Although hemorrhoids can progress to the point where surgery is required to get rid of them, most of the time they can easily be treated with non-surgical remedies. If you prefer to avoid the side effects associated with the use of over-the-counter and prescription medications, here are 9 home remedies that can help you heal your hemorrhoids fast naturally.
- Witch Hazel
This is an astringent extracted from the leaves and bark of the witch-hazel shrub. It was used by Native Americans as part of a variety of medicinal purposes and is a component in number of beauty and healthcare products.
Witch hazel contains tannins, antioxidants, and has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a good solution for treating the swelling and inflammation caused by hemorrhoids.
You can apply the fluid directly to the hemorrhoids by soaking a cotton ball with witch hazel and cleaning the anal area three times per day. Another option is to get medicated wipes made with witch hazel and use them in lieu of toilet paper. If you can’t find this type of medicated wipe in your area, you can make your own by pouring a bottle of witch hazel into a plastic container of regular wipes.
- Sitz Bath
Also known as a hip bath, a sitz bath involves sitting in a few inches of tepid water with your legs bend upwards at the knees and slightly open for about 15 to 20 minutes. This can be accomplished by drawing a bath with only a few inches of water or sitting in a large basin. There are also seats specially designed for this type of soaking available at medical supply stores.
The water helps alleviate itching and pain. You can add a small amount of salt, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, or tea tree oil to increase the therapeutic benefits of this bath.
- Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, also called melaleuca oil, is an essential oil extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifoila plant. Like witch hazel, it has been used for centuries as a medicinal treatment for a variety of skin disorders and infections. The oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce swelling and itching caused by hemorrhoids.
To use tea tree oil, apply a small amount to a cotton ball and wipe the affected area. The oil can be a bit strong and may sting, so it’s recommended that you combine it with a little bit of olive or castor oil.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is well known for its soothing effect on sunburned skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce skin irritation and make hemorrhoids easier to live with while they are healing. You can purchase aloe vera gel in a bottle, but many health food stores also sell the leaves from the plant that contain the medicinal substance.
If you have external hemorrhoids, simply apply the aloe vera directly to the anal region. This should provide immediate relief from itching and inflammation. Another option is to put a few leaves of the aloe vera plant into the freezer to cool them down and then insert one of the leaves into the anus to distribute the aloe vera to internal hemorrhoids. Be certain to remove the thorns first or it could get very uncomfortable.
- Lavender Oil
This is another beneficial essential oil that can stop the burning, itching, and swelling associated with hemorrhoids. It is distilled from the lavender plant and has antibacterial and pain-relieving properties.
Place a few drops on a cotton ball or Q-Tip and apply directly to the anus and surrounding area. Combine with another essential oil like tea tree or olive oil to boost the healing effects. Another option is to add a little bit of this oil to your sitz bath. In either case, apply two to three times per day to enjoy the desired effects.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an astringent with antibacterial properties. Though it may sound like using this vinegar on hemorrhoids would aggravate them, it is actually a good solution for reducing swelling and irritation fast because it helps reduce the size of blood vessels.
Apply the vinegar by soaking a cotton ball with it and gently pressing it against the hemorrhoids. It may sting a little, but that should pass and the itching and irritation caused by the hemorrhoids should also go away after a short period of time. Reapply as needed to obtain relief from symptoms.
You can also drink apple cider vinegar to treat hemorrhoids from the inside out. Mix one teaspoon of the vinegar to at least 8 ounces of water and drink twice a day. There are also apple cider vinegar tablets available at natural food stores or online.
The rutabaga is a root vegetable that’s a cross between a turnip and cabbage. It contains quite a few vitamins and minerals that are good for the body, but it can also help heal hemorrhoids.
First, rutabagas contain 9 grams of fiber per medium-sized vegetable. Eating one a day can help you get enough fiber to promote regularity in bowel movements and ensure stools are soft enough to pass. This can reduce your chances of worsening your existing hemorrhoids.
Additionally, you can make a poultice out of the vegetable that will help reduce swelling and inflammation. Peel the vegetable and boil it until soft, drain well, mash slightly and then wrap the concoction in gauze. Place the poultice on the hemorrhoid while still warm and wear overnight. The hemorrhoid should be significantly reduced. If not, repeat for a second night.
- Zinc Oxide
Zinc oxide is a chemical found in many beauty products including baby powder. It has antibacterial and skin conditioning properties that alleviate itching and protect the skin from further damage.
A good way to use this is to purchase a cream designed for diaper rashes and apply it to the area. It should provide relieve from burning, itching, and irritation. Since it’s made for babies, the cream shouldn’t cause any side effects.
- Olive Oil
Olive oil is a well known skin conditioner found in many lotions and creams. It contains antioxidants that protect skin from damage caused by free radicals and contains anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate the symptoms caused by external hemorrhoids. It can also promote increase elasticity in the blood vessels, which may help heal the hemorrhoids by reducing their size.
Mix a little bit of olive oil to the juice of plum leaves and apply liberally to the site of the hemorrhoids two to three times per day. This should alleviate pain and swelling. Consuming a small amount of olive oil will also reduce inflammation caused by internal hemorrhoids as well as promote health bowel movements.
3 Bonus Remedies
Ice is a highly recommended home remedy. It constricts blood vessels, making this a great option for alleviating swelling caused by hemorrhoids. The ice’s coolness may also feel good against burning or inflamed skin. Simply place an icepack or ice wrapped in a cloth to the anal region for 10 minutes three times per day until your hemorrhoids shrink. If you don’t have ice, wrap bagged frozen vegetables in a tea towel and place on the hemorrhoids for 20 minutes three times a day. Following up with a warm compress for 10 to 20 minutes may help stimulate circulation and encourage the hemorrhoid to shrink.
Fiber helps keep stool moist by drawing water to the matter, which can make them easier to pass. Getting adequate fiber each day as well as drinking plenty of water will ensure you don’t have to suffer from dry stools that cause you to strain during bowel movements and putting undue pressure on the hemorrhoidal veins. Fiber also reduces bleeding, inflammation, and minimizes the enlargement of the growths.
It is recommended that you consume at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. You can get this from a variety of sources such as high-fiber foods like beans, broccoli, oat bran, fruit, and whole grains as well as supplements such as Metamucil, Fiber Con, and Citrucel. Increase your fiber intake slowly to avoid gas and bloating and drink plenty of water to prevent constipation.
- Horse Chestnut
Horse chestnut has been used for thousands of years in Europe and other places to treat issues such as arthritis and rheumatism. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate the swelling, irritation, and burning caused by hemorrhoids quickly. It also strengthens veins and stops capillaries from breaking down, which can help stop hemorrhoids from forming again. A study published in 1997 involving horse chestnut found that all 80 participants had reduced swelling, pain, and bleeding after two weeks of consuming 40 mg of aescin (a horse chestnut extract) three times per day.
In addition to orally consuming products that contain horse chestnuts or its extract aescin, you can use the substance topically by purchasing ointments and creams with it as an active ingredient. Apply to site of the hemorrhoids a few times per day until they go away. Be aware that these creams may make your hemorrhoids bleed if they already are, but this only temporary.
Making simple adjustments to your lifestyle can go a long way towards alleviating hemorrhoid symptoms. Try these remedies first and then escalate to others if you don’t get relief.
- Practice good hygiene: Bathe daily and clean the anal area during your shower or bath using plain warm water. Avoid using soap (or use plain soap with no perfume or dyes) to avoid aggravating the sensitive skin. Gently dry the area with your towel or a hair dryer after bathing.
- Avoid using toilet paper: When wiping after bowel movements, use plain toilet paper that’s been wetted or gentle non-perfumed, non-alcoholic wipes.
Mild hemorrhoids will typically go away after using these treatments for a week. Talk to your doctor if your hemorrhoids don’t respond to the treatment or you begin experiencing severe bleeding or pain.