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:
- Curry powder
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.