Herbs & Natural Remedies:
Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus), gotu kola (Centella asiatica) and witch hazel.
Horse chestnut: seed extract. Butcher’s broom and gotu kola: extract. Witch hazel: witch hazel water.
How it Works:
Hemorrhoids are dilated veins in the anal area, causing itching or pain. Horse chestnut, butcher’s broom, and gotu kola all strengthen vein walls, minimizing swelling, according to German studies. Witch hazel soothes inflamed tissue. It’s the active ingredient in many over-the-counter hemorrhoid products—for example, Tucks Pads.
Horse chestnut: an extract containing 50 mg of aescin twice a day. Butcher’s broom: 100 mg three times a day of an extract containing 9 to 11 percent ruscogenins. Gotu kola: 30 mg three times daily of an extract containing 70 percent triterpenic acid. Witch hazel: apply with a cloth or cotton balls.
Fresh horse chestnut is toxic. Use only commercial medicinal preparations. They have been detoxified.
Hemorrhoids are often associated with constipation. Prevention includes regular exercise, a high-fiber diet and plenty of nonalcoholic fluids.
San Francisco health writer Michael Castleman is the author of 11 consumer health books. Visit www.mcastleman.com .