Holistic Treatment Options for Hernias

May 7th 2016

Surgery is not always the best solution for hernia repair. Holistic treatment options are noninvasive and typically have no side effects. While more research is needed, some studies have found alternative treatments to be just as effective at pain management and prevention. A hernia that gets bigger or becomes incarcerated may require surgery. Consult with a naturopathic professional to discuss the best options.

Lifestyle Changes

More often than not, a hernia is caused by increased pressure against the abdominal wall. This could be the result of excess weight, improper lifting or chronic coughing. A proper diet and regular exercise often ease hernia pain, and the combination is the best way to prevent future hernias. Maintaining a healthy weight and refraining from smoking are also recommended treatments.

Herbal Remedies and Supplements

Certain herbal remedies may have properties that help heal hernias and alleviate pain. Noted for its anti-inflammatory properties, comfrey leaf is often moistened with water and placed on the skin above the hernia in an effort to treat the condition. Chamomile, licorice and ginger root may aid in hernia repair as well. However, sufficient research does not yet exist to support these claims as of 2015.

Manual Manipulation

It is often possible to manipulate a small hernia back into place without any side effects or complications. A medical professional may attempt to move the bulge into position in the office or may suggest that the patient relax at home with his feet and pelvic area elevated to encourage the hernia to move without manipulation.


Alternative treatments such as acupuncture are covered by some insurance providers, but not all acupuncturists offer treatment options for hernia repair. Those who do focus on strengthening the pathway associated with the hernia location to improve energy flow and eliminate blockage. Acupuncture is a popular alternative to surgery, especially for the repair of small hernias.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine uses herbal formulas to restore balance within upset areas of the body. Hawthornia, the recommended formula for hernia treatment, strengthens the muscles that support the abdomen and improves energy flow through the area to reduce swelling and allow the hernia to move back into position. The combination consists of 11 herbs, including hawthorn, Chinaberry fruit, kelp and nutgrass flatsedge.


Yoga is an effective way to strengthen abdominal muscles without causing additional stress or pressure. The World Yoga Society recommends a simple exercise that can be performed anywhere in less than a minute. Tighten your abdomen, hold for three to seven seconds, release slowly and repeat the move 10 times. The exercise should be repeated once an hour and two hours after eating.


Living with a hernia can be quite painful, but surgery may be risky and isn't always effective. In fact, about 35 percent of hernia patients who undergo surgical repair experience chronic pain just one to three years after the operation, according to post-surgery questionnaires. In many cases, noninvasive, holistic treatment options provide consistent hernia relief and may prevent future recurrences.

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