Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus and lower rectum. They’re fairly common and can cause symptoms like itching, bleeding, and discomfort.
Treatment for hemorrhoids often includes controlling swelling, discomfort, and inflammation. Coconut oil can be used to help treat all these symptoms. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature but can melt into a liquid. It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, and it offers a variety of health benefits. It can be applied topically or ingested orally to treat hemorrhoids and their symptoms.
Coconut oil has numerous properties and health benefits that can help treat hemorrhoids. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce inflammation and swelling. The oil’s powerful analgesic (or pain-relieving) properties can help to reduce discomfort caused by the hemorrhoids, while its antibacterial properties allow the hemorrhoids to heal faster.
Coconut oil may also aid in relieving constipation thanks to a laxative effect. Since constipation or straining during bowel movements is a common cause of hemorrhoids, this can help to treat and prevent them.
How to use coconut oil for hemorrhoids
When using coconut oil for medicinal purposes, use the best quality coconut oil that you can find. Organic, virgin coconut oil is the least processed variety you can find, and thus will have the most health benefits.
You can take coconut oil internally by consuming it regularly or apply it externally. Both application methods can effectively treat your symptoms.
Here are some ways of using coconut oil to treat hemorrhoids:
- Incorporate coconut oil into your diet. You can cook with coconut oil. Some people even spread a teaspoon on toast alongside peanut butter or add it to their popcorn instead of butter.
- Mix melted coconut oil with witch hazel. Witch hazel has long been used as a home treatment for hemorrhoids. Using a cotton ball, apply the mixture to external hemorrhoids. Do this several times per day until your symptoms subside.
- Create coconut oil suppositories. You can create suppositories of coconut oil by shaping coconut oil into small cylinders the width of a pencil. Freeze them until ready for use. Both the coconut oil and the cold temperature can help to provide fast relief.
- Mix melted coconut oil and turmeric. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, making the coconut and turmeric mixture a powerful combination. Using a cotton ball or tissue, apply it directly to external hemorrhoids.
- Add about 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of coconut oil to your bath. The warm water and coconut oil will both be soothing and can help shrink hemorrhoids and offer relief from symptoms. As an added benefit, the coconut oil will make the rest of your skin silky-soft, too.
Side effects and risks
Coconut oil may cause upset of the digestive tract if your body isn’t used to it. It can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, or indigestion. Because of this, start with just a teaspoon of coconut oil per day and work your way up. Don’t consume more than 3 tablespoons per day.
If your hemorrhoids have been caused by diarrhea, do not use coconut oil, as it may aggravate the diarrhea and make the hemorrhoids and their symptoms worse.
Coconut oil is safe for pregnant women to use to treat hemorrhoids, both topically and externally.
While coconut oil seems to be a safe alternative for other saturated fats and may lower “bad” cholesterol levels, more research is needed to evaluate how heart-healthy it is. It’s high levels of saturated fat could theoretically increase risk of heart disease, despite claims that it can lower it.
Thanks to coconut oil’s many healing properties, it can be a suitable home treatment to help you get rid of hemorrhoids and their uncomfortable symptoms. However, if coconut oil or other over-the-counter treatments haven’t helped your symptoms after two weeks, make an appointment to see your doctor to discuss other treatment options.