Your diet affects every part of your body, including your blood. In fact, some foods have very specific effects as blood thinners. Blood thinners can be important for managing your blood’s anti-clotting properties, which can help lower your risk of clots. Here are some natural blood thinners to keep in mind;
Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis), also known as Chinese tea, is renowned for its unique abilities to prevent cancers, treat stomach ailments, and improve mental function. Although dried green tea leaves contain significant amounts of vitamin K and may work against Coumadin, brewed green tea does not contain significant amounts of the vitamin. However, large amounts of brewed green tea can alter the effects of Coumadin.
Research on green tea and bleeding time is not widely available. There are periodic case reports. In one case, the INR of a 44-year-old patient with a mechanical heart valve dropped drastically when he drank large amounts of brewed green tea. This patient had a normal INR of 3.79 at baseline. After taking ½ to 1 gallon of brewed green tea daily for about a week, her INR dropped to 1.37.
For decades, Garlic (Allium sativum) has been believed to have various cardiovascular benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and anti-stroke activity. In addition, garlic oil can also reduce blood clotting.
One researcher noted that when essential garlic oil is mixed with blood samples from healthy individuals, cells are less likely to clump together (clot) in vitro. Although there have been no documented reports of any serious interaction effects when both Coumadin and garlic are taken, studies have implied that a serious reaction may be possible. Therefore, patients using Coumadin should avoid excessive garlic supplementation. However, eating only small amounts of garlic and foods containing small amounts of garlic pills should not be a problem.
Traditionally, ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been used to prevent motion sickness and arthritis. Today, it has been reported to reduce blood coagulation. Like the other natural supplements mentioned above, taking ginger supplements containing larger amounts of ginger than other food products may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with Coumadin. It is therefore strongly recommended that patients taking both Coumadin and ginger supplements have their INR checked regularly. They should also ensure that bleeding symptoms do not develop.
Now let’s talk about a food that is often said to have anti-clotting properties. But in reality, is coffee a blood thinner? It’s hard to isolate it and say for sure whether it’s yes or no, but as it stands, there’s no evidence that coffee is a blood thinner. This is a misconception that probably arose because of the effects of caffeine on blood pressure. Coffee in moderation may lower your risk of heart disease, but if you take too much coffee, it can also increase your blood pressure.
Coumarin, a chemical that acts as an anti-clotting, can be found in cinnamon. Cinnamon is also one of the most versatile natural blood thinners you can take, including in breads, cakes, and teas. It can also lower blood pressure and provide some relief for inflammation. However, it is recommended not to take it too often, as too much cinnamon can be bad for the liver. Therefore, it is best to use it in moderation with the other examples mentioned here.