Piles, also known as hemorrhoids are inflamed and swollen collections of tissue around inside or outside the anal area. Generally, there are two types of piles
Types of Piles
- Internal Piles: Located between 2 to 4 centimeters above the opening of the anus
- External Piles: Occurs on the outer edge of the anus
Image credit: Mikael Haggstrom, 2012
Piles can be classified into four grades according to their position:
Grade 1: Small and invisible inflammations inside the lining of the anus.
Grade 2: These are slightly larger than grade 1 and remains inside the anus. They get pushed out while passing the stool but returns inside the anus unaided.
Grade 3: You can clearly see the grade 3 piles outside the anus. You can even feel them hanging from the rectum, but they can be pushed back into place with your hand.
Grade 4: These are the most complicated type of piles which remains outside the anus throughout. Grade 4 piles cannot be pushed back inside and you may need surgery to correct them.
Best Home Remedies for Piles
#1. Sitz Baths
Sitz bath is to sit in warm water to relieve the pain caused by piles. Soaking the anus in warm water can help you speed up the healing process by boosting the blood flow. Sitz baths as such won’t cure your piles but will give you a huge relief from irritation.
How to use
- Fill the bathtub with 2 to 3 inches of warm water
- Sit inside the tub for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure that the anus is covered
- Continue the activity 3 times a day
- When you get up, gently rub or pat the infected area with a soft towel or soft wipes
- Optional: You may dry off the moisture using a hairdryer
#2. Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel contains antioxidant compounds like tannins which help reduce swelling, lessen inflammation, bleeding and repairs the broken skin. Witch hazel extracts also contain astringents which tighten the skin and in turn reduces bleeding.
Regular application of Witch Hazel water helps in relieving itching and burning sensation around the infected part of your anus.
How to use
- Mix Witch hazel extracts in water
- Dip the cotton in the mixture and apply it directly to the infected area
- Keep the cotton balls on the infected area
- Change them with a fresh batch of cotton balls after every 2 to 3 minutes.
- Repeat the process even after defecating
#3. Fiber-Rich Foods As Home Remedy for Piles
One of the primary reasons for piles is infrequent bowel movements. Your body cannot break down fiber and hence cannot absorb or digest fiber. This results in passing of the fibres through your stomach, intestine, colon and out of your body via defecation.
The fiber makes stool loose and easy to pass without any strain. Hence, fiber-rich foods are recommended especially to the persons affected by piles.
- Legumes: lentils, black beans
- Fruits: apple, banana, strawberries, pear, raspberries
- Vegetable: beetroot, broccoli, brussels sprouts
- Whole grains: oats, barley, brown rice
#4. Ice Pack
Ice packs help prevent tissue damage around the anus which helps in reducing pain and swelling. For large and painful piles (Grade 3 and Grade 4), this is an effective treatment. Using ice packs brings relief to inflamed tissues and numbing down the infected area.
How to use?
- Wrap some ice cubes in a clean towel or a clean handkerchief
- Pat, the affected region for 15 to 20 minutes every alternate hour
#5. Coconut Oil
The strong anti-inflammatory properties of coconut oil reduce inflammation and swelling caused due to piles. Coconut oil is also analgesic which relieves the pain and discomfort caused by the piles.
The anti-bacterial properties of coconut oil prevent further decaying and help to heal faster. Coconut oil also has laxative effects, which helps to relieve constipation by smoothly cleaning the bowels. Applying coconut oil on the infected areas reduces the irritation swelling, and the urge to scratch.
How to use
- You can take coconut oil internally by spreading it over brown bread
- You can use it externally by dipping cotton balls in coconut oil and applying it three times a day
#6. Aloe Vera
The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera help to soothe the inflammation caused by the piles. Aloe vera also helps in reducing the irritation and the urge to scratch the infected area.
The therapeutic properties of aloe vera help to lower the irritation and burning sensation. Regularly applying the aloe vera on your anus can give you relief from the painful burning sensation.
How to use
- Cut one aloe vera leaf and split in half
- Extract the gel and apply directly on the infected area
- Repeat for 2 to 3 days
#7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has acetic acid which is an astringent. Astringents shrink the infected tissues around your anus giving you a massive relief from piles. The antibacterial properties of Apple cider vinegar prevent the piles from further decay.
Apple cider vinegar is also anti-inflammatory which relieves you form the swelling and irritation due to piles.
How to use
- Dilute Apple cider vinegar with water
- Dip some cotton balls in the solution
- Apply on the infected part
- Gently pat for 10 to 15 minutes
- Add two cups of apple cider vinegar in a warm water tub
- Soak your anus in the tub for 15 to 20 minutes
- Take a shower to rinse off
#8. Tea Tree Oil
The antiseptic properties of Tea tree oil can reduce itching, discomfort and pain. Further, the anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing inflammation and swelling which in turn aids in shrinking piles.
The anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties of Tea tree oil keep the infected part of the anus from further decaying and help to keep the area clean.
How to use
- Dilute the tea tree oil in a carrier oil, preferably coconut oil or castor oil
- Mildly heat the mixture
- Dip the cotton ball in the mixture
- Gently pat on the infected region for 15 to 20 minutes
- Continue this every day until the symptoms subside
#9. Drink Lots of Fluids
Research conducted by “The Permanente Journal” explains that most of the piles’ start because of the lack of liquids in the diet. Staying well hydrated makes your stool easier to pass without any extra pressure.
Prune juice is a natural laxative and helps your bowel movements. Regular consumption of prune juice makes your stool softer. Hence, you require less energy to pass stool which in turn causes less irritation due to piles.
#10. Bathroom Habits
Listen to your body of any natural urges and do not wait for the ideal moment or to use the toilet at home.
While not to pressurize during the bowel movement is important. Any straining and pushing while defecating may worsen the condition.
The best sitting position for the proper bowel movement is the squatting position. The squatting position clears the rectum easily without any application of force.
#11. Wear Loose and Comfortable Clothes
Avoid wearing tight jeans which don’t allow air circulation. Tight clothes lead to precipitation and moisture which may cause irritation and itchiness in the infected areas. Any rubbing or friction of piles while sitting or standing slows down the healing process.
Cotton fiber is a natural, breathable and cool. Hence, wear loose and comfortable cotton undergarments which keeps your anal region dry.
When to Seek Medical Help
The above home remedies are safe without any side effects. You can try any one or two at a time according to your comfort.
The remedies mentioned are only helpful to Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3 types of piles. You must immediately contact a doctor in case if you have Grade 4 piles.