Natural Ways to Get Rid of Blood Clots

How to Get Rid of Blood Clots

If you are a fan of the legendary medical drama, House MD, then chances are you will be aware of blood clots – the semi-solid lumps made up of RBCs and platelets that obstruct blood flow in our blood vessels, or appear on our wounds to prevent further bleeding. At the risk of sounding dramatic about a medical concept, blood clots can be classified as the good clots, the evil clots, and the in-between clots.

The good clots, or thrombi, in medical terms, are a positive response of the body to an injury to close the wound. The evil clots appear in our healthy blood vessels and obstruct our blood. These clots can even be life-threatening when they are located in the vessels of our heart or lungs.  Clots in the blood vessels were a leading cause of death and were said to account for 25% of the deaths(1) in 2010.

The last type of blood clots – the in-between clots, are neither good nor evil. These occur in the veins of our legs and arms. While they are not usually life-threatening, they do have the potential to be.

Clots in the veins of our legs or arms are known as a condition called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). DVTs are not to be taken lightly. 50% of people, who get a DVT, will have further issues in the long-run, such as pain, swelling, scaling, discolorations. Furthermore, about a third of DVT patients will have a recurrence within 10 years.

In this article, we want to help you understand the symptoms of blood clots, causes and natural treatments of curable blood clots, prevention, and finally when to decide on going to the doctor.

Did You Know!

Blood clotting helped in the discovery of blood types. Karl Landsteiner discovered them after observing blood of different types would clot when combined.

Signs and Symptoms

Swelling, reddish or bluish skin discoloration, warmness, pain are all potential signs and symptoms of a blood clot with DVT condition. The swelling usually happens in one leg or arm.

The pain is often a kind of tenderness that makes you feel like you are cramping up. Sometimes, the arms or legs feel warmer when you touch them compared to the surrounding areas. In certain cases, you may have a high-intensity pain in the foot or ankle area.

For people with blood clots in the arm, they sometimes get neck pain and shoulder pain alongside the aforementioned signs and symptoms.

Causes of Blood Clots

Blood clots are, at their fundamental level, clumps of semi-solid blood, formed when parts of our blood thicken. This thickening may be the body’s response to an external injury so that the wound is closed.

In some cases, blood clots occur inside blood vessels obstructing the flow of blood. Sometimes, clots may be formed because of the collection of plaque in our blood vessels. Occasionally, clots get formed in the blood vessels when the blood is moving too slowly.

How to Get Rid of Blood Clots

In the medical industry, blood thinners such as Heparin and Rivaroxaban are used for the treatment of blood clots. Fortunately, you do not need to be in the hospital for every type of blood clot that you get.

Unless it’s a life-threatening condition such as a clot in the vessels located in the heart or lung, or an extreme case of DVT, you can utilize home remedies, foods, essential oils, herbs, supplements, and lifestyle changes that treat existing clots or reduce the risk of clotting in the future.

CURE 1: Home Remedies for Blood Clots

1. Epsom Salt

Epsom Salt Image:ShutterStock[/caption]

Why does it work?

Epsom Salt or, in chemical terms, magnesium sulfate is a catalyst of good blood circulation, keeps the clots from solidifying, and counteracts inflammation.

How to use it and how much?

Epsom salt can be soaked up through your skin. Mix a cup of Epsom salt to your bathwater and use it for bathing for 20 to 25 mins. Soaking in a bathtub is ideal, but in case you do not have the luxury, you can just ensure you pour water slowly over your body while taking a bath. Such a bathing routine can be followed once every day.

[Also Read: Natural Treatments for Blood Clot]

2. Green Tea

Why does it work?

Green tea’s anti-oxidizing properties are well known. In certain cases, research has shown that green tea also helps prevent blood clots while exhibiting anti-thrombosis properties that can potentially facilitate the treatment of existing clots.

How to use it and how much?

The tea can be consumed orally. You can mix one teaspoon of green tea extract with a cup of boiling water and add honey if you want. This tea should be consumed three times a day for optimum benefits. An important point to ensure is that you drink your tea while it is still warm.

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CURE 2: Foods For Blood Clots

1. Ginger

Ginger
Image:ShutterStock

Why does it work?

Salicylate, a derivative of salicylic acid is a key component of Ginger that provides natural anticoagulant properties. Acetylsalicylic acid, a potent blood thinner is derived from Salicylate. To put it in a nutshell, Ginger can be a good healer for blood clots due to the blood-thinning properties of its components.

How to use it and how much?

Similar to Turmeric, Ginger can be consumed orally. However, unlike Turmeric, Ginger should be consumed in the form of health tea without milk. You can take an inch of peeled Ginger, let it seep in hot water for 15-20 minutes and let it cool down, and then consume. This type of ginger tea can be consumed twice or thrice daily. In case the ginger taste does not suit you, add honey for flavor.

2. Garlic

Why does it work?

Garlic contains allicin and ajoene – two organosulfur that provide garlic with anti-thrombotic properties so that further blood clot formation is reduced and any existing blood clots are treated.

How to use it and how much?

Garlic comes in cloves. 3-4 garlic cloves can be added to a cup of hot water, allowed to seep, and consumed as a tea three to four times a day. Similar to the ginger tea mentioned before, you can add honey to the concoction of garlic and hot water for a better flavor.

3. Cinnamon

Why does it work?

Cinnamon has anti-coagulating properties due to the presence of coumarin, which is a potent agent of blood-thinning. Thus, cinnamon can serve as a natural blood-thinner and help in healing existing clots.

How to use it and how much?

Cinnamon, in small amounts, can be sprinkled as a spice in your daily diet. However, one of the side-effects of consuming too much cinnamon, in the long term, can be liver damage. Cinnamon comes in two varieties, the coumarin-rich Chinese Cassia Cinnamon, and the moderate coumarin containing Ceylon Cinnamon. Unfortunately, cassia cinnamon is more common and has a greater negative effect on the liver.

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CURE 3:Essential Oils for Blood Clots

1. Anise Oil

Why does it work?

Anise oil is often used as a muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory. Concerning blood clots in the legs and arms, it can alleviate the pain and improve the flow of blood so that the clot starts to get treated naturally.

How to use it and how much?

Anise oil can be applied topically or taken orally. For oral consumption, you can add 2-3 drops of anise essential oil to a glass of water and drink it. For topical application, mix 6-7 drops of anise essential oil with 15 milliliters of any carrier oil and massage the affected area of the clot. You can choose either of these two alternatives and repeat them 2-3 times in a day. Remember not to attempt both. Anise oil is an essential oil and therefore not to be trifled with.

2. Wintergreen oil

wintergreen essential oil for gout

Why does it work?

Similar to Ginger, wintergreen oil contains a salicylate compound called methyl salicylate. Like other salicylate compounds, it has great blood-thinning properties that can be effective use to treat the clots. Furthermore, wintergreen oil also has an anti-inflammatory nature, which serves well to reduce the swelling around a blood clot in the leg or arm.

How to use it and how much?

Wintergreen oil should be applied topically. Mixing 5-6 drops of this essential oil with 30 mL of any carrier oil such as olive, and then massaging the mixture onto the clot area should do the trick. The routine can be carried out twice daily for best results.

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CURE 4: Herbs for Blood Clots

1. Ginkgo biloba

Why does it work?

Ginkgo biloba is a Chinese herb, which is known to facilitate blood-thinning and stop the growth of blood clots, a process known as fibrinolysis. In some circles, it is even claimed that this herb could dissolve the clots.

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How to use it and how much?

It’s available in the form of tablets, capsules, liquid extracts, and dried leaves. However, its consumption should be tempered by the fact that it can have side-effects on the digestive system. You can have 120 to 240 milligrams a day in two or three doses, but research and monitor for side-effects.

2. Dong Quai

Why does it work?

Dong Quai is a Chinese Herb that mimics the effects of Cinnamon as it has the same compound, coumarin, which gives it anti-coagulating properties.

How to use it and how much?

Dong Quai usually consumed as herbal tea or soup. It is also available in tablets and capsules. According to the recommendations in traditional Chinese Medicine, a cumulative 2-3 grams of Dong Quai can be consumed in two doses per day.

Lifestyle Changes

1. Yoga

yoga benefits
Image:ShutterStock

At a physical level, for blood clots, some yoga asanas such as the Viparita Karani, the Shavva asana, the Uttanpadasana, etc., help in improving blood circulation. At a mental level, Yoga helps your mind stay healthy. Therefore, doing Yoga gives a good combination of physical and mental health to help you prevent blood clots. You can do Yoga once every day, preferably in the mornings.

2. Diet

Food that facilitates recovery in general also tends to help with preventing blood clots. Vegetables such as broccoli and lettuce, and fruit juices such as pineapple, cranberry, grapes will help keep you in good health in general. For non-vegetarians, then fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel could help prevent blood clots. If you love nuts, then go for walnuts, cashews, almonds, and pistachios.

Prevention Tips

Blood clots can easily turn into serious conditions. Therefore, prevention is more important than remediation. Physical exercise is a must as good blood circulation is likely to keep clots away.

Furthermore, staying at a reasonable and healthy weight and keeping your BMI within the range usually means that you can reduce the chances of thinning of the blood vessels, and other heart conditions that can leave you prone to deadly blood clots. Getting up and walking after sitting for a prolonged time, and raising your legs once in a while are two more natural ways of keeping your blood circulation honest.

When to See a Doctor?

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, clots can be good, bad, or in-between. In some cases, you may be unfortunate to get a bad clot in vessels located in the heart or lung, or you may get a serious DVT. Certain signs and symptoms are direct red flags to see a doctor.

Such symptoms include feeling a fast heartbeat, coughing out bloody sputum, feeling lightheaded, having difficulty breathing, experiencing chest tightness, sudden numbness, sudden onset of weakness, and in some cases, language impairment or aphasia.

Ultimately, blood clots are our best friends when they help heal our bodies’ injuries. Occasionally, blood clots can become our worst enemies, especially if they make an appearance in our healthy vessels in the heart and lungs.

Having a solid grasp on the difference between the various kinds of clots, knowing what to do to avoid clots, and being aware of the natural remedies, to facilitate healing of blood clots, can go a long way in ensuring that blood clots do not end up becoming serious dangers to our lives.

The first properly documented case of a DVT happened in 1271 AD to a 20-year old cobbler.


FAQs

1. How do blood clots form?

Blood clots are, at their fundamental level, clumps of semi-solid blood, formed when parts of our blood thicken. Clots may be the body’s response to an external injury to close the wound. In some cases, blood clots occur inside blood vessels obstructing the flow of blood.

2. How do you know if you have a blood clot?

Swelling that does not go away with an ice-pack, reddish or bluish skin discoloration, warmness, pain are all potential signs and symptoms of a blood clot.

3. Can you get large blood clots?

Larger blood clots can occur in one of our large veins. Such a condition is also known as venous thromboembolism (VTE) or “blood clot in the veins.” A VTE can be fatal if a clot breaks off and travels to your lung area and causes a blockage known as a Pulmonary Embolism (PE).

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