Ayurveda’s Natural Remedies for Haemorrhoids (Piles)
Haemorrhoids’, also known as ‘piles’ is a condition that bothers many people owing to swollen or enlarged veins present at the lower end of the rectum and anus. These swollen or dilated blood vessels at the anus is haemorrhoids.
The anal region receives abundant blood supply. The arteries and veins that supply blood profusely to the anal region forms a matrix surrounding the rectum and anus. This formation of matrix is known as haemorrhoids. Considering the ample supply of blood they tend to bleed with the slightest injury with the bleeding occurring via the veins and arteries.
Haemorrhoids in Ayurveda
According to the Ayurvedic system of medicine ‘piles’ generally referred to as ‘Arsha’ or ‘Arsh’ denotes foe or enemy. Hence, in Sanskrit this condition is known as the Arivat Pranam hanti” meaning inflicting jabbing pains and discomfiture as a foe.
Moreover three major veins named Samvarni, visarjani and pravahani surround the anal canal at the end of which lies the external anal opening. This projects out with exertion or when there is undue strain within the anal canal.
Types of Haemorrhoids’
There are two types of haemorrhoids known as internal and external.
Internal haemorrhoids is a painless condition, that generally occur within the inner lining of the lower rectum, where the small veins become enlarged. These produce no symptoms and discomfort whatsoever. However, bleeding may occur while straining during bowel movements. This is likely to push the internal haemorrhoids that it makes its way through the anus, and trigger off a condition known as prolapsed haemorrhoids. This prolapsed state creates a risk of accumulating microscopic particles from stools and mucus with a susceptibility to irritation. This condition is known as pruritus ani. Nevertheless, maintaining cleanliness in that particular area, instead of resolving the issue of irritation just makes the condition worse.
External haemorrhoids usually develop under the skin of the anus causing a lot of discomfort. This is because the skin cover becomes irritated and weak. In case of clot formation the pain becomes excruciating. A lump may be felt or seen around the anus, which is the extra skin tag that it leaves behind with dissolution of clots. This tag, nonetheless may produce itching or irritation.
Causes of Haemorrhoids (Piles)
Genetic and hereditary factors play a prominent role in occurrences of haemorrhoids. If a member of a family had been affected with this condition, there are possibilities of inheriting this painful disorder.
Most pregnant women suffer from this problem especially during the final six months of pregnancy. This is because of the expansion of uterus that creates pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvic region. Also, straining during labour, to push the baby out can many a times worsen the problem.
Obesity is one of the major contributors of this debilitating condition. This is because the excessive body weight cause extra pressure on the pelvic region and blood vessels which disrupts blood flow thus triggering eruption of veins.
Sitting in an upright position for prolonged periods, increase the risk of this stressful factor. The unevenly distributed body weight with a combined gravitational pull causes undue pressure on the veins and blood vessels on the rectal region.
A sedentary lifestyle with little or no physical activity is another cause for risk of haemorrhoids. This makes the body lose its flexibility and strength creating immense constraint on the blood vessels in the lower part of the body. Physical activity on the other hand besides keeping the muscles strong also helps maintain the strength of the intestinal tract.
Lack of fibre intake is another main reason for the frequency of haemorrhoids. This hardens the stools and results in infrequent and irregular bowel movements. Besides fibre, reduced fluid intake too plays a prominent part as water is essential to process food in the digestive tract.
Certain health conditions cause imbalances in the digestive tract and cause constipation or diarrhoea. These extreme conditions have a tendency to cause inflammation and bulging of the veins in the rectal region. These include ulcerative colitis,crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
A major cause for Haemorrhoids’ is constipation due to unhealthy dietary factors and faulty lifestyle habits. [Find here some natural remedies for constipation]
Symptoms of Haemorrhoids
Haemorrhoids do not produce any specific signs. However, some of them suffer from certain symptoms that include…….
- Bleeding after or during bowel movements. The blood appears bright red due to difficult and hard bowel movements.
- Irregular and Painful bowel movements
- Itching in and around the anus
- Bowel incontinence with leaky stools
- Itchy lump in the anus
Natural Remedies of Piles from Ayurveda
Haemorrhoids’ are a very common these days, because of modern unhealthy lifestyle habits. However, the science of Ayurveda recommends effective dietary changes and lifestyle habits that proves beneficial for soothing relief. This is chiefly because Ayurveda goes to the root of the problem and cures the ailment and eliminates the cause that produces the condition.
Kitchen Remedies for Piles (Haemorrhoids)
The science of Ayurveda recommends Mother Nature’s produce to cure multitude of diseases, that includes haemorrhoids.
Ginger and Mint
Crush an inch of ginger and a handful of mint leaves separately. Then combine both the pastes and sieve. To this extract add a dash of lemon juice and honey. Consume twice a day for piles relief and improved digestion.
Dried Figs (anjeer)
Another useful treatment for this problem is consuming dried figs. For this it is imperative to soak some dried figs in water overnight. Consuming the figs first thing in the morning on empty stomach followed by drinking the soaked water proves very beneficial. Ayurveda recommends following this method twice a day for four weeks for positive results.
Regular consumption of 100 ml buttermilk with a pinch of salt and black pepper powder for few for few months works well for treatment of piles. Another remedy is taking buttermilk mixed with leaves of bitter gourds that works wonders.
Drinking Radish juice twice daily mixed with a pinch of salt for one and a half months proves effective for relieving constipation. Besides this combining radish juice with honey or with carrot juice or as an alternative, taking grated radish mixed with turmeric also alleviates inflammation and cures piles.
Taking a concoction twice daily comprising of the pulp of ripe Bael fruit with sugar, black pepper powder and cardamom powder to soothe pain.
chewing a few basil leaves every morning helps cure haemorrhoids. Or Soak basil leaves in water and consume the same with the leaves after half an hour. This too proves beneficial for inflammation and pain. Another popular remedy is to take a few basil leaves and grind them with neem fruits. Taking two grams of the paste combined with buttermilk offers respite.
Taking a combined mixture of black sesame seeds with butter relieves constipation and bleeding haemorrhoids. Boiling sesame seeds in water and consuming the liquid also proves beneficial and alleviate symptoms.
Extract juice from onion and mix it with sugar. Consume this twice for effective results.
Taking a ripened banana mash it and combine with a cup of milk for curing haemorrhoids.
Consuming crushed rose petals combined with water for three consecutive days on empty stomach heals bleeding piles. However, it is imperative to avoid taking Banana for a year to realise its complete effect.
Taking Powdered neem seeds with water helps shrink the piles and ease itching and inflammation.
Pound garlic, dry ginger and powdered neem seeds with some asafoetida by adding very little water to make a paste. Make tiny tablets of about an inch and dry them in a shady place. Consume a couple of these tablets with water, preferably twice every day. [Read more health benefits of garlic]
Boil dry ginger in water and consume the liquid twice for relieving constipation. [health benefits of dried ginger]
Drinking a decoction prepared with fresh coriander leaves works as a natural laxative and makes an amazing body detox.
Wheatgrass juice provides the same effect as coriander leaves, acting as a natural body detox with laxative effects.
Drink a cup of roasted and powdered cumin seeds with water twice to get rid of digestive-related problems and symptoms of piles.
Drink a mixture of dried pomegranate peels with water to find long term relief from this painful situation.
To alleviate hard stools and ease the pressure on the anal canal take a teaspoon of castor oil with milk blend regularly for positive results.
Triphala plays the role of an effective tonic for the bowels, improving regularity. Taking two teaspoon of this fruit mixed with lukewarm water every night before retiring to bed provides permanent cure for piles. [health benefits of triphala]
Cut open a fleshy leaf of an aloe Vera to extract the gel. Take this gel after meals for better effects. However, it is imperative to consult a physician before using this method as they have a tendency to aggravate digestive disorders.
One of the three healing fruits of Triphala, Haritaki as a standalone fruit too helps ease bowel movements. Hence make a decoction using the fruit peel and consume a cup of the same with jaggery at bedtime.
Topical Treatment of Haemorrhoids or Piles
The principles of Ayurveda also recommends few topical treatments besides kitchen remedies to soothe fissures.
A sitz bath is a kind of treatment similar to water or hydrotherapy. As suggestive of the term sitting with your back and hips immersed in a tub of lukewarm water provides a soothing effect for piles fissures and eliminates swelling, pain, burning, inflammation and irritation. Following this procedure twice everyday gives respite.
Add ten teaspoons of Triphala churna to a bucket of lukewarm water. Sitting with back and hips immersed completely for about half an hour offers long time protection for haemorrhoids.
Rubbing natural oils on external Hemorrhoids, reduces soreness and restores the enlarged veins to its normal condition. Some of the natural oils effective for piles include aloe, sesame, chestnut and coconut. Wash after half an hour or apply warm fomentation.
Homemade Ointments for Piles
- Make a paste of neem, turmeric and aloe Vera gel. Apply on the affected area at bedtime and rinse the next morning.
- Rubbing a homemade natural ointment consisting of powdered turmeric and long pepper along with cow’s milk is useful for this painful condition.
Other Remedies for Haemorrhoids
- Add a few drops of either cypress, eucalyptus or juniper oil to a tub of warm water and bathe as a protective aid for piles.
- Use marjoram or rosemary oil to massage the abdomen or rub witch hazel on the affected area to avoid burning and itch.
- Rubbing papaya juice regularly on the fissures give long term benefits and prevent recurrences
Dietary Habits to Prevent Piles
Diet is a key factor for preventing the incidence of haemorrhoids.
- Take foods rich in fibre and probiotics. Avoid junk foods, highly processed food, baked goodies and limit intake of salt and sugar. Further stay away from fried heavy greasy and spicy foods that can wreck havoc with digestion.
- Include plenty of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables. Include onions, ginger,bittergourds, turnips and radish regularly.
- Take mango and sesame seeds and include grains like wheat and rice. Eat papaya and figs.
One of the most important steps in preventing piles is to increase the intake of fibre. This is because fibre is crucial for a healthy digestive system as the roughage in fibre softens stools thus preventing constipation and fissures caused by hard stools and bleeding piles.
Drinking eight glasses of water per day promotes digestive health and helps the large intestines process the roughage from fibre thereby preventing constipation and dehydration. Insufficient fluid intake leads to dehydration which is one of the major contributing factor towards risk of haemorrhoids. Besides this there is a tendency for fibre rich foods to produce intestinal gas and bloating. Drinking plenty of fluids helps alleviate these symptoms and improves gastrointestinal tract health.
Probiotic-rich foods make an excellent option for getting rid of piles. These type of foods encourage the friendly flora such as lactobacillus and bifid us in the gut and destroy the harmful ones. This factor promotes digestive health and preventive digestive related disorders. For instance, constipation occurs due to improper bowel movements because the intestines absorb the fluid within the bowels which leads to a lot of strain in evacuation.
Do’s and Don’ts
- A few lifestyle changes are essential to overcome or avoid pain, itching and inflammatory conditions associated with piles. Here are a few tips…
- Exercise regularly and increase physical activity to stimulate digestion.
- Take plenty of fluids. Drink at least eight to ten glasses of water every day.
- Shed weight and maintain a healthy body mass index
- Refrain from sitting on hard surfaces
- Avoid sitting in the toilet for prolonged periods
- Prevent straining on the toilet during bowel movements.
- Avoid chemical based soaps and detergents to prevent itching and inflammation.
- Do not use toilet paper, especially the ones with perfume and colour. Instead opt for soft wipes and fresh clear water after evacuation
- Wear soft cotton underwear to avoid irritation
- Refrain from scratching the affected area.
- Maintain good hygiene in the anal region
- Avoid smoking and drinking
Therefore remember that Piles is not for life! It is curable.