Hemorrhoids, though commonly referring to problems associated with the anus, are not pathological conditions by themselves. However, they may turn problematic and could be termed ‘piles’ when the cushion lining the perianal vessels tend to get inflamed, often becoming painful in the process. Hemorrhoids are responsible for stool control and in the passage of stools, as they act as cushions. In their inflamed state, they tend to get bloody, often characterized by the passage of stools with traces of blood. Hemorrhoids could be internal hemorrhoids or external hemorrhoids, depending on where the swollen veins are. In case of internal hemorrhoids, there may not be much pain associated with the inflammation, though there may be rectal bleeding associated with the inflammation.
On the other hand, external hemorrhoids are typically accompanied with pain in the anal region when seated or when passing stools. When hemorrhoids get inflamed, there are chances of their pulling a portion of the rectum along with them, which could protrude outside the anus. The condition is associated with difficulty in passing stools, especially in the case of hard stools that are witnessed in constipation, resulting in the hemorrhoids undergoing the associated stress and strain. The stools that could leak on to the skin surround the anus could cause further irritation. While the hemorrhoids could be pushed back into the rectum in a condition that is technically referred to as the prolapsing hemorrhoids, when it is not possible to push it back in, the condition may require medical treatment since there are risks of damages to cells with no blood supply on to them, caused by the constrictions of the anal sphincter muscles.
Hemorrhoids occur on account of straining during passing of stools and during bowel movements. Hence, hemorrhoids could be common during periods of constipation. Hemorrhoids causes also include being seated for long periods of time, as well as on account of anal infections or due to certain diseases as in the case of liver cirrhosis. There are also instances of hemorrhoids during pregnancy and after child birth, because of the pressure extended on the blood vessels surrounding the anal region. With increased and consistent pressure, the veins tend to swell, which makes them painful in the process, a condition that is particularly prominent when seated for long durations.
Typical symptoms of hemorrhoids include anal itching or anal pain, especially in seated positions, or pain during bowel movements. You may also be able to feel one or more lumps in the perianal region, associated with pain with bowel movements. There could be bright red blood which you may observe on the toilet tissue or in the stools, which could be indicative of hemorrhoids. You may also suspect hemorrhoids if you feel mild, protruding bumps along the lining of the anus, which may become more prominent to feel if you are having trouble passing stools due to constipation or irregular bowel movements.
Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids
Calendula for Hemorrhoids
Calendula has been of much use in the treatment of hemorrhoids for many years. The perennial that belongs to the Mediterranean has been looked upon with much respect and awe for its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, even as the plant has proved its worth as an anti-inflammatory agent. Pot Marigold, as calendula is often referred to, is widely known to control inflammation and assist the skin in its spontaneous healing mechanism, promoting regeneration of tissue that might have been affected by the conditions of hemorrhoids.
Calendula could be applied topically on the skin, and it is safe to apply calendula salve on to the anus as well as to the rectum. It is best to apply the home remedy for hemorrhoids at night and leave it overnight, since a considerable amount of the herbal extract tends to be absorbed by the skin and tissues at night.
Calendula oil and Comfrey oil for Bleeding
You could hope for enhanced effectiveness from calendula oil as you mix it with the well known remedy for a range of ailments, comfrey oil. Comfrey oil is extracted from perennial plants that have immense healing powers, widely used over the centuries in treatment of many a skin condition such as ulcerations, lacerations, burns, scratches, abrasions and many insect bites, apart from skin conditions such as eczema. Comfrey oil, as a standalone entity, has been well regarded as one of the effective home remedies for hemorrhoids, given its ability to promote healing and stop bleeding.
Both the roots as well as the leaves of comfrey have been used to extract the oil that has immense medicinal value. The effectiveness of comfrey in its healing touch is derived from the presence of a whole range of nutrients such as its high zinc constituent, apart from considerable levels of proteins and Vitamin B12. There are other components such as allantoin and steroidal saponins that are proven to be effective in treatment of bleeding. Some of the properties that play an important role as home remedies for hemorrhoids are its anti-inflammatory properties, which help in controlling inflammation of the hemorrhoids along with helping in regeneration of tissues that might have been damaged in the process.
Cayenne Pepper for Hemorrhoids
Cayenne pepper, commonly referred to as guinea spice or red pepper, is one more healthy option in terms of healing properties, accounting for its important role as one of the home remedies for hemorrhoids. For starters, cayenne pepper has long been accredited with some of the high nutritional values associated with food, with a wide range of vitamins such as Vitamin A, C, E, K and B6, and minerals such as manganese as well as fibre bestowing it with healing powers. Further, apart from its list of nutrients, there is also the handiwork of a compound capsaicin that brings about the necessary changes in terms of treatment of hemorrhoids.
The compound blesses cayenne pepper with anti-inflammatory properties, which explains why the product turns out to be one of the most favored sources when it comes to treatment of wounds and ulcers. Further, Vitamin A is also known to be a healer, working its way on wounds and helping in the healing of epithelial tissues. The anti-inflammatory properties, along with the healing powers, make cayenne pepper the ideal component in your health kitty to curb bleeding associated with hemorrhoids.
Cranesbill (Geranium maculatum) for Hemorrhoids
A perennial plant with bright colored flowers, cranesbill has been the favorite in decoration and landscaping, with the different colors of pink, purple, lavender and blue bringing charm to houses and amounting for a pleasing atmosphere. However, it’s not just about beauty and cheer, as one would discover from the healing powers of cranesbill. The entire plant has long been considered just the right kind of treatment in a host of conditions associated with the digestive tract, as in the case of diarrhoea, dysentery and haemorrhages, which explains why cranesbill is being billed as one of the favorites in terms of home remedies for hemorrhoids as well.
The astringent and antiseptic properties of the plant have mostly been the centre of attention, as the extracts have been helpful in dealing with a whole range of health concerns associated with the gums and teeth. Further, Cranesbill Geranium has also been used as an external cleanser, when it comes to cleansing the skin after bruises and abrasions, apart from treating the skin for other conditions such as sun burns as well as eczema. The effectiveness of Cranesbill in the treatment of hemorrhoids comes from the way the dried roots get to work when consumed as tea. Dried roots of Cranesbill tend to be available commercially, a teaspoon of which could be added on to water and let to boil for close to 30 minutes.
Internal consumption of the tea has come of help in ensuring that the antiseptic properties have gotten to work, eliminating any scope for secondary infections that may arise from conditions of hemorrhoids. Further, the herbal extract is also found to have healing powers that help in the regeneration of cells that may have been damaged by conditions of hemorrhoids – the herbal tea is fond to soothe the gastrointestinal tract, leading to a healthier rectum free from inflamed hemorrhoids. Alternatively, the herb also works as an enema that gets injected directly on to the anal region, which has turned out to be one of the effective home remedies for hemorrhoids especially after passing stools.
Aloe Vera for Hemorrhoids
The omnipresent and omnipotent home remedy for virtually every evil in the health sphere, Aloe Vera, is back to its true form when it comes to home remedies for hemorrhoids as well. Mankind has known the goodness of Aloe Vera for ages, thanks to the Ayurvedic system of medicine that has revered the herbal juice with all devotion and awe. Aloe Vera juice is extracted from the leaves of the plant and is known to contain an enormous array of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that help in the rejuvenation of cells and tissues.
The power to rejuvenate and regenerate comes in handy in terms of treatment of hemorrhoids, where the herbal extracts could be used for both internal consumption as well as for external application. The damage sustained in an event of hemorrhoids inflammation is vastly controlled and tissues regenerated, when Aloe Vera, with all its nutrients, is consumed internally – the concentrated form of Aloe Vera juice could be diluted with five times the quantity of water and consumed on empty stomach the first thing in the morning, for the natural strengths and nutrients of the herbal extract to get down to business and start the regeneration process – Aloe Vera helps in the healing of the entire gastrointestinal tract in quick time, and helps in dealing with bleeding associated with hemorrhoids.
The anti-inflammatory properties of Aloe Vera turn out to be just what the doctor had ordered in terms of home remedies for hemorrhoids, where topical application of Aloe Vera gel on to the hemorrhoids helps in the healing of hemorrhoids, even as any trace of irritation or pain associated with the conditions are also rectified.
Lady’s Mantle for Hemorrhoids
Alchemilla vulgaris is a perennial herb that is commonly referred to as the Lady’s mantle. The herb, which normally could be seen growing at high altitudes, has been specifically known for its effectiveness in dealing with problems associated with women’s issues. However, Lady’s mantle has also proven itself effective in dealing with hemorrhoids, thanks to its healing properties as well as its anti-inflammatory properties that play key roles in controlling and reversing conditions of hemorrhoids.
The herb, predominantly used in treatment of physiological problems of women as well as in correcting psychological issues such as anxiety and restlessness, lends its helping hands in terms of home remedies for hemorrhoids, thanks to the presence of substances such as tannins and flavanoids, Lady’s mantle is known for its anti-diuretic properties as well as its being an astringent, apart from its anti-inflammatory properties that have made a mark in the treatment of hemorrhoids, which have been reflected in the inclusion of the herbal extracts, among others, in many a commercially available cure for hemorrhoids.
Apart from these properties, there are also chemicals present in the herbal extract that are known to promote the coagulation of blood, which is an important factor in term of treatment for hemorrhoids. It would help to add a tea made of Lady’s mantle on to warm water, which you could use as a bath to sit over and expose the inflamed areas of the anus over time to achieve good relief from hemorrhoids.\
Lesser Periwinkle for Hemorrhoids
Lesser Periwinkle is known by its other names such as Vinca minor or Dwarf periwinkle. The plant that originated in Portugal and France and is now available all over the world is a shrub that crawls around, though it may not be classified a creeper. The plant is normally found in colonies, featuring bright colored flowers, which makes them the ideal choices when it comes to home improvements and landscaping. However, as you would have guessed, there is more to it than just beautification of the surroundings and gardens.
The plant is known to have rich levels of alkaloids and tannins, substances that are proven to have medicinal properties, coming of use in the healing of many a medical condition. The other feature of lesser periwinkle is its astringent property – being an astringent enables it to contract and shrink body tissues, which means that there is lesser scope of bleeding on account of the shrinkages of blood vessels that lead to bleeding in the first place. Further, the active compounds in lesser periwinkle are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties – which mean that they are effective in quelling inflammation associated with the inflamed hemorrhoids, along with assisting in pain reduction, a feature that would come in handy when dealing with the troublesome and often painful hemorrhoids.
Lesser periwinkle is available commercially, which could be used as supplements as well as in their medicinal forms. You could make one of the home remedies for hemorrhoids by choosing an infusion of the herbal product, where you could add a teaspoon of the herbal extracts on to around 200 ml of water. Boiling the water and leaving it on for around 20 minutes would mean that the solution now has the goodness of the healing properties of lesser periwinkle. You could then sip the solution twice or thrice a day for effective relief from all kinds of internal bleeding conditions.
Raspberry Leaf for Hemorrhoids
Raspberry, known variously as Rubus idaeus, Red Raspberry, wild raspberry or raspberry, is known for its health properties chiefly on account of some of its active components such as flavanoids, tannins and elagic acid. One of the first things that you would recall about your raspberry when you have had it for its medicinal properties would be its taste – you would only wish all medicines were as tasty as raspberry is! In terms of the parts that are used in healing, the dried leaves are the ones that bestow the medicinal benefits on raspberry, being widely used in treatment of conditions including hemorrhoids.
Among the many benefits of raspberry leaves would also count their antioxidant properties – antioxidants prevent damages to the body cells and tissues on account of the harmful actions of free radicals and it would help to consume raspberry for the antioxidant properties alone, though there are a host of other benefits that would help in home remedies for hemorrhoids. The best way to consume raspberry leaves would be as infusions – when you add around 5 grams of the dried raspberry leaves on to around 200 ml of water and boil it for 10 – 15 minutes, what you get after you have let the solution steep for a while would be healthy raspberry tea. The tea is tasty as it is, though you may want to sweeten it to suit your taste buds. Raspberry leaves have been found to be rich in nutrients such as vitamins B1, B3 and E, along with a host of minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and manganese.
The balance between calcium and magnesium is an important aspect in terms of proper functioning of blood, right from its origins to its clotting. Both manganese and magnesium play key roles in the clotting of blood, which is an important aspect when it comes to cessation of bleeding in conditions of hemorrhoids. Raspberry tea is also noted for its astringent properties, where the constriction of tissues caused helps in the reduction of bleeding, thus working towards correction of painful and bleeding hemorrhoids.
Shepherd’s Purse for Hemorrhoids
Shepherd’s purse is a weed that has sprung into the spotlight on account of some of its health benefits across many ailments. The weed, which has had its origins in California, has been well regarded and is now available in many places around the world, thanks to its popularity as a useful home remedy for hemorrhoids and for a host of other conditions. The plant is known for its fruits with peppery flavor, and the name is attributed to its peculiar shape.
Commonly referred to by some of its other names such as Shepherd’s Bags, Shepherd’s sprout and Lady’s purse, the weed lends itself to some distinct unpleasant odor, while the taste is aromatic, though pungent. While the extracts from Shepherd’s purse have predominantly been used in the treatment of menstrual bleeding, perhaps due to the effects of the herbal extract on the uterine walls during heavy periods marked by excessive bleeding, the health benefits of Shepherd’s purse extend well beyond the reproductive mechanism into the gastrointestinal tract as well, proving helpful in the treatment of ulcers and other bleeding conditions of the intestines.
In the case of hemorrhoids, it is the astringent properties of the plant extracts that come in handy, thanks to the way they are known to control blood flow by constricting the walls of vessels and tissues, preventing large scale and profuse bleeding. The effectiveness of the extract is evident not just through internal consumption but als in the form of topical applications, where lacerations, abrasions, cuts and bruises have been found to heal in quick time with prompt and persistent application.
a. Caution with Shepherd’s Purse: It would help to go in for professional medical advice before you resort to consumption of Shepherd’s purse, and more so if you are considering its consumption on a long term. It is found that the product may be required only in small quantities and that using it on a long term may not be advisable.
St John’s Wort for Hemorrhoids
This is another popular choice for the treatment of many ailments, both physical and psychological, mainly on account of the effectiveness of the flowers and leaves that are suitable for both internal consumption as well as for external application. The kind of health problems that St John’s Wort is in a position to tackle are many, right from anxiety disorders, depression, Attention Deficiency Syndrome, tiredness, loss of appetite and insomnia. But that’s the psychological part of human health that the plant extracts show their effectiveness and worth in.
On the physical side, palpitation, headaches, muscular pains, nervous disorders as well as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are some of the candidates for treatment with St John’s wort. And the plant’s effectiveness as one of the home remedies for hemorrhoids is definitely one of the key attractions, given the astringent properties as well as the anti-inflammatory effects that the ingredients are capable of having on the damaged tissues. The astringent effects ensure that blood vessels are compressed and are not let loose for continued bleeding conditions, even as the anti-inflammatory properties of the plant come into play in reducing inflammation and in alleviating the pain associated with the nagging hemorrhoids.
There are also other properties associated with the herbal extract, as in the case of antiviral properties as well as antiseptic effects, which are good enough to prevent secondary complications associated with hemorrhoids, even as the healing powers of the active ingredients promote healing in quick time, working in conjunction with the astringent properties in controlling bleeding from hemorrhoids.
a. Caution with St John’s Wort for Hemorrhoids: St John’s wort is, by all means, an effective choice in terms of home remedies for hemorrhoids, but you would have to watch out for the possible interactions that some of the active components could end up having with other medications that you may be taking up. Further, it should also be taken into consideration that St John’s wort is useful as a medication in a range of psychological conditions as well, given the way the active components of hypericin and hyperforin, are known to act on the chemical messengers and receptors of the nervous system.
It is this property that makes the herbal product effective in dealing with insomnia, depression, anxiety and the like. Hence, care has to be taken when you resort to St John’s wort as your favorite home remedy for hemorrhoids, since you would not want to live through some of the undesirable side effects in your quest for solutions to the hemorrhoid problem. The common side effects of the drug include difficulty sleeping, restlessness and irritability, even as people have reported experiencing vivid dreams with the consumption of the herbal product. Hence, it is often suggested that the herbal extract be consumed earlier in the day than late at night to escape some of the severe side effects associated with St John’s wort.
Further, there is not sufficient evidence to vouch for the safety of St John’s wort in case of pregnant women, or on the kind of impact that it may have on the infant in the case of nursing mothers. If you are pregnant or lactating, you may be well advised to seek professional help before embarking on a course of St John’s wort. And if you are likely to undergo any kind of surgery, you may want to make sure that you do not take up the herbal extract at least during the two weeks prior to your surgery, given that there has been some impact of the drug reported on palpitation. Further, given the possibilities of the extract interacting with many other drugs, it would help to stay away from it in the few days immediately before surgery, to steer clear of complications.
Trillium Erectum for Hemorrhoids
The perennial plant that is also referred to as Wake-robin, Beth root or purple trillium could be easily spotted by its bright red flowers and by its characteristic, rather unpleasant aroma. The plant is naturally equipped with the ability to sustain under extremely low temperatures. But what the plant is well regarded for are the various uses of the plant and its extracts, such as its being used as home remedies for hemorrhoids, among others.
In general, Beth root is renowned for its abilities to contain bleeding in women at their menopausal stages, apart from its coming of use in easing hormonal problems related to women. However, the plant and its extracts are known to impact positively in cases of hemorrhoids, considering its anti-inflammatory properties that tend to reduce inflation and pain associated with hemorrhoids, as well as its astringent characteristics that play the critical role of constricting blood vessels and containing blood flow.
Further, the plant also contains some of the essential components that could make qualitative changes to conditions of hemorrhoids – tannins, resins, steroidal saponins as well as oils make it a healthy alternative with immense potential in the treatment of hemorrhoids. The extracts could be used both externally in the form of tinctures, which have been found effective in the shrinking of hemorrhoids.
Goldenseal for Hemorrhoids
Goldenseal, scientifically known as Hydrastis Canadensis, is one of the herbs that have proven their effectiveness in the treatment of bleeding in general, and as home remedies for hemorrhoids in particular. The herb has proven its worth in the control of bleeding in urinary tract infections as well, and is reliable in the treatment of hemorrhoids due to the action of the compound present in the herb called berberine. Berberine is helpful in the treatment of diarrhea as well.
Further, goldenseal also features antibacterial and antifungal properties, which go a long way in the prevention of secondary infections. You could enjoy the medicinal powers of the herb by making an infusion using the roots that have been dried and powdered. These commercially available dried roots of goldenseal could be made into tea by boiling 5 grams of the powder in around 250 ml of water, making for an effective home remedy for hemorrhoids.
Witch Hazel for Hemorhoids
Witch hazel has long been associated with the control and treatment of internal bleeding, and it is no surprise that it has proved effective as home remedies for hemorrhoids as well. The herb is known for its astringent properties, whereby it controls blood flow by constricting the blood vessels and restricting the avenues left for blood to ooze out. Further, witch hazel is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, whereby the inflammations associated with hemorrhoids are reduced along with the irritations.
Witch hazel also has the ability to promote healing, which means that the underlying tissues get regenerated and healed in quick time, leading to cessation of bleeding. You could apply witch hazel extract directly on to the affected areas, preferably twice a day, for good recovery from hemorrhoids.
Other Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids
Vitamin K and Hemorrhoids
Ultimately, bleeding is a factor caused by the effectiveness of the mechanism called coagulation of blood. Blood flows in its liquid state and its flow could be restrained either by constricting the blood vessels that carry them, as in the case of action by astringents, or by making the conditions conducive for blood to clot. It is here that Vitamin K pitches in with some of the most important and crucial roles that it plays in the coagulation of blood – and this could have a direct impact on the seriousness of the conditions of hemorrhoids.
People who have difficulty in having their blood clotted may experience even more profuse bleeding during conditions associated with hemorrhoids, which calls for checking if the vitamin K levels in the body are good enough to prevent further deterioration of the condition because blood fails to clot. Vitamin K is an important component in the proper coagulation of blood and any deficiency in vitamin K may not augur well for your inflamed hemorrhoids. Going in for an additional supply of vitamin K for your system through food sources such as spinach, turnip greens and other dark green vegetables, apart from parsley, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, would be a good idea if you would want to exert control over, and are intent in making a difference with home remedies for hemorrhoids.
Fiber for Hemorrhoids
If you are looking at home remedies for hemorrhoids through the kind of food that you consume, you should actively scout for increased fiber content in your diet. The idea is that the problem of hemorrhoids becomes even more nagging and painful if you were to experience constipation or hard stools, thereby aggravating the problem. With the right amount of fiber in your diet and with adequate supplies of liquid into your systems, there would be softening of stools, allowing for them to be passed much easier than otherwise.
Fiber is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties, decreasing the inflammation levels of hemorrhoids, and consequently, that of bleeding. Some of the best sources of fiber that you could lay your hands on would include beans, wheat bran, oat bran, fresh fruits, legumes, brown rice and whole grains. The consumption of dietary fiber for hemorrhoids is so important that it could, by itself, turn out to be the remedy for hemorrhoids.
Water for Hemorrhoids
There are more ways than one in which you could help yourself through adequate intake of water. Taking in around 6 – 8 glasses of water a day would go a long way in helping with the optimal functioning of the digestive process. You could also count in fruit juices as well as buttermilk to your daily quota of fluid intake, but you may not want to consider caffeinated or carbonated drinks as adding up to your daily fluid requirements.
It is obvious that a sedentary lifestyle is not what you would have asked for as you started off on a journey called life. However, if the modern workplace or the advancements in civilization require that you spend more time sitting, just make sure you do not turn into a couch potato. Mild exercising and brisk walking are things that you could take up in any case, which would help in alleviating symptoms associated with, and address the root causes of, hemorrhoids. With a healthy system in place, you would also find that your home remedies for hemorrhoids work better and turn out to be even more effective.
Heed To the Call of Nature
We sometimes get too busy with our work that we may not be quick to respond to nature’s call. However, you need to realize that stools could back up into the intestinal tract if you delayed your visit to the restrooms, which would mean that there would be increased pressure on the hemorrhages on account of stressing and straining in the toilet. If you feel the urge to defecate, get to the toilets immediately. This would help in home remedies for hemorrhoids in the long run.
Go for Sitz
Popularly referred to as the sitz bath, these are small tubs that are meant to accommodate the buttocks up to the hip, which could be immersed in warm water periodically. Spending around 15 – 20 minutes after you have passed stools, and doing it thrice a day on other times, would help in relieving itching and pain in the anal muscles, helping them relax and soothing them.
Go for Soft Seats
If your job demands that you spend a considerable chunk of your day in seated positions, you may want to add a protective layer of soft cushion on to the seats so that you do not have to spend the day on hard surfaces.
Avoid being seated continuously for long durations. Ideally, you would be better off if you could take a break ever half an hour, which would not only add to your fitness levels and prevent you from putting on additional weight, but also help you in the digestive process and hence, prevent further aggravation of hemorrhoids.
Watch your Weight
Being over-weight and obese cause many problems and one of them is the aggravation of hemorrhoids and their inflammation. Getting into proper dietary habits and forming regular dietary routines help in home remedies for hemorrhoids.
Make sure you clean thoroughly after every bowel movements – residual fecal matter tend to irritate the skin, causing more pain around the area. Making use of mild soap would help in striking a balance between cleanliness and ensuring that there are no additional irritants in the form of strong chemicals from soaps.
Other Treatment Options for Hemorrhoids
Banding of Hemorrhoids
This is a simple procedure that involves a few consecutive, spaced out visits to the physician’s, where the troublesome hemorrhoids are bound together with a band and are held in place. With time, the hemorrhoids tend to heal since they are held in an unobtrusive position, which could lead to the elimination of hemorrhoids over a period. This procedure is less invasive and less painful than surgical procedures and could usually be done in an out-patients wing.
This process, called hemorrhoidectomy, involves making an incision between the tissues of hemorrhoids and removing the tissues that cause the problem. Though the procedure is widely regarded as a successful option, there would be pain involved in the procedure, considering the surgical intervention involved. This could be opted for if the hemorrhoids are protruding outside the anus, in the case of external hemorrhoids.
Stapling of Hemorrhoids
Similar to the banding process is the stapling of hemorrhoids, where they are held together in a place and stapled so that they are unobtrusive, in a procedure called hemorrhoidopexy. This requires a single sitting and is less complicated and less painful than a surgical intervention such as hemorrhoidectomy.