What Are Natural Anticoagulants?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2019
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Natural anticoagulants are blood thinners that occur in nature. Instead of thinning one’s blood, as the name suggests, a blood thinner makes it harder for the blood to clot. Anticoagulants are typically prescribed to patients who are at risk for certain conditions, such as heart attacks and strokes. Among the many natural anticoagulants are some vitamins, herbs, and substances derived from animal sources. Though such substance do have blood thinning properties, a person can avoid dangerous consequences by speaking with his doctor before using them as anticoagulants.

Garlic, vitamin E, willow bark, and fish oil are among the substances known for their natural blood thinning properties. Some others include ginger, red clover, ginkgo biloba, chamomile, and cayenne pepper. Many people find them useful because they not only help prevent abnormal clotting, but also deliver other benefits. For instance, some of these natural anticoagulants are used in seasoning food, promoting overall health, relieving tension, and even treating symptoms of depression.

Although many natural substances do have anticoagulant properties, they are usually not taken to replace doctor-prescribed blood thinning medications. Usually, people are advised to take anticoagulant medications for serious conditions, such as heart disease. Taking a proven-effective dose of medication in such a situation is critical, and health experts usually advise the reliability of natural blood thinners is too low to take the place of proven medications.


An exception to the general avoidance of natural anticoagulants for primary treatment is a substance called heparin. This substance naturally occurs in the bodies of human beings as well as some other mammals and helps prevent abnormal blood clotting. Heparin is often used in treatments for blood clots and can be delivered to a patient via an intravenous (IV) line or injection. IV doses, however, are known to work faster than injections and may be used for the more critical cases.

If a person is interested in using natural blood thinners to supplement his treatment, he may do well to consult with a doctor first. Most experts recommend avoiding the overuse of natural substances with anticoagulant properties while a person is also taking pharmaceutical blood thinners. In such a case, the combination of natural anticoagulants and prescription medication can increase the patient's risk of treatment side effects or complications. For example, a high level of natural anticoagulant use in combination with prescribed medication can cause abnormal bleeding, nosebleeds, and bruising. Some people might also note blood in their urine as a result.


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Post 5

I just saw an interesting video called "Natural blood thinners and atrial fibrillation." Don't know if it applies to other anti-stroke reasons. Dr. Ford Brewer described the difference between anti-platelet (fibrin masses) versus anti-coagulants (formations around the platelets,) though both inaccurately called "blood thinners."

The doc said most of the natural substances mention as preventatives, including those above are antiplatelet. Recent studies have shown whether natural or pharmaceutical the anti-platelet substances are not as effective and have more risks than the pharmaceutical anti-coagulants.

He admitted that pharma doesn't research a lot of natural substances but was clear he thought research did support some, such as vit D and E, CoQ10 and others. So he was not anti-natural

, just reporting research.

Newer anti-coagulants called DOACS, direct acting oral anticoagulants, show as better and less risky than wafarin. He showed the papers, but I couldn't catch the information. Anyone interested can research the question, "such as anti-platelets or anti-coagulants for preventing stroke," or "aspirin versus....." and see what research abstracts come up.

Post 4

I take a 81 mg baby aspirin and 3300 mg of fish oil daily. No problems.

Post 3

@burcidi1-- I try to include cayenne pepper, ginger, garlic and cloves in recipes in small amounts. These are not meant to treat a condition though. It's a part of healthy living. You shouldn't stop taking your blood thinner, talk to your doctor about the side effects.

Post 2

How much of these natural anticoagulants do we need to consume to experience its effects?

I have high blood pressure and my doctor has advised me to take a low dose blood thinner every day (I already take high blood pressure medication. But I experience a lot of side effects from blood thinners like stomach cramps and acidity. I'm scared of developing a stomach ulcer.

If possible, I would prefer to take natural foods and herbs because they won't be hard on my stomach. I just don't know how much I need to consume.

Post 1

I learned that fish oil is a natural anticoagulant when I made the mistake of taking an aspirin the same day as my fish oil supplement. I started feeling unwell and developed a blister on my stomach. I'm not sure if the blister was caused by the interaction of these two but it made me do some reading online about fish oil's interactions with other supplements and drugs.

I read that fish oil should never be taken with aspirin or anticoagulants because it is a natural anticoagulant and blood thinner. This apparently could lead to internal bleeding.

Ever since this incident, I've been very careful. If I need to take an aspirin, I don't take fish oil and vice versa.

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