A blood clot is generally formed as part of the natural response to bleeding, such as the formation of a scab over an open wound or cut. However, clotting or coagulation occasionally occurs when it is not necessary, restricting circulation and stopping the flow of blood through the veins. This can cause the vein to distend, creating red, painful swelling in the affected area or varicose veins. Blood clots have also been known to break away and travel through the vein to the heart, brain or lungs, creating potentially life-threatening situations.
One way to help prevent a blood clot is to thin the blood, hindering the ability of the blood cells to adhere to each other in the process. A common anticoagulant or blood thinner is aspirin. The chemical composition of this everyday medication hinders the clotting process by interfering with the platelets that naturally occur within the blood stream. The standard dose for maximum therapeutic value is approximately 80 milligrams per day.
There are a number of foods that you can easily incorporate into your daily diet that also act as anticoagulants, thinning the blood as their by-products are released within the body during digestion. They react within the body in a manner similar to aspirin and include spices such as garlic, curry powder, cayenne pepper, ginger and cinnamon. Fruits which are high in vitamin C, such as lemons, oranges, strawberries and grapefruit, are also effective as they combine with blood calcium, reducing the ability of the blood cells to stick to each other. To make the most of these dietary additions, try to add a few spices into your daily meals or choose a fruit for snacking between meals.
In addition to taking these steps, you can take daily vitamin supplements that are known to hinder clotting and maintain a constant blood flow. Vitamin E and vitamin K are particularly useful in these areas as they help to relax the blood vessels and promote the flow of blood throughout the body, but use them with caution as you may experience an overall decrease in clotting factors with regular ingestion. Consequently, even a small injury may bleed profusely and place you in danger, and you should consider consulting a medical professional prior to beginning this remedy. Additionally, you should have someone monitor your progress to prevent you from unintentionally thinning your blood too much. If you proceed without medical advice and find you have unexplained bruising or severe bleeding following a minor injury, stop treatment and see a doctor as soon as possible.