Natural Blood Thinners

Natural Blood Thinners

There are a number of fruits and vegetables that act as natural blood thinners, and are free of side effects. The following HolisticZine article talks about these foods along with their effects on blood clotting.
HolisticZine Staff
There are many people, especially those with certain kinds of blood vessel or heart disease, and have to take prescription blood thinners on a daily basis. These drugs discourage the formation of blood clots in the arteries and veins, and thus, lower the chances of a person suffering from a heart attack or a stroke. The two main types of these thinners are anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs. The former, such as heparin or warfarin, work on chemical reactions in the body to increase the time it takes for a blood clot to form. Antiplatelet drugs, such as aspirin, stop blood cells called platelets from clumping together to form a clot.

Best Blood Thinning Foods

There are many naturally occurring substances that can produce a similar effect as aspirin, without the negative side effects. Many of them contain substances called salicylates, which apparently block vitamin K. The following are some foods that are said to have a high content of salicylates:
  • Ginger
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Paprika
  • Peppermint
  • Thyme
  • Licorice
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Dill
  • Oregano
The wondrous properties of ginger root are many, and this herb is used in a wide range of home remedies, from soothing a sore throat, to assisting digestion and motion sickness, and in recent times, to lower cholesterol. Ginger is believed to help reduce inflammation, and facilitate blood flow throughout the body. Cayenne pepper is a spice used in many different cuisines, and is an important ingredient in a variety of hot sauces. Paprika is also a spice derived from the dried fruits of Capsicum annuum. It is very rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants. The herb peppermint has a long tradition of medicinal use, and in a scientific study, it has been proved to treat a condition called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The essential oil contained in thyme is an antiseptic, and the herb used in tea can soothe cough and bronchitis. Licorice helps to dissolve thick mucus, and relieves respiratory problems. It is a mild laxative and can also be used in the treatment of ulcers. The wonderful flavor of cinnamon is harnessed in many sweet dishes, and is reputed to cure colds, and ease diarrhea and other digestive ailments. It is also said to possess antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

Widely used in Asia, turmeric is used to treat cuts, burns, and bruises. It is also believed to benefit the skin, and is thus, added to many cosmetic creams and lotions. Oregano is used more as a medicinal plant than as a spice in many countries, and has high antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. Oil extracts of oregano are used to treat cold, influenza, mild fevers, fungal infections, indigestion, stomach upsets, enteric parasites, and painful menstruation. It also has sedative properties, and consequently must be consumed in small doses. It is also one of the best natural topical antiseptics.

Fish Oil
Fish oil has been recommended for people of all age groups for centuries. Available in many capsule forms, they have been made popular in recent times for their ability to increase good cholesterol. Fish oil is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, that not only are essential for normal growth and health, but can also play very important role in preventing cancer, particularly breast, colon, and prostate cancer. It may also boost immunity, improve brain function, and have pain relieving capabilities in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Fish oil contains two of the most therapeutic omega 3 fatty acids - DHA and EPA. They are absorbed by the body with greater ease as compared to others, and can help reduce inflammation in the blood.

As mentioned above, natural blood thinners do not have side effects, one can consume them in moderate quantities without any problem. However, if you are already taking prescription anticoagulant drugs, you should not consume too many foods with natural blood thinning compounds.