Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are distended veins in the lining of the anus. They can either be internal, meaning they occur near the beginning of the anus, or external hemorrhoids, occurring at the opening of the anus. Hemorrhoids that protrude outside the anus are known as prolapsing hemorrhoids. Because of how widespread the occurrence of hemorrhoids is in the general population, even among children, many conventional physicians consider them to be normal. Holistic physicians, however, recognize that hemorrhoids are not a part of normal health and should be addressed.

Symptoms of hemorrhoids include bleeding (usually bright red fresh blood that shows up on the toilet paper after wiping), itching, mucus, discomfort, and pain during elimination and, at times, sitting.

What To Consider

Hemorrhoids are often the result of poor diet, constipation or a sluggish bowel, straining during bowel movements, chronic low-level dehydration, lack of exercise, and/or a sedentary lifestyle. Correcting these factors can be very helpful in preventing and eliminating hemorrhoids.

Caution
Bleeding during bowel movements needs to be checked to rule out other more serious conditions. If you suffer from persistent hemorrhoids or experience blood in your stool, seek immediate medical attention.

Self-Care Tips

Diet
Eat an organic, whole foods diet that emphasizes high-fiber foods, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (especially dark green, leafy vegetables, such as kale), grains such as brown rice and millet, and lean, organic meats and poultry. Also drink plenty of healthy beverages, such as herbal teas, fresh squeezed juice, and pure, filtered water.

Nutritional Supplementation
The following nutrients can help prevent and reverse hemmorhoids: vitamin C with bioflavonoids and rutin, vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin B complex, folic acid, essential fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Linseed oil (one teaspoon upon arising and at night) can also be used to help soften stools.

Aromatherapy
Cypress, juniper, frankincense, or niaouli.

Ayurveda
Drink 1/2 cup of aloe vera juice three times daily until symptoms clear. The Ayurvedic herbal compound triphala is also very effective for relieving hemorrhoid pain and for promoting the overall health of the gastrointestinal tract.

Flower Essences
Rescue Remedy Cream can be applied to external hemorrhoids to ease symptoms.

Herbs
The aptly named herb pilewort is a staple treatment for hemorrhoids in Europe because of its effectiveness in reducing hemorrhoid symptoms. Collinsonia is another highly effective herbal remedy for hemorrhoids. As a topical application, mix 10 ml of collinsonia tincture with 80 ml of distilled witch hazel and apply this combination after every bowel motion and as needed. Other useful herbs include bilberry, buckthorn bark, butcher's broom, comfrey root, gotu kola, parsley, passionflower, and stone root.

Homeopathy
Aloe, Hamamelis, Nux vom., Berberis, Acidum fluor., and Thuja are helpful homeopathic remedies.

Hydrotherapy
A warm sitz bath taken daily, followed by a short cold bath, can help shrink hemorrhoids and soothe painful symptoms.

Juice Therapy
The following juice combinations can help keep the bowels regular and soften stool: carrot, spinach, celery, and parsley; carrot and watercress, or beet juice.

Topical Treatment
Apply a combination of zinc oxide, vitamin E, and aloe vera gel or olive oil to the affected area. Witch hazel applied topically can help shrink hemorrhoids, while calendula ointment can help relieve pain and itching.

Caution

If your symptoms persist despite the above measures, seek the help of a qualified health professional.

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