Powerful Natural Blood Thinners: Foods, Herbs & Lifestyle Changes

Last Updated on August 13, 2023 by Admin

Introduction

Blood thinners are commonly prescribed medications that help prevent blood clots from forming and traveling to the heart, brain, lungs, or other areas where they can cause harm. But many people are wary of potential side effects of pharmaceutical blood thinners like excessive bleeding or bruising. This has sparked interest in natural alternatives to blood thinners that can help thin the blood gently using foods, herbs, and lifestyle changes.

How Do Natural Blood Thinners Work?

Natural blood thinners work in a variety of ways to prevent clotting and platelet aggregation, which allows blood to flow freely throughout the body. Many plant-based foods and herbs contain compounds that exhibit anticoagulant, antiplatelet, and fibrinolytic properties to inhibit the body’s clotting abilities.

Specifically, natural blood thinners can:

  • Reduce blood viscosity – Making blood less sticky and more fluid.
  • Inhibit platelet activation – Preventing platelets from clustering together to form clots.
  • Increase fibrinolytic activity – Breaking down clots by dissolving fibrin proteins.
  • Improve endothelial function – Helping inner blood vessel lining remain smooth and promote blood flow.

The result is improved circulation and a reduced risk of conditions like strokes, pulmonary embolism, DVT, or heart attacks linked to blood clots.

Top Foods and Herbs with Natural Blood Thinning Effects

Certain foods and herbs contain high levels of compounds that provide blood-thinning benefits:

Garlic

Garlic is one of the most powerful natural blood thinners thanks to a compound called ajoene that helps inhibit platelet aggregation. Eating garlic regularly can help improve circulation and lower blood pressure as well. Try adding crushed garlic to dressings, soups, sauces, and other dishes.

Ginger

Ginger exhibits natural antiplatelet activity and contains gingerols that can help prevent blood clots from forming. Enjoy fresh ginger tea or use ginger powder in smoothies, stir fries, curry dishes, and more to leverage its anticoagulant abilities.

Turmeric

The active compound curcumin in turmeric helps stimulate blood flow and prevent blood clots from forming. Mix turmeric powder into roasted vegetables, soups, or golden milk to take advantage of its natural blood thinning capacities.

Cayenne Pepper

Capsaicin is what gives cayenne its heat, and it also provides anticoagulant effects that help thin the blood. Adding spicy cayenne pepper to meals may help improve circulation while providing other cardiovascular benefits as well.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon contains blood-thinning coumarins that can help prevent blood platelets from clumping together. Sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal, fruit, coffee, or use in baked goods to harness its natural anticoagulant properties.

Olive Oil

Instead of fish oil, consider using extra virgin olive oil as a natural blood thinner. Olive oil contains a compound called oleocanthal that exhibits anti-platelet aggregating and anticoagulant effects similar to ibuprofen.

Multiple studies have found that oleocanthal inhibits platelet activation and helps prevent blood clots from forming. It also decreases thrombosis risk factors like fibrinogen and viscous plasma.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that can help thin the blood. Foods high in vitamin E like nuts, seeds, spinach, and avocados make great additions to an anticoagulant diet. You can also take a vitamin E supplement for blood thinning benefits.

Other Natural Blood Thinners to Consider

In addition to the foods above, other natural supplements and foods also provide blood thinning effects:

  • Nattokinase – This enzyme from fermented soy foods called natto can help dissolve fibrin and break down blood clots. Nattokinase supplements promote circulation.
  • Papaya – Papain enzyme from papaya can inhibit platelet aggregation and provide fibrinolytic activity like nattokinase. Eat fresh papaya to thin blood.
  • Leafy Greens – Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and swiss chard contain high levels of vitamin K that can help regulate healthy blood clotting.
  • Flaxseeds – Flaxseeds provide anti-platelet benefits thanks to their omega-3 ALA content. Add ground flax to your diet as a blood thinner.

Lifestyle Changes That Complement Natural Blood Thinners

Certain lifestyle modifications can also help thin the blood for improved cardiovascular health:

  • Regular exercise helps improve circulation and prevent blood clot formation. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight is important, as obesity leads to thicker, stickier blood. Losing excess weight can help thin the blood.
  • Quitting smoking helps repair blood vessels and reduces platelet aggregation for less viscous blood.
  • Reducing alcohol intake can thin the blood, as heavy drinking promotes platelet aggregation.

Who Should Avoid Blood Thinners?

While natural blood thinners offer a safer alternative to pharmaceutical anticoagulants, some people should use caution and consult their doctor before use:

  • Those already taking prescription anticoagulant medications like warfarin or heparin.
  • People prone to easy bleeding or bruising.
  • Individuals preparing for upcoming surgeries should avoid blood thinners.
  • Those recovering from recent surgeries or injuries.
  • People with bleeding disorders like hemophilia.

Are Natural Blood Thinners Right for You?

Adding more natural blood thinning foods, herbs, and supplements to your diet can gently promote healthy circulation. However, always talk to your doctor before making major dietary changes, especially if taking other medications. While food provides a safer alternative to pharmaceutical anticoagulants, it’s important to be mindful of any bleeding risks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about using natural blood thinners:

Q: What foods are natural blood thinners?

A: Some of the top foods with natural blood-thinning effects include garlic, ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, leafy greens, and foods rich in vitamin E.

Q: What herbs thin your blood naturally? 

A: Herbs like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, and papaya contain compounds that exhibit natural anticoagulant and antiplatelet abilities to thin the blood.

Q: Is turmeric a natural blood thinner? 

A: Yes, the active compound curcumin found in turmeric helps improve circulation and prevents blood clotting and platelet aggregation.

Q: Is garlic a blood thinner?

A: Garlic is a potent natural blood thinner, as the ajoene in garlic inhibits platelet aggregation and makes the blood less likely to clot.

Q: Is vitamin E a blood thinner? 

A: Yes, vitamin E has natural antioxidant properties that help thin the blood and improve blood flow by preventing clots.

Q: Can you thin your blood naturally? 

A: Yes, by consuming foods and herbs with natural anticoagulant properties like garlic, ginger, turmeric, leafy greens, etc. Lifestyle changes like exercise also support natural blood thinning.

Q: Are bananas natural blood thinners? 

A: No, bananas do not contain significant blood thinning properties, though they are rich in potassium which helps lower blood pressure.

Q: Can I take natural blood thinners with Eliquis? 

A: It’s not recommended to combine natural blood thinners like garlic, ginger, etc. with prescription anticoagulants like Eliquis unless approved by your doctor, as this can increase bleeding risks.

Q: What drinks help thin your blood? 

A: Beverages like green tea, ginger tea, cranberry juice and pomegranate juice provide antioxidants and compounds that help thin the blood naturally.

In conclusion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon, vitamin E, leafy greens, and other foods with natural anticoagulant properties can help thin the blood overtime. Pair these with lifestyle changes like regular exercise for optimal results. But consult your doctor and monitor yourself carefully when using food as natural blood thinners.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before starting any new herbal treatment.

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