©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, which strengthens and tones blood vessles.

Natural Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids

Fortunately, most hemorrhoids respond well to home remedy treatments and changes in the diet, so these kitchen cures should help you keep this sore point under wraps.

Home Remedies from the Cupboard

Potato. A poultice made from grated potato works as an astringent and soothes pain. Take 2 washed potatoes, cut them into small chunks, and put them into a blender. Process until the potatoes are in liquid form. Add a few teaspoons water if they look dry. Spread the mashed 'taters into a thin gauze bandage or clean handkerchief, fold in half, and apply to the hemorrhoids for five to ten minutes.

Warning! Some folk remedies will have you placing raw potato pieces in places that don't see the light of day. Using potatoes or any other food as a suppository to help hemorrhoids should first be discussed with your physician.

Prunes. If you haven't eaten a prune since your mother tried to force one down your throat at age five, then it's time to try again. As mama knew, prunes have a laxative effect and help soften stools. Try to eat 1 to 3 a day, and look at it as pleasure, not punishment.

Vinegar. Applying a dab of apple cider or plain vinegar to hemorrhoids stops itching and burning. The vinegar has astringent properties that help shrink swollen blood vessels. After dry wiping, dip a cottonball in vinegar and apply.

Home Remedies from the Freezer

Ice. Now here's a remedy guaranteed to wake you up and soothe hemorrhoid pain. Sit on a cold compress. That's right, literally freeze your rear end. Break ice into small cubes (easier for the ice to shape itself around certain regions), and place it in a plastic, reclosable bag. Cover with a thick paper towel and sit on it! The cooling works twofold: First, it numbs the region, and second, it reduces blood flow to those distended veins.

Home Remedies from the Refrigerator

Oranges. Vitamin C plays a role in strengthening and toning blood vessels, so eat lots of vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables.

Home Remedies from the Sink

Water. Think of water as the plumber of the digestive tract, without the $85-an-hour fee. Water keeps the digestive process moving along without block-ups -- one of the main causes of hemorrhoids. Reaping the benefits requires a minimum of 8 large glasses of water each day. Drinking other fluids, such as juice, and eating plenty of water-loaded fruits and vegetables can help the flow of things.

Home Remedies from the Windowsill

Aloe vera. Versatile aloe vera comes to the rescue once again as a hemorrhoid healer. The very same anti-inflammatory constituents that reduce blistering and inflammation in burns also help reduce the irritation of hemorrhoids. Break off a piece of the aloe vera leaf and apply only the clear gel to the hemorrhoids.

These home remedies should help to keep hemorrhoids away and ease the discomfort of a hemorrhoid flare-up. However, don't hesitate to seek your doctor's advice if home remedies aren't enough to get the problem under control.

David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.