You’ve noticed itchiness and discomfort around your bottom and every time you pass a bowel movement you see blood on the paper. If this sounds like you – you’re suffering from hemorrhoids – those swollen veins which sit either inside the anal canal or, if you’re very unlucky, are protruding from your anus like a miniature bunch of grapes.
But don’t panic, haemorrhoids are not as unusual as you may think and there are many things you can do to treat them. So here’s a rundown on the best treatments for hemorrhoids, both medicinal and natural, so you can choose the most appropriate for you.
If you head to your local drugstore, you’ll find many hemorrhoid treatments. Most consist of topical treatments, i.e. those which are applied onto the affected area. These usually consist of two types. The first are corticosteroid creams which contain low doses of steroids and have the effect of shrinking the piles and returning the swollen veins to their normal size.
They also help to improve the tone of the veins too. The second type of cream usually contain lidocaine – a local anesthetic which reduces the pain. They don’t actually reduce the size of the piles but they do alleviate the discomfort.
For those of you who prefer more natural methods, then the best treatment for haemorrhoids is to use a cotton pad saturated in some kind of plant based substance. The most popular treatments include witch hazel, from the leaves and bark of the Hamamelis virginiana, which acts as an astringent to relieve pain, swelling and itching, apple cider vinegar which works pretty much in the same way and aloe vera which, because of its high water content, is much more soothing.
Other options include smoothing coconut oil onto the area to heal and soothe the skin.
And if you’re a lover of alternative medicines, Traditional Chinese Medicine offers several remedies which they consider to be the best treatment for hemorrhoids. These include Gingko, otherwise known as Gingko Biloba, Japanese silver apricot or maidenhair which has been used by the Chinese for thousands of years as a treatment for piles.
Other TCM remedies include Bu Zhon Yi Qi Wan, another traditional treatment which requires you to take 8 – 10 pills, 3 times a day for one month. We’re not sure whether it works, but you’re certainly going to rattle with so many pills inside you.