Q: I have recently had Warfarin prescribed for ‘thick blood’ and was told that I must take this medication for the rest of my life. Is there any natural diet that can take the place of Warfarin? My wife and I are very careful about what we eat; we are not overweight or stressed and are both in our 70s. P.B.
A: Fortunately there are natural alternatives to Warfarin therapy which you can consider. You do not mention what happened that caused your doctor to prescribe Warfarin was prescribed to you and that will play a role in determining which option, or options, will be the best for you. A blood test should ideally be done to determine some of the risk factors like raised levels of homocysteine, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen and clotting factors.
My first choice is nattokinase, a potent fibrinolytic enzyme that is present in fermented soybean food that has been consumed in Japan for over a thousand years. Fibrinolytic means that nattokinase has the ability to break down fibrin, a blood-clotting protein. Nattokinase has been the subject of many studies, both on humans and animals and is available in capsule form as an extract and as a purified form of natto. It can be prescribed for any heart-related problems, including vascular and circulation disorders.
Additional natural blood-thinning options include omega-3 essential fatty acids that contain EPA and DHA in adequate amounts. The normal dosage ranges between 2 to 4g daily. Other supplements include aged garlic, Gingko biloba, grapeseed extract, ginger and vitamin E.
For raised homocysteine levels it is important to add vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid to your normal supplementation programme. As a general principle it is also important to keep inflammation levels low in the body as well as managing stress levels. Chronic stress promotes blood clotting in the body which fortunately sounds as if it is not applicable in your case.
Explore your options and if your condition is not life-threatening, the alternatives might offer you a better solution with fewer side effects.
Editor's note: See our article on Grape Seed Oil.