The very idea of having hemorrhoids makes us uncomfortable. Imagine actually suffering from it! According to a few reports, approximately 75% of the people in the US and Europe experience swollen veins around the anus or in the lower rectum at some point or the other in their lifetime.1 Also known as “piles,” the condition includes the distention and inflammation of the external or just the internal veins of the anus, which differentiates external hemorrhoids from internal hemorrhoids.
What Are The Symptoms?
Rectal bleeding; itching; irritation from straining, excessive rubbing, or cleaning; severe pain; bright red streaks on toilet paper; blood on stool, underwear, or toilet bowl; rare blood clot (thrombosed hemorrhoids); hard, and painful grape-like lump on the anus are the symptoms of piles.
While piles is usually treatable at home and not menacing to health, it can be severe with infection or heavy bleeding. In such cases, urgent surgery or intervention is required.
What Are The Causes?
Piles is not limited to just one cause; there might be different triggers for this condition. Prolonged sitting, straining at stool, and constipation; consumption of strong spices like red pepper and mustard; drinks like coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and alcohol; stress; pressure of the fetus in the abdomen and hormonal changes in pregnancy; obesity; chronic diarrhea; and anal sex are some of the causes.
What Are The Natural Remedies?
Going all natural is the best way to treat piles. Let’s look at the top 7 remedies to try at home.
1. Use An Astringent
A good example is witch hazel. It is a great natural antioxidant that helps soothe the enlarged veins in piles, stops itching, and makes hemorrhoids less sore. Apply topically in the form of a compress, a distilled liquid, or an ointment.
2. Take French Maritime Pine Bark Extract
Pycnogenol is quite effective, but it may be too soon to recommend because of lack of research. However, there are studies that show improvement in people who took the extract, even in women with piles post their second pregnancy.2 3
3. Apply Almond Or Olive Oil
Such oils possess ample anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to reduce inflammation, shrink the size of the swollen anal blood vessels, increase the elasticity of the blood vessels, moisturize the area, and relieve the burning sensation.
4. Discontinue Taking Medicinal Laxatives
Try using herbal supplements with laxative properties instead or change your diet if you want to stimulate your bowels. Laxatives can potentially cause chronic constipation and weaken the bowels.
5. Apply Wet Black Tea Bags
Apply these tea bags dipped in hot water (and slightly cooled thereafter) to the swollen area for 10 minutes 2–3 times a day. You can also use cold, used tea bags. Tannic acid in tea is a type of natural astringent.
6. Use Sitz Baths
These baths are taken for healing around the anus and for better blood circulation in the area. Only a few inches of water can be used to soak the anus; however, full baths accomplish the same results.
7. Use Baby Wipes
Avoid using regular or hard toilet papers because the affected area could have excessive dryness or could be blistering. Go for soft, gentle cleaning methods. Do not use perfumed or colored wipes, as they can aggravate the irritation.
What Are The Dietary Changes?
Apart from using natural treatments such as a warm compress or ice pack to soothe the pain, you should also consider making important dietary changes by adding these 7 foods.
- Figs to increase fiber content
- Blueberries to repair damaged proteins
- Spinach to cleanse and regenerate the intestinal tract
- Beets for healthy bowel movement
- Okra to maintain a healthy gut
- Barley to increase the bulk and soften the stool
- Papaya to aid digestion and prevent constipation
|↑1||Jacobs, Danny. “Hemorrhoids.” New England Journal of Medicine 371, no. 10 (2014): 944-951.|
|↑2||Belcaro, G., G. Gizzi, L. Pellegrini, M. Dugall, R. Luzzi, M. Corsi, E. Ippolito et al. “Pycnogenol® in postpartum symptomatic hemorrhoids.” Minerva ginecologica 66, no. 1 (2014): 77-84.|
|↑3||Belcaro, Gianni, Maria Rosaria Cesarone, Bruno Errichi, Andrea Di Renzo, Maria Giovanna Grossi, Andrea Ricci, Mark Dugall, Umberto Cornelli, Marisa Cacchio, and Peter Rohdewald. “Pycnogenol® treatment of acute hemorrhoidal episodes.” phytotherapy Research 24, no. 3 (2010): 438-444.|