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Piles, also known as Hemorrhoids, are swollen veins of the anal canal. The inflammation may be internal, occurring inside the anus, or externally protruding through the anus. They are often associated with a long history of indigestion and constipation, resulting in hard stools. They can be dry or may bleed. External hemorrhoids produce less bleeding than internal ones, where the veins more frequently will burst.
A faulty diet and sedentary lifestyle lead to the vitiation (impairment) of all three doshas, and predominantly Vata (air). Vitiated Vata causes low digestive fire, leading to persistent constipation. Accumulation of waste products in the body and varicose veins in the rectum also contribute to the development of hemorrhoids. Contributing factors include obesity, sitting for long hours, chronic constipation, overindulgence in intercourse, excessive coughing and straining, emaciation during pregnancy, repeated abortions, and suppressing the natural urges of the body. Other causes include excessive consumption of alcohol, too little exercise, long journeys, non-vegetarian food, and cold, heavy, uncooked, or spicy foods.
Aggravated Pitta Dosha (Ayurvedic humor representing Fire) causes digestive problems, which lead to the impairment of digestive fire (jatharagni) and accumulation of toxins (ama) in the digestive gut. These toxins impair the functioning of the digestive gut, causing irregular diarrhea and flatulence, and further leading to the aggravation of Vata Dosha (Ayurvedic humor representing Air). Aggravated Vata causes swelling of Hemorrhoids, a condition that is referred to as ‘Raktarsh’ (bleeding piles) in Ayurveda.