Hemorrhoids are swollen, inflamed veins in the rectum that can ache and bleed. They are very common and are usually caused by
The most important interventions for hemorrhoids aim at reversing their causes. Adopting a high-fiber diet, sitting down less, getting plenty of exercise, and maintaining regular bowel habits can make a significant difference.
Medical treatment consists mainly of stool softeners and moist heat. In more severe cases, surgical procedures may be used.
Contrary to popular belief, it does not appear that consumption of foods spiced with hot chili peppers causes any discomfort or harm to people with hemorrhoids; a double-blind study found no difference in symptoms following consumption of hot peppers or placebo.
Principal Proposed Natural Treatments
Bioflavonoids are colorful substances that occur widely in the plant kingdom. Reasonably good, though not indisputable, evidence suggests that the
diosmin and hesperidin (in a special micronized combination preparation) may be helpful for hemorrhoids.
For example, a 2-month,
Other sources of bioflavonoids have been studied, as well. For example, in a 4-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 40 people with hemorrhoids, use of an extract made from the bioflavonoid-rich herb
Although it is not known precisely how flavonoids work, it is thought that they stabilize the walls of blood vessels, making them less susceptible to injury.
Other Proposed Natural Treatments
Preliminary evidence suggests that an extract made from pig intestines called mesoglycan
One study reported benefit for hemorrhoids by using a combination of olive oil, honey, and beeswax.
The natural treatments used for
Traditional herbal remedies for hemorrhoids include
For a discussion of homeopathic approaches to hemorrhoids, see the article of that name in the
4. Ho YH, Tan M, Seow-Choen F. Micronized purified flavonidic fraction compared favorably with rubber band ligation and fiber alone in the management of bleeding hemorrhoids: randomized controlled trial. Dis Colon Rectum . 2000;43:66-69.
11. Altomare DF, Rinaldi M, La Torre F, et al. Red hot chili pepper and hemorrhoids: the explosion of a myth: results of a prospective, randomized placebo-controlled crossover trial. Dis Colon Rectum. 2006 May 19. [Epub ahead of print]
13. Al-Waili NS, Saloom KS, Al-Waili TN, et al. The safety and efficacy of a mixture of honey, olive oil, and beeswax for the management of hemorrhoids and anal fissure: a pilot study. Sci World J . 2006;6:1998-2005.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © 2007 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.