This article reveals the very best home remedies for helping with and even curing the common complaint of constipation. Keep reading if you think you might be constipated or would like to become more knowledgeable about the condition.
Are You Constipated?
Do you defecate three times or less every week? And when you do get to go, do you have a hard time, like having to strain hard and for a long time? And when your stool does come out, is it really hard or dry or both? After passing stool, do you feel like there’s still more inside you but you just can’t let it out?
If you answered yes to even just one of these questions, then your answer to the first one above should also be a resounding YES! You are suffering from constipation.
What is Constipation?
While most people’s automatic reaction when suffering from constipation is to take artificial laxatives, bear in mind that they only provide instant relief but does very little in solving the root causes of the condition. Besides, the habitual use of these laxative drugs can lead to lazy bowel movement syndrome – you’re essentially training your body to be dependent on these drugs to pass stool, and that can’t be good for you either. Fortunately, there are several effective home treatments for constipation you can employ that will help you have a healthier digestive system, and therefore a healthier you!
But one must first know what causes constipation as this can help you make an informed decision when choosing which remedies are best suited for you.
Normally, when food passes through the colon, it absorbs water from the food and uses that to form waste products. Muscles in your colon then contract to push the waste products, or stool, out towards the rectum at which point the stool would have absorbed the water and that’s why it comes out solid.
Constipation occurs when the colon absorbs too much water and/or when the colon muscles are contracting poorly or slower than normal which results in the stool moving very slowly and losing more water in the process.
- Certain drugs (among the most common are antacids containing aluminum and calcium, habitual use of laxative drugs, narcotics for pain such as morphine and codeine); These types of drugs are well known for causing constipation.
- Not enough fiber in your diet (fruits, vegetables and grains are good sources of soluble and insoluble fiber, and since fibers pass through your digestive system practically unchanged, they act like a broom that helps push your stool along the colon);
- Not enough water (which plays a vital role in the proper elimination of waste products from your body);
- Lack of physical activity (exercise and other physical activities help lessen the time it takes for the stool to pass through your large intestine, thus limiting the water your body absorbs from your stool keeping it soft and easier to pass).
One of the simplest natural treatments and one which is useful for baby constipation too, is to drink lots of fluids, particularly water. A properly hydrated body results in better bowel movement as they help make your stool softer and much easier to evacuate. But when we say fluids this does not include coffee, sodas and alcoholic beverages as too much of these can cause the exact opposite – dehydration.
Mind your fiber intake. Just 6 ounces of grains such as cereal, whole-wheat bread, and starchy vegetables such as beans, peas, potatoes and corn daily can provide your body with enough fiber to improve your digestive system.
Cutting back on processed and refined foods is also effective as these types of food tend to worsen constipation.
Plan your eating:
Home remedies that will cure constipation are actually not hard to find. Home remedies are brilliant for minor illnesses like constipation because you usually want fast-acting relief that doesn’t require a trip to the store. To keep constipation at bay, always have these foods in stock in your home so you always have access to a natural solution whenever this uncomfortable health condition might arise.
- Salt Water for Constipation: Half a glass of water with 1/4 teaspoon of Epsom salt; Water may not be a home remedy that surprises you, but the absolute benefits that come with it might. When you or someone you know is constipated there is a very good chance that they are dehydrated or simply haven’t had enough water for the day. Drinking more water every day is a sure fire way to increase your digestive regularity.
- Olive Oil for Constipation: Half glass of olive oil mixed with half a glass of fruit juice has been known to be among the most effective constipation cures.
- Castor oil for Constipation: Taking about 2-4 teaspoons can provide relief from constipation.
- Flaxseed oil for Constipation: For better lubrication and roughage, flaxseed oil or a teaspoon of linseed taken with water works well.
- Mangoe: Mangoes are high in fiber, and is therefore advisable as an effective treatment.
- Guava: A guava or two everyday when suffering from constipation can bring about relief, specially when eaten with seeds as they help provide roughage to your diet, resulting in proper bowel movement;
- Papaya: Half a papaya before breakfast acts as a natural laxative.
- Rhubarb: One of the more unusual (and delicious) cures for constipation that not everyone may be aware of is rhubarb. Rhubarb is a root vegetable that is actually a natural laxative. Many cultures use rhubarb when coping with constipation. You can chop up rhubarb and steam or roast it so it is soft and warm when consumed. You can even bake into a rhubarb pie which is my personal favorite method of ingesting it. Like warm prune juice, this offers fast, near immediate relief for constipation.
- Apples: The formula, “an apple a day,” is also effective as apples contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. An added benefit you get from eating apples aside from providing relief from constipation is that it helps get rid of bad cholesterol.
- Rice and Constipation: Including brown rice as a staple in your diet can help a lot in dealing with constipation due to its high fiber content that helps move waste much easier through your body by making your stool heavier and wetter.
- Prune Juice for Constipation: Prune juice is one of the best remedies that will cure constipation that you actually may be pretty familiar with. Regardless, it’s such a potent home remedy for constipation that I needed to add it here. People regularly eat prunes and drink prune juice when they are struggling with constipation. Warm prune juice has been shown to be more effective for constipation because it offers faster relief than prune juice consumed at room temperature. Neither of them taste all that great though so be prepared to hold your nose while you try and keep it down. The next time you find yourself suffering from constipation, head to the fridge and grab that delicious prune juice and warm it before drinking it for the best results.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Like rhubarb, apple cider is another natural laxative. Like prune juice, warming it up will yield the best and quickest results and can really help to ease constipation.
- Molasses for Constipation: Blackstrap molasses is also one of the more well-known home remedies that will cure constipation. Blackstrap molasses is the dark, viscous molasses remaining after maximum extraction of sugar from raw sugar cane. Although it has a truly insane amount of calories, blackstrap molasses is a very potent natural laxative. Similar in taste and texture to honey it goes very well with milk or ice cream, but is probably too sweet to be eaten by itself.
These are all easy, all-natural methods for treating constipation at home. These methods work so well that every time someone in your home faces constipation you will be the hero when you find yourself reaching for these tried-and-true methods. Remember to incorporate regular exercise and plenty of raw fruits and vegetables into your diet to avoid constipation. Processed foods, salty and fatty foods are the primary culprits of constipation and bloating. If you experience constipation for more than three consecutive weeks, you should contact your doctor. Constipation can sometimes be a sign of a larger medical problem. Promote regularity with a diet filled with fiber.
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Also, ask your doctor about any medications you are taking as your constipation may be a result of taking any one or a combination of these drugs.
Lastly, get physical! As mentioned above, the lack of enough physical activity can lead to constipation. So conversely, getting enough exercise and other physical activities make for a much healthier digestive system. There are a lot of simple exercises you can do that can do wonders for your body such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator; taking long walks to your destination whenever you can instead of taking the car or if you have a dog, take leisurely walks around the neighborhood with your pet; learn to do Kegels, or exercising your pelvic floor muscles – this is something you can do practically anytime, anywhere whether you’re at home watching TV or at work sitting on a chair.
These home remedies can help you avoid more serious illnesses as a result of chronic constipation. Hemorrhoids is one of the side effects of constipation which sometimes requires surgery to correct. And when bowels stay in our system longer than they should as they do when we’re constipated, toxins can leak into our blood stream. And one cannot ignore the link between poor bowel movement and colon cancer.
But with these simple natural remedies and prevention methods, hopefully you may never get to experience the pain and discomfort that comes with constipation, and the more serious illnesses that they may cause.
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June 18, 2013
Constipation refers to the bowel movements less than 3 times per week associated with hard stools and difficult evacuation or stool passing . In other words, during evacuation you need to strain to push down your feces or you feel incomplete evacuation. Also, you may have to bear pain while pushing your stools. Common causes of constipation include low fiber diet, inadequate water intake, irregular and large meals, increased use of dairy products, stress, lack of physical mobility or exercise and overuse of laxatives .
Generally, adequate water intake, balanced diet enough fiber diet, regular meals and avoiding stress can help with constipation. Important sources of fiber diet include fruits, vegetables and cereals. Osmotic laxatives like magnesium salts (Epsom salt) and softening laxatives such as olive oil are useful to help the patients with constipation . Similarly, mangoes, papaya, guava and apple are also useful for constipation as they add fiber to your diet.
Of course, the article above is useful information for the readers. So, if you want to get rid of constipation, use adequate water or warm liquids, add more fiber to your diet, eat fruits and cook vegetables. Make a regular routine of your meals.
1. WebMD [Internet]. The basics of constipation [Updated 2012 Sep 24; cited June 18]. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/digestive-diseases-constipation?page=2.
2. Medicine Plus [Internet]. Constipation [Updated 2012 Feb 2; cited 2013 June 18]. Available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003125.htm.
3. Bove A, Bellini M, Battaglia E, Bocchini R, Gambaccini D, Bove V. Consensus statement AIGO/SICCR diagnosis and treatment of chronic constipation and obstructed defecation (Part II: Treatment). World J Gastroenterol. 2012; 18(36): 4994-5013.