11 Home Remedies And Tips To Fight Hemorrhoids (Piles) Naturally

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Home Remedies To Treat Piles

If you have hemorrhoids, have a sitz bath, avoid pressure on the area, and get enough rest. Increasing fiber intake, having plenty of water, and exercising can help too. Use glycerin and Epsom salt, an ice pack, petroleum jelly, witch hazel, aloe vera, goldenrod, or yarrow to ease irritation and inflammation. Homeopathic remedies like horse chestnut or Canada horsebalm can also be beneficial.

It’s not easy to live with a throbbing bump in your bottom that makes sitting, standing, and even pooping an agony. Hemorrhoids or piles are generally caused by excess pressure on the veins in the rectal and pelvic area and can put a damper on your everyday life. These inflamed swollen veins occur either inside the anus (internal hemorrhoid) or outside near the anal opening (external hemorrhoid). Straining while having a bowel movement can lead to these swollen and stretched veins. Conditions like diarrhea and constipation, pregnancy, and obesity can also mean increased pressure on this area and lead to hemorrhoids. Some estimates also suggest that almost 50% of people have them by age of 50.1

Itching, redness, soreness, and swelling around your anus are common when you have piles. Other symptoms include bleeding or a mucous discharge after passing stool.

Hemorrhoids may be a fairly common problem, but that doesn’t take away from the discomfort they cause. Over-the-counter ointments are often suggested for the pain and itching. But in case you have severe internal hemorrhoids, your doctor may scar tissue around them or tie them off with rubber bands. This decreases blood flow to the hemorrhoids and can shrink them. In some instances, surgery may also be recommended to remove them. But, fortunately, in most cases, home treatments can help you deal with this condition.2 Here’s what you should try:

1. Soak In A Warm Sitz Bath

Sitting in a warm bath that covers your hips and buttocks can help when you have hemorrhoids. This kind of bath is known as a hip or “sitz” bath (from the German word “sitzen,” meaning “to sit”). Soak in some warm water 2 to 3 times in a day. You can use special tubs meant for this which fit over your toilet seat. Also, a 20-minute sitz bath is recommended right after you have a bowel movement. Remember not to wipe hard afterward. Instead, gently pat the area dry to avoid irritating your hemorrhoids.3

2. Try Glycerin And Epsom Salts

These two commonly available ingredients can help you deal with painful hemorrhoids, fighting the inflammation and burning sensation. Mix equal quantities of glycerin and Epsom salts and apply it to the affected area with a gauze pad. Leave it on for about 15 to 20 minutes to ease the pain. Repeat this process every 4–6 hours if needed. You can also add this mixture to the sitz bath.4

3. Use An Ice Pack

Placing an ice pack against the affected area for a few minutes can help reduce swelling and pain.5

4. Try Petroleum Jelly

Plain old petroleum jelly can also help with hemorrhoids by forming a protective barrier. Apply it over the anal area to stop further damage and reduce itching.6

5. Wear Cotton Underwear

Cotton underwear can prevent moisture from building up and irritating your hemorrhoids. You should also wear loose clothing that allows easy movement to ease pressure on your anal area.7

6. Avoid Putting Unnecessary Pressure On The Anal Area

If you have hemorrhoids, it’s a good idea to avoid putting pressure on the affected area. For instance, you can try sitting on a cushion or an inflatable ring if you need to be seated for a while.8 It’s also best to avoid the strain caused by lifting heavy objects. And be careful not to hold your breath when you lift things.9

7. Rest

Bed rest for a day or so can help take off pressure from irritated and inflamed veins. Sleeping on your stomach with a pillow placed beneath your hips to elevate them can reduce swelling. If you’re pregnant, sleeping on your side may be a better and more comfortable position, though.10

8. Spruce Up Your Bowel Habits

Certain bowel habits can help if you have hemorrhoids:

Don’t Wait

Go the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge. Putting off a bowel movement can aggravate constipation and worsen your hemorrhoids.

Step Up

Try sitting with your feet elevated by a step stool when you’re on the toilet. This change in position can make it easier for you to pass stool.11

Limit Time On The Toilet

Sitting on the toilet for a long time can cause blood to pool and enlarge vessels. So, get up as soon as you finish. If you’re in the habit of reading on the toilet, it’s time to stop!12

9. Fight Constipation With Fiber, Water, Probiotics, And Exercise

Unnecessary straining while having a bowel movement can aggravate your hemorrhoids. The right diet and exercise can help keep constipation at bay. ‘

Tank Up On Fiber

Fiber pulls water into your stools, softens them, and makes them easier to pass. This will lessen pressure on hemorrhoids and lower your chances of swelling, inflammation, and bleeding. Include high-fiber foods like prunes, apples, carrots, peas, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, legumes, and oatmeal in your diet. Aim to get in about 25 to 30 grams of fiber in a day. You can also try a fiber supplement like psyllium along with water to up your intake.

Do keep in mind that fiber can cause gas, so increase your intake gradually. Also, make sure you increase your fluid intake along with fiber.13

Try Probiotics

Probiotics or “good” bacteria like Bifidus and Lactobacillus can soften stools as well as increase the frequency of your bowel movements. A cup of yogurt with active cultures can be a great addition to your diet. Do speak to your doctor before having probiotics if your immune system is compromised, though.14

Drink Plenty Of Water

Drinking water can soften stools and reduce constipation and straining during a bowel movement. Get in about 6 to 8 glasses of water in a day.15

Exercise

Exercising regularly can help prevent constipation. It’s recommended that you get in moderately intense physical activity for at least 2.5 hours in a week. But you don’t need to carve out huge blocks of time for this – even exercising in blocks of 10 minutes can be beneficial.16

10. Try Herbal Remedies: Witch Hazel, Aloe, Goldenrod, And Yarrow

Many herbal remedies have been traditionally used to treat hemorrhoids. And though scientific studies specific to the use of these herbs may be limited, their widespread use and common wisdom speak of their efficacy. However, do a patch test to make sure you’re not allergic before using a topical herbal remedy.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel can help reduce itching, pain, and bleeding. The oils and tannins present in the herb work against inflammation and bleeding.17

How to use: Use a warm wet compress with witch hazel on your hemorrhoids twice a day. You can also use a topical ointment containing witch hazel.18

Aloe Vera

Polysaccharides like acemannan present in aloe vera give it anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating properties. This can help soothe hemorrhoids.19

How to use: Break open an aloe vera leaf and scoop out the gel inside. Apply this topically to ease discomfort from hemorrhoids and help them heal. 20 Aloe vera juice can act as a mild laxative if constipation is bothering you.21

Goldenrod

Goldenrod is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and has been used to treat hemorrhoids for ages.

How to use: Steep 1/4th of a cup of dried goldenrod in 2 cups of boiling water for 15 minutes and strain. Add this solution to a sitz bath for relief.22

Yarrow

Yarrow, another herb with anti-inflammatory properties, is a traditional European remedy for treating hemorrhoids.

How to use: Use it topically by adding it to a sitz bath.23

11. Check Out Homeopathic Remedies: Horse Chestnut, Aloe, Or Richweed

Homeopathy also has several remedies that can be useful in dealing with hemorrhoids. For instance, your homeopathic doctor may prescribe:

  • Aesculus (horse chestnut) if your hemorrhoids give you a burning sensation and you feel like there’s a lump in your anus
  • Aloe (aloe vera) if you have external hemorrhoids that are large
  • Collinsonia (Richweed) if you have itchy hemorrhoids and constipation
  • Hamamelis (witch hazel) for bleeding hemorrhoids

Do keep in mind that a homeopath takes an individual’s constitution into account before determining the appropriate treatment. So it’s important to see an experienced practitioner and ensure you get the right remedies.24

See A Doctor If Symptoms Are Severe

Do check in with your doctor if your symptoms are severe or if they persist even after trying over-the-counter medications and home treatments. It’s also a good idea to get any rectal bleeding checked out so potentially serious causes can be ruled out.25

References   [ + ]

1.Hemorrhoids. National Institutes of Health.
2.Hemorrhoids. University of Michigan.
3.Hemorrhoids and what to do about them. Harvard Health Publications.
4.Roizen, Michael F., and Mehmet Oz. You: Having a Baby: the Owner’s Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy. Simon and Schuster, 2009.
5.Hemorrhoids and what to do about them. Harvard Health Publications.
6.Hemorrhoids. University of Michigan.
7.Hemorrhoids. NorthShore University HealthSystem.
8, 24.Hemorrhoids. University of Maryland.
9, 10.Hemorrhoids. University of Michigan.
11.6 self-help tips for hemorrhoid flare-ups. Harvard Health Publications.
12.Metzl, Jordan. The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies (Enhanced Edition): 1,001 Doctor-Approved Health Fixes and Injury-Prevention Secrets for a Leaner, Fitter, More Athletic Body!. Rodale, 2012.
13.What to do about haemorrhoids. Harvard Health Publications.
14.Probiotics may ease constipation. Harvard Health Publication.
15.Hemorrhoids. University of Maryland.
16.Hemorrhoids. University of Michigan.
17.Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for herbal healing. Penguin, 2002.
18.Witch Hazel. University of Michigan.
19.Aloe. University of Michigan.
20.Singh, Dueep, John Davidson. Stay Naturally Healthy with Aloe Vera. Mendon Cottage Books, 2017.
21.Wolfe, F.A., 1999. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Herbal Remedies. Penguin.
22.Church, Bill. Medicinal Plants, Trees, & Shrubs of Appalachia-A Field Guide. Lulu Press, 2006.
23.Catty, Suzanne. Hydrosols: the next aromatherapy. Inner Traditions/Bear & Co, 2001.
25.Haemorrhoids (piles). National Health Service.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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