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How do I Use Witch Hazel for Hemorrhoids?

Nicole Madison
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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You can use witch hazel, a popular herbal astringent, for hemorrhoids by applying compresses soaked in it to the affected area. Many people soak a cotton ball in liquid witch hazel and apply it to the anal region. Often, this provides at least some symptom relief right away and helps reduce swelling within a few days of treatment. Some people also use witch hazel for hemorrhoids by chilling liquid witch hazel and using it to make cold compresses.

As an alternative to soaking cotton balls with witch hazel, you may decide to purchase witch hazel pads for this purpose from a local pharmacy or grocery store. You can apply witch hazel pads to the affected region to help relieve discomfort right away. Some people wipe with them after a bowel movement to prevent discomfort and provide quick relief from post-bowel-movement irritation.

After a bowel movement, you may find it helpful to apply more than one witch-hazel-soaked cotton ball to your hemorrhoids. For example, you may place a cotton ball on the affected area and hold it in place for a couple of minutes. Then, you may discard that cotton ball and start with another. Repeating this process several times may help provide relief from hemorrhoid discomfort.

While many people appreciate the post-bowel movement relief possible when using witch hazel for hemorrhoids, you may also find it helpful to apply the herbal remedy to the affected area throughout the day. Using witch hazel at regular daily intervals may help keep hemorrhoid discomfort at bay and gradually reduce swelling. Some people also use astringent before going to bed each night.

Creating a cold compress out of witch hazel may also prove helpful for dealing with the discomfort of hemorrhoids. To do this, you may chill liquid witch hazel in your refrigerator before pouring it onto a clean cloth and applying the cool compress to the affected area. You can keep the compress in place until it no longer feels cool, then start over with a new cloth and some more chilled witch hazel. If you’d rather not place a bottle of witch hazel in your refrigerator for this purpose, you can chill it by placing the bottle in a bucket of ice instead.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By Oceana — On Feb 19, 2012

@cloudel – I'm all for soaking an area with cold witch hazel, but I prefer to use it as a liquid. Ice cubes would just be too cold for my skin.

Instead of cotton balls, I like to buy those long strips of cotton like hair stylists use to tuck under rollers laden with perm solution. I can cut them to whatever size I need, and I can put them in place and leave them there for awhile.

I saturate them with cold witch hazel, but I make sure that they aren't dripping wet. Then, I lie on my stomach and place the cotton strips where they need to go. I stay there and let the soothing liquid soak in, and it feels so much better.

By seag47 — On Feb 18, 2012

Wiping with witch hazel pads is so much better than wiping with toilet paper. I suffer from frequent constipation, and the strain caused me to develop hemorrhoids. Wiping with regular toilet tissue when your skin is swollen and tender can make the area bleed, and regardless, it will hurt a lot.

Whenever my hemorrhoids are bothering me, I will use the witch hazel pads as toilet paper. I will keep using them until I no longer have any swelling or pain.

I feel like I get cleaner when I use the moist pads, anyway. It's like using a wet cloth instead of dry paper to clean yourself with, and it just seems more sanitary.

By cloudel — On Feb 17, 2012

My mother is a bit of a germaphobe, so she wouldn't let me put my bottle of witch hazel that I use for hemorrhoid treatment in the refrigerator. So, I figured out a way around this.

I bought some ice cube trays, and I poured the witch hazel into them. I stuck them in our freezer that we keep in the garage, so no one would use them by mistake.

Once they were frozen solid, I would take a few and wrap them in a soft cloth. I would hold them on my hemorrhoids for about ten minutes, and I would do this several times a day, whenever the pain returned. It helped so much.

By Perdido — On Feb 16, 2012

I like to use witch hazel in my sitz bath. This is a plastic tub made to fit over the toilet that can hold just enough water to effectively soak your hemorrhoids.

First, I fill the bath with water as warm as I can tolerate. Then, I add a cup of witch hazel to it. It feels so nice to sink down into the warm, medicated water.

Witch hazel is so soothing on such a delicate, irritated area. It's nice to be able to soak in it without having to hold a compress to the region. I simply sit down in the water and let it do its magic.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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