Last Modified on Mar 25, 2014
What Is an Inguinal Hernia?
An inguinal is defined as the protrusion of soft tissue through a weak point in the abdominal muscles. The soft tissue that pushes through the muscles typically consists of the membrane lining the abdominal cavity or a small section of the intestines. The result of the protrusion is a slight to more severe bulge that may be painful, typically when the affected individual coughs, bends or lifts a heavy object.
Some inguinal hernias do not cause symptoms and may only be discovered via a routine medical exam. However, inguinal hernias are often recognizable as present bulge in the abdomen that can be seen and felt. Typically the bulge is more apparent when the individual stands uprights, coughs or strains. Additionally, common symptoms of an inguinal hernia include a bulge in the area on either side of the pubic bone, a burning or aching sensation at the bulge, pain or discomfort in the groin, a heavy or dragging feeling in the groin, weakness or pressure in the groin and occasional pain or swelling around the testicles.
While some inguinal hernias have no apparent cause, others occur as the result of several different factors. Increased pressure in the abdomen, a pre-existing weak spot in the abdominal wall, a combination of pressure and a weak spot, straining during bowel movements or urination, heavy lifting, fluid in the abdomen, pregnancy, excess weight and chronic coughing or sneezing may cause or contribute to an inguinal hernia.
Inguinal Hernia Remedies
Surgery that involves the application of hernia mesh is often the first medical remedy offered individuals with an inguinal hernia; however, hernia mesh can cause complications later and does not have to be the only option. Natural remedies offer relief and treatment and are less invasive. A natural poultice of comfrey can cure an inguinal hernia without surgery. Additional options include licorice, ginger root, chamomile, marshmallow root, hawthornia and shepherds purse. Additionally strengthening the core through exercise and eliminating excess weight can also help cure an inguinal hernia.
Continue reading below for more remedies to heal an Inguinal Hernia from Earth Clinic readers.
10/14/2012: Gram from Swellendam, Western Cape South Africa: "My little baby has inguinal hernia and I can't find one of his left testicles as it displaced. I don't want him to go through a surgery. What natural treament can he take. He is 10 months old. Help me friends."Replies
03/25/2013: Moonchicago from Montreal, Quebec replies: "Half a teaspoon of these herbs in hot water for 10 min then cool and hide in juce or cereal: linden flower, calendula flower, catnip, a bit of camomille tea (one quarter of a tea spoon). In the evening, might bring to sleep.
These plants are astringent, will help to strengthen the distended tissue.
Apply green clay on the area on the skin daily for as long as you can without the child playing with it (20 min) and wash of with not to cold water...
You can reserch the herbs and dosage for a child, it should be appropriate if there's not blood coagulation problems or allergies to camomile... Good luck."
06/10/2010: Maximus from Pasadena, Ca, Usa: "Does anyone know of a holistic remedy for an inguinal hernia? It appears to be conspicuously absent from the list. I would like to explore alternatives before surgery, and was hoping to see comments from people who may have tried castor oil, Hydrogen Peroxide, ACV, or anything else that proved effective."Replies
[YEA] 09/06/2010: Nancy from La Honda, California replies: "I have had an inguinal hernia for about 6 years, not a big deal since I could gently push it back in. A month ago I woke up with it being larger, roughly half of a chicken egg, it was giving me strange pains and wouldn't go back in. As usual all the West could offer was surgery, but after a lot of net research I found three non-surgical alternatives, two of which worked miraculously for me. There are a number of websites offering yoga postures for a hernia. A very simple one that I began doing a few times a day was laying on my back with my legs up, heels on the wall (Viparitakarini). This is intuitive because it relaxes and draws your belly in, towards your back. Do your research because not all yoga is good for a hernia! I found two TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) herbal formulas for hernia, one of which I began taking. Towards the end of the second bottle the hernia began receding, and has retreated now to where I can't even tell it was ever there, which is lower than it has been in 6 years. They say the herbs strengthen the abdomen and placement of organs, and I must say my belly feels flatter, tighter, and better than it has in a long time. My acupuncturist said they can treat a hernia with moxibustion, though I have improved to where I won't need to try this. She also said that hernia is a 'cold' symptom, which makes sense because this has been a very cold foggy summer and I just couldn't seem to get warm. I began taking epsom salt baths a few weeks ago which helped warm me up. I don't know if they contributed to the improvement of the hernia. Good luck!"
12/02/2010: Patti from Hallandale, Florida replies: "Hawthorn for hernia, My husband had a hernia the size of a grape fruit. We tried different things. Ice works well to shrink it. But the hawthorn remedie has worked wonders. Wonderful remedie, oh yes the yoga exercise in the last post works great too."
01/16/2011: Altep55 from Dayton, Oh replies: "Please Tell me the name of the supplements and where I can buy them. Appreciate a lot."
07/28/2011: Paula from Rockford, Il Usa replies: "I need to know about where to get the Hawthorn remedy for hernias and how much do you take a day and how many miligrams. I have a hernia the size of a grapefruit just like Patti's husband had who was from Hallandale Florida. She was on the thread here and descirbed her husbands hernia condition and said hawthorn works wonders."
09/05/2012: Joanne from Covington, La. replies: "Traditional Chinese Medicine for Hernias
Hi, In a previous post, [YEA] 09/06/2010: Nancy from La Honda, California, mentioned two TCM remedies for a hernia but failed to mention the names. Would you happen to know the name of the two remedies.
I would greatly appreciate the information.
Thank you so much."
08/25/2013: Whay from Singapore replies: "The name of the TCM formula for hernia is Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang (Tonify the Middle and Augment the Qi Decoction."
08/28/2013: Whay from Singapore replies: "Additional information: In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan can nourish the spleen and promote Qi due to the Qi deficiency. The central Qi provides the vital energy of the body including the internal organs and physical activities. When Qi is weak, the organs like stomach, uterus, and rectum fail to support themselves and thus droop; the body loses the physical strength and shows fatigue, tiredness, weakness, laziness of speech."
01/05/2014: Caroline from France replies: "I had symptoms very similar to those described above by Nancy from La Honda. For about a year I'd had an inguinal hernia that was small and not particularly bothersome, but about six weeks ago it suddenly became distended - about the size of an egg - and tender, and I couldn't push it back in anymore.
I went to a doctor who told me that, if the pain became intolerable, I'd have to consider surgery, but that I could try acupuncture first. I wasn't able to make an appointment with an acupuncturist for over a month but the doctor's suggestion encouraged me to look for other alternative treatments.
So I did a lot of research online, came across this page and ordered some Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan. While waiting for it to arrive I did the yoga pose that Nancy mentions at least once daily for 15 minutes, often twice.
Within two weeks the hernia had all but disappeared - not just become soft again but actually retreated spontaneously. It's been like that for about a month now. It's a little hard for me to believe after reading over and over that the only real cure is surgery, but that's how it is. I never even tried the Chinese herbal remedy (though I'll keep it on hand for just in case).
I highly recommend the yoga posture and hope it will keep others from having unnecessary surgery."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 03/25/2014: Rob from Los Angeles, California replies: "Hi there, just wondered how are your hernias nowadays. 2 months ago I started to do yoga hernia postures + taking Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan - so far no visible progress. I was told by my doctor that I need to warm up my body (insides) because that is causing the hernia - so need to get at least 3 warm dishes/day."