Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids


Hemorrhoids are swollen and stretched-out veins that line the anal canal and lower rectum. Internal hemorrhoids may either bulge into the anal canal or protrude out through the anus, in which case they are called "prolapsed." External hemorrhoids occur under the surface of the skin at the anal opening. Regardless of type, hemorrhoids cause cruel distress: They hurt, burn, itch, irritate the anal area, and, very often, bleed.

About one-half to three-fourths of all Americans will develop hemorrhoids at some time in their lives. There are a number of factors that contribute to them, some of which can be avoided.

  • Gravity. Humans stand upright, which causes a downward pressure on all veins in the body, including those in the anal canal and rectum.
  • Family history. If one parent has hemorrhoids, it is more likely that his or her child will develop them in adult life; if both parents have hemorrhoids, it is a near certainty.
  • Age. While hemorrhoids usually begin to develop when an individual is 20 years old or even earlier, symptoms usually do not appear until the 30s and beyond.
  • Constipation. Difficulty in passing fecal matter creates pressure and possible injury to veins in the anal canal and rectum.
  • Low-fiber diet. Highly refined foods (white flour products, sugar, foods high in fat and protein and low in complex carbohydrate) result in a fiber-deficient diet, with resulting constipation and hemorrhoids.
  • Obesity. Added pounds put more pressure on veins. What's more, overweight individuals may be more likely to favor refined foods and a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Laxatives. Improper use of these products is a major cause of constipation and therefore likely plays a leading role in the development of hemorrhoids.
  • Pregnancy. As the fetus grows, it puts additional pressure on the rectal area. Pregnancy-related hemorrhoids usually retract after the baby is born, unless they were present beforehand.
  • Sexual practices. Anal intercourse also puts pressure on veins in the anal canal.
  • Prolonged sitting. Without some form of regular exercise, the heart muscle is less efficient at returning blood from the veins to the heart.
  • Prolonged standing. The pull of gravity continues unabated on the body's veins in individuals who are on their feet all day.

To learn about more home remedies for related ailments, visit these links:

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.

Home Remedy Treatments for Hemorrhoids

© 2007 Publications International, Ltd.
© 2007 Publications International, Ltd.
Apples are a good source of fiber to add to the diet to ease hemorrhoids

Here are the most effective home remedies you can take to soothe your achy bottom and keep hemorrhoids from flaring.

Rough up your diet. Dietary fiber -- the fiber found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dried beans -- passes through the human digestive tract untouched by digestive enzymes. As it travels, it absorbs many times its weight in water; by the time it reaches the colon in combination with digestive waste, it produces a stool that is bulky, heavy, and soft -- all factors that make it easier to eliminate without straining. Straining, remember, is a major cause of hemorrhoids. In about half of hemorrhoid cases, consuming more dietary fiber is the only treatment necessary.

Drink up. Be sure to drink plenty of water to keep the digestive process moving right along. A minimum of eight large glasses of water or other noncaffeinated fluid a day is recommended. Fruits and vegetables, which are important sources of dietary fiber, are naturally packed with water and can also help keep you hydrated.

Avoid sweat and strain. Don't try to move your bowels unless you feel the urge to do so. And don't spend any more time on the toilet than it takes to defecate without straining. Once your bowels have moved, don't strain to produce more.

Heed the call of nature. On the other hand, don't wait too long before responding to the urge to eliminate. The longer the stool stays in the lower portion of the digestive tract, the more chance there is for moisture to be lost, making the stool hard and dry.

Try a different position. It has been suggested that squatting is a more natural position than sitting for moving one's bowels; unfortunately, Western toilets are not designed to make this possible for most people. Some people find that propping their feet up on a small footstool and pulling their knees in the direction of their chest helps.

Soften it. If eating more fiber-packed food and increasing water intake aren't enough to solve a severe constipation problem, you might want to talk to your doctor about taking a laxative known as a stool softener (such as Colace or Correctol) or one that contains a natural bulking agent (such as Metamucil and Effer-Syllium). These are only short-term solutions, however--the best way to add fiber is through food. Do not -- repeat, do not -- use laxatives that act on the muscles of the colon and rectum unless specifically directed to by your doctor; prolonged use of such products, which typically contain bisacodyl, senna, cascara sagrada, or castor oil as their active ingredient, can cause permanent malfunction of the bowel in addition to severe irritation of the anal area. Avoid mineral oil, as well, since it can interfere with the absorption of some essential nutrients, such as vitamin A.

Take a walk. Regular exercise helps your digestive system work more efficiently. Strenuous exercise isn't necessary, however; a lengthy walk at a brisk pace will do quite nicely.

Keep it clean. Keep your rectal area clean at all times. Residual fecal matter can irritate the skin, but so can vigorous rubbing with dry toilet paper. Use plain water to rinse the area, then pat it dry and dust with cornstarch powder. More convenient, but also more expensive, are premoistened wipes designed for anal care. These wipes cause irritation in some people. If you want to try them, they are available without a prescription at pharmacies and drugstores.

Rinse well. Soap residue can also irritate the anal area.

Skip the soap. If you find that, even with thorough rinsing, soap still irritates the anal area, look for a special perianal cleansing lotion in your drugstore. Follow the package directions.

Soften your seat. If your job demands that you sit all day, try sitting on a doughnut shaped cushion -- an inexpensive device that takes the pressure off the sensitive area. And be sure to take short walking breaks several times a day.

Sitz around. Take a sitz bath for 30 minutes, three or four times a day: Sit in six inches of warm water on your doughnut cushion or on a towel twisted into a circle big enough to support your bottom.

Take the heat. Even if you can't manage a full-scale sitz bath, a washcloth moistened with warm water can soothe the painful area.

Slim down. If you are overweight, you'll be doing your bottom a favor by getting your weight closer to the desirable range. Of course, you'll be doing the rest of your body good, too.

Hemorrhoid-Fighting Fiber

One of the most important moves toward healing hemorrhoids is a change in diet. However, it's best to add fiber to your diet gradually. Too rapid an increase can cause gas, abdominal cramps, or diarrhea. As it is, you can expect some increase in intestinal gas at first, but this will subside in a week or two as your system and the bacteria that inhabit your colon adjust to your new diet. 

Here are some foods that can increase the fiber content of your diet when eaten regularly:

Grains

  • Wheat, whole
  • Rye, whole
  • Rice, brown
  • Corn, milled
  • Oatmeal, unprocessed
  • Oats, rolled
  • Bran, unprocessed miller's
  • Legumes
  • Lima beans
  • Soy beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Chick peas

Vegetables

  • Carrots
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage
  • Corn
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce

Fruits

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Figs
  • Prunes
  • Apricots
  • Raisins

To learn about more home remedies for related ailments, visit these links:

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.

Natural Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids

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

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.

To learn about more home remedies for related ailments, visit these links:

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.