Natural Hemorrhoid Remedies
This page looks at natural hemorrhoid remedies, using hemorrhoid herbs, essential oils, homeopathy, and nutritional supplements to treat
this often-painful problem.
Hemorrhoids are varicose veins of the anus. Anal veins drain blood away
from the area back to the heart. They dilate during defecation and shrink back to normal size afterward.
However, repeated excessive straining and pressure on the veins during defecation (a common result of constipation) can cause the veins to become inflammed and swollen,
resulting in pain and itching.
There are two types of hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids are those that are just inside the anus or lower rectum. These hemorrhoids are usually painless and you may not
even notice that you have them. External hemorrhoids are those that are outside the opening to the anus. These hemorrhoids can be quite painful due to the presence of
a large number of nerves in the anus. Sometimes, internal hemorrhoids can protrude outside the anus (called prolapsed hemorrhoids), usually after a bowel movement.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids produce both mucus and heavy bleeding and are very painful.
Hemorrhoids are very common - By age 50, about half of adults have had the painful experience of hemorrhoids.
Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
Symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
- Itching, irritation, pain, burning, or bleeding in the anal area
- Swelling around the anus
- Lumpy tissue protruding from the anus
- Bright red blood on toilet tissue, stool, or in the toilet bowl
- Pain during bowel movements
Causes of Hemorrhoids
People tend to get hemorrhoids as they get older because the tissues supporting the veins in the rectum and anus can weaken and stretch with aging. However, there are
other causes of hemorrhoids, such as:
- Straining during bowel movements
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Sitting for a long period of time (especially sitting on the toilet)
- A diet low in dietary fiber
- Some medical conditions (e.g. cirrhosis - end stage liver disease)
Natural Hemorrhoid Remedies
Since most cases of hemorrhoids are linked to constipation which in turn is caused by a lack of dietary fiber, the best treatment of hemorrhoids is to increase fiber and
fluid intake, and use natural hemorrhoid remedies to soothe the pain and irritation.
If conditions do not improve with home treatment, then seek medical help for more aggressive treatments.
If, however, you have rectal bleeding, be sure to consult with a doctor right away to rule out a more serious underlying condition.
Natural Hemorrhoid Remedies - Herbs
Herbs that are good natural hemorrhoid remedies include:
- Witch Hazel: Witch hazel is a cooling, soothing astringent and can help relieve hemorrhoidal pain and itching. You can apply witch hazel
gel or cream topically or add one ounce to a sitz bath daily.
- Butcher's broom: This herb contains two anti-inflammatory compounds, ruscogenin and neoruscogenin, that constrict and strengthen veins. Butcher's
broom has long been used to treat hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Take a standardized extract that contains 9 - 11% ruscogenin. Recommended dosage is 200 mg daily.
- Horse Chestnut: The bark of this tree contains the chemical aescin that strengthens blood vessel walls and reduces the risk of
further hemorrhoids. There are also other chemicals in this herb that have anti-inflammatory benefits. Be sure to use a standardized extract that contains 16 - 21%
aescin (do not use the raw herb). Recommended dosage is 100 mg daily.
- Bilberry: Bilberry helps circulation by stimulating new capillary formation, strengthening capillary walls and increasing the overall health of
the circulatory system. You can take 80 mg three times per day, standardized to contain 25% anthocyanoside. ** DO NOT take bilberry if you take a prescription diuretic.**
- Aloe Vera: Aloe juice is laxative and is soothing and healing to the entire digestive tract. India's Ayurvedic physicians suggest
drinking half a cup of aloe juice two to three times a day until hemorrhoid flare-ups have cleared. You can buy aloe juice at most health food stores.
Natural Hemorrhoid Remedies - Nutritional Supplements
Nutritional supplements can be used as a component of natural hemorrhoid remedies. Effective supplements include:
- Psyllium: Psyllium is a good fiber supplement. It works by absorbing water in the gut and adding bulk to stool. It has also been shown that
psyllium reduces the pain and the bleeding associated with hemorrhoids. You can use a commercial product such as Metamucil, which is made with psyllium seeds. Simply
follow the directions on the package. Be sure to drink plenty of water - at least eight glasses of water or juice a day.
- Bioflavonoids: Various flavonoids, such as rutin, diosmin, and hesperidin, can help stop bleeding, reduce pain, and lessen the duration of any
hemorrhoid flare-ups. You can get a bioflavonoid complex and take 1000 mg two to three times a day.
- Probiotics: Probiotics that contain "friendly" bacteria, such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, can help prevent
and treat hemorrhoids by improving digestion and constipation.
Natural Hemorrhoid Remedies - Homeopathy
Homeopathic remedies are effective natural hemorrhoid remedies as well. Choose a remedy that most closely matches your symptoms and follow the instructions of use
on the label.
- Aesculus hippocastanum: This remedy is for hemorrhoids that are sore and aching, with a swollen feeling. The pain may last for hours after
the bowels have moved, and it feels as if the rectum is being poked with sticks. The pain may also be felt in the back.
- Aloe: This remedy is for large and painful hemorrhoids that look like a bunch of grapes. Cold compresses bring relief. The person may be
prone to diarrhea and gas.
- Calcarea fluorica: This remedy is for hemorrhoids with bleeding and itching in the anal region. The person often has lower back pain, and may
have problems with constipation and flatulence.
- Hamamelis: This remedy is for bleeding hemorrhoids. The person may have a raw, sore feeling in the anus, and pulsation in the rectum.
The lower back often aches.
- Ignatia: This remedy is for hemorrhoids that are accompanied by spasms and stabbing pain in the rectum. The symptoms worsen from
- Nux vomica: This remedy is for itching and painful hemorrhoids that come on as a result of chronic constipation and straining
during bowel movements. The person is usually impatient, tense, and irritable, and has a tendency to overuse stimulants, strong foods, and alcohol or drugs.
- Pulsatilla: This remedy is for hemorrhoids that are itchy and uncomfortable, with sticking pains. They are likely to protrude,
with improvement after lying down. This is a very helpful remedy for hemorrhoids that appear during pregnancy or around the menstrual period.
- Sulphur: This remedy is for hemorrhoids that are large, itching, and burning. The anal area is red and inflammed. The person may feel
worse from warmth and bathing, and have flatulence with a foul odor.
Natural Hemorrhoid Remedies - Aromatherapy
Several essential oils can be used as natural hemorrhoid remedies. Effective oils include:
If you have hemorrhoids, try to add 2 drops each of cypress, geranium, and peppermint to 2 tablespoons of wheatgerm oil. Apply this mixture topically to the affected
area several times a day for 7 to 10 days.
Natural Hemorrhoid Remedies - Diet
The best way to prevent and relieve hemorrhoids is to include more fiber in your diet. Eat plenty of whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds.
Also drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.
Other helpful foods include:
Foods to avoid:
- Unsweetened yogurt
- Wheat germ
- Dark-colored cherries and berries
- Fats and oils
- Caffeine and alcohol
Natural Remedies for Varicose Veins
Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004).
Duke, J.A., The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook. (St. Martin's Paperbacks, 2002).
Worwood, V.A., The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, (New World Library, 1991).
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