13 Amazing Natural Remedies for Reducing Risk of Threatening Blood Clots and Boosting Blood Circulation Naturally

B

lood clots are gel-like clumps of blood that help to stop too much bleeding when you have got a cut or an injury. But clots formed inside our veins do not dissolve on their own many a times and become detrimental and life-threatening at times. Medical intervention is required when the clot is present in critical spots like the lungs, brain or your legs. [1]


Causes

Thickening of plasma proteins and platelets lead to the formation of semi-solid blood clots. An injury usually triggers the formation of blood clots but it may also form inside our blood vessels without any apparent injury. Post formation, these clots may move to other parts and cause problems. The causative factors or conditions of harmful blood clots include: [2]

  • Medicines like hormone therapy drugs and oral contraceptives
  • Genetic predisposition or family history
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Heart attack
  • Failure of heart
  • Factor V Leiden
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Surgery
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Prolonged bed rest or sitting
  • Heart rhythm issues
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Stroke


Symptoms Of Blood Clot

The location affects symptoms of blood clots. These include:

  • Blood clot in a limb: You experience numbness, pain, redness, swelling and the color of the affected limb may become pale.
  • Blood clot in an artery of your brain could cause vision loss, speech loss and weakness in a particular side of your body and you may feel extremely dizzy.
  • Blood clots in lungs cause shortness of breath, pain in the chest, fast breathing and pulse and you may faint.
  • Blood clot in coronary artery leads to nausea, pain in the chest, shortness of breath, sweating and indigestion.
  • Blood clot in any intestinal artery causes pain in the abdomen, bloating, nausea and bloody stools. [3]


Types Of Blood Clots

1. Deep Vein Thrombosis

Formed in the deep or major vein of the body, this type of blood clot primarily occurs in the thighs or lower legs. It may also occur in pelvis, arms, brain or lungs. An embolus is the stage of the blood clot when it has broken off and is traveling through the bloodstream. It can cross the heart and reach an artery of our lungs and get stuck and obstruct the normal flow of blood. This causes pulmonary embolism showing symptoms like pain in the chest, coughing, blood in a cough and problems in breathing. Age, genetics, pregnancy, oral contraceptives, obesity, cancer, immobility for long periods increases your risks for venous blood clots. It has been found to be one of the major causes of maternal death throughout the world.

2. Clotting Occurring in Arteries

Blood clotting that takes place in arteries is generally related to hardening of arteries. Also, called atherosclerosis, it is seen when plaque deposition causes narrowing of blood vessels. Fatty matters, waste products from cells, the clotting material fibrin, calcium, and cholesterol together constitute plaque. If the plaque ruptures the body reacts by forming an unwanted clot in the artery. As a result, our organs and tissues may be completely devoid of blood. Primarily arterial clots develop in the coronary artery and it may lead to stroke or heart attack. Risks of arterial blood clots can be reduced by keeping a check on your cholesterol and blood pressure levels and completely abstaining from smoking. Modification of diet and changes in lifestyle can also help you reduce risks.

With advancing age, the risk for both venous and arterial blood clot increases which could be because of damage of vessel wall, decrease in mobility and exercise and rise in systemic blood coagulation activation. [4]


Conventional Therapies For Blood Clots

Your health status and the clot’s location are the deciding factors of the treatment. Some of the therapies include:

1. Thrombolytics

These include activators of tissue plasminogen, urokinase, and streptokinase. Thrombolytics work by breaking down the clots and reducing the detrimental effect of blocked blood vessels. These are also used at times along with anticoagulants. A serious but rare complication associated with these drugs is a hemorrhagic stroke.
Anticoagulants: Also, called blood thinners, these lower clotting in a vein or artery. These not only inhibit blood clotting but also avert enlargement of existing blood clots. Some of these are warfarin, apixaban, dabigatran, heparin etc. Some of the side effects associated with anticoagulants include easy bruising, pain in stomach, headache and dizziness.

2. Surgical Thrombectomy

A blood clot is removed surgically from a vein or an artery through an incision made in it. Pulmonary embolism, excessive bleeding and blood vessel damage are some of the side effects associated with it.
Catheter-directed thrombolytic therapy: Used for acute deep vein thrombosis, this method involves delivering thrombolytics to the clot directly using a thin plastic tube. Risks include bleeding, bruising or swelling at the point from where the tube is inserted.


Natural Remedies For Blood Clot Include

1. Garlic

Research has linked raw garlic with reversal of plaque deposition and inhibition of new buildup in our arteries. A study stated that its daily consumption may lower serum cholesterol and increase the time required to clot. So, garlic was concluded to be a probable agent that can inhibit thrombosis. [5]

2. Turmeric

Presence of curcumin in turmeric makes it an anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet and anticoagulant agent. It also does not cause any side effect.

3. Vitamin E

It has anticoagulation properties, therefore, it is beneficial against heart disease, blocked arteries, hypertension and chest pain. Some of the good sources include sunflower seeds, almonds, butternut, squash, broccoli, kiwi, hazelnuts, tomatoes etc.

4. Dietary Modifications

  • Eat more of grapes, cranberries, cherries, grapefruits, and pomegranate: Red grapes supply you with lutein that lowers your risk of arteriosclerosis. Cranberries are rich in potassium which may reduce LDL and boost HDL. Cherries are rich in fiber and artery health-promoting compounds. Grapefruits are good sources of pectin which may help reduce cholesterol levels. Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants and help the body to synthesize nitric oxide that promotes the healthy flow of blood.
  • Increase intake of omega 3 fatty acids: These have natural blood thinning properties. Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids include walnuts, flaxseeds, salmon, cold pressed oils, mackerel, herring and lake trout.
  • Eat lots of sweet potatoes and tomatoes: Presence of the antioxidant, carotenoid lycopene in these may help reduce risks of atherosclerosis. Additionally, sweet potatoes are rich in folate, beta carotene, fiber, vitamin C and potassium which can keep your cholesterol levels in check.
  • Consume more of kiwis and pineapples: Kiwis have anti-inflammatory and anti-blood clotting properties. The enzyme bromelain present in pineapples has the potential to dissolve fibrin present in blood clots by activating plasmin production.
  • Increase consumption of natto and garbanzo beans: Presence of the enzyme nattokinase in fermented soybeans, natto, makes it work against blood clotting. Garbanzo beans, on the other hand, has lots of insoluble and soluble dietary fiber that can promote your heart health.
  • Hawthorn and green teas: They are abundant in antioxidants. Polyphenols of green tea work against clot formation in arteries. By lowering blood pressure and enhancing elasticity of blood vessels, Hawthorn tea offers anti clot benefits. [6]

5. Exercise and Yoga

  • Stay active: Exercise your skeletal muscles to keep blood clots at bay. You just need to invest half an hour at least five times a week. Swimming, cycling, walking, jogging, aerobics or participate in a sport to stay active.
  • Engage in yoga: Yoga poses involving stretching of hip, calves, and hamstrings enhance good circulation of blood between lower extremities and our heart. Long periods of immobility should be followed by specific exercises: To maintain healthy blood flow and minimize venous clots especially post surgery or during long traveling, do specific exercises. These include ankle rotation both clockwise and anticlockwise. This should be followed by extension and flexion of the ankle joint. Flexion and extension at hip and ankle joint can also be done. Venous circulation can also be facilitated by using compression stockings exerting 15 to 30 mm of pressure. [7]

6. Maintain Proper Hydration Levels

Dehydration may promote adhesion of blood cells, finally resulting in blood clots. So, staying well hydrated is a must. [4]

7. Essential Oil for Blood Clots

A combination of cistus essential oil, helichrysum essential oil, and balsam fir, when applied topically or consumed internally three to four times daily, is known to dissolve blood clots. [8]

8. Ginger

Presence of salicylate, a natural acid in ginger makes it anti-inflammatory and a potent anticoagulant. Raw or fresh ginger can be added to your dishes while cooking, baking or even in juices.

9. Cassia Cinnamon

Its constituent coumarin has blood thinning properties. The blood thinning medication, warfarin is derived from coumarin. You can take small amounts of it along with other blood thinners. Long term use of coumarin rich cinnamon can have a negative impact on your liver.

10. Cayenne Peppers

These are also rich in salicylates and therefore can serve as effective agents for blood thinning. As it is quite spicy you can take it in small amounts. They also improve circulation, reduce blood pressure and mitigate pain.

11. Dong Quai

This is a traditional Chinese herb which is said to be effective against blood clotting due to the presence of coumarin. It works by increasing the prothrombin time, i.e. the time is taken by blood to clot. It can be a part of your soup or herbal tea.

12. Ginkgo Biloba

This herb has fibrinolytic potential. A study revealed that extract of ginkgo biloba may have an identical effect to that of blood clot medication streptokinase.

13. Feverfew

Available in liquid or capsule form, feverfew has blood thinning potential as it may alter platelets’ activity and thereby overcome clotting of blood. [9]


Tips For Reducing the Risk Of Blood Clots

1. Be Aware of the Risk Factors

Some of them include:

  • Obesity: Calculate your BMI (body mass index) and stay in a healthy weight range. BMI of 30 or more indicates obesity and below 18.5 is underweight. Obese are more at risk of venous thromboembolism or VTE.
  • Risk increases with age: The risk of a blood clot increases with age, so as your age advances go for regular health checkups and keep a track of your overall health. A broken hip or leg bone or a recent surgery also enhances your risks.
  • Be aware of other disorders that may enhance blood clot risks: Cholesterol plaque deposition in arteries and atrial fibrillation enhance your risks. [10]

2. Take Breaks in Between Prolonged Periods of Sitting

After every two hours, you need to move. Just get up and walk or do some stationary exercises of calf.

3. Throughout the Day Raise Your Legs Periodically

Raise your legs from your feet around six inches above the heart. This can be done even while sleeping or resting.

4. Go for Regular Health Assessment During Pregnancy

As estrogen level rises during pregnancy, the risk for blood clots or VTE also increases. As one does not have control over how much estrogen is produced during pregnancy you can avoid other factors like prolonged sitting, smoking etc. and get your progress monitored by a physician.

5. Take Medical Advice Before Consuming Hormonal Contraceptives

As these have progesterone and estrogen, they increase your chances of a blood clot by many folds. Women whose uterine lining are abnormal or have a heavy menstrual bleeding need to abstain from these.

6. You Can Take Some Preventive Drugs

You could be given preventive medication by your physician in case you fall in the high-risk group. Over the counter aspirin or prescription, drug Lovenox or Coumadin may be recommended to you.

7. Cancer Patients Need to Ask for Anti-clotting Medications

Cancer patients are more at risk of VTE. Those who get it are given an inferior vena cava filter and Coumadin or Lovenox.

8. Consider Switching Your Medications

Your blood clot risks are increased by some medications which include birth control pills, hormone replacement medicines used by postmenopausal and menopausal women, hypertension medications and drugs used for cancer treatment. Consult your physician at regular intervals to find out if these are causing any detrimental health issue or if their dose can be lowered. When taking blood thinners, doctors often monitor to prevent consumption in higher doses or for a prolonged time period. [11]

9. Abstain From Smoking

Smoking cigarettes, using tobacco products and even electronic cigarettes can enhance your risks of blood clotting. The risk is all the more when it is combined with other factors like obesity. You can try quitting by meditation or hypnosis aimed at mitigating addiction, joining a support group or asking your physician for other effective methods. [12]