Received wisdom tells us that hemorrhoids improve with a high fibre diet of unrefined foods, and that what brings them on is constipation, and work that involves a great deal of sitting or standing.
their piles come on even without constipation. My own experience has convinced me that, like varicose veins, they are closely linked to your individual hypersensitivities, be these foods, additives or your own hormones (as in pregnancy).
While few orthodox treatments seem to be very successful, the alternative therapies can claim otherwise:
The naturopathic application of monopolar direct current (or inverse galvanism) is a thoroughly effective, safe and painless technique for hemorrhoid absorption1 described by David K Shefrin ND of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, Oregon, USA2. It involves the use of electrified needles that are put into the dead hemorrhoidal tissue. The technique was first used in 1897, it began to be used in general naturopathic practice from around 1925 and the first work on the technique was published in 19343.
For uncomplicated hemorrhoids I have found the warm Sitz Bath produces relief. This is a form of hip bath in which the pelvic area is immersed in warm water, with the feet in water of contrasting temperature4, or simply with contrasting knee and leg affusions. According to Kneipp Cure teachings you may add oak bark and camomile to the Sitz Baths5.
In acute cases home made icicle suppositories will provide quick pain relief6.
A pleasantly scented aromatic herbal bath in the morning with Rosemarinus officinalis (rosemary) has been shown to have a tonic effect upon the circulation and the nervous system7. This should not be done in the evenings, nor alongside homeopathic treatment.
Ruscus aculeatus (butcher's broom) has been shown to act on the venous system in particular, specifically inhibiting inflammation, and reducing bleeding8. It can also reduce the diameter of affected veins9.
Your diet should contain substantial quantities of cherries, blackberries and bilberries (European blueberries) provided you are not allergic to them because these are rich in flavonoid compounds (anthocyanosides, leukocyanidins and proanthocyanidins) which are potent antioxidants that enhance micro circulation10, 11.
I am constantly impressed by the efficacy of 11 homeopathic remedies: Adrenalinum (also Ephedrinum); sculus hippocastanum12, 13; Aloe socotrina14, 15; Amylaminum chlorohydratum; Hamamelis virginiana16; Lachesis lanceolatus; Peonia officinalis; Pulsatilla nigricans (also Pulsatilla pratensis)17; Ranunculus ficus (also Ficaria verna); Ratanhia and Sedum acre.
All these remedies, in various permutations, are constituents of the following four French homeopathic combinations, available as suppositories or ointments: 'Homeoridol ointment'; 'Avenoc suppositories'; 'Rectobyl suppositories'; 'Avenoc ointment'.
They are obtainable in the UK from the Nutri Centre (tel: 0171 436 5122) and in the USA toll free from any of the Boiron Satellite Pharmacies.
Harald C Gaier
Harald Gaier is a registered naturopath, homeopath and osteopath
1 Gastroent Endos, 1987; 33: 3ff.
2 J E Pizzorno, Jr & M T Murray (eds), A Textbook of Natural Medicine, Bastyr University Publications, 1992, VI: Hemor 2&3.
3 Arch Phys Ther, X-Ray, and Radium, September 1934.
4 M van Straten, The Complete Natural Health Consultant, London: Ebury Press, 1987, p89.
5 G Leibold, Practical Hydrotherapy, Wellingborough: Thorsons Publishers Ltd, 1980, p80.
6 R Trattler, Better Health through Natural Healing, Wellingborough: Thorsons Publishing Group, 1985, p342.
7 Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung, 1964, 10: 287.
8 Fortschr Med, 1989, 107(19): 52, 55-8.
9 Fortschr Med, 1990, 108(24): 473-6.
10 Minuti Cardioangiol, 1978, 26: 255-76.
11 Prensa Med Mex, 1973, 38(7): 293-6.
12 Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift, 1986, 139(17): 385-9.
13 Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift, 1986, 111(35): 1321-9.
14 Phytother Res, 1993, 7: S48-S52.
15 J Amer Acad Dermatol, 1988, 18:714-9.
16 Fortschr Med, 1981, 99(31/32): 1264-8.
17 Planta Medica, 1982, 45(2): 987.