garlic and onions

Foods For Blood Clot Prevention

by jenny sansouci on November 14, 2009

Natural Blood Thinners

Blood clots are a natural part of our body’s healing process. When we have a cut or injury that causes bleeding (internal or external) our blood cells naturally coagulate to form clots at the site of the injury to stop the bleeding. Usually, blood clots dissolve on their own and are not harmful.

Once in awhile, however, clots can form that can be dangerous to our health. If clots form, break away, travel through the body and get lodged in a blood vessel or artery, the blood supply through the body can be blocked. If this happens in certain arteries, it can cause serious health conditions and even be life-threatening.

Some people are more genetically pre-dispositioned to blood clots than others. The reason I’m writing this post is because I was talking to my dad last night and found out that blood clotting runs in the family. I, in fact, may be genetically pre-dispositioned to clotting. But the good news is we can all make adjustments to our diet that may help prevent dangerous blood clotting. To take precautionary measures against clotting, the idea is to eat foods that will have a thinning effect on the blood. This will help to ensure the blood doesn’t coagulate unnecessarily.

*Note: I am not a doctor and have no medical training. I am not suggesting any type of treatment for already existing blood clots. If you are worried about blood clotting please see your doctor immediately. I am only here to offer natural dietary suggestions that may help with prevention. If you are already taking prescribed blood thinning medication (i.e. Coumadin), it is not recommended that you ingest large amounts of blood thinning foods. This is intended only for people that aren’t already taking blood thinners.

Natural blood thinners:

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, the following foods appear to have natural blood thinning properties:

  • Garlic: a natural blood thinning anti-coagulate
  • Ginger: can prevent blood platelets from sticking together, stimulates smooth blood flow
  • Fish oils: the Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in the blood. (Find in fish such as salmon, or in capsule form).

Dr. Kristie Leong also recommends:

  • Onions: anti-clotting properties. Raw onions are best!
  • Tumeric: a spice commonly found in Indian food – inhibits an enzyme common in blood-clot formation (fibrinogen).

Foods and herbs high in salicylic acid can have blood thinning properties, as they help block excess Vitamin K (vitamin K facilitates clotting).

According to the book “Healing Without Medication,” herbs with salicylic acid include:

  • Peppermint
  • Paprika
  • Curry powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Dill
  • Oregano

Again, this is no substitute for medical treatment if you have a serious health condition, but these are all great foods to keep in mind if you think you may have a higher than average risk of blood clotting.

So enjoy adding more garlic, ginger and onions to your diet — and keep some mints on hand.

If you want to learn more about natural healing, check out Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis Balch – one of the best and most widely used books on natural medicine.

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victoria Stork April 15, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I am going on a long flight to Switzerland and wanted to know what I could eat to be sure and discourage blood clotting as I will be sitting for 15 hrs. I have varicose veins and will get up and walk as much as possible, but wanted to eat what I could to help! Thank you

jenny sansouci April 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm

hi victoria — I would definitely recommend swallowing a clove or 2 of raw garlic in the morning before your flight. cut the garlic up into small pieces and swallow them just like a pill. good luck! 🙂

Sandi Stillings December 18, 2011 at 12:46 am

I have been on Coumadin for about 12 years because my body makes clots [clotting disorder]…now despite Coumadin, I’ve had at least year we’ve identified three clots to vital areas; liver, kidney and celiac/ mesenteric area….and I’ve had a 10th rib mysteriously start to disintegrate. [??loss of blood flow??]
Would any of this do any good, other than mess up my PT/INR readings?

jenny sansouci December 27, 2011 at 11:59 am

Hi Sandi, I’m not a doctor, so definitely consult with your doctor about the Coumadin and your current blood clot situation. Best of luck! -Jenny

Joseph McCaffrey September 22, 2013 at 11:30 pm

I’m 76 and was hospitalized for a pulmonary embolism in Oct 2011. I take 5 mg of Warfarin daily with regular monitoring (sometimes my doctor raises it to 7.5 mg.) I also had a TIA in Jan 2013, with no detectable damage. My question: I love a good steak with garlic salt, I see Garlic is good, what about the steak? Are there any foods I should avoid, other than the obvious Vitamin K sources? I feel great, although a tense feeling in my legs now and then tells me I must get on the stationary bicycle or do some slow jogging. I have a healthy appetite and would like to know what I can and cannot eat.

phia April 8, 2015 at 3:44 pm

I also am looking for foods to eat and what not to eat for my mom she is taking warfarin, I have been looking all over the internet if some one knows of a cook book I want it

galiwango david mukasa January 4, 2014 at 1:53 pm

i have been with blood clot in my left leg for two year,s.which food,s should i eat.i am in uganda and my proffesional i am tour guide.

mona May 9, 2015 at 10:09 am

My knee is swollen and my muscles pull in my inner thigh. I’ve been checked for blood clots and that was finem. What else could be.

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