Piles (also known as hemorrhoids) can cause serious discomfort—not only when using the bathroom but also when exercising, moving, or even sitting. While there are various over-the-counter medicines to treat piles, as well as more aggressive surgical procedures that can relieve extreme pain, there are also a number of home remedies for piles. There are two types of piles—internal and external—and the latter is the easier kind to treat at home. If you ever experience bleeding with piles, home remedies are probably not sufficient, and you should seek medical care. But for those with piles that cause mild discomfort, here are six home remedies that might help.
1. Witch hazel
Look for a topical ointment that contains witch hazel leaf extract. A powerful numbing agent, witch hazel provides tannins that are used to tighten skin, reduce swelling, and fight bacteria in an open or infected area.
Cold pressure has always been used to reduce swelling in a painful area. Just as you can use ice on a twisted ankle, so can you use ice or an ice pack for piles. Cold pressure makes blood vessels tighten, helping the blood flow to slow and create pain relief. You can apply ice wrapped in a clean paper towel or cold cloth directly to the painful area, and keep a bit of pressure on for a few minutes. You can repeat this throughout the day if the pain persists.
3. Warm water, lemon, and honey
You’ve probably read about all the benefits of starting and ending your day with a glass of warm water and lemon. There are lots of digestive perks that come with this habit, and it’s also a great remedy for internal piles. Mix a small amount of lemon and honey into warm water, and drink it as you normally would.
4. Avocado oil
As full of the healthy fats and anti-inflammatories as an avocado itself, avocado oil can help with external piles when applied to the skin. This should provide some temporary relief to the area. You can also use olive oil or almond oil if you don’t have avocado oil on hand. Oils will be effective in reducing itching and burning.
5. Apple cider vinegar
Often used to massage kale or dress salads, apple cider vinegar is also combined with clay masks to create a tightening effect on the skin. When applied externally for piles, it has a similar effect. Use a clean cotton ball and apple cider vinegar for external piles. Meanwhile, for internal, you can actually combine the vinegar with warm water to relieve painful burning.
What we eat effects our entire body, and that includes our waste-creation systems. Piles can be especially painful when you feel like you’re straining to bring on a bowel movement, so what we eat and drink becomes a big factor in easing this process. Make sure to eat plenty of fiber through whole grains, bran and beans. You also want to drink lots of water to keep your system hydrated and help your organs break down your food. Your diet will drastically impact your ability to create and release waste.