A selection of different tips for the treatment and prevention of hemorrhoids
6 Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Using apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular natural treatments for hemorrhoids. Simply soak a cotton ball or some toilet paper with ACV and apply it to the hemorrhoid area. Repeat this process until the inflammation disappears and symptoms resolve. You should see improvement instantly. Alternatively, add some ACV (half a cup) to a sitz bath.
- Rutin – A health-promoting compound found in numerous plants such as buckwheat, oranges, grapefruit, lemon, cranberries, and asparagus (to name a few), rutin is another home remedy often used for hemorrhoids. Buying it in supplement form may be the best option. One individual on Earthclinic says: “I have had a hemmroid for almost a year now. Just last week I started taking Rutin 500mg twice a day, in the morning and one before going to bed. … taking Rutin for only a week the inflammation has gone down and my hemmroid thankfully is almost gone, it’s less than a size of a pea today.”
- Coconut Oil – Apply coconut oil directly to hemorrhoids, rinse and repeat. In addition to symptoms subsiding, the hemorrhoids should disappear over the course of just a few days.
- Witch Hazel – An astringent and healing tree, witch hazel is one of the oldest known natural remedies for hemorrhoids. Just soak a pad or cotton ball with witch hazel and apply it to the area.
- Aloe Vera – As with the above treatments, simply apply aloe vera to the affected area to relieve symptoms.
- Squat, Don’t Sit – This is actually heavily important and very overlooked. Conventional toilets are highly unnatural, and may be one reason hemorrhoids are rarely seen in less developed countries, where where squatting is done when going to the bathroom. Sitting down to pass a bowel movement puts tremendous strain on the rectum while squatting straightens the rectum and relaxes the puborectalis muscle. This is tip should be done along with any home remedies for hemorrhoids you may use.
Causes and Necessary Prevention Tips – The Best “Treatment”
The most common causes of hemorrhoids are straining during bowel movements and obesity. If you’re straining during bowel movements, there is no doubt that you are suffering from constipation, and obesity only heightens your chance of experiencing these digestive issues. The best solution for hemorrhoids is – you guessed it – to not have them at all!
Follow these essential hemorrhoid prevention tips and you may not even have to delve into any hemorrhoid treatments.
- Exercise and Lose Weight – Being overweight or obese, along with being highly inactive, is the perfect path for a complete decline in health. If you aren’t a healthy weight and aren’t moving, your organs and internal system as a whole becomes sluggish and works at low levels. Start exercising and losing weight to fix the problem and keep your digestive tract working.
- Up Fiber Intake: Eat Plenty of Vegetables, Fruit – Seeing as hemorrhoids result from constipation and straining, it should be no surprise that upping fiber intake can help mend the issue. Fiber helps soften stools and is essential for colon health and digestive health as a whole. This nutrient helps to clean out the gastrointestinal system, preventing constipation and allowing the colon to work at greater levels of efficiency. Sources of fiber include: vegetables of all kinds, flax seeds, almonds, pecans, pistachios, prunes, pears, and beans. Include these foods in your diet while trying the other home remedies for hemorrhoids.
- Take Probiotics and Consume Probiotic-Rich Foods – Probiotics are essential for balancing the bacteria in your gut, which can prevent constipation and absolutely promotes overall health. Either take a high-quality probiotic supplement, or consume more probiotic-rich foods such as fermented foods like fermented cheese, yogurt, sauerkraut, Korean kimchi, and numerous fermented drinks like kombucha tea.
- Hydrate – Staying hydrated with water seems to be the number one recommendation for almost any health ailment. Water helps cleanse your internal system and hydrates your entire body. Along with fiber, drinking more water will help to soften stools and hopefully reduce the need for straining during a bowel movement.
Other Considerations for Hemorrhoid Treatment
- Soaking the area in warm water a few times a day for 10-15 minute periods can reduce inflammation and help relieve symptoms. You may also take a sitz bath and add a half cup of apple cider vinegar.
- Keep the area clean, bathing daily. Don’t use soap on the area as it will likely just cause irritation. Use moist toilet paper to dab the area after a bowel movement to lessen friction from wiping.
- Apply ice packs or cold compresses to relieve swelling.
As always, be sure to share any home remedies for hemorrhoids that work for you, as well as what hasn’t worked for you. It’s important to help natural treatments live on.
7 Best and Worst Home Remedies for Your Hemorrhoids
1. Sitz baths
Generally, experts recommend people with painful hemorrhoids sit in warm water for 15 minutes, several times a day — especially after a bowel movement.
Doctor’s advice: Yes, this is one of the best treatments. A sitz bath is generally available at a local pharmacy; this small bowl fits right over your toilet and offers a convenient way to soak and soothe the area.
2. Witch hazel
Witch hazel is reputed to reduce pain, itching and bleeding until hemorrhoids fade out. There isn’t much scientific support for its use but it does contain tannins and oils that may help bring down inflammation and slow bleeding. Supporters say it tightens the skin as a natural anti-inflammatory.
Doctor’s advice: It’s OK to use directly on the hemorrhoids.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Some people say that apple cider vinegar can bring instant relief to hemorrhoids, reducing itching and pain.
Doctor’s advice: Don’t use this remedy as it may burn the skin with overuse and exacerbate problems.
4. Psyllium husk
Psyllium husk is a supplement that helps increase your fiber intake, and softens stools to make them easier to pass. Be careful not to increase fiber too much, too quickly, as it may also cause gas or stomach cramping.
Doctor’s advice: Use this to soften stool and make bowel movements more regular. It won’t affect hemorrhoids at a local level, but it does regulate your bowels. Be sure to drink plenty of water if you take this supplement.
5. Aloe vera
The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera may help soothe inflammation of hemorrhoids. Although research isn’t available for its use for hemorrhoids specifically, it has shown some benefit for other inflammatory skin conditions.
Doctor’s advice: This is safe to try if it’s pure aloe (and not in a cream with other ingredients).
6. Tea tree oil
Some people say the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil may reduce swelling and itching caused by hemorrhoids. Some early research found that a gel made with tea tree oil decreased symptoms, but studies are lacking.
Doctor’s advice: Don’t try this remedy as it isn’t well studied.
7. Epsom salts and glycerin
This less-known home treatment can help painful hemorrhoids. Use these simple ingredients to make a compound that you apply directly to the inflamed area:
- Mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salts with 2 tablespoons of glycerin
- Apply the mixture to a gauze pad and place it on the painful area
- Leave this application on the area for 15-20 minutes
- Repeat every four to six hours until the pain eases
Doctor’s advice: Yes, I recommend this treatment.
Remember, to help treat and prevent hemorrhoids it’s important to eat enough fiber (25 grams a day for women, 38 grams a day for men) and to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. These dietary changes can make stool easier to pass and keep the problem from recurring.
8 Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids
1. Witch hazel
Witch hazel can reduce both itching and pain, two main symptoms of hemorrhoids. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory, so it could also reduce swelling. Witch hazel can be purchased in liquid form and applied directly to the hemorrhoids. It can also be found in products like anti-itch wipes and soaps.
2. Aloe vera
Aloe vera gel can be found in purchased products at drugstores. It can also be harvested directly from inside an aloe plant’s leaves. According to the Cleveland Clinic, aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that are known to be effective at treating inflammatory skin conditions. However, you should only use pure aloe vera gel on hemorrhoids. Some people are allergic to aloe vera, particularly those who are allergic to garlic or onions. Check for allergic reaction by rubbing a dime-sized amount onto your forearm. Wait 24 to 48 hours. If no reaction occurs, it should be safe to use.
3. Warm bath with Epsom salt
Warm baths can help soothe the irritation from hemorrhoids. You can use a sitz bath, which is a small plastic tub that fits over a toilet seat, or take a full-body bath in your tub. According Harvard Health, taking a warm bath for 20 minutes after every bowel movement will be most effective. Adding Epsom salts to the bath can provide further relief by reducing pain.
4. Over-the-counter ointments
Over-the-counter ointments and creams, like Preparation H, can be found in almost every drug store and can offer immediate relief. Some can even reduce swelling and help your hemorrhoid to heal faster. If you use a cream with hydrocortisone, though, don’t use it for more than a week at a time.
Using toilet paper after a bowel movement can aggravate existing hemorrhoids. Instead, using wipes can help keep you clean without causing further irritation. For an added boost, you can find wipes with soothing, anti-hemorrhoid ingredients like witch hazel or aloe vera. Make sure that the wipes you choose do not have alcohol, perfume, or other irritants in them. These substances could aggravate symptoms instead of relieving them.
6. Cold compresses
Apply ice packs or cold compresses to the anus to relieve swelling for 15 minutes at a time. For large, painful hemorrhoids, this can be an extremely effective treatment. Always wrap ice inside a cloth or paper towel, and never apply something frozen directly to the skin.
7. Stool softeners
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, stool softeners or fiber supplements like psyllium can help reduce constipation, make stool softer, and make it easier to have quick, painless bowel movements. Many of these supplements, psyllium included, come in forms like powders, capsules, and liquids that you take orally between once and three times a day.
8. Loose, cotton clothing
Swapping out tight clothes made with polyester with ultra-breathable cotton (especially cotton underwear) can help keep the anal area both clean and dry. This can potentially reduce symptoms. Avoid using perfumed detergents or fabric softeners to reduce irritation.
10 Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids (Piles)
The first home treatment that is highly recommended is ice. Ice will help constrict the blood vessels, reduce swelling and give you immediate pain relief.
- Apply an icepack or a partially melted piece of ice wrapped in a cloth directly on the affected area for about 10 minutes. Do this several times a day until the hemorrhoid goes away.
- You can even use a small pack of frozen vegetables such as peas or corn. Wrap the pack in a tea towel and then apply it on the hemorrhoid. Do this for 20 minutes at a time, three times a day.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is one of nature’s best ingredients for treating hemorrhoids. The anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties of aloe vera help reduce the irritation of hemorrhoids. Aloe vera can be used for both internal and external hemorrhoids.
- For treating external hemorrhoids, apply a little bit of aloe vera gel to your anus and slowly massage the area. This simple remedy will give relief from the pain and soothe the burning sensation.
- To treat internal hemorrhoids, cut aloe vera leaves in strips. Make sure to cut off the thorn-like parts of the plant. Place the slices in a container and freeze them. Apply the icy cold aloe vera strip to the painful hemorrhoid to relieve the pain, burning, and itching sensation.
3. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice contains various nutrients that can give you relief from hemorrhoids by strengthening the capillaries and blood vessel walls.
- Saturate a cotton ball with freshly squeezed lemon juice and apply it on the hemorrhoid. Initially there will be some mild tingling or a burning sensation, but relief from the pain will soon follow.
- Alternatively, squeeze half a lemon into a cup of hot milk and drink it. Do this every three hours for best results.
- Mix one-half teaspoon each of lemon juice, ginger juice, mint juice and honey together. Take this once a day.
4. Almond Oil
Almond oil, known for its emollient and deep tissue absorption properties, is used mainly for external hemorrhoid treatment. Dip a cotton ball in pure almond oil and apply it on the affected area. It moisturizes and eases inflammation, and will relieve the burning and itching sensation in and around the anus. Do this several times a day.
5. Olive Oil
Olive oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is used primarily to treat external hemorrhoids. It will help increase the elasticity of blood vessels, which in turn will help reduce inflammation and shrink the size of swollen blood vessels in the anal canal.
- Consume one teaspoon of olive oil daily. It will help reduce inflammation and the monounsaturated fats will improve the functionality of the excretory system.
- Crush the juice out of some plum leaves and add it to olive oil. Apply this mixture on your hemorrhoids. It will give you relief from the pain and swelling.
6. Whole Grains
Start eating whole grain products if you suffer from hemorrhoids. Whole grain products contain a good amount of fiber, which is highly effective in relieving hemorrhoid symptoms and bleeding.
This nutrient helps clean out the gastrointestinal system, preventing constipation and allowing the colon to work more efficiently. Fiber-rich foods can soften stool and increase its bulk, which helps reduce straining during bowel movements. Some of the best whole grain products are oats, barley, maize, brown rice, millet, quinoa and buckwheat.
7. Witch Hazel
The mild astringent and healing properties of witch hazel will help ease the discomforts associated with hemorrhoids. The astringent property can help shrink inflamed blood vessels, relieving pain, itching and swelling.
- Soak a cotton ball in undistilled witch hazel and apply it to the hemorrhoids. Do this at least three times daily.
- Alternatively, you can buy medicated pads that contain witch hazel. These moist wiping pads can be used in lieu of or in combination with toilet paper. This is a good way to protect the anus from irritation and microorganisms.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Due to the astringent properties of apple cider vinegar, it helps shrink swollen blood vessels and gives relief from swelling and irritation of both internal and external hemorrhoids. Be sure to use unfiltered and unpasteurized vinegar for faster results.
- In the case of external hemorrhoids, gently press a cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar against the inflamed area. Initially there will be a stinging sensation, but soon you will get relief from the itching and irritation. Do this several times a day until the swelling decreases.
- In the case of internal hemorrhoids, add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and drink it at least twice daily. You can add honey to make it taste better.
9. Black Tea Bags
Tannic acid present in tea is a kind of natural astringent that will help reduce swelling and pain associated with hemorrhoids.
- Wet a black tea bag in hot water. Remove it from the water and let it cool slightly. Apply the warm, wet tea bag to the swollen veins for about 10 minutes. Do this two or three times a day.
- Alternatively, you can apply cold, used tea bags to the hemorrhoids for five to 10 minutes.
When suffering from either internal or external hemorrhoids, increase your water intake. Try to drink eight to 10 glasses of water per day.
Adequate water intake helps cleanse your internal system and hydrates your entire body. It also facilitates bowel movements and keeps the stools soft, hopefully reducing the need for straining.
When you don’t drink enough water and other fluids, the process of flushing waste out of the body slows down and there can be a backlog in the bowel. The end result is hard stools, which will make the problem of hemorrhoids worse.
If you have hemorrhoids that are persistent, lead to severe bleeding or recur frequently, consult a doctor.