic to Cats?

Indian hawthorn is not considered highly toxic to cats, but it can still cause some health issues if ingested in large amounts. Similar to dogs, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain in cats.

Besides, it can also cause some symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, dilated pupils, and seizures as well.

So, It’s always best to keep Indian hawthorns out of reach of your cats. If you suspect that your cat has ingested some Indian hawthorn and is showing any of these symptoms, it’s really important to contact your veterinarian immediately for advice.

Is Indian Hawthorn Toxic to Horses and Cows?

Indian Hawthorn is considered to be mildly toxic to horses and cows if ingested in large amounts. Though these animals generally do not find Indian Hawthorn to be palatable, and they are very unlikely to consume these Indian hawthorns enough in amount to cause them any lethal harm.

However, the symptoms of Indian hawthorn toxicity in horses are diarrhea, lethargy and stomach upset. In case of ingestion and exhibition of these symptoms, always consult with a vet and make sure they are treated as soon as possible.


Indian hawthorns are amazing when it comes to decorating our gardens and landscapes. But because of their toxic effects, it’s always better to be cautious about keeping ourselves and our pets near them.

If you are consuming the berries, just to be on the safe side make sure they are cooked. And keep your pet cats and dogs and other domestic animals like cows and horses away from the Indian hawthorns. 

If you suspect that someone or any animal has ingested the Indian Hawthorns, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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