Turmeric Curcumin Supplements and Blood Thinners - Here's What You Need To Know

turmeric and blood thinners

For many people, blood thinning medications offer protection against the unwanted consequences of heart issues caused by blood clots. These medications can save lives as long as they are taken properly. Unfortunately, blood thinners also put people's lives in danger because of the risk of developing deadly side effects or experiencing interactions with other substances. An alternative to blood thinning medications exists in curcumin, an active component found in Turmeric. Here's a look at what you need to know when considering your use of blood thinners. 

Understanding the Role of Blood Thinners

Physicians often prescribe blood thinners to prevent blood clots from forming and stopping blood flow to the heart. This type of medication is recommended for individuals with various kinds of heart disease, including irregular heart rhythms and valve problems. Blood thinners are usually taken as an oral medication according to a strict regimen. Not following dosage instructions can lead to severe bleeding when too much is taken or ineffective prevention of clotting when too little is ingested. 

Blood thinners can be broken down into anticoagulants and antiplatelets. Anticoagulants lengthen the time needed for blood clots to form, while antiplatelets prevent blood cells from accumulating. Commonly prescribed anticoagulants include Heparin and Warfarin. Commonly prescribed antiplatelets include Clopidogrel and aspirin. Both types of medication pose a risk for unwanted bleeding, but newer formulas present a reduced risk for this type of occurrence. Blood-thinning medications help patients with heart disease manage their conditions, making them necessary components of keeping people safe from harm.

A Look at Turmeric Curcumin as Blood Thinners

Turmeric is well-known for its ability to deliver a brilliant yellow coloring to curry dishes. It is less known for its performance as a natural blood thinning agent or for its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that turmeric curcumin delivers protective properties for the heart by thinning the blood. 

turmeric heart healthStudies conducted in the late twentieth century have shown that taking turmeric slows down or stops clotting. This capability was attributed to the presence of curcumin, an active compound found in the turmeric. More specifically, curcumin interacted with pro-coagulant agents to disrupt the formation of blood clots. Together, turmeric and curcumin perform as anticoagulants, aiding in the prevention of blood clots, an important aspect of preventing stroke, deep vein thrombosis, and arterial fibrillation. As a thinning agent, turmeric is thought to reduce the risk of cardiac incidents. Previous studies have also shown that turmeric might actually dissolve clots given the right set of circumstances. 

Turmeric is also noted for reducing inflammation throughout the body due to the presence of curcumin. In particular, curcumin alleviates inflammation by blocking the enzymes and cytokines known to cause swelling of the body's cells. 

Blood Thinning Medication and Inflammation

An increase in blood flow to an area that is experiencing infection or injurynsaids side effects typically leads to an increase in inflammation, which is compounded when chemicals from white blood cells seep into the area. If you are on prescribed blood thinners, you should not take many of the commonly recommended anti-inflammatory medications, such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which are often prescribed to treat inflammation. The use of anti-inflammatories can increase the effect of anticoagulants, increasing the risk of uncontrolled bleeding, putting your life in danger. 

It is possible to take acetaminophen to manage the pain of inflammation, but this solution doesn't work for everyone. Prescribed medications present another option for patients who experience no success with acetaminophen. In either case, a consultation with a personal physician is recommended. 

Should You Take Turmeric with Blood Thinners?

Since turmeric and curcumin have been shown to alleviate the possibility of blood clotting, anyone on a blood thinning medication should exercise caution when making the decision to include turmeric in their dietary intake. In many cases, it is possible to include turmeric in your daily regimen of health supplements without experiencing any negative side effects. However, it is important to recognize that the interaction between turmeric and blood thinning medications varies from one individual to the next, just as the side effects experienced by anyone taking prescribed medication can vary due to genetic makeup, underlying health issues, and existing regimen of prescriptions. 

Due to its performance as a blood thinning agent, turmeric may enhance the intended effect of taking prescribed medications to reduce the risk of blood coagulation and clotting. Unfortunately, it may also increase the severity of internal bleeding within the gastrointestinal track commonly occurring with the use of prescribed blood thinners. If this circumstance occurs, taking turmeric in combination with prescribed medication also increases the risk of uncontrolled bleeding during an injury involving a blow or fall. 

Individuals who are considering adding turmeric into their daily regimen should speak with their personal physician prior to doing so. A doctor who is familiar with your personal health history is more likely to come up with a plan that keeps you safe not only from the risk of unwanted heart issues but also from the dangers of internal bleeding. 

What Are the Side Effects of Prescribed Blood Thinners? 

Blood thinners have the potential to cause a number of side effects, given the right conditions. The most common of these is prolonged bleeding, which can manifest in several ways, including excessive nosebleeds, heavy periods, bleeding gums, blood in the urine or feces, and extensive bleeding from a wound. Additional problems can occur, including rashes, hair loss, dizziness, and muscle weakness. The likelihood of experiencing any of these side effects increases if an injury occurs.

Precautions You Need to Use When Taking Blood Thinners

Unfortunately, the side effects associated with taking blood thinners can put your life in danger. Not only can they produce side effects that seem more annoying than harmful, but they can also increase the risk of bleeding internally, particularly after experiencing a bump, fall, or similar type of injury. 

To counteract this increased risk of excessive bleeding, your physician might recommend that you practice the following strategies:

  • Wear protective equipment when using dangerous tools 
  • Discontinue playing contact sports
  • Inform dental and medical personal of your use of blood thinners prior to any procedure
  • Visit the emergency room if you experience sudden dizziness, muscle weakness, or uncontrollable bleeding after an accident
  • Explore possible interactions with other medications, supplements, herbs, and foods that you ingest

Is Turmeric a Safer Alternative Than Prescribed Medications?

A number of commonly prescribed blood-thinning medications produce side effects that are serious, and, in some cases, deadly. While these drugs have been marketed as safe for use, the side effects accompanying them can cause more harm than the drug does good. In recent years, a number of lawsuits against the anticoagulant Xarelto bring into question whether or not the proposed value of taking this drug outweighs the potential risk of developing deadly side effects. 

While the negative consequences of taking certain blood-thinning medications are not experienced by all patients, they do affect enough people to merit a look at whether or not turmeric a safer alternative than prescribed medications. In particular, turmeric is non-toxic and comes without the deadly side effects presented with certain blood thinning medications. Turmeric also provides a non-toxic way to alleviate inflammation, avoiding the interaction of NSAIDs and blood thinning medications. Nonetheless, it is essential to consult with your personal physician prior to making any changes to your existing medication and supplement routine to ensure 

Since turmeric performs as an anticoagulant/antiplatelet agent, taking it with a prescribed blood thinning medication could lead to complications. Certain precautions can be taken to minimize this risk, beginning with speaking to your physician. For many people, blood thinning medications are essential elements of maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. With the proper strategy, turmeric can be included in a dietary regimen to alleviate inflammation and maintain heart health.