Hemorrhoids are common in today's society with about one third of the population suffering from the condition. Surveys show that the American population spends $150 million annually on hemorrhoid products. Hemorrhoids are swollen, inflamed veins and capillaries around the rectum. They may be classifies as either internal or external.
The painful condition is commonly caused by constipation, habitual straining, lack of water in the diet, overeating, lack of exercise, too much sitting, excess junk food, vitamin B6 deficiency, acid/alkaline imbalance, weightlifting, or pregnancy. Certain drugs such as anti depressants, pain killers, antacids, and laxatives can aggravate the problem. Liver exhaustion, allergies, obesity, and diarrhea may also be present in patients with hemorrhoids.
Many herbal remedies have been used to treat hemorrhoids. A witch hazel sitz bath is often recommended. Put a pint of witch hazel into a bath tub filled with 2 inches of warm water and sit in it for at least 20 minutes. Add ten or fifteen drops of cypress, juniper, peppermint, or chamomile essential oil for extra strength.
The inner bark of the Butternut tree or root can bring relief by softening the stool. When taking in tincture form, 20 to 30 drops should be given three times a day for two weeks. Start out with low doses. (Butternut is also used to expel worms.)
Peony root ointment applied externally can often heal hemorrhoids. For best results, use ointment along with peony suppositories. Other ointments to try include comfrey, horse chestnut, witch hazel, pilewort, or yarrow.
Diet can help heal hemorrhoids and prevent new ones. Fiber and water are very important. Psyllium seed husks, flax seeds, oatmeal, whole grains, beans, and legumes will help. Eat citrus fruit daily. Add raw beets, apricots, cherries, rosehips, blackberries, olive oil, and buckwheat to the diet. Avoid caffeine, eggs, gelatin, refined carbohydrates, and dairy products (except yogurt) until symptoms disappear. Keep meals small and chew food well.
Some people find that taking two tablespoons of cider vinegar with honey each morning helps speed the healing process. Applications of papaya or diluted lemon juice can relieve itching. Aloe vera and mullein can soothe and promote healing. Others rely on butcher's broom, ginkgo biloba, St. John's wort, calendula, slippery elm, nettle, elderberry, yellowroot / myrrh, garlic / comfrey, or white oat bark / yarrow combinations. These herbs can be dried, mixed into 100% pure cocoa butter, rolled into the appropriate shape, cooled (and hardened) in the refrigerator, and used as effective suppositories.
Studies have shown that straining can cause reoccurring hemorrhoids. Try putting feet up on a low foot stool while sitting at the toilet. This simple act can bring great results. Cold packs and herbal compresses can also help relieve external hemorrhoids.
* A note of interest – most herbs that are used in the treatment of hemorrhoids are also extremely useful in the treatment of varicose veins. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy.
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