Reader’s Question: l had an operation on my leg because of clot in my leg artery, but it hasn’t been a great success. Are there any natural therapies that can help reduce existing clots and prevent their formation in the future?
Dr. Glenn Rothfeld: First of all, I’m glad to hear that the clot was discovered and that you’ve taken steps to address it. Blood clots in the leg – and anywhere else in the body – can be extremely dangerous, especially if they go unnoticed. A blood clot that dislodges starts moving through the bloodstream and can get stuck somewhere far more dangerous, like the heart or the brain. Fortunately, there are some natural cures that can help – and you may already have them in your kitchen cupboards.
Garlic, for instance – and its close relative, onion – have been shown to aid in thinning the blood and reducing platelet aggregation, helping to minimize the risk of blood clots that could clog an artery in the heart or brain. Unfortunately, the substance responsible for many of garlic’s good effects, called allicin, is also responsible for its strong odour. That means that garlic capsules with the substance removed don’t work as well as a whole, fresh, raw garlic. In studies that showed the benefits of garlic, researchers used 3 to 8 cloves of raw garlic daily.
Ginseng – specifically, Korean or Chinese ginseng (Panax ginseng) – is also known to reduce blood clot formation. One of the most popular ways to consume either type of ginseng is by drinking it as a tea or infusion made by stirring about a half-teaspoon of powdered ginseng into a cup of hot water. The tea should be drunk about three times a day. Standard fluid extracts (1:1) can be take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, 3 times per day.
The yellow curry spice turmeric – and its active compound, curcumin – can also act as a blood thinner, in addition to its many other health benefits (including reducing inflammation and improving your mood).
It’s a good idea to incorporate all of these ingredients into your nutritional plan before blood clots are ever discovered. Please note, however, that if you’re already on a prescription blood thinner, you shouldn’t start any natural regimen before discussing with your doctor. Very thin blood is also very dangerous!Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing