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Home remedies for hemorrhoids that really work

'Grapes of wrath', 'piles', 'hemorrhoids'; whatever you want to call them, there is one certainty about them: they're a pain in the backside!

A typical plastic sitz bath.
A typical plastic sitz bath.
S J Broadmeadow Photography
Funny image of cat supposedly suffering from hemorrhoids
S J Broadmeadow

These days you can purchase scores of magical elixirs, all promising to soothe, relieve, and even cure the dreaded hemorrhoids, and certainly, such topical treatments can be very effective when used once or twice in emergencies.
But what about the effects of long-term use?

Topical analgesics, cooling creams, and suppositories all have one little-known thing in common: they can make your hemorrhoids worse. So if you've been applying medicated treatments every day, then chances are you are wasting time and money, and irritating your painful skin even more.

So, what about tried and tested home remedies? Hemorrhoids have been around for as long as humans have, (animals can suffer from them too!) but centuries ago there were no pharmaceutical companies promising a cure while lining their already-bulging pockets with your money, so what did our ancestors do to treat the dreaded varicose veins of the bottom? And how do our modern peers treat theirs?

Here is a tried and tested list of home remedies that really do provide relief from hemorrhoid pain:

STOP using over-the-counter creams and ointments!

Sitz baths: Possibly THE ultimate gadget in relieving pain, itching, soreness - and even curing hemorrhoids! Sitz baths can be purchased at most pharmacies; it is simply a shallow 'bath' which fits inside your toilet bowl, allowing just the painful area to be submerged. Use whatever temperature feels best for you, but hot water aids blood-flow, thus promoting healing. Salt, baking soda, tea tree oil, or other appropriate soothing oils can be added to the bowl. Sit for 10-15 mins, three times per day.

Vapor Rub: Smooth some on your bottom! It is a natural anti-inflammatory, and when applied, provides a very soothing, cool feeling. Be careful if you have any open cuts or sores, though; it won't harm you, but it might sting a lot at first!

Witch hazel: Soak a cotton ball, and dab it on your hemorrhoids! It can relief itching, swelling and decrease bleeding in thrombosed/ruptured hemorrhoids. Placing a witch hazel-soaked cotton pad in the fridge for a few hours and applying it icy cold will also feel much more soothing on your bottom!

Blueberries: Eating blueberries regularly can not only prevent the onset of hemorrhoids, but can help heal them. Blueberries are rich in iron, improving circulation, and increasing the much-needed dietary fiber required for avoiding hemorrhoids' number one enemy: constipation!

If hemorrhoids have ruptured, and you are experienced extreme pain and/or bleeding, then obviously a doctor's advice is recommended. In severe cases, hemorrhoid removal surgery, or banding, may be advised.

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