Piles has become a very big problem today. While people of any age can have piles, it is more common among people who have attained the age of 45 years. In fact, piles in old age is nothing that’s uncommon. Let’s understand what is piles and its causes as well as why piles in old age is prevalent than at younger age. We will, of course, also talk about the best home remedies for piles.
What is Piles?
Technically speaking, piles are painful haemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids can be explained as swollen veins around the anal opening. They look like clumps or cushions of tissue in the anal canal. These hemorrhoids may be painful and distressing.
We all have hemorrhoids but they become piles only when these masses of tissue become too big and swollen.
What causes Piles?
Piles are caused due to excessive pressure over the blood vessels around the anus. Anything that exerts pressure on the wall of the bowel can lead to stretched veins that gradually become inflamed and then take form of piles. Usually, the following conditions put pressure on the wall of bowel and cause piles:
- Aging (because the body’s supporting tissues get weaker as a person gets older)
- Lifting heavy objects frequently
- Persistent coughing or vomiting (these too exert pressure on walls of your bowel)
- Sitting for longer period of time
What are the Symptoms of Piles?
As long as it doesn’t pain, you don’t pay attention to the hemorrhoids. And that’s natural. But once these hemorrhoids become piles, they may show up the following symptoms and you get aware of your piles.
- A hard purple or red lump like thing can be seen and felt around the anus. This may or may not be painful
- Bright red blood after a bowel movement can be seen on toilet tissue, in the stool, the toilet bowl, or on undergarments
- Mucus on undergarments
- Feces on undergarments
- Itching around anal region
- Mucus discharge when emptying the bowels
- Pain during bowel movement
Why Piles in Old Age?
Many people who don’t get to know or suffer from piles earlier in their life, get introduced to piles in old age.
- Rectal vein walls become weak as you get older. They can’t take pressure during the bowel movement and the veins get swollen leading to piles.
- Also, older people get constipation very easily as they no longer can digest fiber and thus eat foods that are easy to digest. Often these foods lack fiber. This leads to constipation and then piles.
Home Remedies for Piles
Instead of going for such medicines as corticosteroids, laxatives, pain killers that have many side effects, one can choose to use home remedies for piles. Often changes in diet, reducing body weight and doing such simple things can help you get rid of piles. They are any time better options to deal with piles than the painful surgeries and such treatments of piles as banding where your doctor places an elastic band around the base of the pile. You can instead try these home remedies for piles, they are best remedies to get rid of piles and painful hemorrhoids.
Icepack or Cold Compress for Piles
You know this, cold compress can shrink tissue and you can apply this trick to hemorrhoids piles. Not only will it shrink the pile but will also help get rid of itching, swelling and redness along with pain in your anal region.
- Clean cloth
- Ice pieces
- Wrap the ice pieces in the cloth
- Place this ice pack directly over the hemorrhoid
- Hold it there for few minutes. You may give short breaks of few seconds and then again hold the cold compress for 1-2 minutes
- Do this for a good 5-10 minutes and several times a day to get rid of piles. Nothing can be an easier remedy of piles than this!
Warm Water Bath to Relive Piles Pain and Itching
This remedy is more for relieving pain and itching caused due to piles. This may not help you treat piles actually but can assist you in getting rid of the discomfort associated with piles.
You need this:
- Bathtub filled with warm water OR Sitz bath
- Soak in the bathtub filled with warm water
- Sit there for about 15-20 minutes.
- If using sitz bath, place it on your toilet seat and soak for 15-20 minutes.
- You may do this after every bowel movement as this is the time when your piles will make you most uncomfortable
- After taking warm bath for piles, pat dry gently. Never rub or wipe the area as this may aggravate the piles condition.
Witch Hazel for Piles
Witch hazel, the traditional remedy for various skin ailments can be used for piles too. Witch hazel has tannins that make it anti inflammatory. It is also capable of shrinking tissues due to its astringent properties. This is just what is needed to get relief from piles. It can also stop bleeding.
- Witch hazel solution
- Clean cloth or cotton pad (optional)
- Apply witch hazel to your piles
- You can either use a clean cloth, cotton pad or your clean fingers to apply it to your anal area
- Do this several times a day
Homemade Suppositories for Piles
Till now we have been reading about the home remedies for external piles. What about internal piles? You can always make suppositories for piles at home. Suppositories can be understood as solid waxy medications meant to be inserted into the anus to alleviate the discomforts like irritation and burning sensations caused by internal hemorrhoids. The active ingredients of these suppositories get released once they are inserted and start melting due to the body heat. These ingredients then relieve pain, itching and other such sensations caused by internal hemorrhoids.
So, here’s one very easy recipe for homemade piles suppositories for you.
- Witch hazel tincture- 1 tsp
- Coconut oil (in solid state; place it in fridge to attain this) / Cocoa butter- 1 tsp
- Garlic (chopped finely; it’s optional though)- 1
- If using garlic, chop 1 clove finely and place in a small bowl
- Pour witch hazel over it. Soak it in with hazel tincture for 1-2 hours
- Then strain the solution and discard the soaked garlic. You may even use the witch hazel along with minced garlic in it.
- Now mix the witch hazel and coconut oil or cocoa butter well
- Take some of the mixture and give it the shape of an oblong pill. If you find it difficult doing this because coconut oil or butter melts due to your body heat, use the backside of two spoons or wrap the mixture in a plastic wrap and then fold the wrap to give it a shape of oblong pill.
- You will get about 3-5 suppositories from the mixture
- Place them in the freezer for 1-2 hours so that they freeze and become solid
- To use the suppositories, take one out of the freezer
- Wet your clean finger and rub your anal area with it so that the area gets wet
- Insert the suppository into your anus opening. Push it in, about an inch, past your sphincter otherwise it may not stay there.
- Wash your hands with soap and water immediately
Precaution: If you are allergic to witch hazel, this remedy of piles is not for you. It may cause irritation and itchiness.
Aloe Vera for Piles
Aloe vera is one of the cheapest and easiest home remedies for piles. In fact, aloe vera is nature’s answer to many other skin and health ailments too but because this is related to home remedies for piles, let’s understand why aloe vera is so effective for alleviating hemorrhoids. The active enzymes in aloe vera are anti inflammatory and regenerative in nature. When applied topically, it reduces piles and soothes irritation and itching. When taken internally, it cures the irritating intestine and alleviates bowel irregularity.
- Take some aloe vera gel and apply to your anus and anal region. This will soothe discomforts related to external piles.
- For internal piles, freeze the strips of ale vera and place one into your rectum (like suppository) to get relief from discomforts associated with internal piles.
- You may also drink aloe vera juice daily to treat your irritable bowel movements.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Piles
Just like witch hazel, apple cider vinegar too has astringent properties that help in shrinking tissue. And piles are nothing but swollen masses of blood vessels.
- Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and place this over your piles. You may feel a stinging sensation just when you do this but this will go away in few seconds. Apply ACV several times a day.
- You may also add 1/2 cup of ACV to water filled in sitz bath. Sit over it for 5-15 minutes 2-3 times a day. This also helps get rid of external piles.
- Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and have twice a day. This will help you get rid of internal hemorrhoids.
Essential Oils Remedies for Piles
There are many essential oils that work wonders for alleviating piles and associated symptoms and discomforts. These oils can reduce swelling and redness as well as pain. Their active ingredients also help strengthen the blood vessels so that you can cure piles once and for all. These oils can repair ruptures and lesions that you get due to the hemorrhoids. Many essential oils have anti-microbial properties and thus can prevent and treat any infection that might have causes by piles. Some of the oils that help you get relief from piles and its discomforts can be listed as:
- Cypress oil
- Geranium oil
- Tea tree oil
- Helichrysum oil
- Lavender oil
- Frankincense oil
- Roman chamomile oil
- Juniper oil
- Sandalwood oil
How to use these oils for piles?
Add few drops (3-4 drops) of any essential oil to a teaspoon of carrier oil (such as coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, sesame oil or even avocado oil). Apply the oil mix to your hemorrhoids 3-4 times a day.
Homemade Hemorrhoid Gel for Piles Cure
When we know the value of essential oils and many other natural ingredients like aloe vera and witch hazel in treating piles, why not make a hemorrhoid gel at home itself! This will be safe, cheap and a better solution for piles remedy than the expensive hemorrhoid gels available in the shops that only provide temporary relief. So DIY, make a hemorrhoid gel at home.
- Aloe vera gel- 8-10 tsp
- Witch hazel solution- 1 tsp
- Cypress essential oil- 2-3 drops
- Juniper essential oil- 2-3 drops
- Geranium essential oil- 2-3 drops
- Any other essential oil of your choice (from the list given earlier)- 2-3 drops
- Take witch hazel in a bowl and add all the essential oils to this, mix well.
- Add the aloe vera gel to this mixture and mix well to get an ointment like consistency. If you like, you can also use some cocoa butter to give it the right texture.
- Store it in a glass jar.
- To apply, stir the mixture thoroughly and then apply to your hemorrhoids as and when needed.
Onion Treatment for Piles
This remedy is for bleeding piles and it comes from the age-old treasure of Ayurveda. Small onions are used traditionally by Ayurvedic practitioners of India to cure acute bleeding piles. Small onions are preferred over big ones by Ayurveda as they have more medicinal value. The sulphur compounds of small onions along with their antiseptic, antibiotic, carminative and antimicrobial properties seem to work as medicine for many diseases. They also reduce inflammation and related pain.
- Small onions- 3-5
- Ghee (clarified butter) / Coconut oil- 1/2 tsp
- Cut the onions in small pieces
- Place the chopped onions in a pot and keep it over low flame
- Add ghee or coconut oil to this
- Keep stirring the onions in the pot, do this without stopping even for a second
- After stirring for about 3-4 minutes, put off the flame and let the fried onions cool down
- Have this on empty stomach twice a day
- You will get relief from bleeding piles within 3 days of using this onion treatment for piles
Diet Remedies for Piles
There are certain foods and other edible ingredients like seeds, herbs and spices that can help you get rid of piles. Here are such foods listed for your benefit. These can be called useful diet remedies for piles!
- Eat more carrots and spinach. They have fiber and have many nutrients to help you get rid of various causes of piles such as constipation. You can either eat raw carrots and spinach in salads or make a juice (rather smoothie) using 3 parts of carrots and one part of spinach. Drink this carrot-spinach juice every day.
- Take pulp of half mango, 3-4 tbsp of plain yogurt and 1 tsp of ginger juice. Mix them well and have three times a day. Nothing can be so delicious a remedy for piles!
- Radish has almost similar properties as onions that are discussed earlier here. They both treat bleeding piles. Eat raw radish to stop bleeding hemorrhoids. You may also take 1/2 cup juice of radish and add 1/2 tsp of ghee (clarified butter) r coconut oil to this. have this twice a day to get relief from bleeding as well non-bleeding piles.
- Take half lemon and squeeze out its juice into 1/4 glass of warm milk and drink it right away. Do this 3-4 times a day with a gap of 3-4 hours every time.
- Take 1-2 tsp of dried gooseberries (amla) powder and add to a glass of buttermilk. Have this twice a day.
- Have bananas and papaya daily. They help cure piles as they are also good remedies for constipation.
- Have sufficient water daily. It helps in easy bowel movement, keeps you hydrated and cleanse all the toxins from your body.
- Just as you need hydration, you also need lubrication of your body. For this, have oils (but in limited amounts) daily. Don’t exclude oils altogether from your diet. Have healthy oils like olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, mustard oil or clarified butter (ghee). But you should not have more than 2-3 tbsp of oil in a day.
All these diet habits will not only cure but also prevent piles from occurring in the future. And if you do have mild piles, you know what home remedies for piles to use!