Hemorrhoids is one of the most common gastrointestinal diseases. There are several therapeutic options associated with some complications. Therefore, researchers look for traditional medicines as a potential resource for introduction of new natural drugs. The current study reports an evidence-based review of herbal remedies for hemorrhoids in traditional Persian medicine. A comprehensive survey about hemorrhoids on the most important manuscripts of traditional Persian medicine was done. Then, scientific data banks were searched for possible related properties of each herb in the conventional medicine. We reported some historical aspects of traditional Persian medicine view on classification, examination, and predisposing factors of hemorrhoids. In addition, we have reported 105 medicinal plants belonging to 51 families. More than half of the reported herbs exhibited anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Although lack of human studies regarding the mentioned herbs is noted, positive results from experimental findings can be considered for new drug discovery supported by traditional and medieval experiences.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Piles (Hemorrhoids)
What is Ayurvedic treatment?
Ayurveda is a traditional Hindu medicinal practice. Though it originated in India, today it’s practiced worldwide.
Ayurveda is generally recognized in the West as an alternative or complementary form of therapy. Ayurvedic medicine is holistic in nature, addressing the conditions of the mind, body, and spirit. It’s concerned with bringing the body back into balance to alleviate symptoms of illness.
A central tenet in Ayurvedic medicine is the idea that there are three doshas, or body types: pitta, vata, and kapha. Each dosha relates to a specific element — fire (pitta), air (vata), and water (kapha) — and a person with one dominant dosha will display physical or emotional characteristics consistent with that element.
The ultimate goal in Ayurveda is to balance each dosha. This is done through a combination of diet, lifestyle modifications, and herbal remedies.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins found in and around the anus and rectum. They can be either internal or external. Some symptoms of hemorrhoids (or piles) include:
- intense itching around the anus
- painful or itchy swelling or lump near your anus
- painful bowel movements
- bleeding from your anus during or after bowel movements
- irritation and pain around the anus
- leakage of stool
It’s important to know for sure you have hemorrhoids, so do seek a diagnosis with your medical doctor to rule out other problems.
Doctors may recommend over-the-counter products for this issue. Serious hemorrhoids will require more treatment.
There are a handful of Ayurvedic approaches to treating hemorrhoids you could try as well. Read on to find out more.
Types of hemorrhoids according to dosha
In Ayurvedic belief, your dominant dosha determines the type of hemorrhoids you may be experiencing:
- People who are pitta might tend to experience inflamed, bleeding hemorrhoids that are soft and red. Other symptoms include fever, diarrhea, and a feeling of thirst.
- People who are vata may experience a high level of pain, constipation, and black hemorrhoids with a rough, hard texture.
- People who are kapha may have poor digestion and hemorrhoids that are slippery, light or white in color, soft, and large in size.
Ayurvedic remedies for piles
Ayurvedic approaches to hemorrhoid treatment are considered holistic. People experiencing hemorrhoids who want to try treating them with Ayurvedic medicine should expect herbal remedies, lifestyle changes, and possibly minimally invasive procedures as part of their treatment plan.
Your Ayurvedic practitioner will evaluate your overall health to determine your dominant dosha before making treatment suggestions. It’s recommended that you speak to your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment approach.
If you’re experiencing hemorrhoids and want to take an Ayurvedic approach to treatment, your options include:
Medication, or bhaishajya chikitsa
Most minor hemorrhoids can be treated with medication only. No other procedures are needed unless hemorrhoids are more severe. In worse cases, medications may be used in addition to procedures.
Your dosha will factor into the medicinal remedies your Ayurvedic practitioner chooses and any dietary or lifestyle changes they recommend you make in order to prevent recurrence. Some medications may not be suitable for your dosha, so follow your practitioner’s guidance.
Herbal application, or kshara
Kshara is a caustic, alkaline paste used to manage hemorrhoids. The paste is made of an herbal blend and has a cauterizing action. Kshara is applied to the hemorrhoid using a specialized device called a slit proctoscope. The paste then chemically cauterizes the hemorrhoid, which may have been open and bleeding.
In Ayurvedic medicine, this Kshara karma method is considered to be the best approach for treating hemorrhoids.
Depending on your dosha, you’ll be advised to take specific medications to balance your body as you recover. You may also need to make dietary or lifestyle adjustments to support healing.
It’s possible to be allergic to herbal medications. Do test the cream on your arm, and if no reaction occurs in 24 hours, try applying to the rectal area.
Surgical intervention, or sastra chikitsa
Your Ayurvedic practitioner may recommend a therapy called kshara sutra. Kshara sutra uses special medicated thread to tie a hemorrhoid off at the base.
This cuts off the blood supply to the vein, allowing the hemorrhoid to shrink over the next 7 to 10 days. It will shrivel and detach on its own. This more invasive approach will be considered only when other treatments are not effective.
Your Ayurvedic practitioner will consider your dosha when it comes to treatment. You might need specific herbs to support postoperative healing. It’s also possible you may need to make some permanent changes in diet, exercise, and other factors to avoid future hemorrhoids.
While this procedure is considered minimally invasive, it does have risk. Surgical intervention could be dangerous for people who are susceptible to infection, have a bleeding disorder, or are on medications for heart conditions or blood-thinning. Consult a licensed healthcare practitioner for advice.
Cauterization, or agnikarma
External hemorrhoids can be cauterized using infrared heat. Your Ayurvedic practitioner might offer burning off the hemorrhoids. Cauterization will produce some pain.
This kind of therapy might require five to six treatments over the same number of weeks before it makes a difference. Once again, your dosha will be taken into account before treatment. There is potential for increased pain or infection with this procedure. Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risks and ensure this is appropriate for you. Safer Western approaches to treatment might be better. powered by Rubicon Project
Side effects and risks
Ayurvedic hemorrhoid treatments like application of kshara paste and Kshara Sutra ligation have been shown to be safe and effective. If your practitioner or doctor has recommended herbal supplements or medications, be sure to ask about possible side effects.
Cauterization procedures and surgical procedures have a much higher risk. Possible side effects include:
It can be risky for a person experiencing hemorrhoids to choose the wrong treatment. That means it’s vital to work closely with a knowledgeable practitioner before choosing.
Your doctor will be able to provide you with detailed information about your diagnosis and other medical conditions that need to be considered before using Ayurvedic medicine. In the United States, there are guidelines for the care of hemorrhoids, and diagnosis and management of serious hemorrhoids need to be under the care of a doctor.
The journey to recovery
While Ayurvedic medicines for piles do exist, correction of metabolic errors and lifestyle modification is the key to curing piles. Charting out a healthy diet plan and weeding out harmful activities from your daily routine can gradually help people with piles and fistula recover naturally.
Ayurveda has identified numerous herbs and natural ingredients that have proven to work as a remedy for piles. At Kerala Ayurveda, we have used these key ingredients to create Pilogest – an Ayurvedic proprietary oral supplement is to treating the root cause that leads to piles, anal bleeding and hemorrhoids.
The unique combination of elephant foot yam and touch-me-not plant with extracts of Turmeric, Chitrak, Guggulu and Triphala, makes this one of the best ayurvedic medicine for piles and fistula.
Pilogest regulates your metabolism with a mild laxative action and helps facilitate easy bowel movement. Regular intake of Pilogest reduces pain, promotes shrinkage of pile mass and speeds up healing.
Touch-me-not plant is a well known ayurvedic herb to treat bleeding piles. It contains alkaloid mimosin, which alleviates pain and reduces inflammation. The phenolic content and antioxidant action of this plant accelerates wound healing. In Ancient period, Ayurvedic physicians prescribed a decoction made using touch-me-not plant to treat piles. External application of leaf paste was used traditionally to cure pile mass.
Elephant foot yam has been popularly used for treating piles and fistula. An excellent source of fiber, it regulates bowel movement and prevents constipation and improves metabolism due to the presence carbohydrates and fiber.
present in Pilogest Capsule contains specialized photo-constituents like tannin, Gallic, ellagic acid and vitamin C, which act not only helps evacuate the bowel, but also acts as an excellent anti-oxidant, preventing future occurrence of piles and fistula.
Guggul resin best known anti-inflammatory herb in Ayurveda. It helps in reducing the inflammation in fistula-anorectic and hemorrhoid al conditions. Guggul is a laxative and astringent agent that easily metabolizes the bioactive etiologic component of hemorrhoids, especially toxins (AMA). The gum resin is proved to be a rich source of steroids that relieves pain and itching.
with its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties prevents the attack of secondary microbial infection and arrests the bleeding in hemorrhoids. It also helps reduce anal itching.