Polycythemia Vera Remedies

Oct 22, 2016

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.

Lifestyle Changes

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.

Dietary Changes  

5 star (1) 
1 star (1) 
Share your thoughts with our readers
Write a review

Posted by Bonnie (Florida, US) on 11/07/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I was diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera in 2010. My red blood cells were at 1 million and normal is 200,000 to 400,000. My cancer doctor started giving me phlebotomys and hydroxyurea. The lowest my red cell count ever got to was 800,000. Two years ago I looked up foods that thin your blood and started eating them. I was visiting my dad at the time and went to his doctor after two weeks being on this diet. He did a blood test and my count was 300,000!!! He asked if I was sure about being diagnosed with PV and I told him I had a bone marrow biopsy and was positive. He couldn't believe it. If you want, just look up foods on the internet that thin your blood and avoid the ones that thicken your blood. I no longer take hydroxyurea or get phlebotomys and am normal!!

Replied by Greg

What was the diet?

Replied by Sagarie

I read with interest how the blood counts came to normal with foods that thin the blood. Please let me know what you ate. My father has been diagnosed with polycythemia Vera. Thanks sagarie

Replied by Anatoli
New York

Hi please let me know what diet you used, my father's count is very high.

Replied by Ruth

Very good news to hear that you learned how to optimize your health and return your red blood cells to normal and healthy levels! Please do let us know which foods you ate, it would help out a lot of people. Polycythemia Vera also runs in my family. Thank you and good health to you and all other PV sufferers out there.

Replied by Bee
New York, US

Hi, I would like to do baking soda protocol but last time I tried it my bp went up and I have high blood pressure.. Is there baking soda without a lot of sodium. Thank You..

Replied by Leonard
Nampa, Idaho

I would like to know how I can keep my phlebotomys down. I started with having one three times a week, then I gradually got up to every 6 to 9 month. Now it's every 3 months. I really need to know what I can eat to get back to 6 or 9 months or never. Thanks for your time.

Replied by Abdul

Hi Bonnie, Thanks for sharing your experience, but you are not saying which food you ate, so that we can also try and get benefited. Thanks..:-(

Replied by Hoodedclaw
Saffron Walden, Essex

I would like to know the diet for polycythemia vera please as my wife is not getting on with hydroycarbamide.

Dave F.

In my and most cases enlargement of the spleen and a rise in hematocrit, platelets and white cells were not inhibited by diet and supplements. The drug that does slow or stop PV is Pegasys, a weekly dose of Interferon. There is not other drug that improves the bone marrow and attacks the underlying disease. I take many a supplement and they help, along with exercise with your overall health. I avoid supplemental B6- B12 and Iron since they part of the blood making process.

Replied by Hoodedclaw
Saffron Walden, Essex

What is your platelet count?

Replied by Susan

Isn't the 800,000 your platelet count? My platelets were at 1 million and normal is 200,000-400,000. I am totally confused. I had essential thrombocythemia diagnosed 3 years ago. (Jak2+). Now after new symptoms and a bone marrow biopsy I have polycythemia vera and all my counts are high. With hydroxyurea my platelets have gone down to around 500,000.

I guess I just want to know if I am mistaken in thinking that the numbers you quoted are actually a platelet count not a red blood cell count??

Replied by Kevin
Mo., US

I have been eating kiwi's, taking turmeric and red wine extracts along with ginko biloba. My counts stay down for a ten to 12 week period before needing a phlebotomy. I too am interested in the above diet. Given what I have researched and tried on myself I am skeptical that Bonnie was able to achieve that great of a success. Do share Bonnie, what's your secret?

Replied by Charity
Faithville, Us

Water thins the blood, most people are at some stage of dehydration but aren't aware of it, and there are a lot of websites that have loads of information on thinning the blood. Bonnie stated she searched for them and added those things to her diet. The internet is our library.


Replied by Rick
Charlotte, Nc

What was the diet that lowered your planet count?

Replied by Shimi
Hod Hasharon

Hi bonnie Can you please ellaborate about the diet? I have been diagnoised with pv for 11 years now and I also use aspirin and hydrea. Would love to hear about other natural treatments. Thanks a lot Shimi

Replied by Kay

I have just been recently diagnosed with PV, I have learned that you have to stay iron deficient, that is why the platelet count stays high. I am certainly going to research this diet, I do not like taking blood thinners and hopefully I won't have to for very long. My hematacrit when diagnosed was 64.8, normal as you know is less than 45, I was fixing to have a stroke, very important to keep under control. I was just diagnosed at the end of June this year so this is all new to me. Thanks for all the info this far.

I was told by MD Anderson physician that you never take vitamins with iron and the platelet will always be high. Just keep on monitoring, I still go twice a week. Stay healthly everyone. Take care

Replied by Cayenne

Hello, everyone. Bonnie is my mom, for her diet we researched what foods are high and low in vitamin k and iron. She eats foods that are lowest in each of these. Lots of raw garlic and cayenne pepper. Lots of pomegranate juice. Food high in salicylates but also check they are not ones high in iron or vit k. Lots of water. Omega-3 righ foods. You have to follow a very strict diet.

Replied by Alicia
San Diego, Ca
1 out of 5 stars

Hi, I was diagnosed with PV 4 years ago and am seriously allergic to hydroxyurea. I am a Registered Nurse and understand the progression of PV but have no knowledge of holistic foods/ medicine to relieve burning/itching skin that keeps me awake at night. Please share any experience/knowledge others have experienced regarding reducing high RBCs, Platelets and WBCs headaches and burning/itching skin. I was diagnosed at age 51. Thank you, Alicia

Replied by Veronica
Rhode Island

Alicia, There is something called the coumadin diet - just look up foods that are high in salicylic acid. This is what I am doing now and am crossing my fingers that it will work.

Replied by Pamela
Saint George

I also have been diagnosed with PV / ET in 2009. I believe It is your platelets that are going that high not the red blood cells which makes it essential thrombocytosis or ET.. the red blood cells also get dangerously high with PV but not those numbers you were using. maybe you have essential thrombocytosis. Pamela


I am contemplating interferon. I am also listening to the talk about defeating p.c.v. with an herbal approach. Did you consider that? Have you had any side effects from the interferon? Thank you

Replied by Syed
Hyderabad, India

Can you suggest the diet which will increase the RBC WBC Platelet count. and the diet which will decrease the levels,

I have polycithimia vera with higher levels of RBC. WBC AND Platetes I am taking Hydrea 500 mg once a day and ecosprin 75 mg one per day. I am 70 years of age.

Replied by Eli
Los Angeles, Ca

I was diagnosed with PV about 20 years ago. Taking Aspirin low dose, phlebotomy every 4-6 weeks. Now was prescribed Hydroxyurea. I am afraid to take it: looks like it has a lot of side effects. Also developed Iron deficiency. Constantly feel tired.

What food/supplements can I take to improve? Can anyone recommend a diet?

Replied by Judy

I've had PV JAK2 + for 2 1/2 yrs. I take Floradex with iron an herbal supplement that has no side effects. I have been able to get my ferritin level from 6 to 12 over time. It hasn't changed how my Hct goes up, or effected my platelets or WBC. My Doctor is not supportive of me taking this but I track all my lab values so it is obvious it hasn't effected anything but my ferritin.

Replied by Cris

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!