What Causes Anal Fistulas?

What is a fistula? Fistulas are abnormal tunnels between two body cavities, or between a body cavity and the skin. An anal fistula is an ulcer that tunnels through the anal canal to create a passage between the anal canal and the skin. Fistula symptoms include pain, tenderness, itching, redness, fever and a bloody and a foul-smelling discharge where the fistula opens to the skin. Sometimes, feces escapes through the fistula opening. Sometimes the fistula can open into the vagina.

Fistulas are often the first symptom of inflammatory bowel disease. About one-quarter of people with Crohn’s disease develop intestinal or anal fistulas. Over half of the patients who have an anal abscess surgically drained will develop a fistula at the site a month or more later.

what causes anal fistulas

An anal abscess is a pus-filled cavity near the anus or rectum. There are two types of anal abscesses, perirectal and perianal. A perirectal abscess is a build up of pus deep in the tissue, while the more common and less serious perianal abscess is shallower, with the pus collecting just under the skin.

Anal abscesses are generally caused by plugged small glands just inside the anus, although perianal abscesses can also result from a skin infection in the anal area. Anal fistulas are usually caused by abscesses, and abscesses are sometimes caused by fissures that seal over or become infected.

Abscess symptoms include pain, a boil-like swelling, redness, irritation, fever, constipation, and fatigue. People with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and colitis), diabetes and anal fissures are more prone to anal abscesses.

Natural Remedy For Anal Fistulas

If you have a perianal abscess that is still enclosed or walled-off, then the first step is to apply wild oregano oil topically to the infected area. Start at a 7:1 dilution with olive oil (7 drops organic olive oil to 1 drop wild oregano oil), and then increase the strength to get it as close to full strength as you can tolerate. Use only use the brands I recommend, to ensure potency.

NOTE: Be sure to get my Free eBook: What You Need To Know About Wild Oregano Oil by signing up in the green box.

Apply the oil five times per day, and also begin taking it orally, as directed in Jini’s Wild Oregano Oil Protocol (described in my eBook, Jini’s Healing Guide: Natural Treatments for Gut Infection). While using the wild oregano oil, take therpeutic-quality probiotics to balance your intestinal flora, also described in Jini’s Wild Oregano Oil Protocol.

If this doesn’t reduce your infection sufficiently after two weeks, then you may want to have your gastroenterologist (GI) drain the abscess. If he/she performs this procedure, your GI will want to follow it with oral prescription antibiotics. However, you do have the option of having the anal abscess drained and then NOT following it with drug antibiotics, but using natural antibiotics like oregano oil and olive leaf extract instead.

If you decide to have your anal fistula drained, then have your gastroenterologist syringe it with full strength wild oregano oil during the procedure (if possible) – as much as will go in – after drainage. Then (regardless of whether he’ll syringe or not) try to get him to leave a drainage tube in place. This will make it very easy for you to syringe your fistula yourself with wild oregano oil, and thereby avoid having to take any prescription antibiotics.

Even if he won’t leave a drainage tube in place, you can still syringe the fistula (syringes are available at your local pharmacy – sometimes a dental syringe works best) through the hole – it’s just more difficult and uncomfortable. Some people who cannot syringe directly into their fistula hole are syringing to wherever they can reach. For example, if their fistula drains into their rectum, then they are syringing up the rectum instead.

Wild Oregano Syringing Protocol:

  • Syringe wild oregano oil into your fistula hole or drainage tube with as close to full strength wild oregano oil as you can tolerate. Start at a 7:1 dilution with olive oil (7 drops organic olive oil to 1 drop wild oregano oil), and then increase in strength to get it as strong as you can tolerate. Many can tolerate 4:1 easily and some even prefer full strength.
  • Try to elevate your fistula opening so that the oregano oil stays in the abscess cavity and doesn’t drain back out immediately. Try blocking the fistula hole with an earplug or something for 20 minutes after syringing, then remove and let it drain. Most people have been using a 10 ml syringe, but even 5 ml (depending on how much you can get in there) is likely sufficient.
  • Syringe your anal fistula every 2 hours for the first 24 hours (when you’re asleep at night, let it go 4 hours).
  • Then every 4 hours for the next 24 hours.
  • Then 4 times per day thereafter until the infection is completely gone.
  • Then 2 times per day for 10 days (yes, this is AFTER there is no infection left).
  • Then allow the fistula hole to heal and close (if it hasn’t already) by removing the drainage tube and continue applying wild oregano oil topically for a month, 3 times a day. If your hole is open enough to continue syringing, then do so 2 – 3x/day until the hole closes.

Throughout this whole regimen, continue with the oral wild oregano oil and probiotics, as described in Jini’s Healing Guide: Natural Treatments for Gut Infection.

*A big thank-you to my brother, Millan Patel MD, MSc, who helped me develop the syringing part of this fistula treatment protocol.

Speed Fistula Healing With An Infrared Laser

One of my readers has improved upon this protocol by using an infrared laser as well, to cause the wild oregano to penetrate more deeply and also to speed healing. So be sure and read this article as well before beginning treatment. You simply place the infrared laser over the fistula hole – get it as close to the skin as you can – and shine the infrared light on it for 10 minutes, once per day.

You’ll see from the Comments Section below (please read thoroughly before submitting a question) that if people cannot syringe directly into their drainage hole, they are syringing to wherever they can reach. If their fistula drains into their rectum, then they are syringing up their rectum instead.natural treatment for anal fistulas

More Potent Experimental Syringing Formula

We have recently started testing this turbo-charged, very powerful formula to heal fistulas or abscesses. But these are experimental and you need to be educated about DMSO in order to use it safely (beyond the scope of this symptom page). So either do an Internet search on ‘DMSO usage’, or get my ebook, Jini’s Healing Guide: Natural Treatments for Anal Stenosis and Stricture.

Formula A
15 ml (1 tbsp.) George’s Aloe Vera Juice
10 ml (2 tsp.) 99% DMSO
5 ml (1 tsp.) potassium iodide (SSKI)
10 ml (2 tsp.) colloidal silver (minimum 22 ppm)
10 ml (2 tsp.) wild oregano oil

This would give you a 20% DMSO formula. So far, people have reported good results with this formula.

BUT, if this formula is not strong enough, then increase the wild oregano and decrease the aloe vera:

Formula B
10 ml (2 tsp.) George’s Aloe Vera Juice
10 ml (2 tsp.) 99% DMSO
5 ml (1 tsp.) potassium iodide (SSKI)
10 ml (2 tsp.) colloidal silver (minimum 22 ppm)
15 ml (3 tsp.) wild oregano oil

IMPORTANT: You MUST read my eBook on Natural Treatments for Anal Stenosis and Stricture for a full description of each of these ingredients, how to mix, how to apply it, safety guidelines, etc. before beginning treatment, you can get the eBook and formula ingredients here – see left side of this page.

Do NOT attempt these DMSO-based formulas without reading my eBook, or doing extensive research on DMSO first! Also, do not use brands other than the ones I recommend. If you don’t want to buy online, just copy down the brand names and get your local health store to order them in for you.

One of my readers had a fistula from his intestine that was draining out his belly button and after only a few days of using this formula topically (Formula A), along with my Oral Intestinal StrictureHeal formula (which has similar ingredients, but is swallowed by mouth), here’s the report of his progress (after colonoscopy):

“Other good news, Jon’s stomach and duodenum were completely clear. There was a nodule at the base of the stomach where the doc thinks the fistula track may have run. He could not find a hole anymore, nor could he see a hole in the transverse colon. His belly button is still oozing slightly but we are hopeful that the absence of visible holes on the inside means it is healing as it should from the inside out.”


  • If the infection has not improved, have your GI drain the fistula, and ask him or her to syringe it with wild oregano oil.
  • Syringe the fissure or drainage tube with wild oregano oil (or the experimental Formula A) until the infection is gone, continue with oral wild oregano oil, and then syringe for another 10 days afterwards and until fistula hole is closed.
  • Use an infrared laser for 10 minutes per day may speed healing.

NOTE: Be sure to get my Free eBook: What You Need To Know About Wild Oregano Oil by signing up in the green box towards the top of this page.