Essential Oils for Blood Clots

More than eight million people in the United States are prescribed blood thinning medications. Blood thinners save lives, helping treat and prevent dangerous blood clots, but they can have serious side effects when used with the wrong essential oils. The best essential oils for blood clots are Fennel, Wintergreen, Ravensara Bark, Holy Basil and Clove. In this article, we investigate the reasons why and possible safety issues.

Essential Oils do not have side effects. Instead, they have many main effects. To support Hemophilia Awareness Week, we wanted to talk about essential oils that thin the blood and essential oils for blood clots to bring awareness to safety and therapy opportunities.

Clearly, if your blood already struggles to clot, you do not want essential oils that will thin it further. Likewise, using certain essential oils with medications that also interact with blood clotting can be dangerous. These are also oils we would want to discontinue use of if we have surgery planned in the next 48 hours.

The writer of this article is the opposite of a hemophiliac. I am a thrombophiliac; that is, my blood is prone to clotting. Factor V Leiden is an inherited disorder that makes blood more likely to clot. Anyone with this disorder is at risk of developing blood clots, especially in their legs. These can travel through the circulation, causing lung and heart problems. Essential oils for blood clots are beneficial for people like me.

Let's start by thinking about why oils affect the blood. Then, who is vulnerable, and then we'll get into the oils themselves. When we get to that, first, we'll look at oils that thin the blood and then think of ones that help clot it.

Blood Thinning Essential Oils

In 2016, I received an email that chilled me to the bone. Did I know anything about essential oils for blood clots? I'd never really thought about it before. It affected me so profoundly because I'd suffered a pulmonary embolism myself in 2008, nearly killing me. Treated with pharmaceuticals freely available on the NHS, I'd never considered how lucky I had been. My white British privilege slapped me in the face hard that day. My querent had suffered deep vein thrombosis but her medical insurance did not cover that. She was left out, alone, looking for solutions. If you have had problems with blood clots, I hope you gain comfort and support from this blood-thinning essential oils article.

Most Aromatherapists will tell you that they received daily messages from people asking for essential oil recipes for themselves or their friends. One of the reasons we are reluctant (apart from the fact that we trained 30 years to do the job and paid lots of money for it, so we don't give it away for free) is the importance of understanding exactly what is going on in a person's body. One of the key areas that people overlook is the quality of someone's blood or if they are taking anticoagulant medications.

A person who has hemophilia already has problems with blood clotting. Using anticoagulant essential oils can be extremely dangerous for them.

Using essential oils for blood clots when taking anticoagulant medication is incredibly dangerous. The dosage the doctor has prescribed is based on how the liver metabolizes it, and this is based on your weight.

It is designed to be an accurate recommendation. 

If you interfere with that by using essential oils for blood clots, you change how the liver metabolizes the pharmaceutical. This can be a simple or very complicated and lethal mistake.

So perhaps the most important thing you should take away from this article is that if you have been prescribed some anticoagulant or thinning blood medication by the doctor, you must talk to him before using any preparations that can contain essential oils that will thin the blood.

We'll look at what those are in a moment. 


How does Blood Clot?

Blood clotting is a complex process involving proteins called "factors." 

Each factor plays a different role in the process of blood clotting.

Remember I talked about how Factor V Leiden clots the blood? This is the Roman numeral V so, factor 5. 

Predominantly (but not exclusively), hemophilia has issues with Factors 8 and 9.

There are many mechanisms involved in blood clotting. For essential oils, we are mainly concerned with two. 

The first is that certain constituents interact with Vitamin K. This vitamin helps make proteins needed for blood clotting and building bones. Prothrombin is a protein that thickens the blood made by the liver. It depends upon vitamin K for blood clotting to work correctly. Interfere with vitamin K and prothrombin no longer works, so clotting is out of the window.

The second area we need to consider is how some constituents interact with arachidonic acid, affecting platelets. 

Platelets are tiny, disc-shaped pieces of cells found in the blood and spleen. They are part of much larger cells in the bone marrow called Megakaryocytes. Platelets help form blood clots. Their job is to cluster to slow or stop bleeding so that wounds can heal.

Arachidonic acid is a fatty acid with many jobs, but the one we are interested in here is that it aggregates (or clusters) the platelets. I like to think of it as a sheepdog gathering up sheep! 

As they cluster, arachidonic acid converts the platelets into prostaglandins (effectively thicker lipids) and then changes them to thromboxane, the primary lipid fueling blood clots.

Some essential oils for blood clots do their magic by interacting with vitamin K, and others with arachidonic acid.

Also Read: Essential Oils For Liver Detoxification.

When blood doesn't Clot…

Hemophilia is caused by gene mutations, which provide the body with instructions about making the proteins needed to form blood clots. This change or mutation prevents clotting proteins from working adequately or may, in some people, be missing altogether.

These genes belong to the X chromosome.

Hemophilia is a condition that affects both sexes, although it is considerably rarer in females.

It was thought of as a men's condition and that women were carriers. It is understood that some women carrying the hemophilia gene do have hemophilia. Still, their factors VIII or IX levels are low enough for symptoms to be confused or hidden. Many diagnoses of female hemophilia are overlooked or confused with other conditions, for example, hefty periods. 

As well as being much rarer in women, female hemophilia is more likely to be very mild. According to a 2021 study of nearly 30,000 people conducted by researchers at the CDC, almost 20% of patients admitted to US treatment centers with mild hemophilia were female. Women are far more likely to have mild versions of the condition. In 2021, some 81 percent of all persons worldwide diagnosed with hemophilia A were males. Further, the percentage of women and girls with severe or moderate hemophilia (as opposed to a mild form) is between 0.5 and 1%.

When a female has hemophilia, both X chromosomes are likely to be affected, or one is affected, and the other is missing or non-functioning. 

Von Willebrand Disease

A much more common bleeding disorder for women is Von Willebrand disease, which affects about 1 in 100 people in the US. People with the condition bleed more quickly because of a deficit of the von Willebrand factor, which helps blood cells stick together. This inherited bleeding disorder occurs equally in men and women.

If you are worried about hemophilia or von Willebrand Disease, I can recommend this site.

How Do Essential Oils for Blood Clots Thin The Blood?

Essential Oils can thin the blood through many different actions; however, three main constituents are helpful if this is your only way of attending to a blood clot. 

Likewise, they may be problematic if you are already on medication. 

The Main Active Constituents In Essential Oils For Blood Clots Are:

    Essential Oils For Blood Clots

    Let's start with Grapefruit because that one is a common essential oil that doesn't match the rule. It does thin the blood but for a different reason.


    If you have been prescribed warfarin, you've been told not to eat Grapefruit or to drink the juice. More recent studies are starting to waver on that guidance, but that does not affect how cautious we should be with the essential oil. 

    Grapefruit can affect the metabolism of various medications through the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system located in the small intestine and liver.  

    The enzymes affected by Grapefruit are CYP: 3A4, 1A2 and 2A6. (Bodiford, 2013)

    Warfarin is metabolized by the liver enzymes CYP1A2 and CYP3A4. 

    This means there is a theoretical interaction of warfarin with Grapefruit.

    However, we do know that there have been some presentations of patients at the hospital who have eaten Grapefruit, which has caused more warfarin to leak into the blood. (Bodiford, 2013)

    To stress, this is actual Grapefruit as opposed to the essential oil. However, since the essential oil is metabolized through this same enzyme, there is also reason to be cautious...

    Safety: Maximum dilution of Grapefruit Essential Oil is 3%.

    Also Read: Essential Oils For Tourettes.

    Many Essential Oils for Blood Clots Contain Anethole 

    Anethole is the constituent that makes things smell aniseed-y. 

    It inhibits arachidonic acid. 

    The main oils you need to worry about here are:


    Found to be as potent at thinning the blood as using pure anethole when tested on guinea pig plasma (Tognolini)


      • Maximum dilution of Fennel Essential Oil is 3%
      • Not suitable for use during pregnancy.

      Star Anise

      Comprises between 71-90% anethole.

        • Maximum dilution of Star Anise Essential Oil is 3%
        • Not suitable for use during pregnancy.


        Comprises between 87-94% anethole

          • Maximum dilution of Anise Essential Oil is 3%
          • Not suitable for use during pregnancy.

          Euganol is In Many Essential Oils for Blood Clots

          Again, Eugenol exerts its effects through arachidonic acid.

          The main oils we need to concern ourselves with here are:


          Clove is famous as an Anti-Pain Essential Oil - especially for toothache- and for supporting healthy immune function.

          Many of its talents are due to eugenol, which also acts as a powerful antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antioxidant constituent in the essential oil.

          Clove Essential Oil powerfully inhibited arachidonic acid in rabbit experiments, demonstrating 100% protection against thrombosis.

          The antithrombotic properties of Clove Essential Oil are specifically down to acetyl euganol. 

            • Maximum dilution of Clove Essential Oil is 0.5%.
            • Not suitable for use during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

            There is also a theoretical interaction with Monoamine inhibitor medications used for depression. Check with your doctor before using Clove Bud Essential Oil if you are being prescribed these medications.

            Holy Basil

            Very high in eugenol.

            You'll sometimes see this oil listed as Tulsi. It's adaptogenic, so it is brilliant for everyone, especially after stress, but it thins the blood quickly.



              It is made up of 50% Euganol.

                • Maximum dilution 0.8%.
                • Not suitable for use during pregnancy.


                Cinnamon Leaf and Cinnamon Bark

                Like Clove, Cinnamon Essential Oils are fantastic antimicrobials. Aromatherapists use them to guard against the multiplication of viruses. Many others put them on at the first sign of a sniffle. However, again, if you have a platelet disorder, you need to be careful with these essential oils for blood clots.

                Cinnamon Oils have a double whammy. They contain Euganol and also Coumarin. 

                Coumarin, which interferes with vitamin K.

                  • Maximum dilution for Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil - 0.7%.
                  • Maximum dilution for Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil - 5%.
                  • Not suitable for use in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.


                  Similar action to the Cinnamons, although I would never put Cassia on myself anyway. Far better for diffusion and Christmas candles etc.

                    • Maximum dilution 0.05%.
                    • Not suitable for use during pregnancy.


                    Theoretical risk only, since it also contains low levels of Coumarin.

                      • Maximum dilution 3%.
                      • Not suitable for use during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.


                      Carvacrol has a mild antiplatelet effect by indirectly affecting how many receptors are made to catch them. First, the platelets make less of the protein thromboxane A2. 

                      When the body realizes there is less, it responds, "Oh, I don't need so many receptors to try and catch thromboxane then."

                      The body expresses fewer GPIIb/IIIa platelet receptors when it encounters Carvacrol.

                      Oils rich in Carvacrol are:



                        • Maximum dilution 1%.
                        • Not suitable for use during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.



                          • Maximum dilution 3%.
                          • Not suitable for use during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.


                          20% depending on what chemotype. There are many different Thyme Oils.

                            • Maximum dilution 1%.
                            • Not suitable for use during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.


                            Essential oils rich in Estragole were found to be significantly better at impeding platelet aggregation through arachidonic acid than aspirin was (Hoi Sion-Lee, 2006)

                            Ravensara Bark

                            90-95% Estragole.

                              • Maximum dilution 0.1%
                              • Not suitable for use during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

                              Methyl Salicylate


                              Wintergreen is a beautiful, refreshing essential oil that is astonishing for pain.

                              It has very unusual energy. First, it cools the area; then, it warms it up.

                              It is contained in many pain-relieving ointments, liniments and toothpaste.

                              It is often recommended for migraines and focusing the mind from fuzzy headaches. It is an essential oil that should be used in extremely low dilutions, not least because it's so powerful but because it is in many other things. It's effortless to overdose upon it inadvertently. 

                              Many of you will have heard how the doctor may prescribe half an aspirin each day to prevent strokes and heart disease.

                              This is because Aspirin is a Salicylate. 

                              When administered in high dosages, Salicylate acts as a vitamin K antagonist. Antagonist means it switches vitamin K off. Scientifically speaking, it decreases the coagulation factors in blood plasma.

                              Wintergreen Essential Oil is 98% methyl salicylate which is believed to be around 30 times more concentrated than aspirin. Therefore its effects are powerful. 

                              When dinosaurs roamed the Earth and I qualified for my Aromatherapy diploma, back in the '90s, wintergreen was classed as a highly hazardous essential oil, and we were taught to avoid it. Now it's everywhere! I'm pleased about that, but we do need to be careful.

                              It is listed as a negative choice because it appears in so many other preparations like toothpaste and tiger balm, for example. Many people used these tremendous creams for achy joints but didn't say anything to their therapist. So then, using a wintergreen essential oil on top of that was causing blood thinning problems. However, statistically, injuries allotted to wintergreen interactions have been low, verging on negligible, so aromatherapists have more readily accepted it. However, if you are using wintergreen essential oil, you must check that you are not using it in any other liniment or toothpaste. The same applies; indeed, do not use if you have a platelet or blood clotting disorder, are on blood thinning medications or are due to have surgery. I should add here, think tooth extractions too…

                                • Not suitable for use during pregnancy. 
                                • Maximum dilution is 2.4%.

                                Sweet Birch

                                Sweet Birch Essential Oil is extremely good for issues like rheumatism and arthritis. I've seen other aromatherapists use it for psoriasis and eczema, although I don't use it that way.

                                Emotionally and mentally, it's obvious and bracing. It feels like walking through a forest on a spring morning. It's a powerful oil.

                                Again, sweet birch contains high levels of methyl salicylate and should be avoided if you have a clotting disorder or are on anticoagulation medications. All the same, the cautions we saw in wintergreen apply.

                                  • Not suitable for use during pregnancy.
                                  • Maximum dilution 2.4%.

                                  Other Essential Oils for Blood Clots Consideration-α-Bulnesene


                                  Found in Patchouli, α-Bulnesene also affects arachidonic acid and Platelet Aggregation Factor (PAF).

                                    • Not suitable for use during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
                                    • Maximum dilution 3%.

                                    Other essential oils cited by Tisserand and Young as inhibiting blood clotting are: 

                                    Anise, Anise (star), Araucaria, Atractylis, Basil (estragole CT), Basil (Madagascan), Basil (pungent), Bee Balm (lemon), Chervil, Leek, Marigold (Mexican) Marjoram Wild (carvacrol CT), Myrtle (aniseed), Pimento Berry, Pimento Leaf, Savory, Tarragon, and Tejpat Essential Oils.

                                    (Tisserand, Robert; Young, Rodney. Essential Oil Safety (pp. 525-526). Elsevier Health Sciences. Kindle Edition.)

                                    Essential Oils for Blood Clots - Making them, that is….

                                    We call these styptic essential oils. So, the best essential oils for wound healing would be:

                                    Myrrh, Helichrysum, Geranium, Galbanum and Yarrow.

                                    Final Note

                                    As with any protocol, we say everything in moderation. Consider essential oils for blood clots as friends, but all these are potent. I suggest using them in small amounts for short periods, then finding ways to integrate the herbs and spices through cooking otherwise. I prescribe baked Sea Bass and Fennel, followed by Cinnamon buns!

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