If you’re struggling with hemorrhoids, you’re not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 15 to 20 percent of Americans suffer from hemorrhoids. This equates to more than 50 million adults, with half of all adults experiencing symptoms after age 50.
This uncomfortable condition affects millions of people worldwide. While there are many products on the market that claim to provide relief, Epsom salt is a natural remedy that can be effective in treating hemorrhoids.
In this article, we’ll explore what Epsom salt, which is different from table salt, is and how it can help to ease the pain and discomfort associated with hemorrhoids.
What are hemorrhoids and what causes them?
Hemorrhoids can be a painful and uncomfortable experience for anyone who suffers from them. These swollen veins, otherwise known as hemorrhoid flare-ups in the anus and lower rectum can be caused by:
- straining when going to the bathroom
- sitting for extended periods
What are hemorrhoid symptoms?
You will likely make no mistake in wondering if you have hemorrhoids. If you have them, you will experience some or all of these:
- Pain in your anal area
- Itching or irritation in your anal region
- Bright red blood on toilet paper, stool, or in the toilet bowl after a bowel movement
- A lump near your anus
- Painful bowel movements
- Swelling around the anus
- Burning sensations in the anal area
- Discomfort when sitting
Treatment of hemorrhoids
- Treatment typically includes at-home remedies such as:
- fiber-rich diets
- sitz baths with Epsom salt
- certain medications and natural remedies to reduce pain, itching, and sometimes rectal bleeding.
If none of these solutions work, surgical procedures may be necessary to remove or shrink hemorrhoids. Before agreeing to surgery, always check with a natural healthcare practitioner, they will have different, often highly effective solutions that your allopathic doctor may be unaware of.
How does Epsom salt scientifically shrink hemorrhoids?
Epsom salt has long been used as a natural remedy to help relieve the discomfort of hemorrhoids. It is thought that regular use of Epsom salt, either in soaking baths or in ointment form, can reduce swelling and inflammation.
This is due to the presence of magnesium sulfate in Epsom salt, which helps reduce inflammation.
Additionally, osmotic pressure created by the Epsom salt helps draw water out of swollen tissue, helping to shrink hemorrhoids.
Because Epsom salt acts as an astringent it can help tighten the skin and give relief from itching and burning sensations caused by hemorrhoids.
The benefits of using Epsom salt for hemorrhoids
Epsom salt has long been valued for its benefit for sore muscles and aching bones, but few people know it can help treat hemorrhoids, too.
An Epsom salt bath or compress can reduce the painful swelling associated with hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins around the anus. Epsom salt is believed to work by helping to flush out toxins and reduce inflammation.
Additionally, an Epsom salt soak or compress helps to relax the body and relieve stress, which can contribute to the formation of hemorrhoids.
Epsom salts can be found at any drug store or online, and can easily help those suffering from this condition find relief without the need for more extreme methods such as medications or surgery.
2 quality brands of Epsom salts that are found on Amazon are:
1. Solimo Epsom Salt Soaking Aid, Eucalyptus Scented
For soaking and for taking internally
2. Pure Original Ingredients Epsom Salt (1 lb) Pure Magnesium Sulfate
How to use Epsom salt for hemorrhoids
Epsom salt baths
Epsom salt has long been used as an effective home remedy for the treatment of hemorrhoids. A popular method is to create a warm sitz bath by filling a bathtub with two to three inches of warm water and adding 2 to 3 cups of Epsom salt.
How long do you soak in Epsom salt for hemorrhoids?
The individual should then sit in the bath for 15 minutes for a rejuvenating soak and repeat as often as necessary throughout the day until symptoms have improved.
Taking epsom salt baths is a safe and natural way to reduce swelling and help detox the body. When you have completed your Epsom salt bath, pat dry the piles gently to avoid further irritation.
Apply witch hazel or aloe vera gel with a gauze pad to the hemorrhoids after an Epsom salt bath for good practice. This increases the anti-inflammatory response.
Epsom salt paste
Additionally, it’s possible to make an Epsom salt paste with water that can be applied directly to the area for additional relief.
Taking Epsom salt orally
Hemorrhoids are often a result of having difficulty with a bowel movement. Epsom salt can be taken orally as a laxative, providing relief from hard stool. Drinking a teaspoon of Epsom salt mixed in 6 ounces of water once per day or taking Epsom salt capsules orally.
This is a temporary natural solution. Once you are determined and able, lifestyle changes may need to be considered if you are not eating well or getting enough exercise.
Lifestyle choices like diet and how much movement one gets daily can directly determine digestive problems and difficult bowel movements which will contribute to flare-ups.
Those who have pre-existing conditions like kidney or heart disease should refrain from taking Epsom salt orally. Pregnant women should consult their healthcare provider, and children should not consume it unless under the care of a naturopath or integrative doctor.
As with any application, it’s always important to contact your healthcare provider before using this method to ensure safety.
How to avoid symptomatic hemorrhoids
- Exercise regularly
Exercise helps to support healthy digestion and can help to prevent constipation, which is a major cause of hemorrhoids.
- Increase your intake of dietary fiber
Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to keep food moving through the digestive system.
- Drink plenty of water
Drinking enough water helps to keep stools soft, which can prevent straining during bowel movements.
- Avoid prolonged sitting and standing:
If possible, avoid sitting or standing in the same position for prolonged periods of time as this can cause pressure on the veins in the rectal area leading to hemorrhoids.
- Try over-the-counter natural remedies
Products like witch hazel and lavender essential oil may be able to provide relief from symptoms such as itching, burning and inflammation associated with hemorrhoids.
*Avoid alcohol in skin products as a rule. Alcohol wreaks havoc on the skin’s pH among other unwanted side effects.
We like this witch hazel:
THAYERS Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel
- Toner with Aloe Vera Formula
- 12 Ounce
And always choose organic essential oils. We like this lavender one:
Cliganic USDA Organic Lavender Essential Oil
- 100% Pure
- Non-GMO Verified
Precautions to take when using Epsom salt for hemorrhoids
When using Epsom salt for treating hemorrhoids, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure the utmost safety. Epsom salt can be harsh on the skin and should not be used in its pure form; it should always be diluted before use.
Those using any kind of topical cream or method for hemorrhoid treatment should watch for signs of infection such as increased redness, swelling, or pain around the infected area, and discontinue usage if any of these occur.
Taking the proper precautions when using Epsom salts for hemorrhoids can make a big difference in how well the treatment works and how safe an individual remains during the process.
Concluding thoughts on using Epsom salt for hemorrhoids
If you’re struggling with hemorrhoids, you may want to give Epsom salt a try. This natural remedy can help to reduce swelling and inflammation, and it’s easy to use.
Have you tried Epsom salt for your hemorrhoids? What other home remedies have you found to be effective?
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