Hemorrhoids, swollen and inflamed veins in the lower rectum and anus, are a very common problem in the United States. Causes include weak veins, obesity, pregnancy, sitting or standing for a long period of time, lifting heavy objects, straining during defecation and chronic diarrhea. Symptoms include pain and itching. Small amounts of bright red blood may also be noted on toilet tissue after having a bowel movement. So what is the best hemorrhoid home treatment? There are a few things you can do to relieve discomfort, promote healing and prevent them from coming back.
Best Home Treatments
Ice can help relieve pain and reduce swelling. Melt an ice cube into the shape of a bullet and insert it into the rectum like you would a suppository.
Aloe vera acts as an anesthetic and can help relieve pain and itching. Rub the gel over the affected area.
Soak a cotton ball in pure papaya juice and place it over the hemorrhoid. The enzymes in papaya can help relieve irritation and stop bleeding.
Sit in a basin of warm water (between 100-105° F) for 10 to 15 minutes. Do this one to two times a day.
You can use this home treatment in a couple of ways. Add 1/4 cup of witch hazel to the sitz bath or soak a cotton ball in witch hazel and dab the affected area.
Fill a tub about three inches deep with hot water, add 20 drops each of lavender and juniper essential oils and soak for 10 minutes. After the soak, gently dry the area and apply a small amount of the following recipe: 2 drops of lavender oil, 1 drop of geranium oil and 1 ounce of carrier oil (such as olive, jojoba or sweet almond). The leftover oil should be kept in a dark bottle and stored in a cool, dark place.
You can also add 1 cup of baking soda and 10 drops of chamomile oil to warm bath water and soak for 15 minutes.
The above remedies can provide quick relief and even help promote healing but the best hemorrhoid home treatment is diet. Flavonoids play a big role in treating and preventing hemorrhoids by strengthening the veins. Eat flavonoid-rich foods, such as citrus fruits, cherries, blackberries and blueberries. A diet high in fiber is also important. Hemorrhoids are almost unheard of in parts of the world where diets are high in fiber. People who consume a diet low in fiber, like many Americans, tend to strain more when having a bowel movement since their stools are harder and more difficult to pass. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes can help keep the stool soft and increase peristalsis (wavelike contractions in the digestive tract that moves food along). Drinking plenty of water will also help keep the stool soft.
Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (1998)
Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen, Bottom Line’s Healing Remedies (2006)
Uncommon Cures for Everyday Ailments (from the editors of Bottom Line/Health) 2006
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