What to Take for Inflammation if You are on Blood Thinners

Young woman with neck pain close up

Inflammation is a nuisance, but it’s also a sign that our body is doing what it’s supposed to in the wake of an illness or injury. When there’s a threat that the immune system needs to address, it redirects white blood cells to the affected area as a means of protection. The surrounding blood vessels dilate to allow greater blood flow, and it’s that sensation that causes inflammation. While it may be itchy and painful, it serves an important purpose. And for most people, it isn’t that hard to deal with. Simply take an NSAID like Aleve and wait for the pain to dissipate. But finding an anti-inflammatory can be a lot trickier if you’re on a blood thinner.

Risky Medicine to Mix With Blood Thinners

An NSAID – or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug – is one of the most common forms of over-the-counter medicine and is marketed under the names Advil, Aleve, Excedrin, Bayer, and a whole host of others. In short, most of the pain relievers on the market qualify as an NSAID. That’s a big deal because NSAIDs change the way that blood platelets work. Combined with a paint thinner, this could lead to unpredictable responses like excessive bleeding and symptoms resembling anemia. There may be some NSAIDs that you can use with your blood thinner, but you definitely need to work closely with a doctor to find a solution that’s safe and effective for you.

But you’ll likely be better off steering away from NSAIDs entirely. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have many options. While you’re significantly more limited, there are a lot of options available for anti-inflammation, and many of them have been used for hundreds or even thousands of years. A combination of these ingredients can work wonders on inflammation and leave you feeling like new. So what can people on blood thinners take for inflammation?


Acetaminophen is most commonly distributed as Tylenol, but it’s a popular ingredient in many pain relievers. It’s also one of the few non-holistic options that aren’t also an NSAID. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some precautions about using it. Acetaminophen can contribute to kidney disease and eventually lead to failure if taken too frequently. While it can work just fine as a short term substitute, the risk is severe enough that you may not want to use it to deal with chronic and daily inflammation and pain.

Roots and Herbs

You may recognize the taste of turmeric as being a critical component of many curries, but many others know it as a valuable healing herb. Turmeric has been used as a natural remedy for everything from colds to kidney conditions for generations, but it’s especially potent as an anti-inflammatory.

And while turmeric is one of the most popular and effective anti-inflammatory herbs, it’s just one delicious ingredient that also has potent healing properties. Ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, and cloves all have similar effects, and many of them boost one another when combined together. While cooking with these herbs can help with day-to-day inflammation and pains, they’re also included as common ingredients in anti-inflammatory supplements.


While CBD long had the stigmata of being associated with marijuana, that’s rapidly starting to change. In fact, CBD is legal in the United States on a federal level. That’s because it’s been stripped free of the psychoactive compounds that get you high. CBD’s side effects are minimal and infrequently experienced, and clinical studies show promise that CBD can help not just with inflammation but with issues like anxiety and depression as well. You can expect to see CBD in more and more anti-inflammatory formulas, but be sure to look for brands you can trust to make sure that it’s pure.


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