Blood thinners are medicines that are used to prevent blood clots. According to Stop The Clot, over eight million people in the United States use blood thinners (anticoagulants). Doctors usually recommend Xarelto 2.5 mg tablets to help prevent blood clots.
The reasons people use these medicines are different for each person, but there’s one thing everyone agrees upon: these blood thinners save lives. Despite the popularity of traditional blood thinners, some people are interested in natural alternatives to blood thinners.
In this article, we’ll talk about using herbs as options for people who want a more natural way to care for their health and their benefits.
What Are Blood Thinners?
Blood thinners are like special medicines that help prevent the formation of blood clots. These medicines don’t break up existing clots, but they stop them from growing bigger. This is important because blood clots in the blood vessels and heart lead to heart attacks, strokes, and blockages.
When you’re on blood thinners, follow the directions exactly. These medicines can sometimes react with certain foods, other medicines, vitamins, or alcohol. Your doctor needs to know about everything you’re taking.
You might also need regular blood tests to check if your blood is clotting the right way. This ensures you’re taking the right amount to prevent clots but not too much that it causes bleeding.
Who Needs Blood Thinners?
People might need blood thinners if they have:
- Certain heart or blood vessel problems
- A not-so-normal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation
- Had a replacement of heart valve
- Probability of getting blood clots after surgery
- Born with heart defects
Different Types of Blood Thinners
There are two types of blood thinners:
Anticoagulants: They slow down your body’s clot-making process. They have names like heparin or warfarin (also known as Coumadin).
Antiplatelets: They prevent tiny blood cells called platelets from sticking together and forming clots. People with heart attacks or strokes usually take these, like aspirin or clopidogrel.
Side Effects of Blood Thinners
Bleeding is one of the most common side effects of blood thinners. Sometimes, these medicines can upset your stomach and cause nausea or diarrhea. Other effects can depend on which type of blood thinner you’re using. If you notice severe signs of bleeding that doesn’t stop quickly or any other unusual bleeding like:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Red or dark urine
- Bleeding gums or nose
It’s important to let your doctor know. Also, tell them if you feel dizzy, weak, severe pain, unusual bruising, or other concerning symptoms. Your safety matters!
Due to possible side effects of blood thinners, some people are curious about other natural options for blood thinning.
Natural Alternatives to Blood Thinners
For a long time, herbs have been used in different cultures to stay healthy. Some all natural blood thinners might help “thin” the blood naturally. Let’s look at a few:
Garlic: It’s not just for cooking! Garlic might stop blood from clotting too much because of a particular part called allicin.
Turmeric: This spice has something called curcumin. It can help with inflammation and keep blood from clotting too much.
Ginger: Ginger is suitable for your tummy and might help blood flow better. It has gingerol and salicylate that can be like natural blood thinners.
Ginkgo Biloba: This comes from a tree and could help blood move around your body better. Some people believe it can prevent clots.
Foods with Vitamin E: Eating foods with vitamin E can help make your blood thinner. Vitamin E is like a superhero that weakens the power of vitamin K, which stops blood from clotting in your vessels.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon helps thin your blood. It has something called coumarin, also in a medicine called warfarin that thins blood. But don’t use too much cinnamon because it can hurt your liver since it also works like a blood thinner. Be careful!
Willow Bark: Willow bark has salicin that makes blood thinner. People also use it for headaches, back pain, and arthritis because it fights swelling.
Hawthorn: This herb is good for your heart. It might help blood flow well and prevent clots.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D also helps in making your blood thinner. It’s an anticoagulant that stops blood from clotting. If you’re unable to get enough vitamin D from food, you can take a supplement. If you’re 70 or older, you need at least 800 IU (a Special vitamin D measure). Not many foods have vitamin D, but some do:
- Fortified cereals
- Cod liver oil
- Beef liver
- Tuna fish
- Orange juice with vitamin D
- Egg yolk
- Milk (dairy or plant) with vitamin
Benefits of Natural Blood Thinners
Natural alternatives to blood thinners are excellent and highly recommended: they keep your heart healthy and prevent heart strokes by preventing blood clots that could cause heart problems.
They are gentle on your body, unlike strong medicines, and usually have fewer side effects so that you won’t feel sick.
Some options can do more than just thin blood – they might help your body fight germs and reduce swelling. Many of them also give your body extra nutrients, and if you like taking care of your body naturally, these options fit that approach.
Before you try all natural blood thinners, it’s best to talk to your doctor. They know what’s best for you and can ensure herbs won’t cause problems with other medicines.
Along with herbs, living healthy is super important. Eating good food, moving your body, and finding ways to relax can all help keep your blood healthy.
Natural alternatives to blood thinners are getting popular, but they can not replace prescribed medicines. Whatever form of medication you choose for blood thinning, understand its pros and cons in detail. Blood Thinners can act as lifesavers, but their reaction to the body varies from person to person. So, do consult your doctor before choosing all natural blood thinners.