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Hemorrhoids, Oranges, Bioflavonoids: What Can Marmalade Do For Piles?

Updated on August 4, 2012

Piles, hemorrhoids, haemorrhoids! They're a delicate, uncomfortable, potentially embarrassing problem, however you name or spell them. No doubt if you're a sufferer you've already discussed the matter with your medical practitioner and received her or his advice. But are there any folk, nutritional or herbal remedies out there that you could be utilising in addition?

Culinary Historians of Canada on Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Culinary Historians of Canada on Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) | Source

Many books on nutrition and herbalism recommend the use of bioflavonoids as part of an approach to the problem of varicose veins. And what are hemorrhoids? They're varicose veins – collapsed or damaged blood vessels - just in a very delicate place! There is quite a lot of peer-reviewed scholarly research on the subject if you care to take a look, with some support for the use of bioflavonoids, such as hesperidin and diosmin, in vascular problems of this type.

If you're keen to see what the addition of bioflavonoids can do for your hemorrhoid problem, then where and how can you source them? Of course your local health food store will almost certainly have all kinds of pills and potions with 'bioflavonoids!' screaming off the side of the bottle or jar. If that's the route you want to go then it's certainly easy to find!

What if you'd prefer a more 'natural' source for your bioflavonoids? Certainly a skim through any natural health and nutrition tome will provide you with all sorts of suggestions for foods that have large quantities of them. One of the most frequently recommended seems to be citrus fruits. Not all parts of the fruit, apparently, however: it's the pith (I.e. the fuzzy white parts of the fruit and peel) that forms part of the peel that seem to be most often suggested as an excellent source of bioflavonoids such as hesperidin.

Now, bearing this in mind, what's an excellent source of the pith and peel of citrus fruits? Well, I vote for marmalade! Not only is it absolutely packed with pith and peel, simply by the very nature of the product and its recipes – dependent to some degree on the type of marmalade you purchase, be it thick cut, thin cut or whatever – but it's also yummy and delicious!

Of course, if you have problems eating sugar e.g. if you're diabetic or with blood sugar problems (or maybe you just have dodgy teeth and you're worried about the prospect of aggravating dental caries!) then marmalade may not be the way you want to go in your search for an appropriate and useful source of dietary bioflavonoids. Being heavy on the sugar content, it's not liable to be light on the calories either for the weight and diet conscious amongst us. But bearing that in mind, maybe marmalade could be a perfect bioflavonoid source for some of us. (Bear in mind also some reports that certain citrus fruits such as grapefruit may interfere with particular medications. It's a great idea to always get proper medical advice when mulling over a major alteration in diet or lifestyle!)

Of course the bioflavonoid content of different fruits is variable. According to a 2006 study by Lu et al[6] regarding the use of citrus fruits as a bioflavonoid source in traditional Chinese medicine, multiple factors such as time of cropping, time of picking and the part of the plant used can affect not only the total quantity of bioflavonoids in a particular fruit harvest, but also the ratio of one bioflavonoid as opposed to another. Worth bearing in mind if it's a particular bioflavonoid you're looking to be getting more of in your diet.

What kind of marmalades are out there if it's taste, variety and quality of product that you're looking for? The traditional, most easily recognisable marmalade in the UK market is probably Robinson's marmalade, and the thin-cut version specifically at that. The traditional logo for the product used to include a golliwog for which you could send in labels and get an actual little golliwog brooch. Discontinued now, and added nothing to the flavour of the marmalade! (Duerr's is better for flavour and texture anyhow). If orange marmalade seems a bit dull and everyday to you, it's now quite easy to find pink grapefruit marmalade instead. And lime marmalade is an old traditional favourite too. For some people at least – I never liked it a bit myself, entirely too bitter. But if you're looking to add some marmalade to your diet for the sake of a bit of bioflavonoid content, maybe it's worth trying out.


1 Colbin, A. 'Whole-food guide to strong bones: a holistic approach'. Oakland; New Harbinger Publications Inc.: 2009.

2 Ladaniya, M.S. 'Citrus fruit: biology, technology and evaluation'. San Diego; Elsevier Inc.: 2008, p. 161.

3 Murray, F. 'Health Benefits Derived from Sweet Orange: Diosmin Supplements from Citrus'. Laguna Beach; Basic Health Publications, Inc.: 2007.

4 Malterud, K.E., Rydland, K.M. 'Inhibitors of 15-Lipoxygenase from Orange Peel'. Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry. 2000: 48(11); pp. 5576-5580.

5 Bailey, D.G. 'Fruit juice inhibition of uptake transport: a new type of food–drug interaction'. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2010: 70(5); pp. 645-655.

6 Lu, Y., Zhang, C., Bucheli, P., Wei, D. 'Citrus Flavonoids in Fruit and Traditional Chinese Medicinal Food Ingredients in China.' Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. 2006: 61(2); pp. 55-63.


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