When a person is anemic, they have a deficiency of hemoglobin in their red blood cells. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to the tissues of the body. A lack of it results in tiredness, weakness, and poor immunity. The most common causes of anemia is not enough iron in the diet, poor iron absorption, and blood loss. Blood loss can include menstruation. Foods high in iron include: green leafy vegetables, fortified breads and cereals, pumpkin seeds, certain dried fruits, eggs, and meat. Herbs containing iron include thyme, peppermint, dill, bay, cilantro, basil, cumin, and turmeric.
Certain foods can decrease iron absorption, like those high in calcium, phytate fiber (as in bran foods and spinach) as well as coffee, tea, and cocoa. Vitamin E and zinc may reduce iron. Taking antacids can reduce absorption as well.
Vitamin C rich foods can help increase iron absorption. Further, herbs to help increase iron in the blood may include: dandelion, parsley, avocado, ginseng, turmeric, yellow dock, red raspberry leaf, mullein, beets, bee pollen, and kelp.
Iron can be toxic in excessive quantities.