The clotting of blood is an important process in our body whereby the blood thickens when a blood vessel is injured. This thickening of blood, also known as blood clot keeps us from bleeding to death. In some cases blood clots are formed even without a wound or an injury and this phenomenon can lead to several serious problems. If the clot is formed in the artery, it can block the blood circulation, leading to heart attack.
Blood clots in the brain can lead to strokes. There are several blood thinners available in the market today such as Aspirin, Warfarin etc. However these medications can have several side effects. Natural blood thinners are substances found in nature that are just as effective as the prescription medications without the side effects caused by the drugs.
There are several foods and supplements that have blood thinning properties. These include foods containing salicylates, omega-3 fatty acids, foods with natural antibiotic properties and vitamin E supplements. Given below is a list of natural blood thinners:
- Red clover –Belonging to the family of legumes, red clover has been used for a long time to cleanse the blood and also as a blood thinner. Red clover contains low levels of blood thinning chemicals called Coumarins. This helps to prevent the formation of blood clots and also improves blood flow.
- Chamomile – This flowering plant that has several medicinal properties belongs to the daisy family. It is generally used as a calming herb, and relaxant. Like Red clover, Chamomile also contains Coumarin, and is hence used as a blood thinner.
- Cayenne pepper – Cayenne pepper or Capsicum is a natural blood thinner that helps to prevent clotting of blood and promotes circulation of blood. Cayenne prevents blood clotting by dissolving fibrin, which is an insoluble protein that is responsible for clotting the blood.
- Salicylates – These are substances that have the ability to block vitamin K, which plays a major role in blood clotting. There are several foods, herbs and spices that are high in salicylates.
These include most fruits (cherries, cranberries, blueberries, grapes, tangerines, strawberries, oranges, raisins and prunes), flavorings, preservatives, curry powder, ginger, thyme, paprika, oregano, dill, cinnamon, licorice, turmeric, honey, vinegar, wine and peppermint.
- Garlic and onions – These foods also prevent the platelets from sticking to one another, thus preventing the formation of blood clots. They also contain natural antibiotics that can destroy the intestinal bacteria that produce vitamin K.
- Omega-3 fatty acids – This is one of the most commonly known natural blood thinners. Fish oil is usually rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can be taken either as capsules or by eating fatty fish. Some of the fishes that contain high amounts of these fatty acids include anchovies, albacore tuna, mackerel, salmon, herring, swordfish and lake trout.
- Vitamin E – It has been found that some foods high in Vitamin E also serve as good natural blood thinners.
- Nattokinase – Another natural blood thinner is the enzyme Nattokinase. This enzyme prevents the formation of blood clots and also has the power to dissolve any unwanted clots formed in the body.
People who are taking blood thinning medication are often recommended to take particular care while eating these foods in order to prevent their blood from becoming too thin. Always consult a doctor before starting any blood thinning treatment on your own to avoid a potentially serious bleeding disorder.
You can find more in depth information on this matter at Natural Blood thinners