Herbs that have shown to lower blood pressure include garlic, olive leaves and hawthorn, but consulting a doctor is always advisable. Find out about the herbs can help lower blood pressure with holistic advice from a chiropractor in this free video on alternative medicine.


USUALLY healthfoods are a good thing. But not just before SURGERY. Facing
oral surgery and not wanting to bleed, I looked at this list
of blood thinners. EEK! Substances that are known to thin the blood include foods with high amounts
of aspirin like substances called salicylates, omega-3 fatty acids, foods
with natural antibiotic properties and vitamin E supplements. And VIT K rich GREENS!

It is important to note that while many Americans have problems with blood
clots, it is not true that blood thinning foods are desirable for everyone
in the population. I have been an easy bleeder all of my life, so I have
compiled much of the information on this list so I know which foods to
limit in order to keep my blood from being too thin. People taking
prescription anticoagulant drugs also need to be careful not to consume too
many foods with natural blood thinning compounds in addition to their
regular medication. One of my relatives is on a prescription anticoagulant
drug for blood clots and has gotten eye hemorrhages from ingesting too many
blood thinning foods in conjunction with his prescription medication.

Interestingly, my relative was given a list of foods high in vitamin K so
he would know what foods to limit so as not to reduce the effectiveness of
his medication. However he was not given a list of foods that have their
own anticoagulant properties, which if taken in conjunction with his
medication could cause bleeding problems. He found some information on his
own about blood thinning foods after he had two eye hemorrhages.

Blood coagulation should fall within a desirable range. If blood coagulates
too easily, clots can form which in turn can lead to adverse health
conditions such as heart attacks. However, if blood doesn't clot enough,
conditions such as hematuria (blood in the urine), nosebleeds, hemorrhages,
heavy periods in women, nosebleeds and bleeding strokes may occur. If a
person's blood isn't clotting enough and he has surgery or a traumatic
event like a car accident, he could have a serious problem by losing too
much blood from wounds or surgical incisions failing to clot properly.

Some of the foods that are generally thought to have natural blood thinning
compounds are listed below. Please note that this is a hodge podge list
based on information I've collected over the years based on my own
experiences, Internet research and my assortment of alternative health
books, so it's possible it may contain some errors. See your doctor before
you implement any diet, supplement or exercise changes, especially if you
are taking any prescription medications or have any health concerns related
to coagulation.


One type of natural blood thinners are substances that block vitamin K.
These include salicylates. The most well known of these is aspirin, but
many foods, such as preservatives and flavorings, also contain salicylates
or aspirin like substances. Some individuals are known to be aspirin or
salicylate sensitive. I'm one of those salicylate sensitive types, but I
have found that I can eat more salicylates as long as I eat a balanced
amount of vitamin K foods, too. (Vitamin K plays an important role in the
body's in blood clotting processes. The "K" in vitamin K gets its name from
the Danish word for coagulation.)

Foods that are generally high in salicylates include many spices, most
fruit, especially dried fruits, nuts, and also some flavorings and

Herbs and spices high in salicylates include:

* Curry powder
* Cayenne pepper
* Ginger
* Paprika
* Thyme
* Cinnamon
* Dill
* Oregano
* Turmeric
* Licorice
* Peppermint

In Ayurvedic (traditional Indian medicine) many of the above spices are
known as "warming spices". I think this is because by thinning the blood
they increase a person's blood circulation, which in turn speeds up the
metabolism and makes a person feel warmer.

My family was really cold one late evening at Disneyland, but as soon as we
ate some churros we all warmed up. We did not know why at the time, but
later realized it was because the churros were dipped in sugar with
cinnamon, a spice high in blood thinning compounds and known as a warming
spice in Ayurvedic medicine. We could have made a thermos of hot apple
juice loaded with cinnamon, saved ten bucks and been warm

One of my children has had trouble with night sweats, so we put him on a
diet that among other changes limited the amount of salicylates he
consumed. That seemed to help him stay much cooler at night.

Fruits high in salicylates include

* Raisins
* Prunes
* Cherries
* Cranberries
* Blueberries
* Grapes
* Strawberries
* Tangerines
* Oranges

Other substance high in salicylates:

* Chewing gum
* Honey
* Peppermints
* Vinegar
* Wine
* Cider

Though there are some exceptions, in general most meat, fish, dairy, grains
and vegetable foods are not high in salicylates. Many types of fish do
however have blood thinning properties due to their omega-3 fatty acid
content, as noted below.

Chinese food is often prepared with many warming spices, such as ginger and
garlic. One morning, after having Chinese food for dinner the night before,
I was barefoot in the kitchen and stepped on a sharp pieces of glass from a
broken storage container. The actual cut was very small, but the amount of
blood loss was quite scary. I tried applying direct pressure to the wound
but that didn't help. My foot only stopped bleeding after I ate a bowl of
vitamin K rich lettuce.

I've received more than one email from my web site readers who developed
bleeding problems after trying to consume large amounts of ripened berries
from their gardens. They were trying to use up a bumper crop of a fruit
like blueberries or strawberries and inadvertently thinned their blood from
the unusually high berry consumption.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antagonist to vitamin K. Some foods and topical substances
these days are preserved with vitamin E, so it pays to read labels
carefully. One of my sons, who otherwise has not had any unusual bleeding
problems or easy bruising, developed a severe nose bleed from a hand
sanitizer that had vitamin E used as a preservative. He woke up in the
middle of the night one night with clots coming out of his nose, so I tried
to think of what we had done differently that day as a possible cause. Then
I remembered I had bought both kids a new hand sanitizing lotion at the
local pharmacy, I checked the ingredients on the bottle and vitamin E was
listed. So I gave him a lettuce salad to eat which stopped the bleeding and
threw out the sanitizer. He has not had another nose bleed since that time.

Foods high in vitamin E may not necessarily thin the blood, as many foods
high in vitamin E, such as spinach and broccoli also contain significant
amounts of vitamin K, which tend to clot the blood.

I was prescribed vitamin E supplements at one time by a doctor for
fibrocystic breasts. Afterwards, I developed an increased number of
bleeding and bruising problems, including menorrhagia . Then I did some
research on my own and realized vitamin E could thin the blood. Most
medical articles states that people have to take relatively large doses of
vitamin E in order for it to have an effect on coagulation. However, I
don't think that is true for everyone. For people like me who are easy
bleeders even small amounts of vitamin E can cause bleeding issues.

Cruciferous Vegetables?

In my personal experience, I have developed bleeding problems from eating
too many cruciferous vegetables, specifically cabbage and kale, on a number
of different occasions. This puzzled me at first, because most cruciferous
vegetables are high in vitamin K, which is known to clot the blood. But on
several occasions I have have eaten large quantities of either cabbage or
kale as a natural remedy for an over acid stomach, and curiously developed
bleeding issues at the same time.

I suspect now that it may be because cruciferous vegetables have
antiestrogenic compounds, which is why they are often recommended as a good
food for breast cancer prevention. However, studies show that estrogen
levels tend to go hand in hand with vitamin K levels, so I suspect with
cruciferous vegetables the estrogen lowering properties may also lower
vitamin K levels. So for me and perhaps some others with similar body
types, it may be best to avoid excessive amounts of this type of food.
Cruciferous vegetables also contain goitrogens, which can lower thyroid
levels, another reason some people may need to limit their intake.

The cruciferous vegetable that I found to increase my bleeding issues were
specifically kale and cabbage. I don't know if other cruciferous vegetables
would cause the same issues, but since they all seem to have antiestrogenic
properties it is something to consider when meal planning.

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, brussels sprouts. cabbage,
cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabaga, turnips,
bok choy, and Chinese cabbage, arugula, horse radish, radish, wasabi, and

Vitamin B6?

This is just an anecdotal report based on my own experience, but I took a
vitamin B6 supplement at one time and developed a really bad nose bleed
shortly afterwards. The nose bleed stopped when I had a vitamin K rich
salad, so I do think that the bleeding was from a lack of vitamin K and not
other causes, such as trauma or high blood pressure. The vitamin B6 tablet
was the only change I made in my usual diet and routine that day.

Interestingly, one of my health books noted that vitamin B6 lowers estrogen
levels, and it is well established through medical studies that increased
estrogen levels are linked to blood clots. As such, if vitamin B6 does
lower estrogen levels, then it may make sense that it may also lower
vitamin K levels and thin the blood. However, I have never found any
studies noting this particular association, so at this time the link
between vitamin B6 and thinner blood is just a hypothesis in my part based
on information from my health books, my own experience and logical

Omega- 3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have received a lot of press lately because of their
ability to lower cholesterol levels and make the blood less prone to
clotting. Fish oil is usually high in omega-3s and can be ingested either
through purchasing capsules or by eating fatty fish. Fish with high amounts
of omega-3s include:

* Mackerel
* Anchovies
* Salmon
* Albacore tuna
* Mackerel
* Lake Trout
* Herring

When eating fish, one danger is that many fish have high mercury levels, so
experts often have mixed recommendations on exactly just how healthy eating
a lot of seafood is for most people.

The chart in this link to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency web site
contains a table of mercury levels in commercial fish and shellfish. Fish
may be a great food for people who are at risk for blood clots, but for
easy bleeders like me it is a food I need to limit, regardless of mercury

Additional Selected Foods With Compounds That Thin the Blood

* Tree Ear
* Jicama
* Garlic
* Onions
* Olive Oil

Garlic and onions are natural antibiotics that can kill the intestinal
bacteria that manufacture vitamin K. Many studies have found that long term
prescription antibiotic use can cause bleeding problems due to a vitamin K
deficiency. However, for people like me who seem to always be short on
vitamin K, even small amounts of foods with natural antibiotics properties,
like garlic and onions, are problematic. I often avoid eating at Italian
restaurants because of their liberal use of garlic. When I do eat Italian
food, I also try to have have a salad with lots of leafy green vegetables
high in vitamin K as a part of my meal.

James A. Duke, author of several books on herbal medicine, notes that
garlic has nine different compounds that are antiaggregants (compounds that
prevent the blood platelets from sticking together).


A study that appeared in the October, 2005 issue of the journal Alcoholism:
Clinical & Experimental Research found that "Alcohol consumption is
inversely associated with both platelet activation and aggregation."
Another study, published in 1986 in the same journal, found signs of
subclinical vitamin K deficiency in a study of 20 male alcoholics. Perhaps
not coincidentally, the signs of fetal alcohol syndrome closely resemble
the symptoms of vitamin K deficiency in newborns.

Based on my personal experience, I've noticed that red wine is an
especially potent as a blood thinner. I had two glasses of red wine at a
party a few years ago and started to have bleeding problems soon
afterwards, including pain in one of my ovaries, which went away when I got
home and ate some vitamin K rich foods.


Based on studies of female athletes, vigorous exercise seems to lower
vitamin K levels. Women who are elite athletes, i.e. those who over
exercise, instead of being healthy actually are at risk for
hypoestrogenism, osteoporosis and vitamin K deficiency. Vitamin K is
necessary to clot the blood, so by logical deduction then it may be prudent
to consider the possibility that over exercising may thin the blood since
it is known to lower levels of vitamin K.

At the other end of the spectrum, we know that people who remain stationary
for long periods, such as people on bed rest, in car trips or travelers on
long plane flights, are at risk for blood clots. One of my relatives
developed a blood clot in his leg on a flight from Europe to the U.S. and
had to have emergency surgery shortly after landing in the U.S.

By logical deduction then, the table below may illustrate the links between
the conditions associated with remaining stationary and the conditions with
over exercising, two conditions at the opposite end of the spectrum.

What this means is I can have fried chicken, pork chops, hotcakes, oatmeal
and chocolate cake in the days before surgery.