Last Modified on Jul 01, 2014
Treatment of polycythemia vera ranges from natural supplements to lifestyle remedies and medicinal treatments. Clot-busting and blood thinning supplements aid in treatment of the condition. Likewise, changing the diet can be an effective means of health maintenance and symptom management.
What is Polycythemia Vera?
A blood disorder, polycythemia vera is characterized by the overproduction of too many red blood cells in the bone marrow. The condition may also cause the proliferation of too many of other blood cells; however, it is the red blood cells that thicken the blood and cause the most concern.
Many individuals do not experience any symptoms in the condition’s early stages, but as the disease progresses, individuals experience more common symptoms. Headache, dizziness, itchiness, redness of the skin, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, numbness in the extremities, bloating in the abdomen and fatigue are common symptoms. The condition occurs as a mutation in the bone marrow causes a problem with the production of blood cells.
Natural Treatment for Blood Disorders
While polycythemia vera is considered a chronic condition without a cure, many treatments are available that help regulate the condition. Natural supplements including garlic and cayenne aid in thinning the blood and preventing blood clots. Additionally, certain lifestyle measures are effective treatment options.
Garlic is an herb that is used in an array of treatments. The herb has specific anti-coagulant properties that make it an effective treatment option for polycythemia vera. The supplement helps thin the blood and prevent clots often associated with the condition.
Cayenne is another supplement effective for managing thickened blood. The capsaicin in cayenne stimulates blood flow. This compound also thins blood and regulates circulation.
While still not considered cures, several lifestyle changes are considered treatments that aid in the maintenance of good health and overall feeling of health. Regular exercise increases blood flow and can help regulate the condition. Additionally, a balanced diet helps maintain an appropriate level of nutrients in the body and supports good general health.
Polycythemia vera is a potentially life-threatening blood disorder if left untreated. While holistic treatment options cannot promise a cure, these options help regulate and manage the condition effectively.
03/13/2014: Ananas from Canada: "Hi everybody I am new to this blog and I have polycythemia vera. I am looking for alternative medicine or healthy ways to manage my disease. The doctors have given me Hydroxyurea for the past 5 years now and I am not getting better. Can anyone help me please, thank you all."Replies
03/13/2014: Mike62 from Denver replies: "Ananas: Living in the 21st century is 90% of the people are either sick or not functioning at peak performance, 9% are slick, and only 1% are well and happy, like the good folks here at wonderful E.C., the best place for folk medicine, like Mama, Dave, Tony, Tim, Bill, Ted, OM, Robert Henry, and many more. You fall into the 90% category. But you don't have to stay there. You can graduate to the 1% category and function optimally. The first thing you do is just completely ignore the condition. The second thing you do is don't believe the people who say the condition is a genetic defect. Eating cooked conventionally grown food that is low in nutrients and high in pollutants caused the gene to malfunction. All you have to do is eat food that is high in active nutrients with high energies and low in pollutants and the gene goes back to functioning. If you would like to try a complete best foods program reply back and I'll be glad to give the products and dosages."
03/27/2014: Ananas from Ontario, Canada replies: "Mike62, I have been away for a while but I am glad I saw your response. I would love to know more about the right foods and brands I must consume. Thank you very much for steering me in the right direction. I am glad to have found you and look forward to your reply"
03/27/2014: Mike62 from Denver replies: "Ananas: A complete raw organic and grass fed whole food program is not only going to fix all your problems very rapidly but is also going to make the body buzz like a bee. The best carb is activated barley, best proteins are the super foods, Hawaiian spirulina, chlorella, desiccated liver, non denatured whey, and raw cocoa powder. For every 100g activated barley take 8g expeller pressed coconut oil and 24g black chia seeds. The carbs and oils have to be in the proper ratio. Take the carbs, proteins, and fats together every 2 hours with water. The best supplements are colostrum, skate liver oil, 17 mushroom extract blend from Washington, 90,000hu cayenne, unrefined sea salt, freeze dried 4:1 concentrate goji, high potency fresh harvest maca, and freeze dried wild harvested acerola. 500 million years ago the ancestor of all vertebrates made a communication system that encouraged the tissues to cooperate with each other. CBD oil repairs this communication system. Take 1 cap cherry flavored 1500mg CBD oil every 10 days. You can drink shade grown coffee with vanilla extract, 32oz jar."
05/08/2014: Will65 from Louisiana replies: "Hi Mike62, Recently diagnosed with polycythemia (or in the process of verifying). I am not sure which version, yet. I am interested if anyone else has had your success using your method. If I choose to move forward with it do you think I should consult with my doctor, inform my doctor what I would like or just go at it alone without the doctor?
Thank you for all the advice you have provided on the board!"
05/08/2014: Mike62 from Denver, Colorado replies: "Will65: I got bit by a dog today and did not go to the doctor. My doctor is the herbalist. Doctors are reductionists. If reductionism worked then everybody would be well. Presently I am taking organic bananas, watermelon, and pineapple for fruit. For more carbs I take activated barley. For more nutrients I take refrigerated rice bran, raw cocoa powder, desiccated liver, non denatured whey isolate, colostrum, skate liver oil, Hawaiian spirulina, home brewed water kefir from refrigerated whole flours, expellar pressed coconut oil, black chia seeds, and some herbs."
06/27/2014: Carol from Fullerton, US replies: "I am very interested in a nutrition plan to help with my newly diagnosed PV. Having a hard time digesting all the information out there. I believe nutrition can change and heal the body, so I'm willing to give it a try!
Take care, Carol"
01/05/2011: John from La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico: "Polycythemia vera: This disease affects people from eastern europe and causes the bone marrow to make too many red blood cells. The only way I have been able to control it is to have a pint of blood taken every two weeks until the reading goes down to 46 then have blood tests every two weeks to see if it has gone high again which it usually does. Does any one on here know of a better wasy to control this. Thanks."Replies
05/24/2011: Montage from Los Angeles, Ca/usa replies: "I also suffer from the same thing and would be intrested in any input from the community that has found benefits."
07/24/2011: Judy from Selma, Tx replies: "I found your site by accident, Thank you for being there>! I have had Polycthemia Vera for 5 to 6 years and is controlled by phlebotomies and now 12mg coumindin, I had a DVT in Aug 09 and now a superficial blood clot in my right bicep from the cuff being squeez too tight and now I have phlebitis in my arm.
I am working on getting my body in pH balance. My question is there any treatment for the PV?
Thanks and I am going to start the Lemon pH treatment.
07/25/2011: John from Lapaz, Baja California Sur, Mexico replies: "Hi Judy from Texas, I have the same thing red blood cell count was high. Had to get blood drawn every two weeks for it to go to an acceptable level. I did some research, well lots of research, and found the nattokanase is a clot buster, so I figured what the heck why not. I started taking 500mg 2000F. U. About three months ago, my last, two blood counts where in the low normal range. This is the only thing I did differently, so I have to assume that is what did it. Of course you should first check with your health care practioner before you start on this. But it worked for me. Best - John"
09/12/2011: Judy from Selma, Tx/us replies: "hello john from La Paz: I am new to the computer world so had to find someone to help with all this lingo. Thanks the product you mentioned I am going to try it, how are u doing with your PV? I have never spoken to anyone that has this same problem, I am thankful that you have responded. I found out I had pv in '05 and have been seeing Count Dracula monthly for treatment. I am hoping that you can give me some insite as to how to better handle all this. Thanks jeverett from Selma"
09/28/2011: John from La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico replies: "Hi Judy: Sorry for the delay, but have been out to sea for a couple of months. My PV has remained in the low normal range so I am quite pleased with this. I am hoping that it will continue. How are you doing?"
10/07/2011: Bill from Redondo Beach, California replies: "I am 65 years pld and I have had PV for 9 years. I had a clot that caused a heart attack, which was when I found I had PV. I also see Count Dracula monthly and have a phlebotomy when the numbers are out of range.
For the past 4 years on a daily basis I take 500 mg of Hydroxyrhea, this has really helped lowering my platlet count. I do not take any other drugs except baby aspirin daily.
I also had a test to confirm that I had a mutation of the JAX Gene. Also had a bone marrow extraction for further study."
01/18/2012: George from Turlock, Ca replies: "Told in 05 that I had pv, doing the pl-botomy but looking for something to keep the flow going. What's with the lemons?"
04/21/2012: Nornd from Rotorua, New Zealand replies: "I have been recently diagnosed with PV and my treatment is underway (venesection). Anyone know of anything else that will help please?"
10/24/2012: Robert from Lincoln, Lincolnshire, Uk replies: "Afternoon All, I'm 43. Been diagnosed with PV in 2005. Platelet count 650. For the first 3 years venesection has been done to keep platelets on lower level; managed to get the lowest level of 480. In 2008 started taking hydroxycarbamide 500mg/day, dosage increased up to now to 1000mg/day. Additionally, taking 1 aspirin/day. I feel in general very well (no complaints) but obviously concerned about the future. Determined, found website with herbal treatment. They promise a lot. I have huge doubts but..... Regardless, considering buying it shortly. Nothing to lose much to gain (?).
Wish you all the best, Robert"
02/25/2013: Kevin from St Louis, Mo replies: "I have been eating Kiwi's and they have helped me to reduce the frequency of phlebotomies. 1-2 a day."
07/25/2013: Cris from Mi replies: "I've been diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera (PV)at 45, which was 15 years ago, during an abdominal exam, my spleen was large. Confirmed with bone marrow test. Dr. Put me on anagrylin, now increased to 600 mg. /day. Along with 4-6 phlebotomies per year keep my counts in reasonable range, platelets and hematocrit. I am also taking Coumadin due to A fib. This helps thin the blood. All combined seem to work. I know when it's time for phlebotomie when I itch and I am a little light headed. I am surprised by the small number of comments. I heard that increased number of people diagnosed with PV were found in an area recently polluted. Looking forward to hear about others' experiences. You take care!"
07/26/2013: Mike Giller from Denver, Colorado replies: "The gene malfuctioned because eating regular food the regular way does not provide enough bioactive nutrients the body requires. Free radicals and pollution damage the dna. Eating the best foods the right way turns the gene back on and repairs the damage. Cooking and improper processing of food reduces and damages the electromagnetism of the nutrients."
02/21/2014: Rk from Big Spring, Texas replies: "Have had secondary pv diagnosed for almost three years. I have been stuck with monthly phlebotomies virtually since then and would greatly appreciate any possible suggestions to avoid having to do them for the rest of my life. Even with insurance, the costs of phlebotomies that often can pose many financial challenges. I enjoy supplements, try hard to limit prescriptions to only what is absolutely medically necessary and had seen nattokinease suggested before on other forums, so believe I'll try that. I read a detailed discussion about natto when first diagnosed, with the arguments favoring it greatly overwhelming those against and those arguments seemed more on the right track. The kiwi suggestion also makes a lot of sense--have tried to do this, but never for more than a few weeks.
Thanks everyone, for the input. Please post updates as often as possible."
02/22/2014: Mike62 from Denver replies: "Rk: Cysteine is a rare amino acid denatured through cooking and eating cooked conventionally grown food causes a gene to mutate. Take 20g/day non denatured whey, 10g/day colostrum, and several green smoothies from organic baby leaves/day. Search raw food videos."
06/09/2014: Inthesoup from Dundee, Scotland replies: "I am only 45, any other PV patients this age?
PV is a very serious illness, and if not treated, it may cause death. Unfortunately, PV cannot be cured, as it is a chronic condition. However, it is possible to get treatment for it, which will ensure a relatively normal life for those who suffer from the disease.Normal is estimated at between 7-15 years.
Usually a blood specialist (a hematologist) will care for a Polycythemia Vera patient. This doctor will have experience with the disorder’s complications, as well as managing the treatment.
The medical community has not yet reached a consensus on the optimum PV treatment, herbal remedies and diet over this time can make you feel better, but usually the treatment is based on individual needs. Unfortunately, long-term treatment is imminent for Polycythemia Vera. Vitamin B 6 has also been suggested as a cure. Sorry if its not what you need to hear, untreated though and case dependant you will cause more harm to you........."
06/30/2014: Mona from Oregon, US replies: "Re: Polycythemia Vera: Diagnosed with high platelet and hemoglobin counts nearly two years ago. To maintain healthy levels on counts I've been taking Hydroxerea. I am experiencing unusual tiredness, shortness of breath and changes in the amount of urine. I had some of these symptoms when they discovered the high counts. I keep reading there is no natural way to control without the medication. Tired of symptoms and side effects. Am currently wondering what to do as my quality of life is being whammied."
07/01/2014: Dave from Fountain Inn, Sc replies: "Hello Mona from Oregon,
I have a theory about this and other red blood cell issues. Causation is what I'm talking about and when I see a "mystery disease" I ask if maybe behind it is a fungus or virus. My own experience is that a fungus has caused some symptoms I've experienced for many years and so I started taking Colloidal Silver three times daily, two tablespoons with each dose.
I had a "Live Cell Microscopy" performed and at the same time an analysis of my food metabolism. That Live Cell Microscopy is fascinating. Well, a higher than normal level of fungus showed up that might explain the symptoms I am experiencing. (Nothing too serious but any condition can turn serious...so deal with the cause.)
My point in this is that perhaps the cause of the blood cell issue is at heart an infection...and if me, I'd figure that I had nothing to lose in taking orally the amount of CS I discussed, in the hopes that the condition might improve. I'd have something empirical to go by...the red blood cell count. So I'd take the CS orally for at least six months to be fair to the "experiment".
Mona, I'm sorry you are going through this. My suggestion for a possible help comes out of twenty years of experience and sometimes I'm right about CS/virus issues...sometimes not...but I'd figure...try anything that might help me. Oh, I always use the CS in an irrigation (nose and ears) a few times weekly to clear out the upper regions."