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Conventional, Holistic, and Integrative Treatments for Anemia


Description Herbal Medicine Homeopathy
Conventional Treatment Food and Nutrition Ayurvedic Treatment
Common Sense Care Vitamin Therapy Other

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Description of Anemia

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutritional disease in the world.

Anemia literally means, "without blood", and is a deficiency of red blood cells, or the presence of abnormal red blood cells due either to reduced production, abnormal production, excess destruction, or blood loss.

Symptoms of Anemia

Tiredness, dizziness, headaches, depression, slow healing, loss of sex drive, bruising, nervousness, shortness of breath, pallor and palpitation.

Main Causes of Anemia:

  • Iron deficiency
  • Vitamin B-12 or folic acid deficiency
  • Vitamin C deficiency
  • Vitamin E and B-6 deficiency
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Alcoholism
  • Lead Toxicity
  • Infectious diseases such as malaria

Seek Professional Help When...

  • Your skin is pale and you feel weak, tired and out of breath.
  • Your tongue is slick or smooth.
  • You experience fatigue upon exertion.
  • Your skin is jaundiced.
  • You have bleeding under your skin and you bruise in response to the slightest trauma.
  • You are unable to do your usual physical activities.
  • You feel tired for more than five days.


Conventional Treatments for Anemia

This range from simple dietary changes and vitamin supplements to hormone treatments. Surgery may be indicated in severe cases.


Common Sense Care of Anemia:

  • Include the foods recommended under Food Therapy in your diet. The specific choice of food will be dictated by the type of anemia you have.
  • Keep track of the foods you eat and find out whether they are rich in iron, folic acid, or vitamin B-12. Use the HolisticOnLine Nutrition database.
  • As mentioned else where, do not drink coffee, tea, beer or cola with meals as these inhibits the absorption of iron. Instead, drink citrus juices. These are rich in Vitamin C and assists in the absorption of iron.
  • Take daily multivitamin. Do not take any iron supplements without consulting your doctor.
  • Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol.
  • If you are a strict vegetarian, watch your diet very closely.
  • Do not smoke. Avoid second hand smoke.
  • Minimize your exposure to lead and other toxic metals such as aluminum, cadmium and mercury.


Herbal Medicine Anemia

  • Dong quai - This herb is rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • Chive - This vegetable is rich in vitamin C and iron - eat fresh chives.
  • Quinoa - This is a grain rich in all eight essential amino acids that form a complete protein.
  • Gentian - The bitter herb gentian is popular in England for the treatment of anemia. Gentian can be brewed into a tea or you can take a commercially available extract.
  • Dandelion is also believed to help people with anemia. It is very rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • Other herbs that are of interest to those suffering from anemia include alfalfa, bilberry, burdock root, cherry, goldenseal, grape skins, hawthorn berry, horsetail, mullein, parsley, nettle, Oregon grape root, pau d'arco, red raspberry, shepherd's purse, watercress, and yellow dock root.

Caution: Do not take goldenseal or Oregon grape root if you are pregnant. If you have a history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes or glaucoma, see your physician before taking any herbs.

Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) is useful as a general tonic to counteract anemia induced fatigue. Dong quai may be prescribed for women with heavy menstrual flow. For anemic patients with yellow complexion, a Chinese herbalist might recommend a combination of dong quai and Chinese foxglove root. For those with white complexion, they may recommend a combination of ginseng and astragalus.


Food and Nutrition Anemia

Anemia can result from a variety of deficiencies. For example, you may be deficient in iron, Vitamin B-12 or folic acid. Once you know, what you are deficient, then you can consume food that is rich in that nutrient. Hence, the first thing you need to do is to determine the cause of your anemia.

You can use HolisticOnLine Nutrition site to determine the foods and vegetables to consume to assure the proper nutrition intake. For example, green leafy vegetables are a good source of iron. Salmon and mackerel are good sources of Vitamin B-12. Black eyed peas, beans, and lentils are good sources of foliate.

It is a good idea to include the following in your diet if you suspect you are suffering from anemia: apples, apricots, asparagus, bananas, broccoli, egg yolks (Avoid if you have cardiovascular disease or have high cholesterol problem), kelp, leafy greens, okra, parsley, peas, plums, prunes, purple grapes, raisins, rice bran, squash, turnip greens, whole grains, and yams. It is a very good idea to eat food high in Vitamin C to improve the absorption of iron by your body.

Avoid foods high in Oxalic acid from your diet. Oxalic acid interferes with iron absorption. Foods such as almonds, cashews, chocolate, kale, rhubarb, sorrel, spinach, Swiss chard and most nuts and beans are high in oxalic acid.

Avoid foods that interfere with the iron absorption. Examples of foods to avoid are: beer, candy bars, dairy products, ice cream, soft drinks, coffee and tea.

Take a tablespoonful of blackstrap molasses twice daily. Molasses is a good source of iron and essential B vitamins. For children, mix the molasses in a glass of milk or in their formula.

Do not take calcium, vitamin E, zinc, or antacids at the same time as iron supplements. These interferes with the iron absorption.

WARNING: Iron is extremely toxic in large quantities. Excessive use of supplements can lead to iron overload, possibly resulting in abdominal pain, nutritional imbalances, digestive problems, or even in death, especially in children. Supplements pose a particular threat to people with the inherited disorder hemochromatosis. Consult a qualified physician before you start any treatment involving iron supplements.


Vitamin Therapy Anemia

  • Take raw liver extract 500 mg twice daily for red blood cell production.
  • Folic acid 800 mcg + Biotin 300 mcg twice daily.
  • If you have iron deficiency, take iron with 100 mg of Vitamin C, under the supervision of your physician. One of the natural source of iron is floradix iron plus herbs from Salus Haus (2 teaspoon twice daily)
  • Vitamin B-12 - 2,000 mcg 3 times daily. This may be injected 2 cc weekly under the care of a doctor.

Other vitamins and supplements that are important are:

  • Vitamin B complex - 50 mg 3 times daily
  • Extra pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5) - 50 mg 3 times daily and pyridoxine (Vitamin B-6) - 100 mg daily
  • Vitamin C - 3,000 to 10,000 mg daily
  • You may also consume brewers yeast as recommended on the label.
  • Copper, Zinc, Raw spleen glandular, Vitamin A, Natural Beta Carotene and Vitamin E.

WARNING: Iron is extremely toxic in large quantities. Excessive use of supplements can lead to iron overload, possibly resulting in abdominal pain, nutritional imbalances, digestive problems, or even in death, especially in children. Supplements pose a particular threat to people with the inherited disorder hemochromatosis. Consult a qualified physician before you start any treatment involving iron supplements.


Homeopathy Anemia

Homeopathy offers a number of remedies that may be helpful in treating anemia. In general, homeopaths may consider anemia as the result of some other underlying problem and will treat that cause.


Ayurvedic Treatments for Anemia

Add a teaspoon of turmeric to a cup of plain yogurt. Eat this mixture on an empty stomach in the morning or afternoon.



Reflexology: When working on your hands or feet, focus on the spleen and liver reflex points.

Juice Therapy: Focus on vegetables that are high in iron. Blend it with juices high in Vitamin C.



All information provided in this website is for educational purposes only. Statements contained here are reported in an effort to preserve traditional cultural lore and information. Our aim is to prepare you to ask more educated questions to your own medical practitioner. Nothing here should be construed as an attempt to diagnose, prescribe, or recommend, in any manner, a treatment for any health ailment or condition. Consult your own physician regarding the treatment of any medical condition. This information is not a replacement for a thorough consultation and examination from a licensed health professional. People should not try to medicate themselves or others with any of the methods referred to here without the guidance of a qualified practitioner who is thoroughly familiar with both the remedies and the individual’s medical status. Some of the herbs listed are poisonous; some can elicit severe allergic reactions if used inappropriately. Information about safety and interactions may not be complete as herbs and nutraceuticals do not undergo the rigorous testing the other drugs undergo. Do not attempt to self-treat based on information in this website.

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