Herbal Help for Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids

There are many herbs used in home remedies for hemorrhoid relief. Now traditional herbal medical practices use herbs such as turmeric along with western medical solutions to help heal hemorrhoids. (vii.147)

If you've ever had a hemorrhoid, you know they can be a real pain in the butt. Also referred to as piles, hemorrhoids are basically internal or external swollen veins around the anal-rectal region. (vii.147-148)

Conventional treatments usually start with eating more dietary fiber to prevent constipation, along with topical medication such as hydrocortisone cream. However, in cases of severe pain and bleeding surgery may be necessary. Clinical studies suggest that turmeric can help prevent bacterial infections and help heal faster after surgery. (vii.149)

Hemorrhoid Symptoms

Internal hemorrhoids are usually painless. If they become swollen they can extend externally, a condition referred to as prolapsed hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids and prolapsed hemorrhoids can be itchy and painful. (vii.149)

Both internal and external hemorrhoids can cause rectal bleeding. Most of the time bleeding from internal hemorrhoids is painless, and is caused by strain from a bowel movement. (vii.149)

When external hemorrhoids bleed, it's most often due to a painful rupture of the vein. As with internal hemorrhoids, constipation can cause the rupture. However, physical exertion and even prolonged diarrhea can also make an external hemorrhoid to rupture and bleed. (vii.149)

What Causes Hemorrhoids?

The exact cause of hemorrhoids has been a matter of debate for well over a century. This is partly because what we commonly refer to as hemorrhoids are actually normal veins that are part of human anatomy even before birth. Hemorrhoids as a condition is when these veins become swollen—circumstances that can have multiple causes. (vii.149-150)

Historical View of Hemorrhoid Causes

This led doctors to all sorts of observations of coincidences that in all likelihood had or have nothing to do with the actual cause of hemorrhoids, including: (vii.150)

  • Race (Caucasian).
  • Higher income.
  • Cycle of the moon (in women).
  • Menopause.
  • As a substitute for menstruation.
  • Cold climate.
  • Hot climate.
  • Sudden change of climate.
  • Spring season.
  • Geography (e.g., Asia, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Greece, southern United States, south of France, Naples, Venice, and Frankfort).
  • Having a miserable personality.

Modern View of Risk Factors for Hemorrhoids

Whatever the cause, hemorrhoids are a common condition. Some of the factors associated with increased risk of developing hemorrhoids include: (vii.147, 149-150)

Conventional Treatment Options

Herbal Remedy to Stop Bleeding Hemorrhoids Fast

Ayurveda herbalists recommend the following homemade remedies to help heal hemorrhoids: (vii.142)

  • Make a paste of mustard oil, juice from an onion, and turmeric and apply topically.
  • Taking 2-3 tablespoons every 30 minutes typically can stop bleeding within an hour.

Want more herbal remedies for hemorrhoids? You can find them here.

When hemorrhoid symptoms become serious enough to consider surgery, most patients are worried about minimizing pain and post-operative infection risks. Conventional surgical options for hemorrhoids include: (vii.149, 151-152)

  • Hemorrhoidectomy: Surgically cut out hemorrhoids.
  • PPH: Procedure for prolapse and hemorrhoids; uses a stapler-like device to cut off blood supply to hemorrhoids, causing tissue to shrink.
  • Laser: Burns away hemorrhoids.
  • Rubber band ligation: Similar to PPH, also cuts off blood supply.
  • Sclerotherapy: Chemicals injected into hemorrhoid blood supply to shrink them.

As with any surgery, there are risks of bleeding, infection, pain, and organ or tissue damage. Less invasive procedures are generally safer. Some of these procedures, however, have high rates of recurrence (such as sclerotherapy). (vii.149, 151)

Herbal Help

Strong spices are considered a risk factor for developing or worsening the symptoms of hemorrhoids. Doctors advise those with hemorrhoids to avoid spicy foods, and patients also assume they should do so after hemorrhoid surgery. Conversely, recent clinical studies suggest spices such as turmeric could actually improve  hemorrhoid treatment outcomes. (vii.152-154)

Evidence of Turmeric's Benefit

Whether spicing up your diet or used in topical treatments, studies show turmeric can help heal hemorrhoids:

Table VII.24: Clinical Evidence that Turmeric Helps Heal Hemorrhoids
Take Away Point Study Effects of Turmeric

Adding anti-inflammatory spices such as turmeric to your diet could reduce pain after hemorrhoid treatment.

Hemorrhoid patients who participated in a 12 month study reported improved post-operative outcomes with a spicy diet compared to those who ate a bland diet. The 67 patients scheduled for PPH surgery were randomly assigned into 1 of 2 groups matched for severity of hemorrhoids, age, and other medical conditions. Those who ate foods containing spices such as turmeric took less pain medication and had statistically significant better treatment results. (vii.152)

Turmeric's antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties can help heal hemorrhoids when used topically.

Patients were assigned to have either a hemorrhoidectomy or kshara sutra ligation to get rid of their hemorrhoids. Kshara sutra is similar to rubber band ligation, but instead of rubber bands suture thread coated with turmeric powder is used. (vii.148)

In this study, those patients who had kshara sutra ligation were treated post-operatively with an Ayurvedic wound ointment that contains turmeric and other herbs. Those who had the hemorrhoidectomy were treated post-op with antibiotics and pain medication. The turmeric treatment outcomes were significantly better than those who had a hemorrhoidectomy. (vii.148, 155)

For example: (vii.148)

  • 100% of turmeric kshara sutra patients were cured of their hemorrhoids, whereas over 42% of those with hemorrhoidectomy treatment showed no improvement.
  • Healing time took a little over 3 days in the turmeric kshara sutra, compared to about 14 days in the hemorrhoidectomy and antibiotic treated group.

Turmeric also contains compounds that have laxative properties. (vii.48)

Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids

According to Ayurveda traditional medicine, the taste of an herb is a vital property that helps define its healing qualities. There are six taste characteristics in Ayurveda: (vii.125, 156)

  • Astringent
  • Bitter
  • Pungent
  • Salty
  • Sour
  • Sweet

Turmeric is considered a bitter taste. This characteristic makes it beneficial in remedies used to kill germs and reduce inflammation. (vii.125, 156)

In Asia, turmeric is a common ingredient in hemorrhoid creams. Ayurveda experts offer the following home remedies you can try for hemorrhoids: (vii.157)

  • Mix ½ teaspoon of dried turmeric with 1 teaspoon of clarified butter and apply to hemorrhoids before bed. Be aware that turmeric can stain whatever cloth it touches, however. (vii.156)
  • Make a topical paste of turmeric, mustard oil, and onion juice for symptom relief. (vii.157)
Similar to varicose veins. (vii.147)
To relieve pain and itching. (vii.149)

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