Go for the three gs

Three herbal remedies can help you prevent a stroke.

* Garlic thins the blood and speeds up clotting (Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 1993; 45: 333-6). Just 800 mg/day of garlic powder for four weeks or adding a fresh clove of garlic daily to your diet will significantly reduce blood clot risk (Arzneim Forsch, 1993; 43: 119-22; Prostagl Leukotr Essent Fatty Acids, 1995; 53: 211-2). Use high-quality garlic-powder supplements, but avoid oil extracts as they are the least effective form of garlic (Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol, 1995; 22: 414-7).

* Ginkgo biloba is another powerful blood-thinner. A single 600 mg oral dose of Ginkgo significantly reduced platelet aggregation (Haemostasis, 1989; 19: 219-23). Lower doses (120-240 mg/ day) may be just as effective.

* Ginger. A 2-g dose of dried ginger had no effect on platelets (Thromb Haemost, 1994; 71: 110-1), but 5 g/day of raw ginger for a week brought on a 37 per cent drop in the blood-clotting agent thromboxane (Prostagl Leukotr Essent Fatty Acids, 1989; 35: 183-5). Adding 5 g of dried ginger to a high-fat diet was significantly better than placebo in reducing ‘sticky blood’ to normal (Indian J Med Res, 1993; 98: 240-2).