It’s estimated that as many as 93 million Americans suffer with the unpleasant problem of hemorrhoids—also called piles.
Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in your anus and lower rectum that may be the result of straining during bowel movements or from the increased pressure on these veins during pregnancy or delivery, or from lifting heavy objects. There is a large hereditary component to hemorrhoids, and people who have hemorrhoids are also more likely to suffer from varicose veins.
Some of the symptoms when hemorrhoids act up include itching, burning—and in some cases bleeding. The itching and the pain can at times be almost unbearable—making any activity unpleasant in the extreme.
The good news is homeopathy can help bring rapid relief—doing so safely and gently. If you find yourself with this unpleasant and often painful problem, here are some homeopathic remedies to consider:
Aesculus hippocastanum: This homeopathic remedy is made from the Horse Chestnut tree. The rectum feels as if it is full of small sticks – and very painful. If visible – the hemorrhoids can be of a purplish hue. There is often burning, itching and dryness. Some needing this remedy have described the pain in hemorrhoids as feeling like a knife sawing up and down - they could not sit, stand or lie - the only possible comfortable position was kneeling. The stool is typically dry and hard and passed with difficulty, so these hemorrhoids are worse during periods of constipation. Pain can persist after a bowel movement. Additionally, there can be sharp, shooting pains up the back with the hemorrhoids.
Aloe: This homeopathic remedy is made from the Aloe plant. A person needing this remedy has hemorrhoids that protrude from the rectum like a bunch of grapes. They bleed and are tender and hot – relieved by cold water. There is often itching and burning that makes sleep a challenge. One of the strong characteristics of Aloe is that there is an urging to stool while urinating. Stools can leak out by just passing gas.
Arsenicum album: A person needing this homeopathic remedy often has hemorrhoids that burn, and oddly enough are relieved by sitting in a hot bath or from a heating pad. There is often stitching pain when walking or sitting, but not when at stool. The hemorrhoids of this patient often bleed and protrude and are swollen. The burning pain can be particularly intense at night, preventing sleep.
Causticum: This homeopathic remedy is best suited to a patient whose hemorrhoids are so large, hard and swollen they can even block the stool. The pain associated with these hemorrhoids is frequently of a stinging, stitching, burning variety… and the pain can be so intense that walking, standing and sitting are very difficult, as is touching the area. In some cases – the pain is somewhat relieved after a stool. Oddly, for this patient, just thinking about the hemorrhoids can make them feel worse as well.
Hamamelis: This homeopathic remedy is made from Witch Hazel. The person needing this remedy will tend to have hemorrhoids that bleed readily and at times profusely—frequently at the time of a stool. There is also a feeling of burning soreness and a sense of rectal fullness. Pain can remain long after the stool is completed. The hemorrhoids commonly protrude from the rectum.
Nitric acidum: This homeopathic remedy is commonly thought of for patients whose hemorrhoids are constantly pressing out with burning, prickling, sharp stitching pains often after every bowel movement. Bowel movements can be exceedingly difficult, even when soft, and very painful – even to the point of making the patient feel nauseous or faint. There can be bleeding of the hemorrhoids, sometimes in bed at night, as well as great sensitiveness of the anus along with itching. The person needing this remedy can feel worse from exercise and they can also be irritable and anxious.
Nux vomica: This homeopathic remedy is also made from a plant—a deciduous tree bearing its name. The patient needing Nux vomica has hemorrhoids with burning and sticking pains in the rectum. The anus is particularly painful and feels as if it has been cut even some hours after a stool. There can be a copious discharge of bright blood with the urging to have a stool or after stool. The burning pains can become intolerable to the least touch. There is often a great deal of itching that keeps the patient awake at night. Sitting in a tub of cold water will bring relief. Lying on the abdomen may also bring a degree of relief. Hemorrhoids are generally worse from being sedentary or from so called high living and can be a problem during pregnancy or after childbirth. A patient needing Nux vomica tends to be a person who is very particular, careful, zealous – those inclined to get angry or excited easily, or who are of a spiteful, malicious disposition. They tend to be chilly patients. Constipation is also a frequent problem, where the urge to have a stool is there, but it is difficult to pass (ie, “wants to but can’t”)
Sepia: This homeopathic remedy is made from the ink of a sea creature called the cuttlefish. A person needing Sepia tends to have hemorrhoids that are hot and burning with swelling of anus when the hemorrhoids do not protrude. Passing a stool can be excessively painful. There can also be a constant oozing of moisture from anus as well as stitches and jerking pains from the anus upward into the rectum and abdomen. Additionally, there may be itching in the rectum and anus. Constipation is common with this remedy. As a rule – Sepia patients are chilly and sun worshippers. They love to be in the sun and they love the heat of the sun.
Sulphur: A person needing this homeopathic remedy tends to have large, red, burning and itching hemorrhoids. The itching is often intolerable. The hemorrhoids can be so large and painful that even standing is difficult. Shooting pains in the anus are also common – and at times those pains travel upwards. The burning pain can be worse after sitting a while and after soft stools in the evening. There is often a sense of fullness and pressing in the rectum during and after the stool. Sulphur patients are worse from warmth in general and warmth of the bed. They can also be worse from bathing.
Once you have chosen a remedy that appears to match your symptoms (remember, homeopathy is individualized medicine and the remedy you need must match your symptom profile) dose with either a 30C or 200C potency to start - placing one pellet under the tongue or one pellet in water, stirring vigorously and taking teaspoon doses as needed. Always cease dosing when relief begins and only redose if symptoms again worsen. As with any medical condition, consult with your physician if you have any concerns about the severity of your problem as it may first require medical diagnosis and/or intervention and monitoring.
About Dr. Samet:
Dr. Lisa Samet N.D. provides Washington Homeopathic Products with a regular column on using homeopathy for the family. She's a naturopathic physician who specializes in homeopathic medicine and she's a partner with Dr. Andre Saine N.D. Dr. Samet graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1998 and has been practicing in Montreal since then. She was born and raised in New York.
Dr. Samet has chosen to focus on homeopathy because in her experience it is the deepest healing modality available in that it does not just soothe or palliate symptoms but can actually stimulate the body to start to heal itself. Dr. Samet sees patients in her Montreal office as well as remotely using Skype. Learn more here: Dr. Lisa Samet