Sitz Baths for Hemorrhoids: 4 Ways to Prepare

Clinical review: Manuel Reis
Registered Nurse

Sitz baths prepared with warm water are a great way to treat hemorrhoids at home. These baths promote vasodilation and soothe affected skin to relieve pain and discomfort. 

For sitz baths to be effective, it is important to ensure the water is at an adequate temperature. It should be warm to hot, without burning the skin and causing more damage. 

Sitz baths have great health benefits and can be indicated for anal pain, hemorrhoids or anal fissures. While sitz baths can help to treat symptoms quickly, they cannot solely treat hemorrhoids. You should additionally eat food that is rich in fiber and drink plenty of fluid to ensure soft bowel movements. Learn about other ways you can treat hemorrhoids with medication and home remedies

1. Sitz bath with witch hazel

Ingredients

  • About 3 liters (less than 1 gallon) of hot water 
  • 1 tablespoon of witch hazel 
  • 1 tablespoon of cypress  
  • 3 drops of lemon essential oil 
  • 3 drops of lavender essential oil 

How to prepare

Place all the ingredients in a sitz basin or bath tub and soak the affected skin for about 20 minutes, or until the water cools. This sitz bath should be done 3 to 4 times per day to reduce pain and discomfort from hemorrhoids. Read more about what causes hemorrhoids

2. Sitz bath with chamomile 

Chamomile has a calming and healing action that can be used in a sitz bath to promote vasodilation and relief pain and discomfort quickly. 

Ingredients

  • About 3 liters (less than 1 gallon) of hot water 
  • 3 to 5 chamomile tea bags 

How to prepare

Soak the tea bags in the water, then sit in the basin or bath tub for about 20 to 30 minutes. 

3. Sitz bath with arnica 

Arnica is also indicated for the treatment of external hemorrhoids due to its soothing and healing action. 

Ingredients

  • About 3 liters (less than 1 gallon) of hot water 
  • 20 g of arnica tea 

How to prepare

Place the arnica in the hot water, and soak affected skin in this mixture for about 15 minutes. 

4. Sitz bath with oak bark 

Oak bark is often recommended for the use of sitz baths. 

Ingredients

  • About 3 liters (less than 1 gallon) of hot water 
  • 20 g of oak bark

How to prepare

Place the bark in the water and sit in the infusion for about 20 minutes. 

Important considerations 

Other important considerations are to avoid adding soap to the water and to avoid using cold water. If your sitz bath becomes cold while you are soaking, you can add more hot water. In addition, you should not use too much water - just enough to soak the genital region. 

After the sitz bath, you should pat the area dry with a soft towel or use a hair dryer. The sitz bath or bath rub should be thoroughly cleansed with water and soap. You can even clean it with rubbing alcohol and dry with a paper towel. Sitz basins and even baby baths are best to perform sitz baths as you will not require large quantities of water. These are comfortable and easy to easy in the shower or on a toilet.

Addressing the underlying cause of hemorrhoids may also be beneficial for treating and preventing them. Learn more about internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids.

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Atualizado por Tua Saude editing team, em June de 2022. Clinical review por Manuel Reis - Registered Nurse, em June de 2022.

References

  • ABASCAL, kathy; YARNELL, Eric. Botanical Treatments for Hemorrhoids. Alternative and complementary therapies. 285-289, 2005
  • HARVARD HEALTH PUBLISHING. Hemorrhoids and what to do about them. 2019. Available on: <https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/hemorrhoids_and_what_to_do_about_them>. Access in 11 Apr 2019
Show more references
  • MAYO CLINIC. Anal pain. 2018. Available on: <https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/anal-pain/basics/when-to-see-doctor/sym-20050918>. Access in 11 Apr 2019
  • MAYO CLINIC. Hemorrhoids. 2018. Available on: <https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hemorrhoids/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20360280>. Access in 11 Apr 2019
Clinical review:
Manuel Reis
Registered Nurse
Manuel graduated in 2013 and is licensed to practice under the Ordem dos Enfermeiros de Portugal, with license #79026. He specializes in Advanced Clinical Phytotherapy.