There are several foods that thin blood including vitamin K-rich foods such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, lettuce and Brussels sprouts. Other foods include endive, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens and collard greens, according to Healthline. Vitamin E-rich foods such as corn, olive, tomatoes, almonds and sunflower are also natural blood thinners.
Garlic also helps thin the blood, according to Natural News. It also has powerful antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. While eating raw or cooked garlic are the most effective ways to take advantage of its health benefits, it can also be taken in supplement form. Garlic supplements are tolerated better in those who suffer from stomach upset from eating raw garlic or for people who prefer to avoid garlic's strong odor. Foods rich in salicylates also have strong blood-thinning capabilities. Salicylates are the active ingredients in aspirin, which is commonly recommended by physicians to thin the blood in an effort to reduce the risk of heart attack, blood clots and stroke.
Foods rich in salicylates include raisins, cherries, cranberries, strawberries, oranges and tangerines, according to Sandy Simmons' Connective Tissue Disorder Site. Other substances high in salicylates include honey, chewing gum, vinegar, peppermints and cider. People taking prescription anticoagulants like warfarin should avoid foods that have blood-thinning properties like garlic, according to Medscape. This can result in dangerous abnormal bleeding and platelet abnormalities.
Blood thinners are medications administered orally or intravenously to prevent blood clots. Blood clots prevent the flow of blood to the heart, lungs or brain and may cause heart attack or stroke, as reported by Healthline.
Blood thinners should be taken with caution, advises Healthline. For instance, heart disease patients on anti-coagulant medications are recommended to use herbal supplements and teas with caution, because certain herbs obstruct anti-clotting activity of blood thinners and may increase bleeding. A patient is advised to consult his physician before using herbal supplements such as chamomile, clove, willow bark, ginseng and echinacea. Other substances that may be harmful when using blood thinners include alcoholic beverages and cranberry juice.
Similarly, a person using blood thinners should take over-the-counter medications with caution, explains Healthline. Various antibiotics, pain relievers, anti-fungal drugs and acid reducers may increase the risk of bleeding. A patient is required to notify his doctor of all the medications he is using to avoid any harmful reactions.