Is Curcumin a Natural Blood Thinner?

31 August 2021
For thousands of years curcumin, the key active ingredient in Turmeric, has been used as a natural healing agent. Sought after for its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to ease the symptoms of bowel discomfort amongst other ailments, the curcuminoid is now used as a natural blood thinner.

What is Curcumin?

Curcumin is derived from the ancient, golden spice – Turmeric.

The pigment which is responsible for giving the spice its symbolic yellow glow is one of a number of medicinal compounds called curcuminoids. Curcumin is the most beneficial of these, and is the key active ingredient within Turmeric.

Studies have found that curcumin can aid in blocking the inflammatory molecules within the human body, providing relief of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

New evidence has emerged to suggest that aside from its more well-known medical aids, curcumin may also act as an excellent anticoagulant, or blood thinner [1] . To understand better the properties which give curcumin it’s blood thinning nature, it helps to look closer at anticoagulants.

Anticoagulant properties

Anticoagulants, commonly referred to as blood thinners or antiplatelet medicines, assist in the prevention of blood clots within the human body [2] . They can also be used in the treatment of existing blood clots, helping to prevent the formation of complete blockages which may lead to a stroke or heart attack.

You may be recommended blood thinners by a doctor if you:

  • Have a heart valve replacement
  • Have blood vessel or heart diseases
  • Suffer from atrial fibrillation, or an abnormal heart rhythm
  • Are at a higher risk of blood clots following surgery
  • Suffer from any congenial heart issues

Anticoagulants work by slowing down the body’s clotting process. Suffering from any of the conditions above may cause the platelets within the blood to work more effectively than is necessary.
Taking a blood thinner enables the platelets to become less active when preventing blockages.

Blood-thinning properties in Curcumin

It is only recently that the blood thinning nature of curcumin has been tested. Studies have shown that curcumin was successful at prolonging APPT (Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time, a test that measures levels of coagulation in the blood), and PT (Prothrombin Time, a test measuring the length of time taken to form a blood clot) [3].

Further research supported this in finding curcumin contained not only anticoagulant properties, but antiplatelet properties – pointing towards curcumin’s ability to successfully assist in thinning of the blood [4].

Already taking blood thinners?

It’s important to note that, if you have already been prescribed blood thinning tablets, it may be best to stay away from curcumin or products that contain curcumin or turmeric.

Curcumin can magnify the existing effect of anti-clotting medication and as such, may lead to excessive bleeding.
Curcumin has a range of positive medicinal properties, and as such is a brilliant option as an accompanying supplement to traditional medical practises. However, the consumption of curcumin may have differing effects dependant on your treatment. Always check with your GP before taking supplements that may affect your current medication.