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Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments

Hemorrhoids can be very uncomfortable and make you itch for an immediate cure. In this article, you will read about the 8 most effective natural remedies for hemorrhoids. These are safe and proven herbs that you can easily find. Find out how these natural treatments work and which one is best for the type of hemorrhoids you want to get rid of.
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Hemorrhoids are painful and somewhat embarrassing, but most people get them at one time or another and it is an incredibly common health complaint. Hemorrhoids usually appear when there is stress on the veins surrounding the anus, which is typically caused by sitting too much, constipation, and extra weight and pressure in the area. Women who are pregnant or who have just given birth are far more likely to suffer from hemorrhoid issues than women who are not currently pregnant, and individuals who struggle with frequent constipation and who are overweight are also more likely to have hemorrhoid issues.

The remedies outlined in this article can help relieve hemorrhoid pain, both for the short term with topical treatments and in the long-term, with internal herbs, supplements, and lifestyle changes that will relieve the swelling in the area and help prevent the pain from returning. With enough care and attention, you may even be able to avoid hemorrhoid surgery. 

What Are Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins located in and around the lower part of the rectum and the anus.

The inflammation is caused by that an increase in pressure within these veins. At the beginning, this causes a dull throbbing pain but the pain can quickly turn into a severe ache, irritation, discomfort and even bleeding.

There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external hemorrhoids.

Internal hemorrhoid affects the soft tissues of the anal canal and it is normally caused by too much pressure on the internal veins.

A bright red color on the toilet tissue just used after a bowel movement or blood drips from the anus into the toilet bowl is a definitive sign of internal hemorrhoids. Once the hemorrhoidal veins stretch and bulge out of the anus they become prolapsed hemorrhoids.

Internal hemorrhoids can only become painful when the clots block blood flow in the inflamed veins.  

External hemorrhoids, on the other hand, results when the external veins around the anus become swollen. These swollen veins can also easily bleed, either from straining or rubbing. This type of hemorrhoids may cause irritation and itching in the rectal area.

External hemorrhoids can also be prolapsed and blood clots can also formed in the affected veins. The blockage of veins by blood clots is referred to as thrombosis.

Thrombosed hemorrhoids may look frightening, but they are easily treated with natural remedies.

The most common signs of hemorrhoids include are listed in the table below.

Signs and symptoms of Hemorrhoids
  • Swelling around the anus
  • Leakage of feces
  • Painless bleeding during bowel movements
  • Itching and skin irritation in the rectal region
  • Rectal pain
  • Discomfort especially when seated

Causes of hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids can be caused by a number of factors. For example, a congested liver can cause hemorrhoids. This happens because veins from the small and large intestines, the pancreas and the anal region are all channeled into the liver.

If blood circulation through the liver is backed up due to liver congestion, the blood coming from the intestines will flow to the rectal and anal area. This causes a back pressure in the veins surrounding the rectum, causing them to bulge and therefore resulting in hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids can also occur due to chronic constipation, straining during bowel movement, aging, and poor fiber intake. In pregnant women, it mostly occurs due to the pressure of the growing uterus on the major veins.

Whatever the cause may be, hemorrhoids is treatable and the following natural remedies are some of the most effective ways of treating hemorrhoids in alternative medicine.

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments: Herbs

Research has shown that supporting the veins with herbs and supplements is an effective way to prevent hemorrhoids from returning. According to these studies, supplements can help relieve pressure on the area and prevent the straining of the tissues in the area as well as help repair any existing damage. Additionally, some herbs can help reduce constipation and other bowel problems that can sometimes be the cause of hemorrhoid pain. When combined with topical treatments, herbs can be an effective treatment and remedy for hemorrhoids, not only for short-term when flare-ups occur, but also in preventing the painful swelling from returning in the future. 

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has emollient, demulcent and anti-inflammatory properties, all of which makes it the perfect plant for treating hemorrhoids. With these properties, it soothes and relaxes the inflamed veins while reducing their sizes.

As a natural astringent, Aloe vera shrinks hemorrhoids and speeds up its healing.

Anthraquinone, a chemical compound found in Aloe vera tightens the walls of the digestive tract and encourages the softening of the contents of the intestines. This makes it easier to move feces thus reducing the strain on hemorrhoids.

In a study published in 2008 in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Aloe vera was also found to contain bradykinase, an enzyme that can reduce irritation when applied topically.

2. Psyllium

Psyllium is extracted from the crushed seeds of the Plantago ovata plant. It is commonly used in traditional medicine to treat people suffering from digestive tract problems such as hemorrhoids and constipation.

It contains dietary fiber and phytochemicals like alkaloids, flavonoids, amino acids, proteins, oils, tannins, and a variety of sugars and carbohydrates.

Due to its high fiber content, it makes stool softer and in this way relieves constipation, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders. When psyllium husk comes in contact with water it swells and forms a laxative that helps to stimulate the transport of waste materials through the intestinal tract.

Psyllium also encourages the growth of friendly and harmless intestinal bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilous and bifidobacteria, which help in regulating bowel movements.

It is an excellent intestinal cleanser and a detoxification agent because it speeds up the removal of waste through the digestive system, thus reducing the amount of time toxins spend in the body. This helps in reducing the risk of having various diseases like cancer.

To take psyllium for hemorrhoids, mix one teaspoon of psyllium seeds with a glass of warm water. This should be done three times daily and taken with meals for about 2 - 3 weeks.

However, psyllium should be taken with a large amount of water since it absorbs fluids in the intestine. Doing this will prevent constipation.

3. Butcher’s Broom

Butcher’s Broom, also known as Ruscus aculeatus, has been used for centuries to cure hemorrhoids.

It is notably rich in flavonoid antioxidants such as rutin. Other phytochemicals found in the plant include a group of saponin glycosides called ruscogenins. Ruscogenins have anti-inflammatory and vasoconstrictive properties.

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, butcher’s broom can prevent fluid retention, strengthen capillary walls, tighten veins and enhance blood flow. All of these effects contribute to the shrinking of hemorrhoids.

Butcher’ broom herbal extract can be applied directly on hemorrhoids.

Alternatively, an herbal tea can be made from its leaves. This tea is prepared by steeping one teaspoon of butcher’s broom in hot water for about 10 to 15 minutes. The tea should be taken 2 to 3 times daily for a quick recovery.

There are no significant side effects associated with butcher’s broom, but nausea may occur.

Due to its anti-platelet effects, this herb should not be combined with anticoagulants such as warfarin. The combination increases the risk of bleeding. In addition, those placed on MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) should avoid butcher's broom because the tyramine in the herb can interact with MAOIs to increase blood pressure.

4. Horse Chestnut

Horse chestnut extract is a common natural remedy for hemorrhoids and varicose veins. The extract is taken from the seeds of the horse chestnut plant, Aesculus hippocastanum. 

Horse chestnut seeds contain a significant amount of the toxic triterpene saponin known as aesculin.

Therefore, only the commercially prepared horse chestnut seed extracts that have had this compound removed should be used to treat hemorrhoids.

The seeds of the horse chestnut contain a saponin called aescin. This chemical has an astringent property that helps to firm up veins. Aescin is also responsible for the anti-edematous, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties of horse chestnut.

Horse chestnut has also been shown to support capillary blood circulation.

For treating hemorrhoids, horse chestnut can be taken as a tea or applied topically to hemorrhoids with cotton balls.

In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 80 people with symptomatic hemorrhoids, a horse chestnut product containing 40 mg of aescin was given to the participants 3 times daily. The results of the study showed that the use of horse chestnut produced noticeable improvements in pain, swelling and bleeding within a week; within 2 weeks, its efficacy was visible by visual examination.

5. Garlic

Garlic also known as Allium sativum, is a common natural remedy for hemorrhoids and digestive disorders.

It contains amino acids, minerals and enzymes such as allinase, peroxidases and myrosinase. Garlic is especially rich in sulfur.

This plant has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, astringent and detoxifying properties. This properties make it an excellent remedy for hemorrhoids.

Garlic contains an amino acid derivative called alliin, which has no medicinal property and is in fact odorless. But when garlic is crushed, alliin is converted to allicin by the enzyme, allinase.

Allicin is responsible for the smell of fresh garlic and it is also a potent antibacterial agent. In addition, it is also a strong antioxidant can mop up harmful free radicals from the body.

Garlic improves blood circulation, destroys various intestinal bacteria and protects the blood vessels.

When garlic is applied to hemorrhoids it reduces inflammation and kills any harmful bacteria. These actions reduce irritation and pain as well as keep the hemorrhoids uninfected.

To treat hemorrhoids, garlic can be applied directly to the hemorrhoids, and it can also be eaten raw or cooked.

6. Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is the herb extracted from the bark and leaves of the North American witch hazel shrub, Hamamelis virginiana. It contains phytochemicals such as tannin, gallic acid, catechins, proanthocyanins, saponins and choline.

It is a natural astringent that can be used to treat external hemorrhoids.  Its high tannin content also makes it a very powerful antioxidant. These properties are useful for reducing the inflammation, pain and itching caused by hemorrhoids.

Witch hazel heals and shrinks hemorrhoids without causing the skin to shrivel or crack. It is especially excellent for treating bleeding hemorrhoids.

Witch hazel extract is prepared by grinding the leaves and the bark of the witch hazel plant, sieving the combination and then mixing with water.

It should be applied topically by dipping a cotton wool in the prepared mixture and then placing it on the affected area for about three minutes after bowel movements. This should be done twice daily for 2 – 3 days to eliminate hemorrhoids.

In the United States, witch hazel is approved as a non-prescription drug for use as a topical pain reliever and as a rectal ointment for treating hemorrhoids.

7. Stone Root

Stone root also known as Collinsonia canadensis. This perennial herb works for hemorrhoids by reducing the pressure in the engorged veins. This effect decreases the inflammation of hemorrhoids and prevents varicose veins.

This herb is also known for its diuretic, antioxidant, antispasmodic, astringent, tonic and sedative properties. Its astringent and antioxidant properties are useful for protecting and strengthening the linings of the intestines as well as the walls of veins.

The root and leaf extracts of stone root can be applied directly to hemorrhoids. It is especially effective for treating bleeding hemorrhoids.

8. White Oak Bark

White oak bark, as the name suggests comes from the bark of the white oak plant also known as Quercus alba.

It has a strong astringent property that is useful for treating both internal and external hemorrhoids.

Other useful properties of white oak bark include its antiseptic, tonic and hemostatic properties which make the herb effective for treating bleeding hemorrhoids.

The high content of calcium and tannin of the bark can strengthen the capillaries of the intestines and keeping the soft tissues of the rectum firm.

In addition, white oak bark extract has a cleansing effect on swollen and sore mucosal surfaces, making it effective for relieving any itch and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.

The white oak bark is usually boiled or steamed to produce liquid extracts that can be applied topically on the affected anal area or taken as an herbal tea to cure hemorrhoids.

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments: Fiber

Fiber is an effective way to reduce hemorrhoid pain. The recommended daily intake of fiber is 30 grams of fiber per day. You can take fiber supplements, or add high-fiber foods to your diet. Foods that naturally contain fiber include broccoli, beans, wheat, oat bran, fresh fruit, and whole-grains.

 

High-Fiber Foods
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Oats
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Nuts
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Avocados
  • Fruit
  • Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Fruit

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments: Exercise

Exercise can go a long way toward reducing hemorrhoid pain. Walking and exercise relieves pressure on the area, and a healthy lifestyle promotes healthy weight loss and fights obesity. Additionally, regular exercise helps stimulate bowel function. Exercise, even if it is mild, is recommended for about 30 minutes per day.

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments: Sitz Bath

When hemorrhoid outbreaks occur, a sitz bath will help relieve pain and stress on the area. A sitz bath relieves itching, irritation, and redness in the area. Fill your bathtub with about two inches of water and sit in the warm water with a bit of Epsom salt added for about 20 minutes. This will relieve pain and help speed the healing process. Pat the sore area dry after soaking to prevent further injury to the area.

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments: Diet

What you eat can play a large role in whether your hemorrhoids return or heal quickly. Aside from eating more fiber, you should also look for other healthy foods to add to your diet. Avoid processed foods and high-salt foods when suffering from hemorrhoids. Additionally, spicy foods can irritate your intestines and make your flare-ups worse. When you have active hemorrhoids, avoid eating spicy foods or foods that irritate your stomach to make healing easier and bowel movements less painful.

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments: Aloe Vera

Aloe vera applied topically to the skin is soothing and helps speed healing. You can apply aloe vera gel directly to the affected area. Aloe has anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve pressure and speed healing. Apply a bit of aloe vera gel to the sore area and massage gently. Be careful not to apply too much pressure or you will irritate the area.

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments: Water

Some constipation and bowel straining is caused by dehydration. Dehydration is a common heath condition and many individuals do not get enough water without realizing it. While precise water needs are individual, most people benefit by drinking eight glasses of water per day. Drink whenever you are thirsty, and don’t allow your body to go without water for long for best results and fastest healing.

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments: Fermented Foods

Fermented foods can help improve your body and digestive system. Fermented foods contain natural probiotics that make it easier for your body to process and break down foods, preventing constipation. It is easy to purchase fermented foods directly from grocery stores. Yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and fermented pickles and other fermented vegetables will help improve your digestion and prevent constipation.

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments: Essential Oils

Essential oils have healing and soothing properties that can help heal hemorrhoids and prevent them from returning. Two oils are beneficial for hemorrhoids. Cypress essential oil stops excess blood flow to swollen hemorrhoids and helps control bleeding in the area. The oil encourages the blood vessels to contract, making hemorrhoids smaller. You can add a drop or two of cypress oil to a cotton ball soaked with almond oil and apply it topically to the affected area. Repeat the process after each bowel movement.

Helichrysum oil is an oil with anti-inflammatory properties. You can apply it topically in the same way as cypress oil on the same cotton ball. Add a drop or two of helichrysyum oil along with the almond and cypress oils for soothing relief that will help speed the healing of hemorrhoids.

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments: Flavonoids

Flavonoids are simple plant compounds found in vegetables and fruits. These flavonoids strengthen veins and improve circulation as well as reduce inflammation. Adding foods with a high flavonoid content to your diet will help prevent pesky hemorrhoids from returning and will speed the healing of existing sore areas.

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments: Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is an effective anti-inflammatory that can relieve the pain and swelling in hemorrhoids. The toner is applied topically to hemorrhoids directly. You can find a witch hazel tonic at most health food stores and online. Soak a cotton ball in the toner and apply directly to the affected areas. It might sting at first, but within a few minutes, the swelling and pain will lessen. You can apply this treatment to the affected area after each bowel movement or when you feel pain. Witch hazel also has the added benefit of preventing the spread of bacteria and infection in the area, which is important for proper healing of hemorrhoids.

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments: Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another affective topical remedy for hemorrhoids. You can add a cup of vinegar to a sitz bath or regular bath to promote healing and reduce swelling.

 Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments: Probiotics

Probiotics can be taken in addition to fermented foods or in place of them. Most health food stores sell probiotics in their cold foods section near the vitamins. Probiotics contain the same strains of beneficial bacteria as fermented foods, just in an easy-to-use supplement form. Probiotics help with digestion and prevent hard stools from forming, relieving pressure and strain near painful hemorrhoids.

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments: Ice

If you are feeling pain in the area when sitting, you can apply an ice pack to the affected area for about 10 minutes. This will provide soothing relief and help encourages the swelling to go down. You can repeat this process up to three times a day.

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments: Lemon Juice

Lemon juice can be applied directly to hemorrhoids for cleaning and anti-inflammatory benefits. However, the acidic nature of lemon juice means it is not recommended for application on hemorrhoids that have broken and are bleeding. Once the hemorrhoids start to heal you can use this treatment method to encourage further healing.

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments: Black Tea

Black tea contains tannic acid that helps relieve pain and swelling in hemorrhoids. Brew some black tea and allow the tea to steep for about 20 minutes until cool. Add the liquid to a sitz bath and sit in the liquid for about 20 minutes until pain is gone. You can repeat this treatment once a day until your hemorrhoids are gone for good.

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments Can Work

Hemorrhoids are a mild health condition that affects most people at least once in their life. Hemorrhoids are usually triggered by poor circulation, stress in the anus, and constipation. Certain health conditions, like pregnancy and obesity can make hemorrhoids more likely to flare up. However, using the long-term and short-term remedies outlined in this article can help heal existing hemorrhoids and prevent new ones from coming back. With consistent treatment, you may even be able to avoid hemorrhoid surgery.

 

Sources


http://www.hemorrhoid.net/hemorrhoids.php

http://www.homemademedicine.com/home-remedies-hemorrhoids.html

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03032/Hemorrhoids.html

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