Alternative Medicine/hemorrhagic stroke


QUESTION: My mother,82, suffered a mild hemorrhagic stroke affecting right hand and leg. Doctors expect rehab will restore complete function. She takes no medications, healthy eating, walks, and supplement regimen.

1.Is it true that blood thinning supplements may be the cause? She takes Vit E 800-1200iudaily; hawthorn berry; Omega 3 oil; ginger?
2. Does vit E increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke? Several websites claim it does.
3. What supplements and herbs would assist in her recovery?
Thank you.

She has been in such great health and independent. Are there natural remedies that help in recovery from this episode?
Thank you.

ANSWER: Hi Nancy
Sorry to hear of your mum's adverse event.  While all those things (except the hawthorn berry) can have blood thinning effects, without knowing the doses of the other supplements she was taking, it is difficult to comment on the likelihood that they are to blame.  There is evidence that suggests that vitamin E can be protective.  
However, none of these supplements cause the vessels to become weak or damaged, which is the underlying issue unless there is some other blood pathology going on, or a vitamin K deficiency.
Haemorrhagic stroke in the elderly is usually due to hypertension, blood vessel fragility, cerebral aneurysms and/or a blow or knock to the head.  Even mild hypertension, coupled with even minor issues with either of the others can work "synergistically" together - i.e. they add up.  This is why blood thinners can be a problem.

In terms of helping your mother to recover: she would do well with extra vitamin C (helps with healing & blood vessel integrity), fish & seafood in her diet (rather than fish oil), vitamin K and a diet high in antioxidants (beetroot, dark berries etc).  It might pay to limit her ginger intake to what one might normally have in the diet.

Alchimella vulgaris is a herb with antihemorrhagic properties - if she appears to be at risk of further bleeds, this could be worth consulting a herbalist about.

All the best to your mum for a speedy recovery.
Kind regards

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Sharon. Thank you for your excellent responses. My mother is recuperating well, and your information was most useful. Vitamin C is part of the recovery process, and is helping.  I have more time now and will be researching the alchimella vulgaris--I have not heard of it.
I am grateful to you for taking the time to answer my questions in detail.

Are you familiar with "telmisartan" (micardis), an ARB, for lowering blood pressure? I read it has great benefits, beyond blood pressure control.

Thank you again.

Hi Nancy
I'm glad to hear that your mum is recovering.

As I'm not familiar with that particular ARB, I did a bit of investigation and you are correct - it appears to have some effects on muscle metabolism and the processing of fats & sugars in the body which could be beneficial for some people.

Take care.

Kind regards

Alternative Medicine

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Sharon Erdrich


Any health related question, particularly those related to an holistic approach, using nutrition, herbal medicine, aromatherapy and lifestyle options.


30 years as a registered nurse, Private health consultant and experienced educator of complementary medicine practitioners.

NZAMH, NZ Nursing Council., AIMA (Associate member), Naturopaths of NZ.

Kai Tiaki Journal. Healthy Options Magazine. See my website for downloadable articles.

Reg Nurse, Post Grad Cert Health Science (Nutrition), Dip Herbal Med, Dip Naturopathy, Dip Aromatherapy.

Awards and Honors
Best Research Paper, Top Naturopathic Student (2005)

Past/Present Clients
Varied, from all ages and with a range of health issues.

©2017 All rights reserved.