Ayurvedic Treatment for Anal Fissures
by Dr. Surya Bhagwati on Dec 27, 2019
Ayurved is an ancient medical system not known for quick fixes. The focus of Ayurved is on a long term cure, not symptomatic treatment. Even so, Ayurvedic treatment for fissures can provide quick relief with long-lasting results.
Although anal fissures are regarded as non-threatening they can cause severe pain and bleeding during or after bowel movements. In most cases, anal fissures will heal within 4 to 6 weeks, but this can vary depending on the severity of the condition.
If not managed properly and if the underlying causes are not addressed, anal fissures can even persist beyond 8 weeks and are classified as chronic. Ayurved takes a holistic approach to treat and prevent recurrence of anal fissures.
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Anal Fissures in Ayurveda
Ayurved provides us with a vast repository of information on anal fissures, with the earliest mention of the condition in the Sushrutha Samhitha dating back about 3,500 years ago. Described as Parikartika, the condition is also described in Bruhatrayees and other classical texts.
In some of these texts it is described as a complication from Bastikarma and Virechana procedures, but in general dietary and lifestyle causes are recognized as major contributing factors. Frequent and chronic constipation or diarrhoea are the most common causes of anal fissures, typically resulting from poor dietary choices and a sedentary lifestyle. Ayurvedic treatment for fissures addresses these underlying causes and also includes measures to promote healing and relieve the condition.
Treatment for fissures in Ayurved includes a combination of internal medications and topical applications. Most of these treatments can be administered at home, but severe cases may require greater intervention. Ayurved also provides us with more complex solutions involving some of the earliest recorded surgical techniques.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Fissures at Home
If you’re looking for the best Ayurvedic cure for fissures, there’s no shortage of Ayurvedic home remedies for fissure as well as herbal medicines that treat fissures. These can be broadly divided into internal medications and external applications.
Oral Medicines & Remedies for Anal Fissures:
Guggulu preparations and fiber supplements like psyllium husk or isabgol are regarded as some of the best Ayurvedic medicine for fissures. Psyllium husk is a type of soluble fiber that helps generate mucilage, retaining water and helping bulk up stools, allowing for easier bowel movements. This can help relieve both symptoms of diarrhoea and constipation. This type of fiber can also be obtained from lembodi, a herb that is often used as an ingredient in Ayurvedic medicines for fissures, piles, and chronic constipation.
By bulking up and increasing moisture content in stools, supplements containing this type of fiber reduce pressure on the sphincter muscle and improve blood circulation to the region also giving the fissures a chance to heal. Guggulu is regarded as effective at relieving fissures because of its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties and is often used in combination with other herbs.
Sonamukhi is another Ayurvedic herb that is regarded as highly effective, especially in cases where constipation is the underlying cause. This herb supports the peristaltic movement of the intestines, easing and improving bowel movements.
Harda or haritaki is also useful not just for its digestive benefits, but because of its anti-inflammatory effects, which can provide relief from fissures and haemorrhoids. Similarly, nagkesar has a protective effect on the gastrointestinal tract and reduces the risk of infection thanks to its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
Topical Applications & Remedies for Anal Fissures:
One of the most important Ayurvedic recommendations for fissures is the practice of ushna avagaha sweda or hot fomentation/sitz baths. This should be done soon after passing stool to provide quick relief and promote healing.
You should soak in the hot bath for at least 15 minutes. Triphala powder can be added to the water to reduce pain and encourage healing. This practice also has a cleansing effect of the fissure, reducing the risk of infection. Studies have confirmed the benefits of sitz bath in treating fissures, piles, and fistula, providing pain relief and reducing spasms of the internal sphincter. Drinking Triphala juice regularly can also aid in digestion and promote regular bowel movements.
Herbal oils like nirgundi and jatyadi are also highly valued as topical treatments for anal fissures. Nirgundi is highly regarded in Ayurved, with proven anti-inflammatory and analgesic or pain-relieving properties. The oil can be applied directly over the fissure to provide relief, ease the passage of stools, and promote healing. Jatyadi oil or ghee contains extracts from herbs like neem, patol, karanja, mulethi, and others, with similar action to nirgundi oil.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Fissures in a Clinical Setting
In severe cases or incidences of chronic anal fissures, more drastic intervention may be required to cure the condition and this can include surgical methods. Fortunately, ancient Ayurvedic physicians also crafted a minimally invasive parasurgical procedure that is regarded as extremely effective.
Described as kshara sutra therapy, the procedure is mentioned in some of the most notable Ayurvedic texts by Sushruta and Charaka. The procedure, which must be conducted in a clinical setting, requires surgical excision, but takes just 30 to 45 minutes to perform, requiring only a few hours of hospitalization.
Patients recover within just 3 to 5 days and there is no need for pharmaceutical drugs that can cause severe side effects. The therapy is regarded as a viable alternative to conventional care, with studies showing a recurrence rate as low as 3.33% compared to the 26% recurrence rate associated with conventional surgery. However, it is advisable to seek such treatment only in a reputed hospital with a qualified surgeon who is familiar with the technique.
Diet for Anal Fissures
When it comes to diet for anal fissures, Fiber is the name of the game. If you want to avoid being constipated and developing anal fissures, you need to eat plenty of fiber-rich foods.
The fiber helps prevent constipation and can aid the benefits of taking Piles Care for faster relief from fissures and constipation.
Foods rich in fiber include:
- Oats or oat bran
- Wheat bran
- Whole grains
- Beans and peas
- Nuts and seeds
- Citrus fruits
Foods to avoid in your diet for anal fissures:
- Spicy foods or meals
- Jalapeno or other hot peppers
- Red meat
- Pre-prepared foods
- Processed foods
- Frozen foods
- Fast food
When it comes to managing and treating anal fissures, you need to focus not just on the immediate relief, but also on long term measures to prevent a recurrence. This means that in addition to using home remedies, herbal medicines, and other practices, you should also consult an Ayurvedic physician for a personalized diet plan.
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- Nema, Aditya et al. “Transrectal Ultra Sonography based evidence of Ksharasutra therapy for Fistula-in-ano - A case series.” Journal of Ayurved and integrative medicine vol. 8,2 (2017): 113-121. doi:10.1016/j.jaim.2017.01.013 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28600166/
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