Herbs for Anemia

Posted: February 10, 2008 in Health

Herbs for Anemia

 Anemia   herbs.jpg 

Anemia is a medical condition in which the blood has a deficiency of red blood cells or of the hemoglobin these cells need to carry oxygen. Nutritionists feel that blood nourishing herbs aid in the absorption of iron as well as providing other benefits to the blood. And with lower doses of iron, the unpleasant side effects can be avoided. 

One of the most widely recommended herbs for anemia is yellow dock root. Yellow dock is a common roadside weed. Yellow Dock’s high iron content makes it beneficial for treating anemia and pregnant women. The properties of this herb are alterative, depurative, laxative, purgative, cholagogue, and astringent. The primary chemical constituents of Yellow Dock Root include anthraquinone glycosides, tannins, resins, oxalates, and iron. It also contains varying amounts of phosphorus, vitamins A and C, and calcium. It helps to free up iron stored in the liver, thus making it more available to the rest of the body

Another herb useful in the treatment of anemia is stinging nettle, also called nettle leaf. Even though this herb contains a stinging irritant to skin, it can be cooked and eaten like spinach. It grows in moist shady places. It can be obtained as the bulk dried herb, tincture, or capsule form at health food stores. While a few sources suggest nettle shouldn’t be used in pregnancy, many midwives use it with their patients and get good results. It is often combined with red raspberry leaf and oat straw herb, and used as a tea. The addition of anise seed seems to improve results.

Dandelion and burdock root are often used in combinations of herbs to treat anemia. These plants are widespread and easy to identify, and could be used in cases where medical help is not available. They may work by increasing the body’s ability to absorb iron from food.

Alfalfa is a plant that is very nourishing when taken in tablet form. It is often included in combinations of herbs designed to build up the blood. Alfalfa tablet doses are usually large, like 18 per day. It is more like a food than a medicine.

Gentian ( Gentiana lutea) is often used in Europe to treat anemia by stimulating the digestive system to more easily absorb iron and other nutrients. Add 1 tsp. powdered dried rhizome to 3 cups of water. Take 1 tbs. about a half hour before eating.

Spirulina, or blue-green algae, may treat both microcytic and macrocytic anemias. Dose is 1 heaping tsp. per day.


Warning: Consult a qualified physician before you start any treatment involving iron supplements.


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