Does apple cider vinegar for hemorrhoids work?
It is worthy to find a conclusive answer to this question.
Using natural remedies like vinegar are the best treatment option for getting rid of hemorrhoids or piles.
According to the popular verdict, some of the best natural remedies for piles are:
- Apple cider vinegar,
- Witch hazel,
- Psyllium husk,
- Aloe vera,
- Tea tree oil,
- Epsom salts,
- Sitz bath.
Apple cider vinegar is effective for treating inflammatory skin diseases like eczema, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis.
Hemorrhoids (also known as piles) are swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum or anus.
Inflamed veins in the anus also exhibit symptoms such as itching, burning, rashes, sores, swelling and pain as in the case of inflammatory skin diseases.
For this reason, it is worth investigating the effectiveness of treating piles with apple cider vinegar as used for other inflammatory skin diseases.
In this article, we are going to explore the nitty-gritty of using ACV for managing piles.
A Little About Hemorrhoid
Hemorrhoid condition is characterized by swollen or inflamed veins in someone’s rectum or anus (1).
A heavy pressure around the veins in the lower rectum is the main cause of this disease (2).
At times the walls of the blood vessels in the rectum get stretched so thin that veins bulge and get inflamed, especially when you pass stool (3).
Swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum are also called piles.
Excessive pressure in the rectal veins is caused by various factors such as difficult bowel movements, frequent constipation, pregnancy, poor diet, heredity factors, and infection (4).
- Irresistible itching around the anus.
- Swelling or painful lumps near the anus.
- Severe pain in and around the anus especially during bowel movements.
- Fecal leakage.
- Blood in the stool.
- Rectal bleeding.
It is very painful and causes a lot of discomforts and strained bowel movements.
Usually, hemorrhoids disappear by itself without requiring any special medical intervention.
You can find a wide variety of OTC creams and ointments meant to ease the pain and itching associated with piles.
However, severe and large hemorrhoids may require medical treatment under the vigilance of your doctor.
In extreme cases of piles, the enlarged lumps in the anus have to be removed through a surgical process.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar For Hemorrhoids Work?
It is easy to get rid of hemorrhoids with OTC medicines or with a variety of home remedies available.
Apple cider vinegar for hemorrhoids is a traditional natural remedy used for centuries.
ACV does work for reducing some of the symptoms piles like itching and pain. However, it is not a stand-alone treatment.
If ACV used correctly, it can provide much-needed relief from piles.
According to a report published by Cleveland Clinic, don’t use ACV for piles as it may burn the skin with overuse and exacerbate problems.
It is true that overuse of apple cider vinegar for treating piles can cause problems.
The problem actually arises when the acid content in the vinegar is more than 5%.
For topical treatments, ACV must be made mild and gentle by diluting it with water. This can prevent burning and irritation from ACV.
To get the best results you should use only the unpasteurized, raw, and organic apple cider.
Properties in Apple Cider Vinegar Beneficial For Treating Piles
Most irritating and uncomfortable symptoms of piles are excruciating pain and severe itching.
ACV contains antifungal and antibacterial properties help to heal the inflamed veins fast without casing microbial infections (8).
Astringent properties in vinegar are beneficial for the correction and regeneration of veins and body tissues in anus damaged by inflammation.
Astringent properties in ACV are also useful for reducing the swelling which might lead to the shrinking of swollen veins.
Apple cider vinegar also contains important minerals and vitamins, iron, potassium, pectin, sodium and calcium (9).
The vitamins and minerals in ACV can boost your immune system, stop bleeding, and encourages faster healing of wounds in the anus resulting from piles.
Many piles patients have reported the fast relief from severe itching caused by piles after using ACV in sitz bath.
Using ACV in moderation is effective for managing hemorrhoids. However, overuse of ACV for topical application on hemorrhoids affected area may produce counterproductive results.
Best Ways To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Hemorrhoids
Apple cider vinegar is useful for reducing the symptoms of piles, especially itching and pain.
To get the best results from ACV treatment, you must know to use it correctly for piles.
By the way, ACV does not work equally well for all types of hemorrhoids.
External hemorrhoids are under the skin around the anus. It is easy to do topical treatment for external hemorrhoids.
ACV is most useful for treating external hemorrhoids only.
Internal hemorrhoids are far enough inside the rectum that you can’t usually see or feel them.
Topical application of ACV is not possible for internal hemorrhoids, and thus it is not useful for the same.
Ingesting ACV is beneficial for both internal and external hemorrhoids.
1. Topical Use
For treating external hemorrhoids, topical use of diluted Apple cider vinegar may help in reducing the symptoms of the disease.
While diluting, do not increase more than a 1:1 ratio of apple cider vinegar to water. If you have highly sensitive skin, use only ACV with less than 5% acid to avoid stinging of the skin.
Soak a cotton ball in the diluted vinegar and use this for applying the vinegar to the inflamed areas in and around the anus. You can repeat the treatment twice a day.
Coconut oil also has a soothing effect for reducing the irritation caused by piles.
2. Sitz Bath
Using apple cider vinegar in sitz bath is good for treating external hemorrhoids.
A sitz bath is a warm, shallow bath that cleanses the perineum; space between the vulva and rectum.
You can purchase the sitz-bathtubs from pharmacies or online retailers.
You can add about ½ cup of organic ACV with an equal amount of warm water to a sitz bath.
Remain in sitz bath for 15 minutes and repeat the treatment twice a day.
3. Internal Use
Apple cider vinegar contains some of the important essential vitamins and minerals that can boost your immune system and digestion.
It also works well for getting rid of indigestion and improving easy bowel movements.
Internally consuming about 2 tablespoons of ACV daily is beneficial for faster healing of hemorrhoids.
You can drink 1 tablespoon ACV diluted in 1 glass of water at a time.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar Ice Cubes
Ice cube treatment is a useful option for getting fast relief from pain and itching caused by hemorrhoids.
You can make ice cubes with a mixture of ½ a cup each ACV and water.
Use the ice cubes for cold compress around the anus which have inflamed veins and tissues.
Do the cold compress for 15 minutes at a time and repeat the treatment twice a day to get relief from the symptoms of piles.
Possible Side Effects
Using apple cider vinegar for piles may produce undesirable side effects in some people.
An overdose of apple cider vinegar can cause a stinging effect on the skin and veins around the anus which is already in an inflamed condition.
If the acid content in ACV is in excess amount (more than 5%) it may burn the skin and aggravate the symptoms of piles.
Make sure to use organic and therapeutic standard ACV that contains less than 5% acid. It is also essential to dilute this vinegar in an equal amount of water to reduce the strength of acid concentration.
Ingesting a large quantity of apple cider vinegar can decrease the potassium levels and weaken the bones.
It is safe to consume about 2 tablespoons of ACV per day but not more than that.
If your skin is highly sensitive to acid then you should avoid using ACV for hemorrhoids.
Stop using apple cider vinegar if you do not get expected relief from the symptoms of piles even after two days of using vinegar.
If you experience increased pain and itching after using the vinegar, then you must quit using it.
The Bottom Line
Choosing apple cider vinegar for hemorrhoids is an alternative medicine that is worth trying.
ACV being an organic product it does not possess the possible side effects of the prescription medicines and OTC medication.
The therapeutic power of apple cider vinegar is beneficial for getting relief from itching and pain produced by inflamed and swollen piles.
Overuse of vinegar can produce counterproductive results.
For treating piles use organic and diluted ACV with less than 5% of acid in it.
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