If you have high blood pressure, then you may be prescribed blood thinners by your doctor. These decrease the viscosity of the blood slightly, thereby enabling it to pass more easily through your blood vessels while placing a little less strain on the heart. Moreover, it can help to prevent pulmonary embolism, thrombosis, heart disease or stroke.
Popular blood thinners include Coumadin and Plavix, while Aspirin can also be used in this manner. But if you’re not at risk of any of these conditions, then using a prescription blood thinner or even aspirin can lead to a number of side effects. Among other things, this can cause dizziness, menstrual bleeding, headaches and stomach pain.
A milder approach then that can improve your blood pressure without causing side effects, is to use the various ingredients that are available naturally in our diet and which can help to thin the blood.
Note however, that you should always consult with your doctor before attempting to self-medicate – even with natural ingredients. Otherwise, you might risk an interaction with other medication, or if you stop your prescription, you may still be at risk of the aforementioned conditions. Your doctor would not prescribe blood thinners unless the situation was urgent.
Popular Natural Blood Thinners
Turmeric is a spice often used in curries. It contains curcumin which acts as an antiplatelet.
Ginger is actually part of the same family as turmeric and contains salicylate, an acid that is in a number of plants. Some studies link a derivative of this component, acetyl salicylic acid, to stroke prevention (1) though more research needs to be done.
Avocados also contain the all-important salicylate. They’re also rich in saturated fats but this has been shown to increase HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and not LDL cholesterol – despite what we formerly believed.
Vitamin E can also act to combat clotting and is found in good quantities in nuts and several other fibrous foods. As insoluble fiber is also good for combating cholesterol, this is likely a good choice for combating high blood pressure.
Garlic is not actually a blood thinner but rather a potent vasodilator. This means it widens the blood vessels and thereby allows blood to pass through more easily and again reduces the blood pressure. This is an alternate approach to combating high blood pressure through natural ingredients in the diet.