Anemia is generally caused by a deficiency of Iron or Vitamin B-12 or both. However, there are other critical causes of Anemia that are caused by chronic diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, Crohn’s disease, and leukaemia.
Such occasions are rare, and they will require nothing short of serious medical attention and guidance. The common forms of Anemia, resulting from Iron or Vitamin B-12 deficiency, are easily treated with DIY remedies made out of natural herbs for anemia.
Reports suggest that more than 15% of the women suffer from Anemia, especially in their reproductive years. Due to the excessive menstrual blood loss, women tend to fall prey to Anemia easily. Other factors like inadequate intake of iron and reduced levels of acid can also lead to iron deficiency.
Types of Anemia
- Iron Deficiency Anemia: This is the most common type of Anemia caused by lack of Iron in blood.
- Vitamin Deficiency Anemia: This is the second most common type, with a shortage of Vitamin B-12 being the advocating cause. This happens when you are either getting a short supply of B-12 through your food, or your body is unable to process Vitamins.
- Aplastic Anemia: Caused by autoimmune diseases, exposure to toxic chemicals and infections, Aplastic Anemia can pose life-threatening situations.
- Anemia of Chronic Disease: Chronic diseases like cancer, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, Crohn’s disease, and leukaemia, can meddle with your body’s RBC production. They are eventually leading to Anemia.
- Anemia from Bone Marrow Diseases: Diseases like leukaemia and myelofibrosis can hinder the blood production in bone marrow, which causes a body to develop Anemia.
- Hemolytic Anemia: This is a condition when RBCs in your blood are destroyed faster than bone marrow can replace them.
- Sickle Cell Anemia: Sickle Cell Anemia is mostly inherited, and it sees a defective form of haemoglobin at the root cause of it all. This disease forces RBCs to assume an abnormal sickle shape that results in their premature death.
Did You Know?
- The term Anemia is Greek for “lack of blood”
- Consuming herbs for Anemia is the most preferred treatment
- Anemia can compel some people to chew ice
- Anemia is commonly found in developing countries
Types of Herbs for Anemia
Urtica dioica(1), commonly known as nettle, is an ancient medicinal herb, originally growing in Europe, Western North Africa, and temperate Asia. These herb has been used for ages, starting from the ancient Greek civilization to present times, for food, fibre, and medicines.
The diverse range of benefits exhibited by a nettle, includes – body detoxification, kidney improvement, coughs, joint inflammation, and arthritis.
Why Does It Work
Nettle is widely popular for its high nutrition value -being especially rich in Vitamin A, B, K, and C, along with Iron. Nettle also commonly known as stinging nettle or Himalayan nettle, treats Anemia with two of its main nutrients -Iron and vitamin C. With an increased dose of Iron in your diet, your body will receive the sufficient quantity of Iron to make new healthy RBCs and replace the damaged ones. Whereas the Vitamin C will increase your body’s efficiency to absorb the iron and use it efficiently.
[Also Read: Natural Remedies for Anemia]
How to Use
The Nettle leaves are what you really want to get your hands on. These leaves can be cooked like any other leafy greens and eaten. However, if you wish to get a more potent dose, nettle tea is what you need. And the recipe is quite simple as well. Place half a cup of boiling water, add 1 tablespoon of dried nettle leaves, cover the pot and let it sit for half an hour. Add honey to this mixture to enhance both the taste and benefits.
How Much to Use
Nettle tea is a very potent herb, and like any other potent herb, over-consumption may lead to a mild upset stomach, allergic rashes, and sweating. You can generally have half a cup of nettle tea daily, but if you are new to it, you might need some time adjusting to it. Also, go easy on it if you are on blood thinning medications, diabetes drugs, and during pregnancy.
[Also Read: Best Vitamins for Anemia]
Parsley is one of the most common herbs high in iron. And the best thing is, it’s relatively cheap and easily available. Parsley is originally grown in the central Mediterranean region and is mostly used as a vegetable, herb, and spice. In terms of health benefits, parsley(2) is effective against cancer, boosts immunity, treats inflammations, cures Anemia, and protects your blood vessels.
Why Does It Work
Parsley is rich in Sodium, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron, and Magnesium. Sodium balances the fluids in our body, along with maintaining nerve impulses and blood pressure. Potassium, on the other hand, balances the effects of sodium, along with maintaining bone and heart health.
Vitamin C strengthens immunity, develops body growth, and helps in the absorption of nutrients. Vitamin A also is a major contributor to growth and reproduction, alongside strengthening immunity and bone system. Finally, Iron is the leading agent of healthy RBC growth in your blood that prevents you from succumbing to Anemia.
How to Use
Parsley is a popular culinary ingredient. Spices made out of parsley can be used to season or marinate non-veg recipes. Additionally, it can be cooked and consumed similar to other green vegetables like spinach and broccoli. You can also include it in a bowl of fresh green salad or mix a concoction with cilantro, celery, lemon, and honey.
How Much to Use
The US department of food and drugs considers parsley to be safe. Hence, parsley is likely to cause very few problems as compared to other medicinal herbs. There is no specific scientific study that estimates the exact dosage of parsley; however, experiments have shown that 6g daily can be quite effective without causing any difficulties.
[Also Read: Stupendous Parsley Benefits]
3. Dandelion (leaves)
Taraxacum or Dandelion is another medicinal herb rich in iron that grows in Eurasia and North America belt. Dandelion sees a wide range of application, including medicinal, food, rubber production, serves cultural importance, gardening importance, and food to fauna.
In terms of health benefits, Dandelion exhibits a wide range of applications. Of which, antioxidant functions, anti-inflammation, blood sugar control, cholesterol level check, RBC count check, blood pressure control, healthy liver functioning and weight loss, are notable mentions.
Why Does It Work
Dandelion is particularly rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Including Vitamin A,C,K , B(1)and E, and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Vitamin A,C, and K all help in the growth and development of your body and provides a strong immunity and bone system. Whereas Vitamin E promotes good heart health and Vitamin B(1) cares for your nervous system and abdominal system. In a range of minerals, iron leads a healthy production of RBCs in your blood and calcium caters to high bone density and bone quality. Whilst, magnesium is pivotal to neural benefits. Finally, potassium adds to the balance of all other minerals.
How to Use
Dandelion can be consumed both raw and cooked. Raw dandelion can be consumed in the form of salads or can be cooked like any other green vegetables. You can also chop dandelion greens and mix with ginger and garlic and use it as a marinating mix. You can saute it with garlic and red pepper and eat it at the side of your main course.
Finally, if you wish to drink it, you can make a tea out of it and lemon and olive oil to it. For a rather tastier drink, go for a smoothie with fresh mixed berries, coconut water, yogurt, and some chia seeds.
How Much to Use
Once again, the precise dosage is very difficult to predict, especially with the herb showing different results on different age groups and people. However, according to the German Commission E Monographs, 4 to 10 g of leaves, 3 times a day would do you no harm, yet exhibit all of its benefits.
Other Treatments for Anemia
The best ways to support an Anemic condition is through your diet. Which is why herbs high in iron are widely popular around the globe. At the very base of RBC well-being are Iron, Vitamin B-12, and folate. Enriching your diet with these nutrients is not just common practice against Anemia, but advised by doctors as well. Other treatments include
1. Dry Fruits
A nice mix of dry fruits like raisins and dates can give a quick shot of iron and vitamin C. A thorough solution where you provide your body with both the essential minerals and the means to absorb it.
2. Copper Water
In Ayurvedic scriptures and medicines, copper vessels are considered very potent for storing water. Storing water in copper vessels overnight is known to replenish the water with all essential minerals, which strictly includes Iron.
3. Iron-Rich Shakes
Red fresh Fruits like beetroot, pomegranate, apples, and carrot, are all rich in Iron and a lot of other minerals. Put them in a mixer, shake it up well, and drink up the mineral-rich concoction.
4. Keep Your Spleen Healthy
Avoid raw and cold foods, along with excessive sugar, fat, and irregular food habits. All these will lead to an unhealthy spleen. Whereas eating more of whole grains and pulses, will boost your spleen health.
The causes of Anemia can be very tricky to pinpoint. Sometimes lack of nutrition causes Anemia, sometimes chronic diseases lead to Anemia, whilst at times Anemia leads to chronic diseases. Whatever the reasons may be, Anemia can take a drastic turn if not attended to in time. Hence at the earliest warnings, make a few dietary changes to rid off Anemia.
Finally, remember these herbs are not completely free of side effects. If you over-consume these herbs, a mild to medium irritation can be expected, especially if you are new to them. Additionally, conditions like pregnancy will need caution on the usage of these drugs. And, if you are under certain blood thinning, diabetic, or any other serious medications, it is best to consult your doctor first.
[Also Read: Helpful Diet For Anemia ]
1. Which Herb Has the Most IRON?
Consuming herbs for Anemia is a very common treatment. However, if one had to settle on one single herb, it would be dried thyme.
2. Is Anemia Curable?
Anemia itself is curable, especially when caused by common causes like iron and vitamin deficiency. However, when it comes as a by-product of chronic diseases such as cancer and HIV/AIDS, it’s a whole different story altogether.
3. How Long Does It Take to Recover from Anemia?
If your Anemia is caused by normal causes, and you have included your diet with herbs high in iron and supplementary pills, then it should take around 2-3 weeks.