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Pine Bark: The New Miracle Cure for Hemorrhoids?
Pine Bark has a variety of healing properties. Some studies have linked this natural substance with a reduction in hemorrhoid pain when taken both internally and used externally. Find out more about how pine bark can soothe and prevent hemorrhoids below!
If you suffer from hemorrhoids, you have probably tried all manner of treatment methods from topical creams to possibly even surgery to cure the hemorrhoids. Traditional hemorrhoid treatments do not address the cause of hemorrhoid pain, which means that hemorrhoids could return over and over- causing much pain and suffering over the years.
However, there is new hope for frequent hemorrhoid sufferers in the form of a new supplement that studies show is effective at not only healing existing hemorrhoids but also at preventing them from returning. This supplement, made from the bark of pine trees, is beneficial for vein health in numerous ways. Read more about how pine bark can treat hemorrhoids and other natural treatments for hemorrhoids below.
According to Berkeley Wellness Center, pine bark extract is a mixture of 40 plant chemicals including flavonoids and antioxidants. It is manufactured from the bark of the Pinus maritima or Pinus pinaster trees, which is a pine tree native to southern France. The supplements are taken internally, much like a vitamin. The pine bark extract is reported to have a variety of health benefits.
A 2010 study from the University of Italy gave 49 women with chronic 3rd and 4th degree hemorrhoids after pregnancy 150 mg of pine bark extract for six months. The control group was offered conventional medicine for hemorrhoid treatment.
By the end of the study period, 75 percent of the women who took the pine bark had no hemorrhoid symptoms. Only 56 percent of the control group were hemorrhoid free after six months. The study researchers found that patients who had the most severe hemorrhoid pain showed the biggest reduction in symptoms. 70 percent of the women with the worst hemorrhoid symptoms who took the pine bark extract were healed, while only 36 percent of the women with 4th degree hemorrhoids in the control group were healed by the end of the study period.
This indicates that pine bark has powerful healing properties for hemorrhoids and may not only be able to heal existing outbreaks but also prevent new outbreaks from forming.
Researchers from G D'Annunzio University in 2010 confirmed the study results from the Italian study. In this study, the researchers found that the combination of organic acids, procyanidins, and bioflavonoids compounds in pine bark provided a number of health benefits.
The bark is particularlyl effective at reducing inflammation and increasing vein health- two common issues that lead to hemorrhoid pain.
"In this study, both topical and oral Pycnogenol treatment reduced the intensity and duration of hemorrhoidal pain and bleeding. Pycnogenol even reduced the number of procedures and hospital admissions caused by severe cases," the study authors wrote in the study report.
This study found that best results were achieved when pine bark was taken internally and applied externally to outbreaks. In the month following the study, the study participants who had taken pine bark had less pain and less recurrence of hemorrhoids.
"This study clearly indicates that Pycnogenol is an effective, natural solution in controlling this common, disabling problem and may contribute to relieve hemorrhoidal attacks and offer pain relief," the study authors stated.
In addition to being a viable cure for hemorrhoid pain, pine bark also has been linked as a treatment for several other health conditions. According to Berkeley Wellness Center, the most effective uses for pine bark (in addition to hemorrhoids) include treatment for chronic venous insufficiency, a treatment for lowering blood sugar levels, and may lower bad cholesterol levels.
Because of its high number of antioxidants, a few studies have examined the link between pine bark supplements and a reduction in cancer risk, but these studies have not proven a link between pine bark and reduced cancer risk as of 2014.
The two studies that showed pine bark was effective at relieving hemorrhoid pain had study participants take either 150 mg of pine bark extract daily or 300 mg daily. For severe hemorrhoid pain, try the larger dosage, but for milder pain, or as preventive measure, try the smaller dosage.
During an existing outbreak of hemorrhoids, apply pine bark to the area topically using a carrier product such as coconut oil or soaked oat straw. You can also try adding some of the extract to a warm bath for soothing pain relief.
According to Berkeley Wellness Center, pine bark can have a few side effects. The most common are fatigue and irritability. Pine bark may interfere with some prescription or over-the-counter medications. If you are taking any medications, discuss how taking pine bark could interfere with these medications with your doctor before supplementing with pine bark.
Pine bark has not been tested on children or pregnant or nursing women. Discuss the use of pine bark with a qualified health professional if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Pine bark alone may not be enough to keep hemorrhoid pain away permanently. However, there are several other natural treatment methods that can prevent hemorrhoids and heal them once and for all without the need for surgery.
According to health professionals, hemorrhoids are simply an inflammation of the blood vessels surrounding the rectum. Pressure on the area (such as during pregnancy), weakened blood vessels, and constipation or dehydration can all place strain on hemorrhoids, causing them to swell and bleed. By addressing the root causes of the hemorrhoids, it is possible to prevent them from coming back.
The following natural hemorrhoid cures will help heal existing hemhorrids and prevent them from coming back:
According to studies, horse chestnut contains aescin, which is a compound that promotes circulation in the veins. This strengthens the walls of veins, which prevents some of the swelling that can lead to the development of hemorrhoids. Horse chestnut also can help prevent swelling and has anti-inflammatory properties- which make it an ideal remedy for hemorrhoids. In a study from 1998, it was found that taking horse chestnut extract by mouth was able to reduce the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, swelling, and pain in study participants.
Oat straw is a high-fiber supplement that can be beneficial both internally and externally for hemorrhoid pain. Fiber can help prevent constipation, which can lead to some episodes of hemorrhoids and make them worse. Oat also strengthens the veins, making it less likely that hemorrhoids will become irritated in the future.
Bilberry is one of the most powerful supplements available for the prevention and treatment of hemorrhoid pain and other vein issues. According to studies, the berries can strengthen veins and increase circulation, preventing the pressure buildup that can cause hemorrhoids to swell and become irritated.
According to the New York University Langone Medical Center, in a four-week study, study participants who took bilberry extract had significantly less pain and recurring outbreaks than individuals in the control group.
According to studies, butcher’s broom is an effective remedy for circulatory conditions including varicose veins, thrombosis, and hemorrhoids. According to the the New York University Langone Medical Center, no studies have examined butcher’s broom for hemorrhoids specifically, but since numerous studies have shown how butcher’s broom is effective as a remedy for varicose veins and other vein issues, it is likely to have a high effectiveness for hemorrhoids as well.
Butcher’s broom contains a high level of rutin, which is one of the most effective ingredients in strengthening capillaries.
Foods that contain rutin are highly effective at preventing hemorrhoids from occurring due to its strengthening effect on vein health. Studies show that rutin can be an effective ingredient in the prevention of hemorrhoids. According to Web MD, the most common sources of rutin used in supplements come from buckwheat, eucalyptus, lime flowers, elderflowers, apples, ginkgo biloba, and most fruits and vegetables.
Junk food contributes to a wide range of health problems, including a higher chance of developing hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are caused by pressure and inflammation- often brought upon by constipation. Eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, high-quality protein, healthy fats, and avoiding unhealthy foods can go a long way toward preventing hemorrhoids from flaring up again.
Obesity is another risk factor for developing hemorrhoid flare-ups. Excess weight places extra pressure on the lower half of the body, making it harder for blood to circulate and making it more likely that hemorrhoids will swell. Dropping any extra pounds can help prevent hemorrhoids from recurring.
Constipation is often a trigger for hemorrhoid pain. Avoid constipation by eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and drinking plenty of fluids. Getting enough healthy fats in the diet can also help prevent constipation. A daily probiotic can aid digestion and prevent constipation.
Anyone who has had regular bouts of hemorrhoids knows how uncomfortable and painful the condition can be. Although you cannot do anything to avoid hereditary conditions that may cause hemorrhoids, or avoid them completely during pregnancy and right after birth, the strategies outlined above can go a long way toward healing existing cases and preventing new cases. Pine bark, along with other supplements and healthy diet choices can strengthen the veins and prevent hemorrhoids from flaring up in the future.
Pittler MH, Ernst E. Horse Chestnut seed extract for chronic venous insufficiency: A criteria-based systematic review. Arch Dermatol 1998
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