Hemorrhoids (also known as piles) are irritated, swollen veins that can develop in the lower rectum and in and around the anus. While they’re very common and rarely dangerous, they can be itchy and painful — particularly during bowel movements. Fortunately, you can treat hemorrhoids effectively with natural remedies such as supplements, diet, and lifestyle changes. Here’s how.
Everyday Foods That Can Heal Hemorrhoids
- Garlic – Since ancient times, raw garlic has been known for its anti-viral and anti-bacterial uses. Incorporate garlic into a warm water compress, or use it as a suppository for maximum bioavailability.
- Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is a versatile ingredient with a variety of different uses in our daily lives (like hair conditioner or cooking oil). A little known fact is that coconut oil has healing properties as well. You can use coconut oil for hemorrhoids in a variety of ways such as taking it as a supplement, using it as a suppository, or in your sitz bath (which you’ll learn about below).
Eat More Fiber
One of the main factors contributing to hemorrhoids is straining during bowel movements. Increasing your fiber intake can lead to softer stools. It makes for easier bowel movements with less straining, which allows your hemorrhoids to heal.
Aim to consume at least 25-30 grams of daily fiber. About one-third of that should be soluble fiber (the stuff in foods like oatmeal that dissolves) and two-thirds insoluble fiber (as in fruit skins and leafy greens). You can also add psyllium husks to your diet as a fiber supplement. Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day, so your body can keep up with your fiber intake.
However, if you’re currently eating a low fiber diet, don’t switch to a high fiber diet too quickly, or you could upset your stomach. Instead, add veggies, fruits, legumes and other sources of fiber gradually over a few days.
Natural Remedies: Exercise keeps your digestive tract more regular, which can help heal hemorrhoids. Perform 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as a brisk walk, every day.
Too much sitting can also exacerbate hemorrhoids. If you spend all day at the desk, try standing up and moving around every half an hour or so to relieve the discomfort of your hemorrhoids.
Take a Sitz Bath
A Sitz Bath is a traditional treatment for pain and itching of the genitals, pelvis, and anus, and is a very gentle way to treat hemorrhoids.
Fill a clean bathtub with at least 4 inches of warm water (you can use more water if you want to, for a more enjoyable soak). Add in Epsom salts — half a cup for a sitz bath, or two cups if you’re filling the tub.
Now, Sit with your knees high — e.g. by placing your feet on the rim of the tub or dangling your legs over the side, and soak for 15-20 minutes. End the bath by patting yourself dry with a towel.
If you have the time, take three to four sitz baths a day until symptoms subside.
Topical Hemorrhoid Treatments
Witch hazel and aloe vera gel are traditional treatments used to alleviate hemorrhoids. Wash and dry the affected area, then gently rub the treatment onto the hemorrhoids twice a day.
Keep in mind that while aloe and witch hazel are both safe, skincare products containing those ingredients may have other ingredients that are not designed for hemorrhoids, and could cause further irritation.
Make sure that skincare products are designed to treat hemorrhoids before application.
Use CBD to Reduce Pain and Inflammation
CBD is an effective ingredient for alleviating pain and inflammation and can help relieve hemorrhoids. There are two types of CBD hemorrhoid treatment: internal and external. Taking CBD internally (e.g. by eating it or inhaling vaporized CBD) helps your body fight inflammation and can reduce pain, as well as the anxiety and stress that can come with hemorrhoids. You may also benefit from gently applying a CBD salve directly to the affected area. This can reduce the swelling and help your piles heal.
Note: For the most effective natural treatment for hemorrhoids, it is often best to treat the affected area directly. Suppositories and topical treatment work best because they have a direct patch to the veins near your problem area. However, if your hemorrhoids are excessively bleeding and quite severe, please see a doctor.
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