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12 Strange but Effective Ways to Treat Hemorrhoids (Read #1 & #3 for Instant Pain Relief)
No one likes to talk about hemorrhoids. We make jokes about them, but once you get them, you realize they really are no laughing matter. Hemorrhoids, sometimes called piles, affect as much as 75 percent of the American population at one time or another, so if you haven’t had them yet, chances are high that you will.
This very common problem occurs when the veins in the rectum become swollen or inflamed. There are several reasons people develop hemorrhoids: Pregnancy, time (gravity), family history, a low-fiber diet, heavy lifting, prolonged sitting or standing — even food allergies can cause hemorrhoids.
There are two types of hemorrhoids: External, the most common, or internal. External hemorrhoids occur right at the anus and are usually visible. Internal hemorrhoids are just inside the rectum. The most common symptoms are pain when sitting, bleeding during bowel movements, the urge to have a bowel movement when you don’t have to go, and itching and burning sensations. Left untreated, hemorrhoids can lead to anemia due to chronic blood loss, tissue death, and even colorectal or anal cancer.
There are a couple of over-the-counter ointments that are meant to help shrink hemorrhoids, but they can be expensive and often take days to work. It is also embarrassing to wait in line at a busy checkout counter with your little tube of hemorrhoid cream!
Fortunately, you can treat hemorrhoids naturally, inexpensively, and easily by yourself, in the privacy of your own home. Keep reading for the top 12 ways you can stop painful hemorrhoids today.
If you need instant pain relief, try ice. This simple but effective method will help constrict the blood vessels and reduce swelling, which will stop the pain in seconds. Use an ice pack, or put a piece of ice in a washcloth and apply directly to the affected area for 10 minutes. Do this as often as you need or until the hemorrhoid goes away. Don’t have an ice pack available? A bag of frozen peas or corn works just as well. Wrap it in a washcloth or tea towel, and apply it where you need it most.
2. Almond Oil
Almond oil is deeply absorbed into the tissues and skin so it is the best helps with external hemorrhoids. Dip a cotton ball in sweet almond oil and apply it directly to the affected area three or more times each day. This will help lubricate, moisturize, and ease the inflammation in this delicate area.
3. Aloe Vera
This is perhaps one of the best treatments around for hemorrhoids. Aloe vera gel has natural anti-inflammatory and therapeutic compounds that will reduce the irritation.
For treating external hemorrhoids, simply rub some aloe vera gel directly on the hemorrhoid and the surrounding area. This will help stop the itching and burning, and offers some substantial pain relief. Repeat this as often as necessary during the day, and continue for several days until the hemorrhoid has subsided.
For treating internal hemorrhoids, cut a washed aloe vera leaf into thin strips. Be certain to cut off the thorny parts on the leaf. Place these slices in a container and put them in the freezer for an hour or two. Take this frozen strip of aloe vera and put it … well … where you need it!
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4. French Maritime Pine Bark Extract
The extract from the bark of this tree is a little- known but excellent source of catechins, flavonoids, and proanthocyanidins, all of which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Studies have shown that human subjects who took French maritime pine bark extract for a one week period had improvements in their symptoms. If you tend to get hemorrhoids frequently, you might want to consider taking this extract once a week each month to help prevent the hemorrhoids from returning.
5. Lemon Juice
This juice will give you relief from your hemorrhoids by strengthening the walls of the blood vessels and capillaries so that hemorrhoids don’t form in the first place. The great thing about lemon juice is that you can use it both internally and externally to fight hemorrhoids. First, you can squeeze the juice from half an organic lemon into a cup of warm water or milk and drink this twice a day to help strengthen the blood vessels from the inside. Then saturate a cotton ball in freshly squeezed lemon juice, and apply it directly to the affected area. You might feel a bit of stinging for a few seconds, but pain relief will follow shortly.
6. Eat More Whole Grains
If you get hemorrhoids more frequently than you think you should, try eating more whole grains. Whole grains contain healthy fiber, which help relive hemorrhoid symptoms as well as helping to prevent hemorrhoids in the future. The nutrients in whole grains can help clear out the digestive system, preventing constipation. A diet high in fiber can increase in bulk, which will reduce the need to strain when pooping. The best whole grains are barley, oats, brown rise, buckwheat, millet, and quinoa.
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7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has powerful astringent compounds which will shrink blood vessels and give you relief from the irritation, itching, and swelling of hemorrhoids. Always use unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar for best results.
For internal hemorrhoids, add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to one glass of water and drink twice each day. Add some honey to this mix if you find it too sour to consume.
For external hemorrhoids, soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and hold it on the hemorrhoid for a few minutes. You will feel a bit of a sting, but soon afterwards you should feel relief from the itching and burning sensation. Do this as often as necessary to get relief from your symptoms and until the hemorrhoid is gone.
8. Butcher’s Broom
Butcher’s broom, sometimes called box holly, sweet broom, or even knee holly, is believed to have gotten its name because it was once used by butchers in Europe to clean their chopping blocks. This herb has long been a remedy for varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Butcher’s broom constricts the blood vessels, which will help stop swelling and bleeding. You can consume butcher’s broom either in a tea or capsule form.
Please note that this herb can interact with certain prescription medications, so if you are taking any type of medication, consult with your doctor or pharmacist before you consume this herbal product.
Be certain that you are drinking enough water during the day. Water helps to facilitate bowel movements and keeps your stools soft, which will reduce straining.
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10. Black Tea Bags
Tea contains tannic acid, which is a natural astringent. This will help to reduce the pain and swelling that comes with hemorrhoids. Make tea as you normally would, but don’t throw the tea bag away. Allow it to cool, and then place the tea bag on the affected area for 10 minutes. Do this three or more times each day. Be sure to throw the tea bag in the trash so that no one tries to reuse it!
11. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel has amazing healing and astringent compounds that will go a long way toward relieving the discomfort of hemorrhoids. The astringent compounds will shrink the blood vessels, relive itching and pain, and reduce swelling. Soak a cotton ball in witch hazel and apply it directly to the hemorrhoid. Repeat three or more times each day until the hemorrhoid has disappeared.
12. Olive Oil
Olive oil works best on external hemorrhoids. This oil has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that increase the elasticity of the blood vessels. This will reduce inflammation and shrink the blood vessels. Be certain that you consume one teaspoon of olive oil each day to reduce inflammation. You can also apply a bit of olive oil directly to the hemorrhoid for relief from pain and swelling.