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Herbal Treatments for Deep Vein Thrombosis

by
author image Robyn Hughes
Robyn Hughes has been writing since 2008 about health, nutrition, fitness and botanical medicine. She is a naturopathic physician and freelance writer based in Durham, N.C. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in cognitive science from Indiana University and a doctoral degree from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Ore.
Herbal Treatments for Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis may occur during long flights. Photo Credit Empty airplane seats image by TekinT from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that develops in a vein deep in your body, usually in your thigh or lower leg. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute reports that blood clots in your thigh have a greater chance of breaking off and traveling to your lungs -- causing pulmonary embolism -- than blood clots in your lower legs. Herbal treatments may help you treat or avoid deep vein thrombosis, but you should discuss all treatment strategies for this condition with your doctor first.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that risk factors for deep vein thrombosis include pacemaker catheter insertion, prolonged bed rest or sitting, cigarette smoking, pelvis fractures, obesity, heart failure and recent surgery. Some of the most commonly experienced symptoms of this condition include alterations in skin color in the affected leg, increased warmth in the affected segment and one-sided leg pain, tenderness or swelling. Deep vein thrombosis usually occurs in people over 60, but it can develop in anyone.

Herbal Treatments

In her book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," certified nutritional consultant Phyllis A. Balch notes that there are many herbs that may be helpful for this condition. Certain herbs, such as rosemary, yarrow, red raspberry, alfalfa and pau d'arco, improve your blood oxygenation, while butcher's broom improves your circulation. Cayenne helps thin your blood, and hawthorn, ginger, skullcap and valerian dilate your blood vessels and assist circulation. Ginkgo is another herb that improves your circulation, and it is also a powerful antioxidant.

Featured Remedy

Cayenne is an herbal remedy that may be used in treating deep vein thrombosis. Cayenne, a blood thinner, helps ease your blood pressure and boosts blood flow throughout your body, Balch states. You can also use cayenne with ginger, plantain and witch hazel in a poultice that is applied directly to your affected area. Cayenne may effectively treat pain when it is applied directly to your skin, and it is often used in treating arthritis and rheumatism.

Warning

Deep vein thrombosis is a serious condition that can lead to life-threatening health complications. If you are experiencing symptoms of this condition, call your health care provider immediately. Although certain herbal treatments may be helpful for this condition, avoid using herbs in lieu of visiting your doctor or using other treatment methods your doctor suggests. Some herbal treatments may cause side effects and should not be taken by certain individuals. Pregnant women should always exercise great caution when ingesting herbs.

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