We’ve covered coconut oil’s many uses in other articles, but we’ve had several questions about how coconut oil can help with hemorrhoids. It’s a touchy, painful, itchy subject, but we are ready to tackle it. We’ll try not to get too graphic while still getting the job done.
Treating hemorrhoids often includes helping to control inflammation, discomfort and itching. This is where coconut oil comes in. With anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, coconut oil has a lot of health benefits when applied topically or ingested orally to help treat hemorrhoids.
This article will help you understand how to use coconut oil for hemorrhoids and cover the following points:
- What are hemorrhoids?
- The benefits of using coconut oil
- How to use coconut oil for hemorrhoids
- 6 natural ways to treat hemorrhoids at home
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids, or piles, are inflamed veins that can form internally or externally in or around the anus. The external ones are connected to sensitive nerves that are the route of the lumps, discomfort, pain, swelling, burning, itching, bleeding, clots, and irritation people experience while the internal ones tend to go unnoticed unless they bleed.
Everyone has hemorrhoids. The problem is when they become too big for the anal passage due to inflammation. This leads to the vein walls stretching and becoming irritated whenever you pass bowel movements. This is when piles develop and those nasty symptoms like itching, discomfort, and bleeding can occur.
Hemorrhoids have plagued society since ancient times. On the day of the battle of Waterloo, the emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, was in a lot of pain due to thrombosed hemorrhoids. Today, hemorrhoids remain a common problem and are seen regularly at primary care clinics, gastroenterology wards, and emergency wards.
Talking about hemorrhoids may feel embarrassing but it’s actually a common problem that millions of people experience. Roughly 1 in 20 people in the U.S have reported hemorrhoids. About 50% of people over 50 have piles.
Hemorrhoids are usually caused by straining during bowel movements. Although experts aren’t 100% sure what causes hemorrhoids, it’s thought that certain things increase the risk of developing piles such as:
- Sitting for long periods of time on the toilet
- Being pregnant
- Eating a low-fiber diet
- Regular heavy lifting
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
Despite being a general pain in the anus, hemorrhoids aren’t particularly harmful, but anyone who has them may disagree. They are definitely something you want gone fast even if they aren’t damaging to your overall health. Although piles aren’t life-threatening, you want to correct the situation fast.
The Benefits of Using Coconut Oil for Hemorrhoids
Coconut oil has been around for a while. Whether it’s for your skin, hair, or nails, it seems coconut oil has an endless list of uses. One of the many benefits of coconut oil is it can help bring relief and treat hemorrhoids.
This beneficial oil happens to be anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, making it the perfect topical and internal way to soothe away the pain, speed healing, and get your intestines working right at the same time. Its strong anti-inflammatory properties mean it can help reduce pain and swelling. You should also notice a decrease in discomfort after using coconut oil. Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer that should also help ease the symptoms of hemorrhoids.
Related: Coconut Oil: Antiviral
How to Use Coconut Oil for Hemorrhoids
When using coconut oil for medicinal purposes, it’s advised that you use organic, extra virgin coconut oil. This is because it’s the least processed type of coconut oil and possesses more health benefits. When using coconut oil for hemorrhoids, there are a few ways you can do this. Here are some different ways to use coconut oil to treat piles:
- Apply coconut oil to the affected area several times a day to chase away the pain and see the swelling go down as the hemorrhoids heal within days.
- Incorporate coconut oil into your diet. When ingested, coconut oil kills unfriendly bacteria that can cause indigestion and other digestive problems. Due to its laxative effects, coconut oil can help to relieve constipation.
- Add ½ a cup of coconut oil to your bath. The warm water and oil can be soothing and help to relieve symptoms. You’ll also get silky soft skin everywhere else as an added bonus.
- Create coconut oil suppositories. You can use coconut oil to create your own suppositories. Shape coconut oil into cylinders about the width of a pencil then freeze until they are ready to use. Typically, coconut oil suppositories are inserted into the rectum to help ease internal hemorrhoids.
- Mix turmeric and melted coconut oil. The mixture can be a powerful combination due to turmeric’s potent anti-inflammatory properties. Apply topically to the area.
Related: Turmeric: The Spice That Helps You Take Control of Your Life
Of course, if you have any worries or issues, always talk to your doctor and get a diagnosis before moving forward with any treatment. You know your body the best.
(NOTE: Coconut can be the answer to many of life's riddles. Check out our article on the 50 best uses for coconut oil. See it here.)
6 Natural Ways to Help Treat Hemorrhoids at Home
Coconut oil is amazing, but there are other things to try, too. Often, piles can go away on their own if left untreated. However, there are a few effective home remedies and small lifestyle changes you can make to help treat hemorrhoids and even prevent them in the future.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a home remedy favorite and has been around for years as a treatment for almost anything. The vinegar is made by fermenting apples in a way that turns the sugars into acetic acid, the active ingredient in vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is thought to have antibacterial properties and may help to suppress inflammation.
To use apple cider vinegar, apply with a cotton ball or add half a cup to your bath and soak the pain and swelling away.
Related: 9 Deliciously Healthy Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
2. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a natural astringent, meaning it will pull water out of the area and reduce swelling. It can help to reduce itching and pain, two of the main symptoms of hemorrhoids. Witch hazel is also a natural anti-inflammatory so it could help to reduce the swelling associated with piles. You can buy witch hazel in liquid form and apply it directly onto the hemorrhoids with a cotton ball.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is very soothing, reduces inflammation, and enhances healing. Historically, aloe vera has been used to treat many skin conditions. There’s nothing better than layering aloe vera onto sunburned skin and feeling its cooling effects. Although you can find aloe vera in lots of products, you should only use pure aloe vera gel on hemorrhoids.
Related: 10 Health Benefits of Aloe Vera-The Miracle Plant
4. Squatting Stool
Use a squatting stool will help make your bowel movements smoother, with less straining. A squatting stool raises your knees above your hips so that you’re in a squatting position when you go. While Americans and other Western societies sit on the toilet, many Asian and African countries still squat when they have bowel movements.
The problem is, when you sit down, it puts a kink in your lower abdomen. This means that you have to push harder for the process to move along. Whereas squatting relaxes your muscles more and keeps your colon nice and straight. It can result in less straining and a much smoother toilet experience.
5. Fiber-Rich Diet and Fluids
Eating a diet rich in fiber with plenty of fluids can help move things along. Constipation is often caused by not eating enough fresh fruits, vegetables, and plant-based nutrition. Fiber is essential for digestive health and regular bowel movements. Fiber can absorb water which means it can make stools softer and easier to pass.
Avoid eating overly processed foods and include lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains in your diet. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water as well. Liquids will help to soften the stool and make it much more manageable as it works its way through the intestines. A softer stool takes less energy to pass, causing less irritation to the hemorrhoids.
Related: Need Motivation To Drink More Water?
6. Warm-Water Baths with Epsom Salts
Warm baths are a great way to help soothe hemorrhoids and offer some relaxation at the same time. You can either use a sitz bath, which is a small bucket that fits over a toilet or take a full-body bath. It’s thought that taking a 20-minute warm bath after every bowel movement is the most effective.
Epsom salts are made from magnesium sulfate. You can find the salts in most grocery stores. There are different grades of quality, depending on its use. Look for Epsom salts that are safe for medical use or USP Grade, which stands for United States Pharmaceutical Grade. Add two cups of Epsom salts to the bath and soak for about 10 to 20 minutes.
Coconut oil has potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and analgesic properties, making it a promising remedy for several conditions including hemorrhoids. By helping to control the swelling, discomfort, and inflammation associated with hemorrhoids, coconut oil can work to provide relief and make you much more comfortable. The next time you experience hemorrhoids, try using coconut oil to soothe pain and provide relief.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 19, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.