Your blood is responsible for transporting oxygen and nutrients to your organs and tissues and removing waste products from your body. In order to perform these functions, your blood must be able to flow freely through your blood vessels.
Unfortunately, sometimes blood clots can form in your blood vessels, partially or completely blocking blood flow. This can cause life-threatening complications such as heart attacks, strokes, and pulmonary embolisms.
If you are at risk for developing blood clots, your doctor will likely prescribe anticoagulant blood-thinning medication.
There are also a few foods and spices that have natural blood-thinning properties.
But before you start adding them to your diet, it’s important to talk to your doctor first. These might not be as effective as actual medications, and they can negatively affect your current treatment plan.
Cinnamon is a spice that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. It’s purported to have many health benefits by serving as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, and even anticancer agent.
Cinnamon contains a compound called coumarin, which has blood-thinning properties.
Coumarin is used in warfarin, a prescription medication used to prevent blood clots.
Cinnamon should not be consumed in large amounts, as it can be dangerous to your liver. For this reason, cinnamon should not be consumed if you are taking warfarin.
Turmeric is a yellow-orange spice that is commonly used in Indian cuisine. As an herbal supplement, turmeric is used for indigestion, inflammation, arthritis pain, skin infections, and some forms of cancer.
Turmeric can also have anticoagulant and antiplatelet effects. However, it should not be used in combination with other anticoagulant medications.
Cayenne peppers are high in salicylates, which have blood-thinning characteristics.
Aspirin, another common blood thinner, is also called acetylsalicylic acid—a synthesized derivative of salicylic acid.
While cayenne pepper is generally safe, it can cause gastrointestinal issues like heartburn, diarrhea, and ulcers when consumed regularly.
And although it can have a blood-thinning effect, it is probably not as strong as aspirin or other blood thinner medications.
Ginger is a tasty root with a long history of use in traditional medicine. It’s commonly used to aid nausea, vomiting, inflammation, pain, and common colds.
Ginger is also high in salicylates, which may give it blood-thinning properties. However, the clinical research is not conclusive regarding dosages, safety, and effectiveness for this purpose.
Garlic is a commonly used ingredient in a wide variety of recipes. It also appears to have some health benefits, such as reducing cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Garlic has also been shown to have blood-thinning effects.
Again, suppose you are currently being treated with blood thinner medication, consult with your primary care physician before adding garlic or any other herbal supplement to your daily routine. In that case, complications can be very dangerous and potentially life-threatening.