Herbal remedies affecting coagulation: a review

Pharm Biol. 2012 Apr;50(4):443-52. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2011.611145. Epub 2011 Dec 2.


Context: Herbal remedies are used to treat a large variety of diseases, including blood-related disorders. However, a number of herbal preparations have been reported to cause variations in clotting time, this is mainly by disruption of the coagulation cascade.

Objective: The compiling of plants investigated for effects on the coagulation cascade.

Methods: Information was withdrawn from Google Scholar and the journal databases Scopus and PubMed.

Results: Sixty-five herbal remedies were identified with antiplatelet, anticoagulant, or coagulating ability. Bioactive compounds included polyphenols, taxanes, coumarins, saponins, fucoidans, and polysaccharides.

Conclusion: Although research has been conducted on the effect of herbal remedies on coagulation, most information relies on in vitro assays. Contradictory evidence is present on bleeding risks with herbal uses, though herb-drug interactions pose a threat. As the safety of many herbals has not been proven, nor their effect on blood parameters determined, the use of herbal preparations before undergoing any surgical procedure should discontinued.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Blood Coagulation / drug effects*
  • Coagulants / therapeutic use
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Herb-Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Plant Preparations / adverse effects
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors


  • Anticoagulants
  • Coagulants
  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Plant Preparations
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors