Treating hemorrhoids with Unani Tibb.
There are parts of our bodies we love less than others, just like there are aspects of ourselves we find it hard to integrate, and health conditions we’d rather not speak about. With statistics showing the immense amount of people needing help with hemorrhoids or piles and constipation, we consult Dr Fathima Osman on the Unani Tibb perspective of treating hemorrhoids.
With growing pressure from modern life, it’s no surprise people are experiencing a build-up of pressure in their bodies. From increases in blood pressure, piles and varicose veins; it seems more attention needs to be given to movement, flow and blood circulation.
HOW HEMORRHOIDS FORM:
Hemorrhoids happen when blood vessels in or near the anus and rectum become enlarged or distorted and create uncomfortable bulging. Piles, as they are better known, are prevalent in all ages although because of how awkwardly they’re placed many people are too shy to mention their condition or consult a practitioner. 
SYMPTOMS OF HEMORRHOIDS:
Itchiness or irritation in the anal region; painful, strained bowel movements; blood during defecation; pain especially when seated; swelling, inflammation or lumps around the anus.
TYPES OF HEMORRHOIDS:
Internal hemorrhoids – often painless, and not palpable. There may be fresh red blood after a visit to the loo. External hemorrhoids – these are felt around the anus, with itching, discomfort and even pain.
CONTRIBUTING FACTORS: Convenience food, a fast-paced yet sedentary lifestyle, constipation, imbalanced gut flora, dehydration and stress as well as the pressures of pregnancy.
BALANCE: From the Unani Tibb perspective this condition is an excess of the ‘melancholic’ humor – this indicates an imbalance of ‘cold and dry’ qualities in the inherent constitution. Management and treatment of this condition is to add more ‘heat and moisture’ to the body. The qualities of heat and moisture facilitate movement, flow and circulation reducing stagnation caused by excess coldness and dryness. Treating hemorrhoids with Unani Tibb may also mean eating warmer foods and decreasing raw and cold food intake. This is to bring more heat into the body.
BE REGULAR: Incompletely digested food stagnates in the gut allowing toxic accumulation. Increased roughage and fibre helps the digestive capacity to expel waste effectively. Regular visits to the loo will reduce strain and pressure on the blood vessels at the lower end of the digestive tract and so help reduce piles. Vegetables like onions, turnips and carrots; herbs like psyllium husk and bentonite clay help draw out toxins and reduce constipation.
According to numerous studies, the European Journal of Nutrition reports that an increase in water intake significantly improves constipation even in diets low in fibre. Make sure to drink water that is not too cold and avoid ice. The best way for this condition is to drink warm water. Add some freshly squeezed lemon to help remove toxins from the body.
CONSIDER SQUATTING: To avoid straining when emptying your bowels, consider a squatting position. This creates an easier passageway for movement and helps prevent piles from forming. It is also a good idea to use water rather than toilet paper, or make sure you use soft paper so as not to irritate the area around the anus.
Triphala – this popular ayurvedic combination has Indian Gooseberry, Terminalia Bellerica, and tannin rich Myrobalan. These 3 herbs regulate gut function, detoxify the body, boost the immune system and help normalise constitutional imbalances; in this instance the melancholic ‘coldness and dryness’. Take Triphala in capsule form before meals, or brewed into tea
 Sugerman DT. Hemorrhoids. JAMA. 2014; Vol 312(24):2698. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.281.
 Chopra, D; Denniston K and Peterson C. 2017. Therapeutic Uses of Triphala in Ayurvedic Medicine. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Vol.23, No.8.
Fathima is a qualified Unani Tibb doctor. She operates in South Africa and can be reached on email@example.com
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