Hemorrhoids are a very distressing condition that involve the swelling of the veins of the anus and rectum. They are very similar to varicose veins whereby the veins lose their elasticity and swell and this results in the uncomfortable symptoms of hemorrhoids that may include itching, burning pain and bleeding.
In many cases hemorrhoids will respond quickly to the use of herbal medicines, both taken internally and applied externally, however it is also necessary to address the cause of the condition. Some common factors that can contribute to hemorrhoids include sitting or standing for long periods, lifting heavy objects, dehydration, obesity and lack of exercise, but without a doubt the largest factor is constipation and straining during defecation. A poor intake of dietary fiber is often a major culprit that increases the risk of development of hemorrhoids.
The fact that no animal other than human beings has ever be known to exhibit hemorrhoids can be seen as a major indication that something is wrong with our diets and improving the diet can help this condition dramatically, however herbal remedies can often provide immediate relief as well as being effective for the long term treatment of this very distressing condition.
Herbs for the treatment of hemorrhoids:
Pilewort - Piles are another name for hemorrhoids and this herb was named for its effectiveness for this condition. It tonifies the blood vessels and stops bleeding. Pilewort may be taken internally as a tea or alcohol-based tincture and it can also be applied externally as an ointment.
Witch hazel - this herb can help to ease the bleeding and swelling associated with hemorrhoids. It is applied externally as an ointment, or the liquid can be applied directly to the area with a sterile cotton pad. Use three times daily until relief is obtained.
Aloe Vera gel - the fresh pulp can be applied directly on the anus to provide pain relief and soothe any burning sensations.
Butcher's Broom - this herb has been used throughout history for the treatment of hemorrhoids and varicose veins. When looking for preparations of Butcher's Broom, try to find those that contain a minimum of 9-11% of ruscogenin content, which is the active ingredient. 100 mg should be taken three times daily.
Pine Bark and Grape Seed - these plant extracts contain proanthocyanins and anthocyanins which are substances that improve the structural integrity of the veins and in fact the entire circulatory system. It is also possible to obtain them through increasing consumption of berries such as blueberries, blackberries and strawberries as well as cherries.
Fiber - a low fiber diet increases the risk of straining during bowel movements and increasing fiber intake may actually be a very effective simple measure that can go a long way towards improving hemorrhoids. Increasing fruit and vegetable intake is a must, however there are also a wide variety of fiber supplements available, such as those containing Psyllium husk or Slippery Elm Bark, that can soften the stools and reduce straining.
It is very important to ensure that water intake is increased when taking fiber supplements.
Herbal medicine can greatly assist in reducing the symptoms of hemorrhoids however in very severe cases surgical treatment may be required. In such instances the herbal treatments and dietary changes outlined can be used to prevent the problem from occurring again following surgery.