Health Topics

Making Sense of Anemia (Iron Deficiency)

woman tired from anemia

Health Description


Anemia is a condition marked by a deficiency of red blood cells or of hemoglobin in the blood, resulting in pallor and weariness. There are different types of anemia such as iron deficiency anemia, vitamin deficiency anemia, Sickle cell anemia etc. Symptoms of anemia are fatigue, appearing pale, heart palpitations, and short of breath. Those with iron deficiency anemia will often require iron supplements.

Suggested Protocols

Please note: The information provided below is a compilation of suggestions made by those that have used essential oils and has NOT been scientifically verified with clinical tests nor reviewed by medical experts. It is anecdotal information and should be treated as such. For serious medical concerns please seek professional medical attention.

Essential Oils to Use:

Oils: Cinnamon, Ginger, Grapefruit, Lemon, Peppermint

Other:  Vitamin Supplements

Also consider: Lavender, Ylang Ylang

Suggested protocols:

Ensure balanced nutrition with vitamin supplements. Add to this a “green smoothie” every day.  A number of different versions but a simple one is:

  • 1/4 fresh pineapple
  • 3 cups baby spinach or kale
  • 1 drop Peppermint oil
  • 2 – 3 cups water

Drink plenty of water and to each 10 ounces add:

  • 2 drops Lemon
  • 2 drops Grapefruit
  • 2 drops Ginger
  • 1 drop cinnamon

Experiences & Testimonials

Please note: The information provided below is a compilation of the experiences of others who have used essential oils and has NOT been scientifically verified with clinical tests nor reviewed by medical experts. It is anecdotal information and should be treated as such. For serious medical concerns please seek professional medical attention.

Marc – I am looking for ideas on addressing anemia. Is this a disorder that the oils will address? Anyone have experience here?

Tamalu – Okay, I’ll bite.  Since there are several causes of anemia, the first thing I would start with would be vitamin supplements and add the essential oils around it.  I would use Lemon in your drinking water. I like to use a grounding blend of essential oils, on the bottoms of the feet and possibly on the neck plus I have found Ylang Ylang to be very helpful as well.

Some of our raw food experts or nutritionists could explain that anemia could be caused by lack of iron, possible lack of or inability to absorb B-12, long-term illnesses such as polyps or cancer, or monthly bleeding, among many other issues.  Any of those issues are going to be benefited by vitamin supplements, lots of good, pure water and essential oils (which aid the body in absorbing nutrients!)

Ramona – I’m certainly no expert, but as someone who suffered from anemia my whole life, without knowing why until a year ago, I will gladly share my experience.  I was finally diagnosed with celiac disease last February when I learned that 8 months into my pregnancy my iron was so low they were worried I might need a transfusion.  Fortunately, I didn’t, but it still has been a tough battle to regain my strength.  I think that taking the gluten out of my diet was a good first step, but it wasn’t the only thing. I really didn’t begin to notice a difference until I started using vitamin and mineral supplements last summer.  Between the low iron levels and the hormones after having a baby, I had lost so much hair and nothing was growing back in.  I was embarrassed to leave the house.  I was dealing with a lot of depression, joint pain and just over all tired all the time.  I felt a lot older than my 37 years, and I really wanted  something that would give me my life back.  I literally only made it through the day by consuming 100+ ounces of caffeinated soda every single day.  That is a staggering amount, when I look back!

I was introduced to (…) in July and immediately joined.  I was mostly interested in it for helping my kids, but gradually I began to see how the products could help me.  I started taking mineral and vitamin supplements in August and even though I’m not perfectly consistent, I do take them pretty often.  In September, I completely, cold turkey went off caffeine and it was about 4 miserable days, but so worth it!  I have continued to use the oils and to change my diet.  I am almost completely on a whole foods diet, eating everything fresh and when possible-raw.  I am a whole new person.  My hair came back in thicker than ever, my nails are long and strong (which I haven’t experienced in years)  I have energy and look forward to each day.  My depression, for the most part is gone and a month after starting taking vitamin supplements, I was able to go completely off the anti-deppressant my OBGYN put me on after the birth of my son.

Sorry for the novel, but I guess, I could sum it up to first, try to find out what might be causing the anemia.  And second, use the supplements and modify the diet.  I haven’t had my levels retested, but I feel 110% better!  So, something must be going right!  Good luck!

Anonymous – Peppermint and Lemon are both recommended for anemia. Lemon also lowers blood pressure, though, so I wouldn’t use it if I had low blood pressure as well as anemia.

Ramona  – I have been anemic most of my life and until February they could not find a cause.  During the last trimester of pregnancy my iron level got down to 13.  I went on supplements, but they make me sick and I don’t know how effective they are for me.  I was tested for Celiac Disease which came back positive.  I have 2 children with it as well.   So, I have been eating a Gluten Free diet since then, but I can still tell that my iron is low.  The biggest thing is that I have very little energy and a lot of dizziness.  This past Friday, while trying to work out, I got so dizzy and light headed, I almost passed out.  I am taking vitamin and mineral supplements, not perfectly, but I have been taking them for several months.  I know they are not super high in iron, but I was hoping it would be enough.

Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas of ways nutritionally I could increase my iron?  I just feel like the supplements sufficient.  I can’t eat spinach, but other than that, I am open to anything else.  Would other leafy green vegetables be high in iron

Monica – first of all – I suggest ensuring that you’re drinking enough pure water.  Anytime I get lightheaded, dehydration is often a culprit.  So, whatever your bodyweight is, divide that in half, and whatever the result is, drink that many ounces of water each day.  Example: 100 lbs / 2 = 50 lbs, so drink 50 ounces of water each day.  Some people suggest adding the following essential oils to each 10 ounces of water:

  • 2 drops Lemon – Tonic for the liver
  • 2 drops Grapefruit – Helps dissolve toxins stored inside fat cells, so they can be eliminated from the body
  • 2 drops Ginger – Digestive support
  • 1 drop Cinnamon bark – Helps to regulate and lower blood sugar levels

Next, try having green smoothies for breakfast:

  • 1/4 fresh pineapple
  • 3+ cups of fresh baby spinach  – This is where you will get that iron your body is craving  (remember Popeye the Sailor-Man?)
  • 1 drop Peppermint essential oil (also really good with Wild Orange essential oil)
  • 2-3 cups water

Pour over ice, and drink.  If you want to, you can use ice in the blender, which makes for a thicker drink.  Personally I prefer mine liquefied rather than like a shake.

Chances are, you’ll not be able to drink the entire pitcher’s worth, and perhaps your family member may not wish to imbibe in this delicious drink, so pour any leftovers into ice trays and freeze for later.  When using the cubes, I find about 4 is sufficient, then I fill the glass with water and stir.  The cubes melt fairly quickly, and voila’ – green smoothie with no cleanup!

Ramona – Thanks you so much.  I can’t use spinach though, because as crazy as it sounds, it does not agree with me at all.  Would kale have the same iron levels or at least be a close substitute?

Monica – I believe that any dark leafy green would work.

Chelsea – These are great questions as I experience similar things and it’s stinking frustrating! One of my favorite greens in smoothies because I think it’s milder than kale or collards is chard. I read recently that it contains 25% iron when cooked so perhaps more when raw? Here is a list of foods generally high in iron besides spinach, which may help too. Asparagus, broccoli, collard greens, mustard greens, kale, turnip greens, parsley, and cabbage. Cabbage isn’t too bad in smoothies either as long as I have a cucumber or 2 in mine it is usually okay. Monica’s list of oils actually sounds fantastic too!

Lisa – I have Celiac also and have found if you add a liquid Vitamin B 12 to your regimen it helps with the tiredness and anemia.  I also have a rough time with spinach and use the baby lettuce that you find in the organic section of stores, which works really well in the smoothies.  I also suggest you read the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle, and they also have a website you can connect with other with Celiac and get tons of information plus recipes etc.  If you stay gluten free your life totally changes in sooo many ways.  Remember also, give yourself time for the gut to heal.

Julie Ann – One simple thing and good too, for low iron levels, is to buy a box of organic raisins and organic Black Strap Molasses and mix them together in a pint mason jar.   You take a tablespoon a day.  Really gives you a boost and works very quickly.

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