Appendicitis: Causes, Signs And Symptoms, Natural Remedies, Risk Factors July 3, 2017

A tiny organ in our abdomen that serves no purpose but causes excruciating pain when it is on the verge of bursting. Yes, we are talking about the appendix. This article will discuss in detail about what appendicitis is, what the causes and symptoms are, and how you can get relief with home remedies. Read on!

Otherwise inconsequential, the appendix is a vestigial organ of the human body that can cause complications when it gets inflamed. This organ did possess some function. It housed bacteria that helped humans digest cellulose in their diet. But, as humans evolved, the need for it became unnecessary as we evolved from herbivores to omnivores. Irrespective of this, this tiny organ can get inflamed and cause a lot of discomfort.

Let us first look at what appendicitis is and its causes and symptoms.

What Is Appendicitis? What Causes Appendicitis?

The appendix is a small pouch attached to the large intestine and is present on the right side of your abdomen. When this organ gets inflamed, the condition is termed as appendicitis.

One of the main causes for this is blockage of the appendix either by feces or a foreign object. Some of the other causes for the inflammation are:

  • Gastrointestinal infection or infection in any other part of the body causing enlargement of the tissue inside the appendix
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Parasites
  • Tumor
  • Trauma to the abdomen (1, 2)

The symptoms for this are given below.

Signs And Symptoms Of Appendicitis

  • Pain in the abdomen that starts at the belly button and moves to the lower right region (This pain starts suddenly and gets worse with time.)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Low fever
  • Difficulty in passing gas
  • Abdominal swelling (1, 2)

Appendectomy is performed to remove the appendix, which does away with the problem of pain and vomiting. However, if your condition is still in the initial stages, you can try some home remedies. These are effective in controlling the symptoms and use items that are available readily in an average household.

How To Cure Appendicitis Naturally

  1. Castor Oil
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. Buttermilk
  4. Baking Soda
  5. Garlic
  6. Green Tea
  7. Ginseng Tea
  8. Green Gram
  9. Vitamins
  10. Honey And Lemon Juice
  11. Mint
  12. Juices
  13. Fenugreek Seeds
  14. Ginger And Turmeric Mix
  15. Basil Leaves
  16. Whole Wheat
  17. Chinese Herb – Gotu Kolat
  18. Dandelion
  19. Agrimony

Top Home Remedies For Appendicitis

1. Castor Oil For Appendicitis

Image: iStock

You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons castor oil
  • A flannel cloth

What You Have To Do

  1. Fold the flannel cloth and pour the castor oil on it.
  2. Place it on the affected area for a couple of minutes.

Castor oil can also be ingested to relieve constipation and the appendix pain it is causing.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat the castor oil pack application twice a day.

Why This Works

Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid that possesses anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The topical application of this oil will alleviate the pain (3).

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2. Apple Cider Vinegar For Appendicitis

Image: iStock

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • A glass of warm water

What You Have To Do

Add the vinegar to the water and keep sipping on this till you get medical help.

How Often You Should Do This

Start drinking this as soon as the pain starts.

Why This Works

ACV is anti-inflammatory in nature and can tone down the pain caused by appendicitis (4).

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3. Buttermilk For Appendicitis

Image: iStock

You Will Need

1 liter buttermilk

What You Have To Do

  1. Chill the buttermilk in the refrigerator for a couple of minutes.
  2. Drink this over the course of the day.

You can also make mocktails with buttermilk. Shake up a mocktail with buttermilk, grated cucumber, ginger, mint, and coriander for a refreshing drink that helps in appendix cleansing. You can also make a light smoothie with buttermilk and a fruit of your choice.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this when you experience the appendicitis symptoms.

Why This Works

Drinking lots of fluids, like buttermilk, is beneficial for any appendicitis patient. It is light and can be had regularly in large amounts. It helps to stimulate digestion and provides a wonderful concoction of probiotics that can deal with any infection (5).

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4. Baking Soda For Appendicitis

Image: iStock

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • A glass of water

What You Have To Do

Mix the baking soda powder in water and drink it immediately.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this when the appendix starts to hurt.

Why This Works

Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda, soothes the digestive system and reduces the pain with its anti-inflammatory properties (6).

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5. Garlic For Appendicitis

Image: iStock

You Will Need

1-2 garlic cloves

What You Have To Do

Crush the cloves and ingest them with water.

How Often You Should Do This

This can be had once the pain starts and also every morning on an empty stomach for overall better health.

Why This Works

This herb possesses anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. The anti-inflammatory compounds will reduce the pain, and the antimicrobial compounds will get rid of harmful bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites from the body (7).

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6. Green Tea For Appendicitis

Image: iStock

You Will Need

  • 1 green tea bag
  • A cup of hot water
  • Honey (to taste)

What You Have To Do

  1. Steep the green tea bag for a couple of minutes in hot water.
  2. Remove the tea bag. Add honey to the decoction and mix well.
  3. Drink this herbal tea while it is warm.

How Often You Should Do This

Have this to reduce the pain caused by the appendix.

Why This Works

Green tea contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can alleviate the pain to a great extent (8). This remedy will help you bear the pain until you can get some medical assistance.

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7. Ginseng Tea

Image: iStock

You Will Need

  • 1-2 teaspoons ginseng
  • A cup of boiling water

What You Have To Do

  1. To make a brew, add the herb to the hot water and let it steep.
  2. When the tea cools down, drink it.

You can also soak the herb in cold water and drink it.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this twice a day.

Why This Works

This Chinese herb is known for its variety of medicinal benefits. Its anti-inflammatory compounds, namely saponins, are beneficial for reducing the appendix inflammation (9, 10).

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8. Green Gram For Appendicitis

Image: iStock

You Will Need

Green gram or mung beans

What You Have To Do

  1. Rinse the green gram thoroughly and then soak in water overnight.
  2. Once they have absorbed the water and become plump (and are almost sprouting), you can eat them raw or steam them. You can also sauté them very lightly with some veggies and make a simple salad.

How Often You Should Do This

Eat this to alleviate appendicitis symptoms as soon as they start to develop.

Why This Works

When it comes to the best appendicitis remedies, even all alternative medicine practitioners recommend this remedy. Green gram or mung beans can be bought from grocery stores. They make a healthy snack whether eaten by themselves or added to salads. They are highly nutritive and contain anti-inflammatory compounds (11). Sprouted beans can be stored for four to five days.

Caution

Make sure the beans are drained well – stagnant water that may be trapped in the container where you store the beans can rot them.

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9. Vitamins For Appendicitis

Image: iStock

Our usual diet often lacks adequate amounts of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that maintain healthy functioning of the body. In most cases, the problem can be averted by taking a healthy, nutritive diet on a daily basis. When it comes to appendicitis, inflammation, infection, and digestive function are the key factors that need to be kept either under control or at optimum performance. Vitamins B, C, and E are the key vitamins that take part in these processes. A multivitamin supplement or individual supplements for these are recommended, especially when a healthy diet is lacking.

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10. Honey And Lemon Juice

Image: iStock

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon organic honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

What You Have To Do

Mix the two ingredients and drink this. As the mixture has a really strong taste, if you want, you can mellow it down with warm water.

How Often You Should Do This

It is best to drink this solution in the morning to relieve constipation.

Why This Works

Honey and lemon are really good in mobilizing your bowels and relieving constipation, which eventually helps in mitigating appendicitis symptoms (12). Use organic honey because the other kind is loaded with artificial sweeteners.

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11. Mint

Image: iStock

You Will Need

  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves
  • A cup of boiling water
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Soak the mint leaves in hot water for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Strain the herbal tea prepared and add a bit of honey to it.
  3. Drink this tea.

How Often You Should Do This

Have this when you experience symptoms like pain, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty in passing gas.

Why This Works

Mint is a cooling and soothing herb and is of great benefit to appendicitis patients. It regulates the digestive process and helps to relieve gas (13).

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12. Juice For Appendicitis

Image: iStock

You Will Need

Carrot juice OR beet and cucumber juice OR cranberry juice

What You Have To Do

Extract some fresh juice using the mentioned vegetables and fruits and drink it.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink these when you experience pain.

Why This Works

Drinking small amounts of vegetable or fruit juice can help combat the symptoms of appendicitis. These flush out all the toxins and waste from your body that have been accumulating due to constipation. Carrot juice is especially helpful in alleviating pain and fighting the infection (14). Beet and cucumber make a great cleanse combination and help in detox (15, 16). Cranberry juice is also a good option as it contains fiber that can aid digestion and bowel movements (17).

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13. Fenugreek Seeds For Appendicitis

Image: iStock

You Will Need

  • 2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
  • A cup of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Put the fenugreek seeds in water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Let it stay on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Strain and drink the resulting concoction.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this once per day.

Why This Works

Fenugreek seeds are helpful in relieving appendicitis symptoms, especially vomiting. They exert a protective effect on the gastrointestinal system and anti-inflammatory effects on the swollen appendix. They contain a wide range of antioxidants and antimicrobial compounds that further enhance the digestion process (18).

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14. Ginger And Turmeric Mix

Image: iStock

You Will Need

  • 1/2 inch ginger piece
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Chop the ginger and add it to the honey.
  2. Add the turmeric powder to this and mix well.
  3. Ingest this mixture.

How Often You Should Do This

Have this when you experience nausea and pain.

Why This Works

Ginger is one of the most versatile home remedies as it has medicinal properties that can be used to treat many disorders. If you feel nauseated due to your appendicitis, ginger is particularly helpful. It has a sharp, palate cleansing taste, which suppresses feelings of nausea and also relieves pain (19). Turmeric helps in reversing all sorts of inflammation (20).

[ Read: Home Remedies To Cure Sour Stomach ]

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15. Basil Leaves

Image: iStock

You Will Need

  • 5 basil leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon rock salt
  • A pinch of black pepper powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons plain yogurt

What You Have To Do

  1. Crush the basil leaves and add this along with the ingredients to the yogurt.
  2. Mix everything and have this.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this twice a day.

Why This Works

Basil is a versatile and beneficial herb as it relieves indigestion and constipation, thus giving relief from appendicitis symptoms (21).

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16. Whole Wheat

Image: iStock

Wheat is a popular carbohydrate. However, we tend to eat the pristine white, refined flour more than the slightly grainy whole wheat version. Refined flour is devoid of roughage, so eating too much of this kind leads to constipation. Whole wheat flour is a better alternative as it contains plenty of fiber to aid the swift movement of feces in the body (22). It is available in supermarkets and can be used to bake bread. The sterilized bran obtained from wheat can be added to refined flour to make healthier, more roughage containing bread. Brown bread is made from whole wheat flour, so switch to it instead of white bread.

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17. Chinese Herb – Gotu Kola

Image: iStock

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon dried gotu kola herb
  • A cup of hot water

What You Have To Do

  1. Brew fresh herbal tea by soaking the herb in hot water for a few minutes.
  2. Strain and sip on this tea.

How Often You Should Do This

Have this twice or thrice a day.

Why This Works

This Chinese herb, medicinally known as Centella asiatica, has tremendous healing potential. You can find the dried form of this herb in herbal shops or buy it online. It contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. It also enhances the healing process of the appendicitis (23).

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18. Dandelion

Image: iStock

You Will Need

  • 1 dandelion herb capsule
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • A cup of warm water

What You Have To Do

  1. Carefully open the capsule and empty the contents into the warm water.
  2. Add lemon according to your taste and mix well.
  3. Drink this.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this every morning and every evening until you pass the old stool and get relief from the appendix pain.

Why This Works

This pretty wild green plant has antioxidant properties that help in appendicitis treatment. It is also a mild laxative and can clear up your constipation (24).

Caution

People with diabetes, kidney disorders, and gallbladder diseases should not consume this herb. Also, do not use this remedy if you are taking any blood pressure or blood thinning medications.

[ Read: Home Remedies For Stomach Ulcers ]

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19. Agrimony

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon agrimony herb
  • A cup of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Bring the water to a boil and add the dried herbs.
  2. Let it simmer for 10 minutes and then take it off the heat.
  3. Once the herb has steeped well and the concoction is cold, strain it and drink.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this fluid twice a day for best results.

Why This Works

Agrimony is an uncommon herb, but its brew works well in relieving appendicitis. This astringent and bitter tonic herb does wonders to the digestive system and is an important ingredient of many cleansing diets (25).

Caution

This remedy is not recommended for the diseases mentioned in the dandelion remedy.

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These home remedies are only suitable for controlling appendicitis that is in its initial stages. If your condition is aggravated, there is no way they can give you complete relief. Besides, in many cases, these remedies turn out to provide only temporary relief, and the pain and all the other symptoms recur. The best way to avoid getting appendicitis is to eat plenty of fiber and roughage that will prevent your intestines from getting clogged up.

Here is the recommended diet to prevent appendicitis.

Diet For Appendicitis

Appendicitis is caused due to backing up of waste matter in your body, and a great way to flush that out is by drinking lots of water. A cleanse diet is often recommended for appendicitis, where you just drink water and fruit and vegetable juices for a couple of days. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables along with whole grains and lean meat. Apart from these recommendations, here are a few items you should avoid:

  • Processed meat and canned food
  • Spicy and fried food
  • Fatty meat
  • Bakery items made from refined flour
  • Flatulence inducing food items like beans and broccoli
  • Sugary foods
  • High-fat food items and oils
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeinated and carbonated drinks

Types Of Appendicitis

Appendicitis is mainly of two types. They are:

(A) Acute Appendicitis – This is the most common type where the issue develops in a matter of a few hours to a few days. It is a rather sudden development that causes extreme pain. Infections can easily develop in this type of appendicitis.

(b) Chronic Appendicitis – Constituting only 1.5% of the total appendicitis cases reported, this type of appendicitis can last for a longer period. The symptoms recur at intervals as the inflammation of the appendix organ goes back and forth.

Comparatively, chronic appendicitis is more difficult to diagnose, but nonetheless, both the types have surgery as their leading treatment option (26).

Given below are the risk factors associated with appendicitis.

Appendicitis Risk Factors

These include:

  • Right lower quadrant pain for more than six months
  • Patients with diarrhea, fatigue, upper abdominal pain, and anorexia
  • Delay in the admission into a hospital after the onset of symptoms
  • Older age
  • Existing cystic fibrosis condition

The best way to deal with appendicitis is to take preventive measures. We have listed these for you below.

Prevention Tips

  • Follow a diet containing a healthy amount of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • It is important to supply enough fiber to the body so that the digestive process is smooth and does not lead to complications like appendicitis. Eat fiber-rich food like whole grains, split peas, lentils, black beans, lima beans, peas, artichokes, and okra.
  • Drink 10-12 glasses of water every day.
  • Apart from water, you can also have fresh fruit and vegetable juices.
  • Probiotics such as yogurt, buttermilk, and kefir supply healthy bacteria to the gut and regulate digestion.
  • Exercise regularly so that the body functions optimally in general. It also helps in fighting constipation.

No matter what stage of appendicitis you think you are in, go to the doctor first. Appendicitis can become very serious and even fatal if it bursts. You must be sure about your condition before you take on any course of action, and this is only possible if a doctor does a thorough check up. If he recommends you get medical attention, do not try to improve your condition with these natural remedies.

Let us now look at some common doubts that readers have had in the past.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

What does appendicitis feel like?

Appendicitis starts off with a dull pain around and below the navel, which then moves towards the left side of the lower abdomen. This pain starts to build up, and then, the other symptoms like nausea and vomiting present themselves.

How long does it take to recover after you have your appendix out?

For laparoscopic surgery, it takes 1-3 weeks for recovery. For a normal open procedure, it takes 2-4 weeks.

What side is the appendix?

The appendix is present on the lower right-hand side of the abdomen.

Is appendicitis hereditary?

Appendicitis is not a genetic condition to be passed on from generation to generation.

How do you know your appendix is about to burst?

The pain, nausea, and vomiting get worse, and a fever develops. If not treated immediately, the appendix can also burst.

Can appendicitis cause constipation?

Yes, it is a symptom associated with appendicitis.

Can the pain from appendicitis come and go?

Initially, the pain can come and go, but later, it becomes constant. If the pain is inconsistent over weeks, you could be suffering from chronic appendicitis. Consult a doctor immediately in such a case.

Can you eat after appendix surgery?

If the recovery is normal, you can go back to a healthy diet after the surgery. You can start off with easily digestible food and then follow the diet recommendations we have listed out above.

What not to do after the appendix surgery?

Do not exert your body during the recovery period after your appendix surgery. Follow the instructions given by the doctor and follow a healthy, easily digestible diet. Do not have alcohol, coffee, tea, and spicy, unhealthy food after the surgery.

Can a baby have appendicitis?

Anybody can get appendicitis. There is no specific age group that is afflicted with it.

How is appendicitis diagnosed?

An abdominal X-ray, ultrasound, and/or CT scan are used by doctors to confirm appendicitis.

What are the treatment options for appendicitis?

Depending on the stage of the appendicitis, the doctor will prescribe the best course of treatment. Sometimes, just antibiotics suffice, but in most cases, a surgery is required to remove the inflamed appendix.

What about appendicitis in pregnancy?

One in every 1500 women suffers from appendicitis during pregnancy. It has to be treated at the earliest to avoid any threats to the mother and the baby.

The pain caused by appendicitis can be excruciating. Get medical help immediately before it progresses to cause any complications like sepsis. Mild symptoms in the initial stages can be taken care of with the natural remedies given in this article.

Hope you found this article helpful. Do share your views with us in the comments section below.

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