Hemorrhoids refer to a condition where the blood vessels located in the rectum swell and become tender and painful. This swelling causes pressure exertion on the anal vein walls so that they are taut and painful especially during bowel movements. Hemorrhoids are also known as piles, and will often be caused by excessive straining during defecation as well as the added pressure on the body when a woman is expecting.
Other causes of hemorrhoids include chronic constipation, allergic reactions to specific foods as well as lack of dietary fiber. This condition manifests in 2 different ways: internally where the affected blood vessels are located inside the rectum and externally where the piles develop beneath the skin in the anal region.
Hemorrhoids are rather common among both men and women. Some of the symptoms to look out for include severe itching, intense discomfort and bright red bloody spots after bowel movements. The good news is that there are a number of effective home remedies that you can use to treat hemorrhoids. The addition of these remedies alongside simple lifestyle changes goes a long way in helping you to get relief from the condition. Listed below are the viable options and lifestyle changes that you can make to treat hemorrhoids naturally with minimal side effects.
1. Cold Compress:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 5 Ice cubes, a clean towel and soapy water to clean your hands.
One of the simplest ways to deal with hemorrhoids is to use a cold compress. The extremely low temperatures work by reducing the size of the swollen vessels, while numbing the pain to reduce the inflammation. Used regularly, this remedy provides you with relief from the discomfort of itching and eases bowel movements. You will need the clean towel to wrap the ice cubes before application. This is because the direct use of ice cubes on the skin increases the chances of frost bite which could easily exacerbate the symptoms of hemorrhoids.
- Wash your hands with soapy water and rinse before using this remedy.
- Take the ice cubes and place them on the clean towel then tie to create a pack which will ease the application process.
- Apply the compress on the anus and rub as gently as you can for 2 minutes.
- Rest for a minute and repeat step 3 above.
- Do this severally until the ice starts to melt.
- Use the cold compress remedy at least thrice daily to help shrink the inflamed vessels and heal the piles.
2. Manage Dehydration After Bowel Movements:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: Wet tissue (non-perfumed) and Vitamin E capsules.
For people with hemorrhoids, one of the most painful experiences is having strained bowel movements accompanied by dryness. The latter occurs when one uses dry tissue to clean the anal region. This causes pain because the frictional force easily irritates the already-swollen blood vessels. The solution to this is to use wet tissues, preferably the kind that is not medicated and is not perfumed. The reason for this is that perfumed medicated wet tissue may act as an external irritant, and therefore does not provide a solution. Vitamin E capsules may be inserted anally to provide relief and ensure that the anus is hydrated for easy passage of stool.
- After every bowel movement, carefully wipe the affected region using the recommended wet tissue.
- Follow this up with the use of Vitamin E capsules to soothe the piles.
3. Tea Tree Oil:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Tea tree oil, choice carrier oil (such as sweet almond oil, olive oil or castor oil), dropper, sterile cotton wool and lavender oil (optional).
Studies confirm that tea tree oil is a wonder remedy for different conditions, thanks to its array of healing properties. When used for the treatment of hemorrhoids, the oil works on decreasing the pain and inflammation present in the swollen blood vessels in the rectum. Regular use of the oil eventually constricts the blood vessels, ensuring quick relief from piles. Note, however, that tea tree oil should not be used on its own as it is very potent. This is where the choice carrier oil comes in as it is added for dilution purposes. The lavender oil is an optional addition for those who would like to compliment the function of tea tree oil.
- Place 5 drops of your preferred carrier oil in a shallow bowl.
- Add 2 drops of tea tree oil and mix well.
- Using the cotton wool, apply the oil mixture to the affected area as gently as you can.
- Use this remedy daily until the hemorrhoids heal naturally.
4. Olive Oil:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of Olive oil for oral consumption.
Olive oil is recommended for the treatment of hemorrhoids as its potent anti-inflammatory properties help sooth the inflamed blood vessels within the rectum. This is key because it helps reduce the unnerving discomfort. In addition to this, the oil effectively improves the structural design of the blood vessels so that they are more elastic and less prone to the pressure of strained bowel movements. Regular consumption of olive oil also has the advantage of enhancing bowel movement, largely due to the presence of ‘good fats’ – monosaturated fatty acids.
- You may choose to add the olive oil to your diet or simply take a teaspoon of the oil at least twice daily until the hemorrhoids clear.
5. Fresh Aloe Vera Gel:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Fresh aloe vera leaves, sharp knife, ice cubes and tray as well as cotton wool.
Aloe vera is easily considered one of the best natural remedy for the treatment of hemorrhoids. The gel from the plant’s succulent leaves has excellent anti-inflammatory properties which reduce the pain within the affected blood vessels. The gel is also particularly helpful in soothing the affected area as it reduces the intense itching. The advantage of using aloe vera gel is that it is effective for both internal and external hemorrhoids. Make this a regular part of your remedies if you suffer from piles regularly. There are two ways to prepare the aloe vera remedy depending on the occurrence of the hemorrhoids. Follow the directions below as each option is outlined clearly.
Treatment of Internal Hemorrhoids
- Take the fresh aloe vera leaves and cut them into sizable strips. Ensure that you first remove the thorn-like protrusions to avoid potentially injuring yourself.
- Transfer the slices to the ice cube tray with the cubes in to allow for quick freezing of the strips you just cut.
- When frozen, take the cold strip and apply it to the affected region to numb the pain and calm the itching sensation.
- Use this remedy regularly to effectively treat the piles.
Treatment of External Hemorrhoids
- Cut the aloe vera leaf using a sharp knife. A sharp knife is preferred because it does not severe the tissue, and therefore makes it easy to collect the gel. Ensure that you make an angular cut so that you collect as much gel as possible for the application process.
- Collect about 1/4 cup of the aloe vera gel for each application.
- Dip the cotton wool in the gel and use it to spread the gel over the affected area.
- Do this as gently as you can to prevent the exertion of undue pressure.
- Use this remedy at least thrice daily to get relief from the piles.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Apple Cider Vinegar and cotton wool (for external use). 1 tablespoon of ACV and 1 glass of warm water (for internal use).
Just like aloe vera, Apple cider vinegar (hereby abbreviated ACV) has grown in popularity thanks to its diverse healing properties. When used for the treatment of hemorrhoids, ACV works by constricting the inflamed blood vessels in the rectal region. This, in turn, shrinks the swelling and provides great relief from the pain and discomfort of passing stool. As with most of the remedies above, regular use is key for quick healing. You may use ACV to treat both internal and external hemorrhoids as indicated below.
NOTE: When shopping for ACV, look out for organic, unfiltered ACV as it is most effective and has the least additives.
Treatment of Internal Hemorrhoids using ACV
- Add a tablespoon of the ACV to a glass containing warm water.
- Stir to mix well.
- Drink this solution at least thrice daily.
Treatment of External Hemorrhoids using ACV
- Soak some cotton wool in a bowl containing the ACV.
- Apply the wet cotton wool to the affected area. At the onset, you may feel a tingling sensation, but this should fizzle out to provide you relief from the piles after a few seconds.
- Apply this remedy thrice daily until the swelling eases.
7. Stay Hydrated:
Time Required: Typically throughout the day
What You Need: Adequate drinking water. Optional additions include mint, cucumber or lemon wedges.
Whether you are afflicted by internal or external hemorrhoids, it is important that you stay hydrated. This works as one of the most effective remedies for the simple reason that adequate drinking water softens and bulks stool up so that it is easy to pass and less strenuous.
Water also has the advantage of cleansing the body, effectively eliminating toxins which tend to accumulate as is the case when hemorrhoids are caused by constipation. If you are not accustomed to the ‘plain’ taste of water, you may consider adding any of the following: cucumber, fresh lemon wedges or mint as these add a refreshing taste to the water, and make it easier to adopt as a habit.
- Simply sip your water at regular intervals during the day. It helps to keep a bottle of water near you so that you are constantly reminded of the need to take water.
8. Do Squat, Avoid Sitting
Time Required: The duration it takes for bowel.
What You Need: A squatting potty (also known as a bathroom toilet stool) or modify a low stool.
This is, without a doubt, one of the most ignored remedies for those dealing with hemorrhoids, and for good reason. Modern toilets, while attempting to promote comfort, are extremely unnatural as the sitting position makes it harder to pass stool. The human body is naturally designed to squat to make defecation easier.
Sitting only tightens the rectum by kinking it, which in turn strains the swollen blood vessels and adds pressure to the system. The use of the squatting potty mimics the body’s natural squatting position, thus providing relief from straining and hemorrhoids. If you do not have access the the squatting potty available commercially, you can always modify one using a low stool provided it is strong enough to sustain your weight.
- Before every bowel movement, make sure you set the stool in position to attain the squatting position. This allows your body to stay elevated just high enough to straighten the rectum and allow ease of stool passage.
8. Witch Hazel:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Witch hazel (preferably un-distilled) and cotton wool
Witch hazel has astringent properties which help relieve the discomfort of hemorrhoids. The herb works by constricting the blood vessels, in effect reducing the pain and providing you relief from itching. You will need cotton wool for proper application of witch hazel.
- Place the un-distilled witch hazel in a shallow bowl.
- Soak the cotton ball in the herb and use it to apply to the piles.
- Use this remedy thrice daily.
In addition to the aforementioned remedies, it helps to lose weight as excessive weight slows down the body’s systems and causes sluggish activity in the digestive tract. You should also increase your fiber intake to soften stool and ease its passage. Excellent sources of fiber include fruits, nuts and green vegetables. Lastly, avoid holding in stool whenever the urge to defecate sets in as this causes the stool to harden and compounds the pain of hemorrhoids.