Top 3 Herbs for Haemorrhoids: How to Make Your Own Herbal Suppositories
A haemorrhoid or pile is a dilation of the internal haemorrhoidal plexus. Haemorrhoids are associated with a low-fibre, unrefined diet, and increased abdominal pressure, such as for example when lifting, during pregnancy, straining on the toilet (constipation) and sneezing or coughing etc. There is also a hereditary component to it’s aetiology. Studies suggest haemorrhoids affect 13-36% of the UK general population. Haemorrhoids share similar pathophysiology and aetiology to venous insufficiency/varicose veins, hence this preparation is therapeutically indicated in these conditions.
Top 3 Herbs:
1. Aesculus hippocastanum (semen) (Horse Chestnut seed)
Properties: high in tannic acid and aesculin/aescin (a saponin)
Activity: venotonic, anti-oedematous, and anti-inflammatory: astringent and haemostatic.
Indications: haemorrhoids; rectal irritation/itching, sensation of heat or aching of rectum
Energetics: cooling, drying, and slightly constricting (astringent)
Studies of aescin have revealed clinically significant activity in chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), haemorrhoids and post-operative oedema: in one controlled trial aescin was shown to be as effective as compression therapy as a treatment for CVI. Pharmacodynamically it’s effects are due to improving the entry of ions into channels, thus raising venous tension.
2. Ruscus aculeatus (radix) (Butchers Broom root)
Properties: contains ruscogenin (a steroidal saponin); high in tannic acid
Activity: venotonic, anti-oedematous, and anti-inflammatory: astringent and haemostatic
Indications: haemorrhoids; rectal irritation/itching, sensation of heat/burning or aching of rectum
Energetics: drying and constricting (astringent)
Studies reveal evidence for symptomatic relief of chronic venous insufficiency, such as painful, heavy and tired legs and for haemorrhoids, such as itching and burning of the anus: in observational studies involving 1,800 participants suffering from haemorrhoids that were treated with suppositories containing ruscogenin, efficacy of treatment was evaluated as very good in 85%-93% of cases.
3. Quercus robur (suber) (Common Oak bark)
Properties: rich in tannic acid
Activity: venotonic, anti-odematus, and anti-inflammatory: astringent, haemostatic, and anti-microbial and antiseptic
Indications: haemorrhoids; rectal irritation/itching, sensation of heat or aching of rectum; diarrhoea (following gastrointestinal inflammation), topically on open discharging lesions/wounds and burns
Energetics: cooling, drying, and constricting (astringent)
Oak bark is rich in tannins: containing 15-20% tannins (including phlobatitannin, ellagitannins and gallic acid), which are powerfully astringent: tightening, drying, binding, and toning of tissues – reducing excess discharges. These properties can help to ease the inflammatory congested rectal mucosa by toning the dilated venous tissues.
Cocoa Butter (Theobroma oil)
A rich base or carrier oil, that:
- Emollient: moisturising, soothing and nourishing the rectal mucosal wall
Aesculus hippocastanum (semen) (Horse Chestnut seed). 500g (powdered)
Ruscus aculeatus (radix) (Butchers Broom root). 500g (powdered)
Quercus robur (suber) (Common Oak bark). 500g (powdered)
Cocoa Butter (Theobroma oil). 1kg
1:1.5 ratio (cocoa butter to dried, powdered herb). Herbs used in equal 1/3 parts.
- Melt cocoa butter in a bain-marie or slow cooker (on ‘warm’ setting: circa 65-75 degrees centigrade)
- Add and blend in powdered herb
- Infuse for 24 hours, stirring occasionally
- Pour through medium sieve
- *Form into small pellets using a mould, leave to harden/set
* Make a mould by wrapping tin foil around the handle of a wooden kitchen spoon. Carefully slide out the handle to leave a cylindrical cast. Pinch one end closed, and stack in a jar. Use a pipette or funnel to pour the oil into the moulds.
Herbal suppositories should be seen as an adjunct to a more comprehensive treatment ‘package’, which should include:
- Consuming high-fibre diet, rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains (with possible further supplementation of natural bulking agents, such as flaxseed, chia, and psyllium seeds): promotes peristalsis and keeps faeces soft and bulky and therefore easier to pass with less straining
- Address possible underlying liver disease: liver cirrhosis causes portal hypertension, which increases venous congestion in the perianal region
- Consume pro-anthocyanidin and anthocyanidin-rich foods to enhance integrity of venous structures (for example, blackberries, and blueberries etc)
- Consider hydrotherapy: alternating warm/cold sitz baths relieves pain and improves blood flow for uncomplicated acute flare-ups
- Consume breakfast: 7.5-fold increases in odd of haemorrhoids in persons who do not eat breakfast.
Patient guidance notes
Take one (1) suppository per day, at bedtime: insert into the rectum. For symptomatic relief of mild, non-complicated haemorrhoids, for example, itching, burning and pain of the anus. Administer for up to four weeks. If adverse reaction occurs or symptoms persist, seek medical advice. Store in a cool, dry place, preferably in the fridge. Do not exceed stated dose.