- The best natural remedies to relieve hemorrhoids include Sitz baths, ice packs, witch hazel, and regularly soaking in a warm bath.
- Topical ointments and creams, such as Anusol ointment or Anusol cream, can also help to soothe and heal hemorrhoids.
- It is important to drink plenty of fluids and eat high-fiber foods to soften stools and prevent constipation, which can worsen hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids (piles) are simply veins in the anal canal that have become swollen and irritated.
They can be external, which means they are under the skin around the anus.
They can also be internal, which means they are inside the rectum.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, about 20% of Americans and half of the adults over the age of 50 have hemorrhoids. (1)
Several things can cause hemorrhoids, including sitting for long periods, straining during bowel movements, and pregnancy.
Fortunately, many natural remedies can help relieve the symptoms of hemorrhoids and may even help to get rid of them completely.
Here are some of the most effective home remedies for hemorrhoids:
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1. Sitz bath
A sitz bath is a small tub that you can use to soak your bottom in warm water.
This will help to soothe the inflamed area and reduce irritation.
How do you do a sitz bath?
You can buy a sitz bath at your local pharmacy or online.
If you don’t have one, you can use a regular tub filled with warm water.
Just make sure the water isn’t too hot and that you add a cup of Epsom salt to help reduce swelling.
Soak in the tub for 20 minutes, 2-3 times per day. (1)
2. Ice packs
Another natural home remedy for hemorrhoids is to apply an ice pack.
This will help to soothe the area and reduce pain and swelling.
Wrap the ice pack in a towel so it doesn’t come into direct contact with your skin.
Apply it for 15-20 minutes, 3-4 times per day.
3. Witch hazel
Witch hazel is a plant that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, including hemorrhoids.
It is a natural astringent, which means it can help to shrink hemorrhoids and relieve symptoms like itching and swelling.
In fact, some doctors still recommend witch hazel for patients with minor hemorrhoid issues. (3)
To use witch hazel, simply apply it to a cotton ball and then apply it to the area.
You can also find medicated pads or wipes that contain witch hazel, which makes it even easier to use after a bowel movement.
4. Fiber supplement
If you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet, this can lead to constipation, which can aggravate hemorrhoids.
A fiber supplement can help to increase the amount of fiber in your diet and soften your stool, making it easier to pass.
Look for a supplement that contains psyllium husk or methylcellulose. (4)
Take the supplement according to the package directions.
5. Topical cream or ointment
In general, several over-the-counter topical creams and ointments can help relieve the symptoms of hemorrhoids.
Creams and ointments containing a local anesthetic can help numb the area and temporarily relieve pain.
- Anusol cream
- Anusol ointment
- Phenylephrine (Preparation H)
These products are available without a prescription.
Suppositories are another topical treatment option for hemorrhoids.
They’re generally made of medicine and a lubricating agent.
The medicine may contain a local anesthetic, a steroid, or a vasoconstrictor.
The suppository is inserted into the anus and rectum, where it melts and releases the medicine.
Some common brands include:
Available without a prescription, you can usually find these products near the hemorrhoid cream and ointments in your local drugstore.
7. Sit right
One of the best things you can do to relieve hemorrhoids is to avoid sitting for long periods of time.
If you must sit, try to get up and move around every 30 minutes or so.
This will help to keep your blood flowing and reduce the pressure on your hemorrhoids.
Also, try not to sit on the toilet for long periods of time.
8. Keep it clean
It’s important to keep the area around your anus clean, both for hygiene and to reduce irritation.
Gently clean the area with warm water after each bowel movement with a witch hazel pad or baby wipe.
Don’t use toilet paper to wipe, as this can aggravate hemorrhoids.
Don’t use soap, as this can further irritate the skin.
Also, avoid scrubbing the area too vigorously.
9. Don’t strain
Straining during bowel movements can cause hemorrhoids.
To avoid straining, try to empty your bowels when you first feel the urge.
If you can’t do this, try to relax your muscles and breathe deeply to help you pass stool.
Don’t hold your breath while you’re straining, as this can increase the pressure on your hemorrhoids and make them worse.
10. Drink plenty of fluids
Drinking plenty of fluids is important if you’re trying to get rid of hemorrhoids.
Fluids help to keep your stool soft and easy to pass.
Without enough fluid in your diet, you may become constipated, which can worsen hemorrhoids.
The best fluids to drink are water and unsweetened fruit juices.
You should also avoid caffeine and alcohol, as these can dehydrate you.
11. Eat high-fiber foods
Eating high-fiber foods is another important part of treatment for hemorrhoids.
Fiber can help to soften your stool and make it easier to pass.
High-fiber foods include:
- Whole grains
You should aim to get 25-30 grams of fiber per day.
12. Avoid tight clothing
Tight clothing can aggravate hemorrhoids.
So if you have hemorrhoids, it’s important to avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes like skinny jeans or Spanx.
Instead, wear loose-fitting clothing made of breathable materials, such as cotton.
13. Take a warm bath
A warm bath can help to soothe the irritation and pain of hemorrhoids.
Add a few inches of warm water to a bathtub and sit in it for about 15 minutes.
You can also add a soothing agent, such as Epsom salt, baking soda, or oatmeal, to the water.
Don’t add soap, as this can irritate your hemorrhoids.
Afterward, pat the area dry with a soft towel.
The bottom line
As you can see, there are many things you can do to get rid of hemorrhoids.
If home remedies don’t work, you may need to talk to your doctor about other options, such as prescription medication or surgery.
But in most cases, you can treat hemorrhoids at home with little discomfort.
Therefore, if you’re dealing with hemorrhoids, don’t suffer in silence.