The medical term for a blood clot is a thrombus. The formation of a thrombus is known as thrombosis. A thrombus differs from a clot because it forms within the cardiovascular system and is a danger because it may occlude a blood vessel or become loose and travel to a vital organ, causing obstruction at that distant site. If a thrombus moves it is known as an embolus.

A thrombus should form only if a blood vessel is ruptured, which allows the blood to flow into tissues or become exposed to air thus triggering the clotting mechanism. The formation of a clot is dependent upon a cascade reaction involving 13 different chemical substances, one causing the activation of the next. The absence of one of these prevents or slows down clotting, sometimes to a fatal degree. The best-known condition is haemophilia, which is the absence of factor VIII. Factor IV is calcium and a deficiency in the availability of this mineral may influence clotting.

Any tendency to bruise or bleed more easily or for longer than expected should be investigated by a physician, who will perform tests for the clotting times and factors.

Complementary medical work should be based on the findings. Homeopathy in particular should be considered.

If there is no obvious reason for a clotting deficit, consult a Chinese, Tibetan or Ayurvedic physician who will look at the problem from the view that the blood is ‘too thin’ and attention will be paid to correcting this through lifestyle changes, nutritional supplementation, herbal medication and acupuncture.

See Coronary thrombosis, Deep vein thrombosis and Pulmonary embolism if necessary.