Anaemia is not a single condition but a group of conditions where the blood’s ability to carry oxygen is impaired. Normally red blood cells (erythrocytes) carry oxygen through the bloodstream. Oxygen binds to a molecule known as haemoglobin (Hb) in the red blood cells. However, in anaemia the red blood cells are either fewer than normal in numbers, abnormally shaped, have malfunctioning haemoglobin, lack sufficient haemoglobin or have other structural and functional problems.

The most common type of anaemia is iron-deficiency anaemia. It is usually a result of prolonged or excessive blood loss sometimes coupled with a deficiency of sufficient dietary iron. Since iron is an essential component of haemoglobin, a lack of it will affect the body’s ability to produce haemoglobin properly for new red blood cells.

Iron deficiency anaemia is relatively common throughout the world and is more often seen in girls and women of menstruating age. It is usually not life-threatening. Some anemias like sickle-cell anaemia are genetic and can be very dangerous if left untreated. The advice provided below is mainly for iron-deficiency anaemia.

Diet and Lifestyle

  • Include foods that are high in iron in your daily diet. It is not only meat products that have iron. Beans, dark green leafy vegetables, peas an dried fruit are good sources of iron. Eggs and all meats, including poultry and seafood are also high in iron.
  • Increase vitamin C intake as it is known to assist with iron absorption. This can be done by consuming more citrus and other fruits, as well as certain vegetables like broccoli.
  • Avoid drinking large amounts of tea especially during or after a meal. Tea can impair iron absorption to some degree.
  • Keep fit by exercising. While it has positive health benefits overall, exercise will also help stimulate red blood cell production.

Nutritional Supplements

  • Iron (preferably chelated)
  • Folic acid
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B12

Herbal Remedies

  • Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis)
  • Gentian (Gentiana lutea)
  • Nettle (Urtica urens)
  • Spirulina
  • Yellowdock (Rumex crispus)

Homeopathic Remedies

  • Calcarea phosphorica
  • Ferrum phosphoricum
  • Natrum muriaticum
  • Phosphorus
  • Sanguinaria canadensis
  • Sepia officinalis