Swollen and protruding veins in and around the anus are known as piles (Haemorrhoids). The veins that drain the blood from the tissues in the anal area lie at the junction of the rectum and the anus. The rectum is the last part of the large intestine or colon, and the anus is the external aperture at the end of the gastrointestinal canal, through which the waste products are finally expelled as faeces or stools. The venous drainage of this area is just inside the anal opening.
Causes and Symptoms for Piles
When there is straining during defecation, the muscles of this area contract and put pressure on the veins. If the valves in the wall of the veins are weak, there is engorgement of blood in the veins, causing them to protrude. This engorgement of veins is also called varicose veins. The engorged protruding veins that lie external to the anal orifice are called external piles, and these can be felt. The veins that lie internal to the orifice cannot be seen or felt normally. Constipation is one of the main causes of piles, but any systematic disorder involving the liver, e.g., cirrhosis, or back pressure in the circulation due to any cause, a prostate enlargement, pregnancy, chronic coughing, etc., can all cause pressure in the venous drainage in this area.
People only become aware of piles when they bleed or there is pain. Initially, piles do not hurt. That only happens when infection sets in. So do not neglect any bleeding from the anus, however slight it may be. Bleeding may be the first sign of cancer of the colon. Sometimes, because of the engorgement, there may be a little mucus discharge. This causes itching, which is when a person should visit the doctor to find out the cause.
Sometimes there are no symptoms of piles (if the veins in the area are normal), and there is no systematic cause for pressure in the area. However, the passage of hard, constipated stools cause trauma to the anal orifice, and a linear ulcer occurs. Trauma due to any causeanal intercourse, a particularly traumatic childbirth, or post-operative lesions can result in a linear cut, forming an ulcer. This is called an anal fissure. Anal fissures cause a sharp agonising pain during defecation, and they set up a vicious cycle of constipation. If constipation is the cause of the fissure, and the fissure is painful, a person avoids passing motions, which then results in him or her not responding to the call of nature and getting more constipated. All in all, most gastrointestinal de-arrangements are only the result of the bowels not being cleared regularly. This may be a hereditary disorder, where there is a congenital weakness of the veins in this area, in which case, more than one person in the family will present with piles, and at an earlier age.
All remedies for constipation will ease the problem. But diarrhea, when it is the result of overuse of laxatives, will result in a fissure becoming inflamed and painful.
Home Remedies for the Piles
1. Neem and Holy Basil
Powder a measure each of dried neem seeds and the roots of the holy basil plant (which has been washed and dried). This can be stored in a dry container. A level teaspoon of this mixture, taken once a day with a glass of buttermilk for 2-3 weeks, heals piles. Neem seeds have a laxative as well as emollient action. Holy basil leaves are digestive and styptic, Le., they stop bleeding. Between the two, they put liver function right (unless there is an inherent weakness in the veins), and help clean the bowels regularly, controlling the oozing of blood at the site. Both have antimicrobical and antiseptic properties. He leaves also have an anti-inflammatory analgesic action. They relieve pain. This preparation also heals fissures.
2. Black Sesame Seeds
A teaspoonful of black sesame seeds, ground to a paste and taken with half a glass of goat’s milk which a teaspoon of jaggery is added, will clear the bleeding and discomfort in two days. Have once a day for 2-3days.
3. A teaspoon of black sesame ground to a paste, with a little jaggery butter added, taken twice a cia week, heals piles. Sesame seeds have laxative action. The paste also has emollient properties, and so it soothes and heals the passage. The medicament in the paste tones up the blood vessels in the area.
4. Sesame Seeds
A decoction of sesame seeds is just as beneficial. Pound coarsely a tablespoon of seeds and boil them in half a water till only a glassful remains. This should be kept aside. Have one-fourth of a glass twice a day.
The peel of a pomegranate, boiled in a glass of of water, cooled and filtered and drunk once a day, is soothing for piles.
Mix half a teaspoon of ginger juice, a teaspoon of fresh lime juice, a pinch each of rock salt, black pepper powder, long pepper powder, a tablespoon each of fresh mint juice and honey, and dissolve them in a glass of buttermilk or plain water. Have it once a day. It is helpful in healing piles .
Juice of onion: A tablespoon with a little ghee and sugar should be taken twice a day for a few days .
8. Bitter Gourd Leaves
The juice of bitter gourd leaves is very beneficial. Two or three teaspoons of the fresh juice of the leaves with a glass of buttermilk should be drunk once a day.
9. Radishes and turnips are root vegetables which should be eaten as a salad daily as a treatment for piles.
10. Dried Mango-seed Powder
One fourth of a teaspoon of the powder, with the same amount of honey, should be taken twice a day. Mango seeds can be collected in season, dried and powdered, and the powder stored. It has many uses What is available in the market is unripe mango-peel powder, which man housewives buy as a spice to use in cooking. This is not the same as mango-seed powder.
For local application on painful piles
- Neem and holy basil leaves, ground together and made into a paste, can be applied as a poultice .
- Neem-seed oil should be applied locally .
- Sometimes a cool application gives more relief. Take a tablespoon of sesame seed, a tablespoon of crushed neem leaves, and a 2-inch stick of liquorice. Grind them to a paste with milk. Apply locally on the piles / fissure .
- Roasted onion, mashed and placed in a cloth and applied as a poultice while still warm, is highly efficacious.