Natural remedies for constipation

Enjoy easy stools. Extensive list of herbal and natural remedies for constipation and clear info so you will know how to prevent constipation or get instant relief.

Print out the cheat sheet below so you always have a list of remedies at hand.

What is constipation

Constipation happens when feces become hard which makes it more difficult to expel. It can lead – from mild to severe – to:

  • painful defecation
  • obstipation : the severe constipation prevents passage of both feces and gas
  • obstruction of your bowel (fecal impaction) : everything gets stuck.

What causes constipation

Constipation or hard feces occur when your colon absorbs too much water from your food. This happens when:

  • you are not drinking enough so the body extracts more fluid through the colon
  • your food is not moving fast enough through your colon so the colon keeps on extracting water from the feces. Especially elderly people have slower bowel movements that cause constipation.

Causes of constipation can be due to:

  • your diet (in most cases),
  • your lifestyle (in most cases lack of exercise: exercising 30 minutes a day is still little compared to our Paleolithic ancestors),
  • hormonal changes,
  • anatomical problems,
  • a side effect of medications (painkillers cause constipation) or
  • an illness or disorder.

Constipation treatment

Treatments for constipation need to cure both the symptoms as the underlying problem. However mostly – just like with taking painkillers to make a headache seemingly disappear – , people focus on getting rid of the symptoms only.

Constipation treatments consist of:

  • the use of laxatives for instant relief
  • changes in lifestyle and exercise habits to cure chronic constipation
  • other medical interventions depending on the underlying cause.

On this page you will find natural remedies for constipation that help solve the causes of constipation:

  • the movements of the stool and
  • change your lifestyle to be free of constipation.

Foods that help with constipation

In case of urgency, figs and prunes are the oldest natural laxatives.

For a life without constipation problems, base your diet on the following:

  1. Ripe fruits are the best foods to help you with constipation. Read in the sidebar how much of your favorite fruit you should eat to get constipation relief.
  2. Fiber food such as fresh fruits, raw green leafy vegetables, whole-grain products, cereals, seeds and brown rice. When you want the diet of our Paleolithic ancestors to be your blueprint, then you follow the paleo diet, making sure your eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits for fiber.
  3. Pair fiber with water. When fibers absorb water, it adds bulk to your stools and makes it softer and easier to pass.
  4. Oil for lubrication the colon: Eat only healthy oils like olive oil, canola oil, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils act as digestive lubricants and may help get things rolling again. Try topping off your high-fiber salad with a tablespoon or even two using these suggested oils.

What foods cause constipation

Now you know what foods to eat to help you with constipation, it is easy to understand that a diet rich in all the other foods will cause constipation. Let’s use the order as in the foods that help with constipation to show ‘the opposite kind’ of constipation unfriendly foods:

  1. not eating any fresh fruits.
  2. foods that have the fibers removed: processed foods like refined white flour, white rice, white sugar, pastries and processed prepackaged foods. Note the color white and the word processed. Meat doesn’t contain much fiber although it is difficult to digest.
  3. fuzzy drinks high in sugar or alcohol.
  4. foods high in hydrogenated, saturated and animal fats like chips, pizza, cheese, cookies, ice cream, fatty meats and deep fried food.

Herbal laxatives

Natural remedies for constipation

You can get your laxatives at the pharmacy or use the following proven herbal laxatives:

  • Aloe Vera latex is a highly valued stimulate laxative
  • Cascara Sagrada bark is also used as a stimulant laxative, especially in cases of chronic constipation
  • Dandelion Root increases the bile flow into the large intestine and works as an effective, gentle laxative
  • Passionflower (passiflora) is used when constipation is caused by anxiety and stress. Passion flower helps to relax when high tension levels cause chronic constipation.
  • Senna: both dried leaves and pods are used as a purgative and laxative
  • Psyllium seed: they expand in water and become mucilaginous. They are indigestible in human beings but are used as a source of dietary fiber to relieve constipation.
  • Be aware of flax seed. Flax seed contains flax seed oil: the richest source of essential Omega-3 fatty acids (linolenic acid). Some use it as a laxative due to its dietary fiber content but make sure you drink lots of water when taking flax seed to not get an intestinal blockage.

Natural remedies for constipation

Rule number 1: make sure you move your body: a body that moves contains a bowel that moves as well! Walking, swimming, exercise… anything else than sitting in a sofa or on a chair (behind a desk).

Add more fresh fruit, fresh vegetables (in smoothies and salads) to your diet, as well as more whole grain products.

Print down the cheat-sheet below, so you will be reminded every day what options you have to prevent or treat constipation and simply feel better during the day.

Constipation remedies Cheat Sheet

Herbal Laxatives

  • Aloe Vera latex is a highly valued stimulate laxative
  • Cascara Sagrada bark is a stimulant laxative in cases of chronic constipation
  • Dandelion Root increases the bile flow into the large intestine and works as a gentle laxative
  • Passionflower (passiflora) is used for relaxation when chronic constipation is caused by anxiety and stress.
  • Senna: both dried leaves and pods are used as a purgative and laxative
  • Psyllium seeds expand in water and become mucilaginous. Indigestible by humans but used as dietary fiber to relieve constipation.

Help with constipation

  • Ripe fruits are beneficial in the treatment of constipation.
  • Bael fruit is the best of all natural laxatives. It cleans and tones up the intestines. Adults take 60 grams (2 oz) before dinner.
  • Chronic constipation patients are advised to take a medium-sized pear after dinner or with breakfast.

Other fruits for chronic constipation relief are:

  • Guava :1 or 2 a day
  • Grapes for breakfast : 350 gr / 12 oz a day, or raisins soaked in water
  • Oranges : 1 or 2 at bedtime and 1 or 2 when waking up
  • Papaya : half a medium-sized papaya should be eaten at breakfast
  • Figs : soak 4 or 5 dry figs overnight in a little water to eat in the morning
  • Spinach juice : raw spinach juice-100 ml (3 1/2 oz), mixed with same amount of water, taken twice daily.

Psyllium Husk

Psyllium seeds are extremely useful in difficult cases of constipation.

Adults stir 1 rounded teaspoon in 250 ml (8 oz) water and drink fast once to 3 times a day.

Foods that cause constipation

  • Processed foods: refined, white foods, + processed prepackaged foods.
  • Foods high in solid fats: cheese, ice cream, fatty meats, whole milk, chips, pizza.
  • High sugar, caffeine and non-nutritional drinks: alcohol, coffee, cola and fruit juice (since the fiber has been removed the sugar will be faster digested).

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