Approximately three million Americans suffer from anemia, a condition that occurs when the body’s red blood cell count is less than normal.
Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, an iron-based protein that helps blood cells carry oxygen. When you are anemic, your blood can’t deliver the proper oxygen supply to your organs and tissues.
According to the World Health Organization, males who have less than 13 grams of hemoglobin per deciliter are anemic. For women, the criteria is less than 12 grams of hemoglobin per deciliter.
Anything that disrupts the normal life span of the red blood cells may cause anemia, including a decrease in red blood cell production, an increase in destruction of red blood cells or excessive blood loss. There are different types of anemia, depending on their cause.
Women and people with chronic diseases are at highest risk for anemia. Some of the conditions that may cause it are heavy blood loss during menstruation, pregnancy, ulcers, intestinal disorders, cancer, bleeding disorders, other chronic diseases, or a deficiency of iron, folic acid, vitamin B12. Certain types of anemia can also be inherited.
Symptoms vary depending on the cause and may range from mild to severe. Common symptoms are fatigue, pale skin, a fast or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, cognitive problems, headaches, cold hands and feet, lack of energy, hair loss and high or low blood pressure.
You can easily treat and prevent some types of anemia at home with some simple home remedies. Follow any of these remedies until your hemoglobin level becomes normal.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for anemia.
Beetroot is highly beneficial for those who suffer from anemia due to iron deficiency, which is the most common of all types of anemia. It has high iron content, along with fiber, calcium, potassium, sulfur and vitamins.
In addition to providing nutrition, beetroot helps cleanse the body and supply more oxygen throughout the body. This in turn helps increase the body’s red blood cell count.
- Blend one medium-size beetroot, three carrots and one-half of a sweet potato in a juicer. Drink this juice once daily.
- You can also eat beetroots as a cooked vegetable or in a salad. Eat the peel along with the beetroot for maximum nutritional value.
2. Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses is considered a nutritional powerhouse, especially for those who are anemic.
It is a good source of iron, B vitamins and other essential minerals that help increase red blood cell production. A tablespoon of blackstrap molasses supplies almost 15 percent of your daily iron needs.
- Mix one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses in a cup of hot water or milk. Drink this once or twice daily. This drink is highly beneficial for pregnant women.
- Another option is to combine two teaspoons each of blackstrap molasses and apple cider vinegar in one cup of water. Drink this once daily.
A diet rich in green leafy vegetables like spinach is one of the best home cures for anemia. Spinach is rich in iron as well as vitamin B12 and folic acid, energy-boosting nutrients that the body needs to recover from anemia.
A one-half cup of spinach provides almost 35 percent of your daily value of iron and 33 percent of your daily value of folic acid.
- Drink spinach soup twice daily. To prepare the soup, take 1 cup of blanched spinach and puree it by adding a little water. Heat 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil in a pan, sauté some chopped garlic cloves and onion in it until brown. Add the pureed spinach and a little salt and cook on low heat for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Mix two teaspoons of honey in a glass of fresh spinach juice. Drink this once daily.
Follow either of these remedies for at least one month.
Pomegranate is rich in iron and other minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. It also contains vitamin C, which helps improve the body’s absorption of iron. This results in more red blood cells and an increase in the hemoglobin level.
- Mix one cup of pomegranate juice, one-fourth teaspoon of cinnamon powder and two teaspoons of honey. Drink this daily with your breakfast.
- Alternatively, take two teaspoons of dried pomegranate seed powder with a glass of warm milk one or two times daily.
- You can also eat a medium-size pomegranate every morning on an empty stomach.
5. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are also great for treating anemia due to their high iron content. One-fourth cup of sesame seeds provides almost 30 percent of the daily iron requirement.
- Soak two tablespoons of black sesame seeds in water for two to three hours. Strain and make a paste of the soaked seeds. Add one tablespoon of honey and mix well. Have this mixture twice daily.
- Soak one teaspoon of black sesame seeds in warm water for two hours. Grind the mixture into a paste and then strain it to get the emulsion. Mix the emulsion in a cup of warm milk, add honey or jaggery and drink it once daily.
Dates are a rich source of iron as well as vitamin C that plays an important role in the body’s absorption of iron.
- Soak two dates in a cup of milk overnight. The next morning, eat the dates and drink the milk on an empty stomach.
- Alternatively, you can eat some dry dates on an empty stomach in the morning, followed by a cup of warm milk.
Being rich in nutrients including iron, apples help a lot in treating anemia.
- Eat at least one apple daily. If possible, opt for green apples and eat them with their skin.
- You can also mix equal parts of fresh apple juice and beetroot juice and a little honey. Drink this juice twice daily.
High in iron, banana stimulates the production of hemoglobin and many other enzymes that are essential for the formation of red blood cells. Also, it is a good source of magnesium that aids in hemoglobin synthesis.
- Eat one ripe banana along with one tablespoon of honey twice daily.
- Alternatively, mix one mashed ripe banana and one tablespoon of Indian gooseberry (amla) juice. Eat this two or three times daily.
9. Dried Black Currant
Due to its high concentrations of iron and vitamin C, dried black currant has been found to be a very effective treatment for anemia. Vitamin C enhances the body’s ability to absorb the iron, increasing red blood cells and hemoglobin.
- Soak 10 to 12 dried black currants in water overnight.
- The next morning, remove them from the water and remove the seeds.
- Eat them daily before eating your breakfast.
- Follow this remedy for a few weeks.
The high iron content in fenugreek will help maintain the iron in your blood. It also aids new red blood cell production. Both the leaves and seeds of fenugreek can be used in the treatment of anemia.
- Cook one cup of rice with two teaspoons of fenugreek seeds. Add some salt and eat it once daily for at least two to three weeks.
- You can also use fenugreek leaves in your cooking, especially in soups or salads.
These home remedies are great for restoring a healthy red blood cell count in people who have anemia. Following a well-balanced diet is essential to prevent a recurrence.
Tips to Prevent Anemia
- Eat foods high iron and vitamins C and B12.
- Take cold baths twice daily to improve blood circulation.
- Cook your food in iron pots to get increased iron content.
- Expose your body to early morning sunlight for 10 minutes daily.
- Include lentils and whole grain cereals in your diet.
- Include more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Do not have tea, coffee or cocoa with meals.
- Enjoy a warm water bath mixed with Epsom salt a few times a week.
- Exercise regularly and include some strength training to increase muscle mass and fight fatigue.