A natural alternative to Coumadin

Question: My doctor really wants to put me on Coumadin. He says the supplements I take just aren’t strong enough. If I take Coumadin, though, I have to stop taking the supplements for fear of excess bleeding, and then I’ll be missing out on their other health benefits. I need help figuring out what to do.

Dr. Wright: Coumadin is one of the all-time worst "hangovers" from the "heyday" of patent medications: No matter how many alternatives there are for it, it just won’t go away. It certainly thins the blood, but it does so by "poisoning and killing off" the vitamin K in your body. Over enough time, the near-total lack of vitamin K will (not "could" — WILL) cause osteoporosis, arterial calcification, cognitive malfunction, and many, many other problems.

Unfortunately, clinical studies are expensive ventures, and unless there’s a patented substance that has enormous profit potential on the other end of all that pricey research, no one is willing to fork over the money to conduct one. And since vitamins, minerals, and nutrients can’t be patented, there just aren’t any double-blind, placebo-controlled studies to "prove" how well they can work to replace patent medications (like Coumadin) — without all the negative side effects associated with those patented substances.

But even without the clinical studies to "back it up," there is a very good alternative to Coumadin — one I’ve been using in my practice for over 30 years with great success, and it just so happens to be the same supplement used with such great success for RA: Cod liver oil.

Cod liver and other fish oils work by making platelets (the very small element in your blood essential to the clotting process) so slippery that they can’t stick together easily to form a clot.

There is a test (called the "platelet aggregation test") that can measure how well your blood is responding to all the natural anti-clotting measures you’re already taking, and help you and your doctor determine exactly how much cod liver (or other fish) oil to take.

But, unfortunately, it’s hard to find and expensive — usually $200-$400 each time. That’s why no one taking aspirin as a blood thinner is ever tested to see if the aspirin is actually doing its job. However, over the years, I’ve run many of these tests and have found that 2 to 3 tablespoonfuls of cod liver oil daily were always enough — and not too much — to do the job.

Remember: Whenever you take supplemental oils or essential fatty acids, always take extra vitamin E, as mixed tocopherols, to prevent the oils from oxidizing too rapidly in your body. Take 800-1,000 IU of vitamin E with 2 to 3 tablespoons of cod liver oil each day. And to minimize any gastrointestinal upset, split the cod liver oil into two or three doses. It’s not very tasty stuff, so if necessary, you can blend it with rice or almond milk.

Of course, for those readers who may already be taking Coumadin, it’s never wise to switch from Coumadin to cod liver oil without the advice of a physician skilled and knowledgeable in nutritional and natural medicine; to find one contact the American College for Advancement in Medicine at (800)532-3688 or visit their website, www.acam.org.

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Dr. Jonathan Wright

Jonathan V. Wright, M.D. has degrees from both Harvard University (cum laude) and the University of Michigan. More than any other doctor, he practically invented the modern science of applied nutritional biochemistry and he has advanced nutritional medicine for nearly three decades.

Thousands of doctors respect Dr. Wright as the author of the best-selling Book of Nutritional Therapy and Guide to Healing with Nutrition, as well as other classics in the field. Yet he regards all the above as secondary to his family medical practice. For more than 27 years, he has devoted his talents to helping heal many thousands of patients. Combining the most advanced new natural techniques with the best in traditional medicine, he takes a truly holistic approach.

As of today, Dr. Wright has received over 35,000 patient visits at his now-famous Tahoma Clinic in Washington State.

To learn more about Dr. Wright please visit http://www.tahomaclinic.com/.

Dr. Jonathan Wright

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  1. Daniel Jacobson says

    Would a daily glass of red grape juice be an effective blood thinner for all but very serious cases?

  2. Debra says

    My husband has had a St Jude AVR Aortic heart valve replacement because of Ankylosing Spondylitis in 1996 we have managed to keep him on a low dose, 2mg of warfarin since the opp and no other meds, he takes 1 tsp of cod liver oil in winter and 1 Tbls of fish oil in summer the Doctors say he cant go off the warfarin because of the metal valve, is this so have you had been able to take patients off the warfarin with metals valves, we can have our (INR) your platelets aggregation test every week as we do not have to pay for this test, do you think it can be done?

  3. leo says

    do you know of any effective alternative for coumadin for heart valve patients? do you predict dabigatran will be approved for heart valve patients? if you are alternatively
    anticoagulated effectively, wouldnt you still have dangerous anticoagulation (bleeding to death in auto accident, stroke, ,etc) side effects? how would alternative anticoagulation be safer? doing research on alternative anticoagulation and willing to make changes if physician will be supportive.

  4. bluebell says

    I am a retired medical technologist. The laboratory that I retired from has a platelet function instruement. when we were setting up the intruement everybody working in the lab donated samples to get a normal pool. I told them that I was taking fish oil, ginkgo biloba, garlic, vitamin E and I was afraid that my blood would not be normal. As it turned out these supplements actually enhance the platelt funtion and I am still giving them a sample for the monthly QC when I have to have blood drawn.

  5. Anonymous says

    l have had a valve replacement as well and just wanted to know if l like debra wrote for her husband will be able to do the cod liver oil as l have seen a natural doctor that told me to get off warfrin and take circuplex 3 times a day and gotu kola 3 times a day and 400 vitamin e twice a day , so can l still take cod liver oil and if l am taking 800 in total of vitamin E at breakfast and lunch,can l still take 800-1000 vitamin E with cod liver oil

  6. A.W. says

    I hate coumadin/warfarin so much because of the fact it interacts with Vitamin K. I do have osteoporosis which I had thought was my fault turns out it could be possibly this drug. I am only in my twenties, I am looking for another option. I just do not want to risk a stroke as brain cells don’t regenerate. I have a mechanical heart valve. I just don’t like that this drug affects nearly everything such as foods. Anyone know of any other blood thinners that work effectively for mechanical heart valve patients ?

  7. Anonymous says

    It seems that where ever i go,when the air is on and the ceiling fans are on that people are conjested either in summer or winter.
    I think,but i may be wrong,air,fans, and prespiring don’t mix,as a result conjestion and possibly sickness.
    Bob L

  8. James Rivera says

    I read the studies about the sugar cane specially the part that lower the cholesterol levels. Is there any treament or medine is being use now? For this condition

  9. Anonymous says

    I have been on coumadin for seven years. The side effects have gotten to the point of being serious for me. Never mind the stomach problems, the hair loss, the bruising, the feeling tired 24/7, the bleeding gums on and off. Finding out that coumadin causes osteoporosis and heart problems was the final straw for me! I have just started eating NATTO daily, and will also take Cod Liver oil, vitamin E, ginger, and garlic etc..

  10. Lisa says

    Are there ever any questions addressed here? What if you have Graves Disease, can you take the Cod Liver oil? does the iodine interfere with the thyroid? On Anti Thyroid drug Tapazole… thanks!

  11. Anonymous says

    My husband has been on coumadin for several years after having 5 bypasses and then an ablation. I started giving him green tea when I figured out that that is why MY blood is always so thin. I also started him on CoQ10 a couple of months ago and his INR numbers went from 1.8 (too thick) to over 3.48 (way too thin), so I cut out one of his doses of coumadin and will find out this week if it is still too thin.

  12. Anonymous says

    I had blood clots in both legs and my lungs. I was put on Warfarin. Even though my INR was stable I STILL continued to get clots in both legs. At least two incidents a year. I was frustrated that I was taking something that was supposed to prevent them but wasn’t working.

    I read an article about Nattokinase and saw that Warfarin causes osteoporosis as well as abnormal heart beat (AFib). I figured I didn’t need any more problems on top of the one I had so I stopped the Warfarin completely and started taking this instead.

    I have not had another incident since. I purposely eat LOTS of food with Vitamin K and will now start taking Cod liver oil as well.

    I am so glad the internet has made taking charge of my own health easier.
    My doctor rolls his eyes when he hears me talk about researching what he is prescribing online.

    I am looking for another doctor that doesn’t need to keep me sick while he takes kickbacks from those who stand to profit at my ILL health.

  13. Anonymous says

    I am sick and of people getting sick and suffering to make a bunch of greedy devils rich. Thanks to this Harvard Doctor for posting this natural alternative. You Sir are the kind of person that the gates of heaven will open for, while your greedy devil colleagues will be taking coumadin, Chemo and all the other dope they killed others with when In Hell.
    God bless you Sir!

  14. lochner says

    I have very thick blood because of a high fibrin count. After I rejected warfarin and coumadin, the hematologist brought up the idea of phlebotomy (blood letting). I have had four smallish phlebotomies the past four months (plus natto twice a day), and my blood tested normal today. My schedule will be adjusted accordingly. It costs $33., takes about 20 minutes, and I’m good to go.

    Barbara Lochner

  15. Lin says

    I’m glad to hear that someone else has quit warfarin, (the rat-poisoning) cold turkey and finding a better, healthier way. I just did that after suffering from horrendous side effects from the warfarin but was feeling worried about it especially when I keep getting calls from my Doctor to scare me into going back on it. I too am researching alternative methods such as one’s that have been listed. Another great website for anyone curious about side effects go to askthepatient.com and search warfarin. That website is a real eye-opener. There’s 12 pages of patients all suffering various side effects while Dr.s deny it’s the warfarin!!
    Best of health to all!

  16. ChinGaugon says

    I’m so happy to have been referred to this site! I just got out of the hospital after a clot was found in my right leg. I had 5 in the left one 2 yrs ago. The Doc says I have to stay on Coumadin for LIFE! I really don’t want to especially after reading about hair loss, bone loss…OMG! This is scary stuff. My next visit will be to a Doc who specializes in Natural Medicine because I don’t want to keep suffering in an effort to try to get better!

  17. Andrew Halley says

    Writing about “medical matters” may, ostensibly, be considered irresponsible as we are after all just ordinary members of the general public, but the fact that more are contributing to this site is a comfort to me since we alone appear to know our own symptoms. When I stopped taking Warfarin, many sites advised that I should “discuss” this with my Doctor. This was the type of discussion that you have with a brick wall. By actually sharing our experiences and personal research (thank you Mr Tinter Web) I believe that only true development will ensue. Please excuse that little rant, but I do believe. Keep it coming good people.
    With that in mind – would you all look at the various articles about “Serrapeptase”( read up and then you’ll get the next bit) the idea that chronic low level inflammation can cause so many diseases, which is what Serrapeptase controls, is astounding. So my AF is apparently caused by a swollen left ventricle and this can lead to the pooling of blood with clots etc. well this enzyme dissolves dead protein ( read the articles) and therefore reduces inflammation. How do I know it works? Because this is my latest backhand return to Doctor Reaper- been taking it for just one week so far…been cycling, walking really briskly and no nurse has told me to cut down on my Brochilli habit! Updates to follow!

  18. fransieSOUTH AFRICA says

    Thankyou,thankyou,thankyou sooooo much for this site, I hate to be on warfarin for 5 months allready and my bloods is still to thick. I have to take 10mg every day now, but I dont want to so I came and google and find this site!! And are so glad. I am going to try the cod liver oil first before I take 10mg and are going to see whats going to happen, wish someone would have said how long it will take before you can see a differance??
    God Bless you all.

  19. Polodog says

    I am 51 and have Atrial Fibrillation, an un-even heart beat. This means are am very susceptible to strokes and even heart attacks due to the extra pooling of blood or clots due to not be flushed or something!?
    However the Doctor said I have to take Warfarin ( as it’s called in the UK) to “thin” the blood. After three months my hair thinned, I had constant rashes on my arms, stomach, and hands. I felt ill, tired, had aches and eventually a swollen face with what looked like a large birth mark. This final straw took me to the anti-coagulant nurse who gave me an alternative prescription for “Phenindione”. After paying for this, even the warnings on the label said “not to be taken if allergic to Warfarin”! Turns out this is even more toxic. Point is, the medical profession have a box that they look into and are trained not to think outside of it. I am now ( through research ) taking Kyolic Garlic, Chamomile tea, and fish oil for the blood thinner with Hawthorn and magnesium for the flutter. Two days after stopping Warfarin all adverse symptoms have stopped. Now waiting for that “you’re gonna die” phone call from the Doctor.

  20. ClaudeA says

    Trouble is, Big, Bad Pharma despises Dr. Wright, and despises Real Health even more. Question: How do we destroy Big Pharma?

    I look to a future where free Internat access is denied to all who want to think for themselves, and especially for those who want to discover real health facts that Big Brother wants to replace with his Death Pill. In fact, just exactly this is found on Big Brother’s “Georgia Guide Stones, on a little hill in Georgia. Eliminating 90% of human life is his stated, published agenda.

    Spread the word about real health just as quickly as possible, before Big Brother, aka White House, literally turns the Internet off, as Congress recently “authorized.”

    Then, refuse to die peacefully!

  21. Anonymous says

    I also have A.F. and have for about 8 years. I avoided warfarin until about 4 months ago and took sotalol and aspirin. In Feb 2009 I had a problem after catching stomach bug and becoming short of potassium. The hospital didn’t realise this, and changed my medication and tried various things until they realised. In the end they gave me a pacemaker, which helped because my pulse cannot go below 60.

    I continued on sotalol and aspirin until, in October, I had chest pains and went to A.& E. . Eventually I was sent for an angiogram and I had had Takabuso’s syndrome, which seems to be quite rare, but heals itself over a period of time. I was then given bisoprolol and ramipril, which made me feel nauseous every afternoon. My GP took me off ramipril and I was much better, then I had a bad episode of A.F. and spent a week in hospital. This is when I was put on warfarin, amlopodine and bisoprolol, so I could no longer take my usual multivitamin, hawthorn and garlic and drink my usual green tea, though it seems white tea is OK! Strange!

    Being vegetarian, I had to cut down on my usual green foods, cheese, chick peas, soya etc, Although my warfarin dose is stable, I feel vulnerable. I wanted to take Ginkgo and Garlic& Hawthorn , but the GP was not interested. I take flax oil instead of fish oil, and am still doing so.
    I take lecithin for collesterol control, and so avoided the statins they wanted me to take.

    I hope I can find a GP who will monitor my blood levels if I take alternative medication.

    Reading all your comments has given me hope that I can find some natural solution to my problem!


  22. Polodog says

    Therefore these sites are a gift given to all like minded people.Because there is so much information, it’s up to all of us to collate our experiences and make positive forward proper “Progress”.
    On a more relevant note, since taking a higher dose of fish oil (3 x 1000mg spread throughout the day), Aches in my legs and mild tendinitis in my right ankle have subsided.

  23. says

    I have taken coumadin for 7 years. I had fainting. I have had a pacemaker and after that no more fainting. I felt bad with hypertension and arythmie.
    I changed coumadin for Pradax(dabigatran)and I am no better.

    I want to stop pradax and take cod liver oil and ecklonia cava,
    But at the same time than Pradax, the doctor give me bisoprolol and
    Is it ok if I stop the 3 drugs?

    I wish doctors would realize that alternative medicine is better than conventional medicine alone.

    I certainly need more help

    Best regards


  24. Mel.Drew1 says

    I agree with you 100 per cent Andrew Halley with your comments.
    I contracted “Endocarditis”inflammation of the lining of the heart that damaged my Aeortic valve. I have a replacement metallic valve & a pacemaker. I read extensively about traditional medicine. Defying
    my Doctors, My personal choice 2 years ago was to cease prescription medications, Warfarin(rat poison), Statins, & Bisoporol. I would rather have a decent quality of life than be dosed with Big Pharma`s profitable poisons! I am 51 & have to be careful over vigorous exercise. However, 2/3 hour walks, Slow swimming & pilates. Being careful by eating natural foods & avoiding artificial additives is at the
    moment keeping me in a reasonable state of health!

  25. Mel.Drew1 says

    I agree with you 100 per cent Andrew Halley with your comments.
    I contracted “Endocarditis”inflammation of the lining of the heart that damaged my Aeortic valve. I have a replacement metallic valve & a pacemaker. I read extensively about traditional medicine. Defying
    my Doctors, My personal choice 2 years ago was to cease prescription medications, Warfarin(rat poison), Statins, & Bisoporol. I would rather have a decent quality of life than be dosed with Big Pharma`s profitable poisons! I am 51 & have to be careful over vigorous exercise. However, 2/3 hour walks, Slow swimming & pilates. Being careful by eating natural foods & avoiding artificial additives is at the
    moment keeping me in a reasonable state of health!

  26. Anonymous says

    I was diagnosed with PE. The ER found 10 blood clots in my lungs. They did not find anywhere else in my body where this might have come from. I am also highly allergic to black mold and was in a beach home for 2 months that contained it. I got out and the clots dissolved in 3 weeks. The dr. of course put me on Warfarin for 3 months. Why would I have to take it that long if the clots are gone and I am out of the environment. I do not want to put that poison into my body, but I have five small kids and worry about dying.

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