Testing various herbs for antithrombotic effect

Nutrition. 2005 May;21(5):580-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2004.09.016.


Objective: Prevention of arterial thrombotic diseases has high priority in developed countries. Because people who eat inappropriate food are prone to thrombotic events, regular intake of an antithrombotic diet may offer a convenient and effective way of prevention. The aim of the present study was to find herbs that have antithrombotic effects.

Methods: Herbs were crushed and centrifuged and the juice obtained was filtered. The effect of filtrate on platelet-rich thrombus formation was assessed by a shear-induced in vitro platelet function test (hemostatometry). Filtrates showing significant antithrombotic activity were further assessed by using a laser-induced in vivo thrombosis test in mice. The effect of orally administered herb filtrates on flow-mediated vasodilation was also measured.

Results: Common thyme and rosemary showed significant antithrombotic activity in vitro and in vivo. Neither herb affected flow-mediated vasodilation.

Conclusion: Some herbs possess antithrombotic effects in experimental models of thrombosis. The mechanism of the antithrombotic effect of common thyme and rosemary may involve a direct inhibitory effect on platelets.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Coagulation / drug effects
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / analysis*
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / analysis*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*
  • Platelet Aggregation / drug effects
  • Platelet Function Tests
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Rosmarinus / chemistry
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control*
  • Thymus Plant / chemistry
  • Vasodilation / drug effects


  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Plant Extracts