Many supplements interact with the blood thinner Coumadin, or warfarin, and wheatgrass is one of them. You should not take wheatgrass when you are on Coumadin because it will lower your blood levels and possibly cause your blood to clot. This could put you in danger for a stroke, heart attack or clot in your lung. Check with your doctor and pharmacist before taking any supplement with Coumadin, because mixing dietary supplements with this medication is dangerous.
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Coumadin is usually prescribed to prevent your blood from clotting. If you have an artificial heart valve, an abnormal heart rhythm such as atrial fibrillation or have had a clot in your leg or lungs, this medication is taken to prevent clots from happening again. You can also take it if you have had a stroke or a heart attack to keep your blood from clotting and causing another incident. To get your coumadin level just right, you will need to get your blood tested once a month to make sure the medication is working properly.
Foods to Avoid
Coumadin works by inhibiting the action of vitamin K in your body, according to the National Institutes of Health. To keep your blood levels in the proper range, you need to eat foods that contain vitamin K in moderation. Eat no more than three servings per day of broccoli, romaine lettuce or endive lettuce. You can eat one serving per day of kale, spinach or turnip greens. Other dietary supplements known to affect Coumadin levels include bilberry, garlic, feverfew, ginger, gingko, licorice, St. John's wort and wheatgrass.
Wheatgrass juice, although not recommended for people who are on coumadin, is full of amino acids, vitamins and other nutrients. It is most commonly studied for ulcerative colitis. A study published in the "Journal of Scandinavian Gastroenterology" in 2002 found that those who took the juice daily improved over those who took a placebo, according to New York University Langone Medical Center. However, questions as to the methods of this study come into play. It is not known how the participants who took the wheatgrass juice where "blinded" from the concoction for testing purposes. It has a distinct flavor that casts doubt on the participants' inability to detect the wheatgrass. This can negate the scientific value of the study because the participants would know they were taking the medication and could have imagined the results. Wheatgrass juice has also uses in cancer treatment, but no scientific studies exist for this use.
Wheatgrass Dosage and Safety
Typically, wheatgrass is made into a juice, and 100 to 300 milliliters are taken per day. You can also make a tea, a tincture or take wheatgrass in a tablet form. Allergic reactions, such as hives, itching and swelling of the throat, are possible but not common. Occasionally, nausea and headache are reported. Do not take this supplement if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have kidney disease or have liver disease because no data exists as to the safety of wheatgrass for these populations.