Hemorrhoid is a common condition affecting millions of people around the world, although no one likes to talk about it. Not only does it cause discomfort but it can also affect your day to day activities. Hemorrhoids or piles, as they are often called are inflamed and swollen veins around the lower rectum and anus. Hemorrhoids can be caused due to various reasons, the most common and important ones being the increased pressure on the blood vessels during pregnancy and excessive straining during bowel movements. The main symptoms of piles include discomfort, itching and bleeding while moving your bowels. Hemorrhoids are of two types – internal hemorrhoids (formed inside the anus) and external hemorrhoids (formed beneath the skin around the anus). Although most people opt for OTC medication to cure hemorrhoids, there are several home remedies that are highly effective and provide relief in no time. This article highlights a few of these remedies that are inexpensive and can easily be tried at home.
- Eat foods high in fiber
The ideal way to prevent hemorrhoids is to promote normal bowel movements by keeping your stools soft. This requires the intake of dietary fiber, which bulks up the stool and makes it easier to pass through the intestines. Fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains contain plenty of fiber and so eating these foods increases the bulk of stool and softens it, thereby preventing the need to strain. If you are not able to get adequate fiber from your foods, you may think about adding a supplement that supplies fiber. Make sure to introduce fiber into your diet slowly in order to avoid gas and bloating.
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- Drink plenty of water
Another cheap and easy way to prevent hemorrhoids is to drink lots of water. Water not only hydrates your body but is also vital for various functions in the body. Drinking adequate amount of water helps reduce hemorrhoids by softening the stool and reducing strain on the blood vessels. A healthy diet rich in fiber along with the intake of adequate amount of water is the key to having healthy bowel movements. It is recommended that you drink at least six to eight glasses of water daily, in order to keep your digestive system functioning properly.
- Apply cold compress
Applying an ice pack or cold compress on the hemorrhoids is one of the easiest and fastest methods to get relief from the pain and discomfort it causes. When the compress is applied on the affected area, the coldness will numb the pain, reduce inflammation and shrink the hemorrhoids. All you have to do is wrap some ice in a piece of clean cloth and apply it directly on the hemorrhoids. Repeat this procedure several times a day to get relief for this condition quickly.
- Take a warm sitz bath
Another effective way to get instant relief from hemorrhoids is to take a warm sitz bath. In this method, you immerse the part of the body from waist down in warm water. This helps relax the swollen blood vessels and promotes increased blood flow to the affected area, thus speeding up the process of healing. Fill a bathtub with enough warm water and sit in it for about 15 to 20 minutes. Doing this regularly can help reduce hemorrhoids in an effective way.
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- A teaspoon of olive oil daily
Olive oil is an excellent remedy for curing the symptoms of hemorrhoids. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that helps relieve the pain and reduce discomfort. Olive oil is primarily used in the treatment of external hemorrhoids. It increases the elasticity of the blood vessels and prevents swelling and inflammation. Consuming a teaspoon of olive oil daily will be helpful in improving the functioning of the excretory system as well as in preventing inflammation.
- Use of Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular and effective remedies for hemorrhoids. It has astringent properties that provides relief from piles by shrinking the inflamed and swollen blood vessels. To get relief from external hemorrhoids, soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and gently press it against the affected area. This might cause a slight stinging sensation for some time but is sure to reduce the pain and irritation associated with hemorrhoids. For internal hemorrhoids, mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it at least two times a day.
- Application of Witch hazel extract
Witch hazel is an amazing shrub that has been in use for centuries as a medicinal plant. It has antiseptic and astringent properties that makes it effective in shrinking the hemorrhoids and in alleviating the pain and discomfort caused by them. According to studies, the tannin content (hamelotannin) in witch hazel is what makes it effective as a treatment for both external and internal hemorrhoids. The astringent property of this compound shrinks the piles and its anti-inflammatory property helps reduce the swelling of the blood vessels. To use witch hazel, take a cotton ball and soak it in undistilled witch hazel extract. Apply the cotton ball to the hemorrhoids. Repeat this two to three times a day. You may also use medicated wiping pads that contain witch hazel.
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- Drinking Aloe vera juice
Yet another natural and effective remedy for hemorrhoids is aloe vera. The gel obtained from this plant contain compounds that possess anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Studies indicate that aloe vera gel contains an enzyme known as bradykinase, which is effective in reducing pain and inflammation, when applied on the affected area. Drinking aloe vera juice also provides amazing benefits. The juice is rich in active ingredients like anthraquinones that promote secretion of fluids in the intestine as well as stimulate contraction of the intestinal walls. By softening the stools, aloe vera reduces the pressure on the blood vessels, thus lowering the chances of developing hemorrhoids. It is believed that drinking half a cup of aloe vera juice 2 to 3 times a day can help reduce hemorrhoids to a great extent.
- Consuming Prunes
The lack of fiber in the diet is one of the reasons that lead to constipation and later to the development of hemorrhoid. Fruits like prunes are rich in fiber and so eating them regularly can help soften the stools and prevent constipation. Further more, prunes have natural laxative effects that helps in the easy removal of stool from the intestine. You can either eat 2 or 3 prunes daily or drink prune juice on a regular basis. Prune supplements are also available in the stores nowadays.
- Using Lemon juice
Another effective remedy for hemorrhoids is lemon juice. It contains nutrients that strengthens the walls of the blood vessels and provides relief from piles. You can either apply lemon juice topically or drink it in order get its benefits. To treat external hemorrhoids, dip a cotton ball in freshly squeezed lemon juice and apply it on the affected area. Although you may feel a slight stinging sensation at first, this remedy soon relieves you of the pain and discomfort caused by hemorrhoids. Drinking a mixture of lemon juice, honey, ginger and mint on a regular basis is also an effective remedy for hemorrhoids.
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- Consuming high fiber whole grains
Whole grains are extremely nutritious and they provide nutrients such as protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals etc in high amounts to your body. Refined grains do not contain as many nutrients when compared to whole grains because processing eliminates most of the nutritional value out of the grains. The consumption of foods high in dietary fiber prevents constipation by ensuring that you have regular bowel movements, thus reducing the strain on the blood vessels.
- Moisturize with Almond oil
When it comes to treating hemorrhoids naturally, almond oil is considered to be very useful. It has emollient properties and when applied topically on the affected area gives relief from the problems associated with piles. Dip a cotton ball in almond oil and apply it on the hemorrhoids. Almond oil not only moisturizes the area but its anti-inflammatory properties helps reduce inflammation. The regular application of this oil on the hemorrhoids also reduces the itching and pain in the anal region.
- Apply warm tea bags
Tea, especially green tea can be very helpful in curing hemorrhoids. It contains tannic acid, which is a natural astringent that helps reduce the pain and swelling of the blood vessels associated with hemorrhoids. Wet a tea bag in hot water and allow it to cool slightly. Apply the warm tea bag directly on to the affected area. Leave it on for about 10 to 15 minutes and repeat this several times a day.
Hemorrhoid is a common ailment that causes pain and distress in many people. The home remedies explained in this article have been proven to be effective in providing relief from the condition. The main advantage of these remedies is that they are natural and devoid of any kind of side effects. It also helps you get rid of the hemorrhoid without causing a big dent in your pocket. These remedies combined with exercise and a healthy and well balanced diet helps not only in curing hemorrhoids but also in preventing them.Image Credits: Flickr - Vanessa Bazzano