We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
Natural blood thinners are substances that reduce the blood’s ability to form clots. Blood clotting is a necessary process, but sometimes the blood can clot too much, leading to complications that can be potentially dangerous.
It is essential to speak with a doctor before trying these remedies, as they may not work as well as medication and may interfere with some prescription drugs.
Some foods and other substances that may act as natural blood thinners and help reduce the risk of clots include the following list:
People have long used the golden spice known as turmeric for culinary and medicinal purposes. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin that has anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning or anticoagulant properties.
People can add turmeric to curries and soups or mix it with hot water to make a comforting tea.
Ginger is another anti-inflammatory spice that may stop blood clotting. It contains a natural acid called salicylate. Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is a synthetic derivative of salicylate and a potent blood thinner.
To get the anticoagulant effects of natural salicylates, people may want to use fresh or dried ginger regularly in baking, cooking, and juices.
It is unlikely, however, that natural salicylates are as effective as blood-thinning medications.
Cayenne peppers are also high in salicylates and can act as powerful blood-thinning agents.
Cayenne pepper is quite spicy, however, and many people can only tolerate it in small amounts.
Capsules containing cayenne pepper are available in health food stores and online. Other benefits of this spice include lowering blood pressure, increasing circulation, and reducing pain sensations.
Vitamin E reduces blood clotting in a few different ways. These effects depend on the amount of vitamin E that a person takes. The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements suggest that people who are taking blood-thinning drugs should avoid taking large doses of vitamin E.
It is unclear how much vitamin E thins the blood, although it is likely that people would need to take more than 400 International Units (IU) per day. Taking high doses of vitamin E supplements, for example, above 1,500 IU daily, on a long-term basis, may have negative effects.
It may be safer to get vitamin E from foods rather than supplements. Foods that contain vitamin E include:
- safflower oil
- sunflower oil
- sunflower seeds
- wheat germ oil
- whole grains
Besides its often desirable taste in food and cooking, garlic has natural antibiotic and antimicrobial properties.
The American Academy of Family Physicians nonetheless recommend that people stop taking high doses of garlic 7 to 10 days before a planned surgery because of its antithrombotic properties.
Cinnamon contains coumarin, a powerful blood-thinning agent. Warfarin, the most commonly used blood-thinning drug, is derived from coumarin.
Chinese cassia cinnamon contains
It may be best to stick to small amounts of cinnamon in the diet in addition to using other natural blood thinners.
Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine have used leaves from the Ginkgo biloba tree for thousands of years. Ginkgo is also a very popular herbal supplement in the United States and Europe. People take it for blood disorders, memory problems, and low energy.
Gingko thins the blood and has fibrinolytic effects, according to some sources. This means it may dissolve blood clots. One
The research was, however, done in a laboratory, and not carried out on people or animals. Further research is necessary to see if gingko has the same effects in the human body.
There is some
Grape seed extract may also act as a natural blood thinner. Because of these effects, the
Dong quai, also known as female ginseng, is another traditional Chinese herb that may reduce blood clotting.
Studies on animals
This effect may result from dong quai’s coumarin content, the same substance that makes cinnamon such a potent anticoagulant.
Dong quai is taken orally, and can be consumed as part of a herbal tea or soup.
Feverfew is a medicinal herb that comes from the same family as daisies or the Asteraceae family.
Feverfew may also
Bromelain is an enzyme that people extract from pineapples. It may be an effective remedy for cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure.
Bromelain is available in supplement form from health stores and drug stores.
Many natural substances may reduce clotting to some degree. But natural remedies are unlikely to be as effective as blood-thinning drugs and people at risk of blood clots should not use them instead of prescription medications.
Government authorities do not monitor herbs and supplements as closely as food and drugs. People should research the different brands carefully before buying to ensure they are known for quality and purity.
People taking prescription blood thinners should not use natural remedies without talking to their doctor first.
Even though they are natural, some substances and foods may thin the blood too much, especially when taken in conjunction with medications. This can increase the risk of bleeding.
While people can usually consume foods with potential blood-thinning properties safely in reasonable amounts, it is essential to speak to a doctor before trying herbal remedies, such as dong quai and grape seed extract.
Some of the natural blood thinners listed in this article are available for purchase online.
- Shop for turmeric supplements.
- Shop for ginger supplements.
- Shop for cayenne pepper supplements.
- Shop for garlic supplements.
- Shop for ginkgo biloba supplements.
- Shop for grape seed extract.
- Shop for dong quai products.
- Shop for feverfew supplements.
- Shop for bromelain supplements.
Some of these products should not be taken alongside blood thinning medication.