a sprig of cilantro

Q. You recently published a letter from somebody eating a lot of cilantro to control psoriasis. Before others try this approach I want to offer a caution.

My brother enjoyed using lots of cilantro in his salsa until he realized it is high in Vitamin K. He needed a higher dose of Coumadin (warfarin) to get the same blood thinning effect.

A. Warfarin is an anticoagulant medication used to prevent dangerous blood clots that might cause heart attacks, strokes or other serious problems. It works by interfering with vitamin K, a natural compound that promotes blood clotting.

Many foods (including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, parsley and spinach) contain vitamin K. Eating more of these foods can indeed reduce effectiveness of warfarin and require dose adjustment.

Thank you for your warning. People on warfarin must always be cautious about herbs or medicinal foods. You may wish to refer to our free guide to Coumadin Interactions.

It's almost Black Friday at The People's Pharmacy!

Black Friday at People's Pharmacy 2017
View Specials Now

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

  1. Ponystar

    fbl: Thank you for responding to my question. It sounds like you’ve been through a terrible ordeal. It also sounds like you have a wonderful doctor. Very few doctors have ever heard of nattokinase down here where I live. Only one anti-coag doctor said it worked in one of her patients.
    My problem is vascular surgeries (fem/pop) in my right leg (I’ve had three so far)over a period of 10 years. I have a Dacron tube replacing my femoral artery as it was 100% occluded and according to my surgeon, “as hard as a rock.” The first surgery lasted 9 years but after an episode of AFib my leg occluded again, the second surgery lasted 3 months due to (I believe) an episode of AFib while in ICU. I was not put on blood thinners until after the third surgery but my last ultrasound showed no clots in either leg so I’m good to go so far. However I’ve been on warfarin since May and I wanted to take Nattokinase after reading such positive results from several people on different websites. Plus the warfarin as you know is so difficult to manage as I am a vegetarian.
    I was curious if the nattokinase would not be as effective since I have a synthetic artery in my upper leg and stents/angioplasty were used in my lower leg. I was also wondering what brand of nattokinase do you use?
    Thank you again for responding.

  2. fbl

    Ponystar, yes I had Afibs- BIG TIME! During a car accident the shoulder harness damaged my heart rather badly. It mushed the nerve nodes so that the nerve tissue spread out over the top of my heart and the beat was incredibly erratic and my pulse got to over 3X my normal beat. I also was 70% clogged in the “widow maker” artery that took the brunt of the trauma. No, I didn’t have plaque in any other arteries, just the damaged one.
    IV chelation took care of the blocked artery. It was done by my family physician. After a few unsuccessful tries at trying to shock my heart back into a normal beat I finally underwent ablation therapy. That was a four hour procedure where they go through a leg vein at my groin and actually zapped all the extraneous nerve nodes to silence them. The cardiologist made no promises before the procedure as it is tough to even figure out which are the main nerve nodes.
    I’m truly blessed and the Dr. of course is thrilled. My heart beat and EKG are perfect. It did take one shock treatment after the ablation to get the heart in rhythm again. My pulse is back to my normal 55 and the blood pressure lower number is back to my really normal low. The top number varies on how much pain I’m in, but is usually good.
    My family Dr. wants me to continue my Nattokinase 2X a day, Vitamin E 3X a day, Gingko Biloba 2X a day and of course my Omega 3. It has been a year since the ablation and I’ve done well. Had some pain but realized it was inflammation from all the metals and plastics they used during the four hours of the ablation. My body is very sensitive to stuff. I took a natural anti-inflammatory and the ache went away.
    The only heart thing I’m going to have to deal with eventually, maybe, is my Mitral valve. I was one of the idiots that took the diet drug Pfen-fen over 20 years ago and it did damage my valve. It has been quite livable all these years but has a hiccup on occasion. A few months ago I did have heart achy pain again and got it checked out and the valve was not happy. The cardiologist warned me that I’d have to get it replaced. In the meantime my family Dr. did acupuncture and the pain is gone. I’m thinking it will heal itself again.
    So back to your original question about blood thinners. No, my body reacts rather badly to the blood thinning meds but seems to be very happy with the natural alternatives I mentioned above. And NO, I DO NOT take any aspirin.

  3. Ponystar

    I was wondering why you were taking blood thinners. Do you suffer from AFib? I’m wanting to get off Coumadin and am thinking of trying the nattokinase. Could you give me any advice? Thank you.


    Do I dare say (knock-on-wood) that this week I have been using white generic vinegar on my scalp for psoriasis and it is helping more than anything I have tried. I tried the V-8 Cilantro smoothie and that helped somewhat, I tried the “Organic Apple Cider Vinegar w/the Mother”. The Organic Apple Cider Vinegar did help as recommended by one of your readers, but even when dried, I smelled like a toss salad?!
    I didn’t like that smell, so I decided to just try the white generic vinegar which I had in the house. To my surprise, it worked even better and I did not smell like a toss salad after it dried. It is also very cheap compared to $6.00 for a pint of the “Organic Apple-Cider Vinegar w/the Mother”. I am so happy!
    I was my hair with regular shampoo. Pour on the white generic vinegar, let it sit for a few minutes in the shower (5 mins. if you have time), then rinse it off my hair only (I have longer hair) and I try not to rinse my scalp where I have the psoriasis. I towel dry; and it does not smell like vinegar after it dries. Hopefully, this will work for someone else also.

  5. Langendorfo

    I have Plaque Psoriasis on joints and on scalp, with Guttate Psoriasis spots over the rest of my body. I have kept my skin (almost) totally clear for ten years by simply eliminating all dairy. You must eliminate dairy on the molecular level, so meat, eggs, etc must come from ‘dairy free’ grain-fed animals because powdered milk is cheap and included in commercial feed. It is even more effective if you go full-on vegan which I tried for 2 years with even greater success. You cannot substitute another form of dairy, like goat. But Almond, Soy, or Rice Milk are good substitutes.


    I make a smoothie with cilantro & V-8 Juice in the blender. It is helping my psoraisis tremendously – thank you for posting the article from the man.

  7. Cindy B.

    I have been on Warfarin for the last 11 months due to a dx of atrial fibrillation (which developed, I guess, because of some extreme stressors in my life at the time). Anyway, being a veggie and a lifelong adherent of all leafy green vegetables, green tea, etc. — I was near apoplectic. Also I had had a severe mercury exposure and was using cilantro and chlorella to clear the Hg out of my body. I found that I could continue eating all these foods and drinking green tea (and all the other forbidden stuff) if I did it in reasonable moderation, and fairly consistently from day to day.
    I’ve managed to keep a 2.4 INR (a good blood-thinness reading) throughout, and have had absolutely no side effects from the Warfarin. Not so for the darn beta-blockers, which I just went off this week when I had my cardiac ablation. YEA for modern medical technology. I am sooooo grateful. Now, another 2 months on the Warfarin and, god willin and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be off that too. Tonight I am a very happy person and plan to re-triple my efforts to lead a very healthy life in every respect. With the help of Peoples Pharmacy of course.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Cindy, you’ve identified the most important thing when it comes to warfarin and greens in the diet: day to day consistency!

  8. fbl

    Why would anyone take aspirin when there are so many natural things one can take that don’t have any possibility of harming the gut?
    I take a multiple K and a K2. The K2 is amazing for my skin. My family Dr. assures me that my blood flow is very good. I also take nattokinase, vitamin E, gingko biloba and cayenne.
    My cardiologist tried me on three different blood thinners that did not “work”. The last one, Xarelto, has left me with some serious muscle problems. It has been over a year! After going through all that my family Dr. informed me that they should have done a different blood test. They only did the finger prick…sigh…

  9. fbl

    Vitamin K1 has an amazing effect on my skin. For years I had very rough skin on the backs of my arms. When I started taking vitamin K (a multiple K product)the skin became as smooth as a baby’s bottom.
    All of a sudden my arms got really rough again. I called the company and asked if they had changed anything. Yup, drastically reduced the amount of K1. Now I have to buy a separate K1 product.
    The interesting thing that happened, blood wise, is that the finger prick test my cardiologist office uses showed bad numbers and they went crazy and put me on coumadin, which did nothing, then shots, that did nothing then a really bad new drug called Xarelto, that also did nothing. I’m still suffering over a year later from the severe muscle effects of Xarelto.
    Now comes my hero, my family Dr. He was working on a spot on my back; stopped and asked me if I was taking a blood thinner. I said no and then related the above events. He asked me about natural supplements and I told him I’d increased my nattokinase and Gingko to twice a day. He told me that is good, not to worry that my blood flow was very good. (He has a very dry sense of humor.)
    The Dr. said there is a better lab test they should be using but I didn’t need to bother with it and keep taking what I’m taking as my body will let me know what is best.

  10. Carla

    I wonder if Vitamin K also reduces the blood thinning effect of aspirin. Does anyone know?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Aspirin “thins blood” through a different mechanism, so vitamin K does not have an effect.

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted.

Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.