What Is Constipation?
There are many home remedies for constipation. First, I'll briefly cover one of the more common symptoms because some people think they are constipated when they may not be.
This symptom is a bowel movement that is consistently less than three times a week. There's no set frequency for bathroom visits that is considered correct. Some people go one to two times a day, some people go about once a day and some people go two to thee times a week. All of these are fine.
Common Causes For Constipation:
- lack of fiber in the diet
- not drinking enough water
- different medications
- lack of exercise
People often think that over-the-counter laxatives are the best quick remedies for constipation, but these can cause some very unpleasant side-effects like bloating and flatulence (wind). Stool softener laxatives can cause nausea (feeling sick), and skin rash.
Regular bowel movements are important in order to cleanse your system from impurities and wastes.There are lots of quick and natural ways for getting constipation relief and here below you will find a list of the best ones.It is important to remember that natural remedies are meant for short term use to provide fast relief.
Video - A Few Causes For Constipation
Top 14 Home Remedies For Constipation - For Quick And Natural Relief!
Now, let's cover some specific all-natural ways to alleviate constipation. These will be a lot of good old home based remedies that are mild and natural.
If you're looking for a natural constipation cure, here's what every sufferer needs to know. Fortunately, there are many natural ways to approach this problem and we'll cover several of them here.
By following the suggestions in this guide, you'll gain a good deal of knowledge into many natural ways to remedy this situation that affects so many people.
#1.Eat more fiber!
It is known that a diet low in fiber can cause constipation.Add more fiber to your diet, especially wheat bran, whole grain bread, brown rice, vegetables and fruit.Flax seeds are also a good source of fiber, just sprinkle them over any meal.
#2.Drink more water!
Water helps soften your stool and makes it a lot easier to pass.Be sure to drink water, not coffee or any other drinks that dehydrates the body.You should also avoid alcoholic drinks. Doctor´s say that we need to drink a few glasses of water per day and that is really good advice.
#3.Herbal tea for constipation!
Herbal tea is a natural stimulant laxative that enhances good bowel movements and stimulates the colon.Choose herbal teas that contain buck thorn, senna, rhubarb and aloe.
Vitamin C, magnesium and Folic acid are effective for relieving constipation fast.You get plenty of vitamins if you eat vegetables and fruit daily but you can also take different vitamin supplements.It is a good idea to consult your doctor before taking vitamin supplements.
Eating prunes is perhaps the oldest and most quick remedies for constipation. Prunes are very high in protein and fiber, contain a lot of vitamin A and potassium, they also contain a lot of water which helps soften the stool.Potassium releases enzymes into your digestive track which start acting quickly and relieving the constipation within one to three hours.(More about eating prunes for constipation below.)
Stomach Massage For Constipation
#6.Epsom salt for constipation!
Epsom salt is an FDA approved laxative and considered as one of the safest natural treatments for constipation.Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulfate, has medicinal properties when used both internally and externally.It is also used as an ingredient for bath salts. (More about Epsom salt for constipation below.)
Take 2 table spoons of black molasses before bedtime.Black molasses does not taste very good, so you may need to stir it in some fruit juice or milk to get it down.
#8.Take a walk after dinner!
Take a 2 mile walk after dinner, besides getting fresh air it will also help relieve constipation fast because it stimulates your intestines and relieves bloating and gas.
#9.Have some black licorice!
Black licorice is more than just candy, it is also a great remedy for constipation. Black licorice work like a laxative if you eat too much of it.
#10.Drink black coffee!
Black coffee works really well as a laxative.Drink a few cups of black strong coffee in the morning on an empty stomach.This one is especially good for severe constipation, it works like a natural laxative.
Ginger root is an old folk medicine that has been used to cure many different illnesses.It works also really well for constipation.Make a nice ginger root tea by adding two table spoons of freshly grated ginger (or powered) into a cup of hot water and drink it while it´s hot.
#12.Citrus fruit juice!
If you have a citrus fruit allergy, then you need to skip this one.Squeeze one whole lemon or some other citrus fruit into a glass of lukewarm water and drink it when you wake up in the morning. Let it work for one hour, in the meantime don´t eat or drink anything else.Citrus fruits, especially lemons, contain a lot of Vitamin C, flavonoids, potassium and enzymes that help detox your body.
#13. Aloe Vera gel!
Some people get a lot of help from eating one to two teaspoon of natural Aloe Vera gel once a day.
#14. Warm milk!
Try heating a cup of milk either in a saucepan or the microwave just until it is warm. Add in two teaspoons of husk seed and drink it right away.
Prunes For Constipation - A Few Good Reason To Eat Prunes
A very effective, and yet, somehow not very widespread remedy for constipation is the consumption of prunes. Prunes are very high in protein which is what makes them excellent for kick starting a bowel movement.
They also are highly effective at replacing water in the body which will help to soften the stool and make it much easier to pass a bowel movement and relieve yourself from the pains of constipation.
Prunes are also rich in potassium and vitamin A, which makes them a great constipation relief food. Prunes provide potassium as well as other minerals to your body which releases some enzymes into your digestive track. These enzymes start acting rapidly and dissolve the feces in the colon thus relieving the constipation.
In addition to prunes it is highly advised to take some sort of stool softener to make it much easier to have your bowel movement without too much pain. As with any laxative it is very important that you do not over consume prunes as it will not make them take effect any faster and will simply cause you to have diarrhea thus substituting one digestive issue with another.
Typically, 5 to 6 prunes should be enough to do the trick and get you going. How long does it take? This is highly variable as if your body is used to regularly digesting prunes it may take anywhere from a few hours to even waiting overnight for them to take effect.
If you rarely eat prunes you can be looking at 1 to 3 hours for the prunes to kick in and start relieving your issues.
Other Tips: Treat the reason why you get constipated – not enough water! Make it a goal to drink more water so that your colon doesn’t have to take water from your stool and thereby constipating you. Feel free to substitute dry prunes with 100% prune juice and drink a glass of that instead.
Avoid “BRAT” foods which will further constipate you:
B = Bananas
R = Rice
A = Applesauce
T = Toast
Some people recommend drinking a glass of slightly warmed prune juice. I have not tried this method but have heard from many that it is highly effective so it is always worth a shot.
Prunes For Constipation - Video
Foods For Constipation Relief
There's a myth that if you don't go to the bathroom once a day that you must be constipated and that's simply not the case. However, if you find that you regularly go less than three times a week, you probably do have an issue with being constipated It's a good idea to talk to your doctor about this as it can lead to other health problems.
Now that you have a solid definition of what the medical requirements are for constipation, lets move on to a bunch of natural ways to address the problem and get back to optimal health.
Regular exercise is one great way to help you get regular. By getting your body in shape through exercise, you get your entire system tuned up and running the way it should. Physical exercise helps every single part of your body not just your muscles and bones.
Your kidneys require water in order for them to work. There's simply no way for them to function without it. What most people don't know is that your digestive track is also greatly affected by hydration levels. If you are dehydrated, your bowel and small intestine simply can do their work very well. They will function at a reduced capacity until your body returns to a normal hydration level so drink plenty of water.
Your diet plays a very big role in maintaining a healthy and fully functioning digestive track. There are beneficial foods that we want to add into our diet and ones that we may need to avoid in order to stay regular.
Healthy foods include fresh vegetables, fresh fruits and natural fiber. All of these will give your entire digestive track a tune up and help keep it running great.
There are numerous all-natural ways to get more fiber in your diet. Two examples are pears and apples. Both consist mostly of fiber and water with a bit of fruit based all natural sugar. One serving with breakfast and dinner can have a profound effect on the health of your digestive track getting it in shape and keeping it in shape.
Best Foods For Constipation Relief:
- Oat bran
- Kiwi fruit
- Citrus fruits
- Whole grain bread (especially rye)
- Spinach and other greens
- Sweet potatoes
- Chicory and Jerusalem artichoke
- Lentils, beans and peas
- Chia seeds
Epsom Salt For Constipation
Epsom salt has been used for ages as a homemade remedy for removing impurities from the body and for promoting relaxation.
They are great for use for a number of ailments not limited to constipation. You can find it useful for migraines, sweat baths, boils, ingrown toe nails, insomnia and a wealth of other conditions related to health.
The main ingredient in Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate.
Since the compound is made from the minerals of magnesium and sulfate you will find that a deficiency of these minerals can be treated with it. You can treat such problems as aches, sleeping and behavioral problems as well as a general feeling of being down.
The sulfate component is also useful in the treatment of children with diagnosed Autism. Epsom salt is also an FDA approved laxative and thought to be one of the safest ones to use.
How it works is that it increases the water content in the bowels. This encourages the movement of the bowel and can relieve constipation but you must know that it is not a permanent treatment.
The reason it is one of the best and safest treatments for constipation is because;
- It contains natural minerals.
- It has been used for decades and has been proven to be both safe and effective at the same time
- Unlike other laxatives it doesn’t give you a lot of uncomfortable cramping
- It gives results in a quick time period
- It can be used in a bath for those who cannot take it internally
- Can be used for a number of other things related to health and well being.
How To Use Epsom Salt As A Laxative - Video
Since the main cause of constipation is due to what you eat, your lifestyle and the medications you take, constipation can be treated without strong medications. If you find yourself with repeated bouts of constipation you can easily change this by changing your eating practices.
Increase your intake of water and decrease the amount of processed foods you eat and that may be all you need to get rid of your common constipation.
If you want to use Epsom salts to relieve your constipation ensure that you read the label correctly and ensure that you are not currently on any other drugs that it could be contraindicated with. Also pay close attention the warnings and directions.
Here are some simple directions for using Epsom salt to treat your constipation;
Stir 2 tbsp. of Epsom salts into 8 oz. of room temperature potable water. Allow the mixture to sit for a minute or so to ensure that the salts dissolve completely. If you can’t stand the taste you can add 2 tbsp. of lemon juice, this will help the taste without causing the solution to lose its effectiveness.
Give it a final stir and drink it all. After you drink the solution refrain from eating or drinking until you have passed some stool.Using Epsom salt for constipation is only a short time solution, it will not permanently solve the problem of constipation.
Severe Constipation Relief
What To Do About Severe Constipation?
Even though this is all about natural methods, a severe case of constipation may require laxatives but should only be done under the supervision of a doctor. Even though you can get them over the counter, you should always take them at the direction of your family physician because there are downsides to using them.
Prolonged use of laxatives can actually cause your digestive system to come to rely on them as it no longer does a good job by itself. That's why laxatives should always be considered a short term solution and be taken only under the direct care of a doctor.
So stick to all natural treatments for severe constipation for the best form of treatment.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2012 Tom
Tom (author) from Irvine, CA on October 12, 2012:
Hi Gypsy! Thanks for commenting, I´m happy you find it useful!
Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on October 12, 2012:
Useful tips. This usually hits me when traveling. Prunes or dried apricots soon right the situation. Good hub!