Hemorrhoids are a common problem that often result in an extremely sore bottom. Hemorrhoid is a fancy Greek name for a swollen varicose vein in the rectum. It doesn’t have to be very big to hurt a lot. Surprisingly, one of our readers’ remedies for this condition has never been written up in the medical literature.
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.
Banana Peel for a Sore Bottom:
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.”
Although we couldn’t find any clinical research utilizing banana stems or peels, we did find evidence that banana peel is rich in antioxidants and has antimicrobial activity (Siddique et al, Natural Product Research, June 18, 2017). Researchers have suggested that bananas could offer a rich source of beneficial bioactive compounds (Pereira & Maraschin, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Feb. 3, 2015).
Consider Blackstrap Molasses for a Sore Bottom:
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.
We heard from a reader a number of years ago:
Q. Several years ago I had hemorrhoids so bad that I couldn’t even go to work. The only comfort I could find was sitting in a tub of warm water.
A friend who was into old folk remedies told me to get some BLACKSTRAP molasses. I was to swallow a couple of tablespoons every few hours.
Since I was desperate, I felt I had nothing to lose, even though it seemed like a silly remedy. To make a long story short, I went back to work the next day.
Regular molasses does not work for this problem, only blackstrap. Even blackstrap molasses will not work if the pain is caused by a fissure and not by hemorrhoids.
My elderly father took the test one step further: he took a couple of tablespoons of blackstrap molasses daily for several months. His varicose veins disappeared!
A. Blackstrap molasses is a byproduct of the sugar refining process. This thick dark liquid sweetener is rich in minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, calcium and potassium. Two teaspoons of blackstrap molasses have 32 calories, just like sugar, so people with diabetes should avoid using it.
Other readers endorse the idea of blackstrap molasses helping hemorrhoids and varicose veins. However, we could find no scientific studies to support these claims.