Q. I was just at a routine prenatal visit and complained about a very painful external hemorrhoid. My nurse practitioner suggested scraping the inside of a banana peel and mixing it with a little petroleum jelly to make the mixture stick to the site. I tried it last night and got far more relief than the witch hazel pads I had been using.
A. Other readers sing the praises of banana peels for hemorrhoids. One man offered this formula:
“Cut the stem off a bunch of bananas (the part where all the bananas in the bunch are attached). Remove the outside skin so you have a cube of stem. Pulse the peeled banana stem cube in a mini food processor along with 1 tablespoon of witch hazel.
“Pour the mixture in a dish and dip a gauze strip into the mixture. Apply to the area of the hemorrhoids. Repeat 30 minutes later with a fresh dipped gauze strip. This is a powerful natural astringent and pain reliever. I do this twice a day if I have an outbreak. If hemorrhoids persist, see your doctor!”
If that sounds too complicated, here’s another reader’s suggestion: “Ready-made banana cream is much easier and more convenient to use than actual banana peels. Just Google ‘banana peel extract cream’ to find sellers.”
You may find this difficult to imagine, but blackstrap molasses has also been praised as a hemorrhoid remedy. Rather than applying it to the sore area, you swallow a teaspoon a day. Blackstrap molasses is rich in minerals, especially iron, that can be particularly beneficial during pregnancy.