Hemorrhoids are one of the most common medical issues faced by adults. Around 75 percent of adults will have to deal with hemorrhoids at one point in their lives. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in your anus or lower rectum. They can be internal or external and appear similar to varicose veins, which you might find in your legs. The exact cause of them is unclear and can vary between patients. It is possible for them to form from strain during bowel movements, but they are also often found in pregnant women due to the increased pressure in this area. Keep reading to learn about some natural home remedies for hemorrhoids.
Natural remedies to get rid of hemorrhoids
The good thing to note about hemorrhoids is that they are very treatable. They will often resolve themselves within a few weeks time, even if untreated. They can, however, cause discomfort or even pain for some patients. The following are ways natural remedies for hemorrhoids that you can do yourself at home.
Sitting in a warm water bath can help to reduce the swelling and irritation caused by hemorrhoids. Some research says it is best to sit in a warm bath for 20 minutes following every bowel movement.
Adding Epsom salts to your bath water can help increase the beneficial effects of the water and reduce the irritation of hemorrhoids even further.
A sitz bath is a small plastic tub that can fit over your toilet seat, so you don’t have to submerge your body by taking a full bath each time.
Many people find relief by applying witch hazel to external hemorrhoids. Witch hazel is a natural astringent, or substance that causes tissues to shrink. It is also known to be anti-inflammatory. To apply it to a hemorrhoid, place a few drops onto a cotton ball and gently rub it onto the area. It is important to use natural witch hazel and not a diluted version, or the alcohol dilutant can dry out and irritate the hemorrhoid even further.
Applying coconut oil to hemorrhoids can reduce the swelling and irritation while reducing the urge to scratch them, as it is a natural moisturizer.
Aloe Vera is known for having healing and anti-inflammatory properties for skin irritations. If applied to hemorrhoids, it can help to reduce the swelling, itching, and burning associated with them. Be sure to use pure aloe, however, as additional chemicals or compounds may cause the irritation to worsen.
Cold compresses or ice packs
Sitting on a cold compress or ice pack when hemorrhoids feel irritated can help reduce the swelling and numb irritation. Wrap the cold or ice pack in a towel and place it in the area with the hemorrhoid underneath you. Keep it there for up the 15 minutes and repeat hourly to maintain the relief it provides.
This natural remedy has been used for centuries to treat hemorrhoids and is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Steep the goldenrod for 15 minutes and then strain it out of the water. Add this water to a sitz bath for relief.
Yarrow also boasts anti-inflammatory properties and was traditionally used in European countries as a natural remedy for hemorrhoids. Yarrow can be placed directly in a sitz bath for relief from hemorrhoid symptoms.
This treatment is mostly used for external hemorrhoids. Almond oil has softening properties that soak into the deep tissues of the skin, easing inflammation, burning, and itching. Place a few drops on a cotton ball and apply it directly to the affected area. This can be done several times per day.
Olive oil is also used to treat external hemorrhoids due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities. It helps to increase the elasticity in blood vessels, which will reduce inflammation and swelling. Olive oil can be consumed to treat hemorrhoids. It can also be combined with the juice from prune leaves and applied topically for external relief.
Black tea bags
Black tea contains tannic acid, which acts as a natural astringent to shrink tissue and reduce the swelling and pain caused by hemorrhoids. Wet a tea bag in hot water, remove the tea bag, and wait until it has cooled to warm. Apply it for up to ten minutes to the affected area. This can be done two or three times each day.
There are also several lifestyle changes that can be implemented to help treat hemorrhoids. These include:
Maintain correct bathroom habits
Keeping proper bathroom habits is crucial when it comes to treating hemorrhoids. Incorrect bathroom usage can worsen hemorrhoids and even potentially cause additional hemorrhoids to form. Do not strain or push during a bowel movement. If a bowel movement has not occurred after two minutes on the toilet, get up and try again later. You may want to try employing a squatting motion rather than a standard sit when using the bathroom by placing a stool under your feet. This can help to clear the rectum easier. It is also important not to hold off on using the bathroom when your body indicates a bowel movement is happening.
If toilet paper becomes too irritating to use after a bowel movement, using alcohol-free wipes can be a relieving alternative. Be sure to use wet wipes that are specific to bathroom usage or for hemorrhoids in particular, as any additives may cause additional irritation to the hemorrhoids.
Wear loose, cotton clothing
By wearing pants and underwear that are looser and made out of cotton, patients can avoid exposing their hemorrhoids to excess sweat and irritation caused by tight, rough materials.
Sit on a cushion
Rather than sitting on hard surfaces that may irritate hemorrhoids further, sit on a small or donut cushion to make surfaces a little softer on this tender area and relieve pressure.
Remedies to avoid that may exacerbate hemorrhoid problems
Anyone suffering from hemorrhoids and seeking home remedies must be cautious to avoid remedies that could make their hemorrhoids worse.
Apple cider vinegar
Some claim that apple cider vinegar can help to dry out hemorrhoids and reduce irritation they cause, but doctors do not recommend this home remedy, as it can actually burn the skin in this area if applied incorrectly.
Tea tree oil
As tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, many would recommend its use for hemorrhoid treatment to reduce swelling and itching, but it is not yet clear if it is safe.
Incorrect bathroom accompaniments
Patients should avoid using any perfumed toilet papers or baby wipes, as these will intensify irritation. Also, be sure to avoid washing this area with soaps as hemorrhoids are extremely sensitive to perfumes of any kind.
Hemorrhoids are a medical issue that most of us will face during adulthood. There is no reason to suffer for long, however, as there are many natural home remedies for hemorrhoids and lifestyle adjustments that can be easily introduced to relieve symptoms. Be wary of using apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, or perfumed bathroom accouterments in treatment, though. All of these can greatly increase irritation in hemorrhoids and potentially cause even more damage to this area.