Natural Anemia Cures and Causes of Anemia
This page looks at natural anemia cures such as herbs for anemia, nutritional supplements, homeopathy, and dietary change. Symptoms and causes of
anemia will also be discussed.
There are three types of cells in our blood - white blood cells, which fight off infection; platelets, which help blood to clot; and red blood cells, which carry
oxygen from our lungs throughout our bodies. Red blood cells are produced in our bone marrow and contain hemoglobin, an iron-based protein that helps blood cells
Anemia is a condition in which there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body tissues. This occurs either because the body does not
produce enough red blood cells or loses them faster than they can be replaced.
There are different forms of anemia depending on the cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.
Symptoms of Anemia
Some common symptoms of anemia include the following:
- Fatigue, tiredness
- Pale skin, lips, and nail beds
- Shortness of breath even after mild exercise
- Dizziness or fainting
- Difficulty concentrating or forgetfulness
- Chest pain
- Feeling chilly with cold extremities
- Palpitations or abnormal heartbeats
Causes of Anemia
Common types of anemia and their causes include:
As you can see, anemia can be a sign of serious illnesses, so be sure to see a doctor if you suspect that you have anemia.
- Iron Deficiency Anemia: This is the most common form of anemia and affects about 1 to 2 percent of adults in America. The cause is a shortage
of iron in the body. This can be due to excessive blood loss (such as from an ulcer or heavy menstruation or after surgery); not getting enough dietary iron; or
- Vitamin Deficiency Anemia: In addition to iron, folate and vitamin B12 are needed to produce red blood cells. Not getting enough folic acid and
vitamin B12 in the diet, or not being able to absorb these vitamins can result in vitamin deficiency anemia.
- Aplastic Anemia: This type of anemia is very rare but is life-threatening. It is caused by a decrease in the ability of the bone marrow
to produce all three types of blood cells due probably to an autoimmune disorder.
- Anemia of Chronic Disease: Anemia can also be caused by certain chronic diseases, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease
and other chronic inflammatory diseases.
- Hemolytic Anemia: This type of anemia occurs when red blood cells are destroyed faster than the bone marrow can replace them. This can be due to
medication or certain autoimmune disorders.
- Sickle Cell Anemia: This is an inherited disease caused by a defective type of hemoglobin that makes red blood cells assume the shape of a sickle.
These irregular-shaped red blood cells die prematurely, resulting in a chronic shortage of red blood cells.
Natural Anemia Cures
Treatments for anemia range from taking supplements to undergoing medical procedures, depending on the type of anemia.
If you have been diagnosed with iron-deficiency or vitamin-deficiency anemia, natural anemia cures using nutritional supplements and herbs as well as dietary change may
well be enough to treat the problem.
If your anemia is the result of an underlying disease, you need to receive treatment for that disease.
Natural Anemia Cures - Nutritional Supplements
Nutritional supplements are effective anemia cures if your anemia is caused by a deficiency of iron or some vitamins.
- Iron Supplements: If your anemia is caused by iron deficiency, take iron supplements daily. (Dosage dependent on the severity of the
disorder - you may want to consult with your doctor.) Iron chelate is more easily absorbed and is preferred over iron sulfate which is not only poorly absorbed but
can also cause digestive upset.
For better absorption, take iron supplements 1 hour before eating, or between meals.
A word of caution: Iron often causes constipation, so be sure to drink a lot of water!
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C enhances iron absorption, so be sure to take 250 mg to 500 mg of the vitamin with each dose of iron supplement.
- Vitamin B12: In cases of vitamin deficient anemia, supplementation of vitamin B12 can help. Recommended dosage is 1000 to 2000 mcg per day.
- Folic acid: Folic acid deficiency can cause anemia. Folic acid supplementation can mask vitamin B12 deficiency, so always take vitamin B12 when
taking folic acid. Recommended dosage is 400 to 1000 mcg per day.
Natural Anemia Cures - Herbs
Some herbs can be used as natural anemia cures. For example:
- Spirulina: Spirulina, or blue-green algae, may treat some types of anemia by stimulating the bone marrow production of red blood cells.
Recommended dosage is 2000 mg or 1 heaping teaspoon per day.
- Gentian: Gentian is commonly used in Europe to treat anemia by stimulating the digestive system to absorb iron and other nutrients more
readily. Take a 300 mg capsule or 20 drops of tincture about a half hour before each meal.
- Nettle: Nettle is rich in iron and other blood-building minerals. One easy way to take this herb is to drink the herbal tea twice a day.
- Other Herbs: Some herbs leach iron from the soil as they grow. By taking these herbs, you can get the benefit of their mineral density. Some
such herbs include alfalfa, dandelion, burdock, and yellow dock. These herbs have traditionally been used to treat mild cases of anemia - they
are rich in iron and other minerals, and they can fortify and cleanse the blood. You can get a commercial product that contains these herbs and take as directed on
the product label.
Natural Anemia Cures - Homeopathy
Homeopathic remedies can be used as natural anemia cures. Select a remedy that most closely matches your symptoms and follow the instructions of use on the label.
- Ferrum phosphoricum: This remedy is for anemia caused by iron deficiency. It improves iron utilization in the cells.
- Calcarea phosphorica: This remedy is for anemia in children with night-time bone aches, cool hands and feet, lack of energy, or poor
digestion. It can also be used for chronic anemia in adults.
- China officinalis: This remedy can be used for anemic conditions caused by blood loss or illness.
- Natrum muriaticum: This remedy is for anemia that is accompanied by headaches and constipation.
Natural Anemia Cures - Diet
Dietary change is very important for people suffering from anemia. Very often a proper diet rich in iron and vitamins can just be the thing to cure your anemia.
Your diet should be rich in the following:
You may also want to cook your food in cast-iron pots and pans. The food will absorb some of the mineral from the cookware. If you are a vegetarian, this is
especially beneficial since vegetarians tend to have difficulty getting sufficient iron from their diets.
If you have anemia, avoid eating spinach, rhubarb, tomatoes, and chocolate. These foods are high in oxalic acid which can inhibit iron absorption in the body.
Other foods that can interfere with iron absorption include dairy products, coffee, black tea, and sodas.
- Iron: Foods rich in iron include red meat (especially calf liver), beans, beet greens, blackstrap molasses, almonds, and brewer's yeast.
Green leafy vegetables contain both iron and folic acid.
- Vitamin C: Dietary sources include citrus fruits and juices, broccoli, and cauliflower.
- Vitamin B12: Dietary sources include liver, meats, eggs, tuna, and cheese.
- Folic Acid: Good food sources include green leafy vegetables, orange juice, and grains.
Anemia During Pregnancy
Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004)
Editors of Prevention Health Books, Prevention's Healing with Vitamins, (Rodale Books, 1998)
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