allDiseases & Conditions

Hemorrhoids: Natural Remedies

HemorrhoidsIf a hemorrhoid condition advances to the point where it becomes unsafe or intolerable, people should go seek medical attention, both to ease their pain and ensure that the inflamed area does not become a potential health risk. But to treat hemorrhoids in its’ infancy, there are many natural, safe, and effective remedies that can be tried in the comfort of your own home.

Since it is believed that excessive straining during bowel movements are one of the causes of hemorrhoids, straining should be stopped altogether. Lifting heavy objects should be avoided, as should any other type of activity where excessive straining of the lower back and abdomen is involved. Prolonged periods of sitting (both on the toilet and off) should be avoided, as it puts unneeded stress on the lower abdominal area. If a sedentary lifestyle is unavoidable (because of office work, for example), be sure to take breaks frequently and walk around for a bit. Furthermore, to help make stool softer and easier to pass, you should drink plenty of fluids, and add some key items to your diet that are high in fiber, such as bran, apples, carrots, leafy greens, broccoli, pears, grains, and beans. Some other foods high in fiber include wheat spaghetti, cooked pearl barley, artichoke, almonds, brown rice, oatmeal, cooked peas, cooked sweet corn, and brussel sprouts.

In order to avoid irritating the area even more, try and keep your bottom clean at all times, wiping after bowel movements with an ultra-soft tissue paper, lightly wetted paper towels, or adult wipes. Utilizing baby wipes would even be a good choice, as some contain aloe, a soothing plant which is known for its’ ability to heal abrasions and relieve pain in tender areas. You can even try applying aloe vera gel, witch hazel, or organic apple cider directly to the irritated area to help ease discomfort. Also, an icepack can help temporarily relieve pain and itching.

When preparing to bathe, prepare a sitz bath (a bath which consists of sitting in water up to your hips in order to treat the lower part of the body) by adding some epsom salts to the water and soaking for several minutes per day. This will help relieve the pain and itching in the affected area. This can also be achieved by soaking a cotton ball (or paper towel) with witch hazel or apple cider vinegar, and gently applying it to the hemorrhoids. Both witch hazel and apple cider vinegar are astringents (substances that will cause body tissues to shrink), and will therefore lower the amount of discomfort the inflamed vessels are causing. A salve (an ointment made to treat skin conditions) consisting of Horse Chestnut is often used to treat varicose veins, but has been known to be effective with hemorrhoids as well.

One of the worst things a patient with hemorrhoids can do is scratch the itchy area. Excessive scratching can cause even more bleeding, and can ultimately lead to the spread of infection. If it is necessary to relieve itching inside or around the anus, it is recommended that a tight fitting latex glove be worn to avoid scratching the hemorrhoids with your nails and making the condition worse. Witch hazel has been shown to be a good choice to help relieve itching and inflammation.

Along with the methods for reducing pain and itchiness mentioned above, people can also alter their diet and avoid foods such as soda, beer, coffee, and strong spices, all of which can contribute to irritating the anus as the stool passes through. If bleeding is present, people who suffer from hemorrhoids should raise their intake of Vitamin K, a vitamin involved in stopping bleeding. Foods such as green leafy vegetables and alfalfa have very high concentrations of Vitamin K. To further ease the pain and swelling associated with hemorrhoids, people can use a warm water enema (squirting liquid into the anal cavity will soothe the tissue and encourage bowel movements) or take an oatmeal bath throughout the day as needed. Finally, applying an ice pack or cold compress will help with pain relief by shrinking the affected veins.

Consuming herbs such as red grape vine leaf, collinsonia root, buckthorn, parsley, stone root, white oak bark, and fargelin can help reduce pain and swelling. These items can be ingested orally in capsule form or taken in tea form. Before taking herbs in general, however, a medical professional should be consulted so as to avoid any harmful interaction with other drugs. Some other popular herbs for hemorrhoids include butcher’s broom and horse chestnut. Drinking pomegranate juice has also been found to help relieve symptoms. Another popular remedy is Neem oil. After the affected area has been cleaned, add a few drops of Neem oil to each hemorrhoid once daily until they clear up.