19 Natural Home Remedies for Constipation Relief
Why Use Natural Home Remedies for Constipation
Why see a doctor when you can cure it at home? The answer is simple. I can do it myself. Yes, we all can. The versatility of natural remedies allow us to overcome some of the trickiest medical complications at home.
Natural herbs, plants, fruits, and spices can revitalize human organs and lower the risk of numerous serious illnesses like neurological, cardiovascular and gestational disorders.
We are well aware of the fact that herbal extracts/medicines have been used to prevent and cure a wide range of medical problems in the past. (1)
Constipation is nothing to Be Shy off
So don’t be shy and treat yourself at home naturally, with herbs and spices easily available in routine instead of spending your valuable money on laxatives.
Constipation is a common health hazard across the globe. American population spends an estimated “800 million to 2 billion dollars/year” on laxatives to get relief from constipation. (2)
What Is Constipation?
Every one of us experiences constipation at some stage. Normally, the stool gets hard, belly itches and the timing for a bowel movement is disturbed. The abnormality of the bowel movements is termed as constipation.
Different Types of Constipation
The intensity or severity of the symptoms varies from person to person. There are 3 main types of constipation depending upon the cause of it.
- Atonic: Constipation caused by malnutrition/low fiber diet that resulted in the tension of the abdominal wall, colon or pelvic floor.
- Spastic: Constipation caused as a result of side-effects of certain medications, stress or food allergies.
- Obstructive: Constipation that took place as a result of tumors, cystic fibrosis (in kids) and inflammation in pelvic nerves is termed as obstructive constipation.
Common symptoms associated with constipation are:
- Small & hard stool
- Abdominal discomfort
- Fewer bowel movements
- The urge to make a bowel movement again
- Swollen belly and anus canal
What Causes Constipation
These are some of the factors that can contribute towards constipation:
- Lack of sleep
- Depression / anxiety / stress
- Eating disorders
- Side-effects of medicines
- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Disturbed digestive system/indigestion
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroids)
- Unhealthy diet.
What Makes Constipation Serious?
Although constipation is mild in its essence, it can be quite disturbing both mentally and physically. Bowel movements and gastric complaints can be seriously painful. (3)
A U.S. National Library of Medicine - The World's Largest Medical Library article states: “After every bowel movement, the patient can experience swollen anus canal. The added pressure on the butt-hole and swelling may cause itchiness and pain.” If constipation is ignored or left untreated, it can lead to multiple severe sicknesses. (4)
There can be multiple reasons for you to have constipation. The problem can lie in your stomach or in GI (gastrointestinal) tract.
Poor diet, lack of physical activity, stress, anxiety, and depression can be other possible reasons. Sadly, the possibilities are that you can have more than one medical issue to handle. (5)
Is it Possible for Me to Cure Constipation Domestically?
The best practice is to consult a professional. Constipation home remedies are mostly suggested as complementary therapies. Ideally, you can follow a home remedy with the consultation of your physician. Because the good news is that the lack of intensity, in this case, allows us to take our time and cure it domestically.
How Should I Make a Start?
First, start with gentle exercise, walk and increased water plus fiber intake. You can also try simple workouts, light weight-lifting, aerobics, cycling, and swimming.
Secondly, lower your alcohol and caffeine consumption to improve your symptoms. Finally, follow few of these most effective, clinically proven and tested home remedies to recover from constipation. (6)
1. Sesame Seeds - Effective Natural remedy for Constipation
Nature has a lot to offer. Abundant supplies of natural resources in form of herbs, plants, and seeds are at our disposal to create long lasting and effective home remedies for constipation.
Just like other oily substances, sesame seeds - also called benny are also effective as a natural remedy for constipation by moisturizing intestine and softening dry-hard stool. The high dietary fiber composition is an additional advantage for people suffering from constipation. (7)
- Sesame seeds
- Grind sesame seeds (whole or roasted) in a grinder.
- Sprinkle 1/2 – 1 teaspoon on salad or cereals in the morning and afternoon.
Weight Loss with Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds are rich in nutrition having calcium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, molybdenum, vitamin B1, iron, zinc, selenium, manganese and dietary fiber.
- Sesame seeds
- Take 1 to 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
- Two glasses of water
Take this combination once a day/thrice a week as a meal replacement and achieve natural weight loss in weeks.
Bone Health with Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds having zinc, copper, and magnesium in noticeable quantity, can be used to increase bone density. Sesame seeds are an ideal food addition for arthritis patients.
2. Eat Figs – as Constipation Pills
If you ask me 1 solution to all our intestinal and gestational issues, my answer would be figs. Same goes for Constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and related issues.
The best news is once you have recovered from constipation eating figs, 99% chances are it will never happen again. You just have to add figs in your daily diet. Figs can normalize stool, bowel movements, and abdominal discomfort. (8)
Figs Home Remedy for Constipation: Figs can act as a laxative and stool softener at the same time. It also strengthens and rejuvenates lower intestines and anal muscles involved in excreting stool. (2)
The only minuses with figs can be the taste and the duration you have to take it.
- Tip #1: You have to eat figs at least for a couple of weeks to ease symptoms of constipation.
- Tip #2: Take 3 figs daily, early in the morning with empty stomach.
Important note: Do not consume figs and dates together, as they might be hard for a constipation sufferer to digest.
3. Blackstrap Molasses – GI Solution
If you are looking for a home remedy for constipation, molasses is a perfect natural laxative with multiple nutritional benefits.
Molasses can be considered as a multivitamin/mineral powerhouse with copper, calcium, vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron, and selenium.
One of the main reasons of constipation can be the deficiency of magnesium (Mg). So, if you are experiencing constipation due to magnesium deficiency, then molasses can be the right option for you. (9)
The laxative nature of molasses is ideal for softening stool and soothing the pathway for pain-free stool excretion.
- Blackstrap molasses
- Warm water
- Cayenne pepper
- Minced garlic
First, you should boil molasses thrice to maximize nutritional extraction. Once, the dark colored liquid is obtained it is ready for use.
Start by taking 1-2 teaspoons/day with 250 ml warm water at night for at least one week. You will see remarkable recovery using this natural constipation medicine.
Remember, the upper limit is 2 tablespoons/day.
Take 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of blackstrap molasses.
Bonus Tip: Two teaspoons/day with 300 ml warm water is also beneficial for hemorrhoids’ patients to ease itching, pain, and bleeding.
Note: Water can be replaced with tea.
4. Mint n Ginger Tea - Multipurpose
When we talk about natural home remedies for constipation or other health-related issues, ginger and its products are truly remarkable as alternative and complementary medicine.
The most bio-active ingredient in ginger also responsible for most physiological and pharmacological activities is Oleoresin, present in the roots. Oleoresin is also responsible for the acrid taste.
Ginger Tea Health Benefits:
Ginger is clinically proven to have several beneficial and nutritional effects on all major human organs. Ginger has been used for headaches, arthritis, migraines, cold, nausea, and hypertension.
In case you don’t like Ginger's bitter taste, you can replace it with Mint.
Mint – botanically can be a competent replacement for ginger in teas. (10)
5. Olive Oil – the Digestion King
Olive oil with mild laxative effect can help release stool easily during constipation. Olive oil is also known to reduce cholesterol and sugar level. (11)
-Nutritional Value of olive oil: - Omega-6: 9.7%, - Omega-3: 0.76%.
- Saturated Fat:- 13.8%, - Monounsaturated Fat: 73%, - Vitamin E: 72% (of RDA),
- Vitamin K:- 75% (of RDA).
- Olive oil
- Lemon Juice
- Warm water
- Add one tablespoon olive oil in one teaspoon lemon juice and take early in the morning in empty stomach.
The mixture will create an amazing laxative with antibacterial, antimicrobial and antioxidant qualities for maximum GI (gastrointestinal) relaxation.
- To speed up improvement in constipation, you can also take 1 teaspoon lemon with 250 ml of water later in the day.
6. Dates - a Fiber Powerhouse
This is another classical and tasty home remedy for constipation. Dates are rich in fiber and starch. The fiber allows smooth flow and softening of the stool in intestine and anus canal. Starch provides calories for instant energy.
Dates can be consumed in a variety of ways. You can find a lot of healthy recipes famous in Mediterranean and Gulf region.
Note: 100 gm of dates contain on average 400 calories. If you are weight conscious than you should keep an eye on your calorie intake. (12)
7. Fiber rich food for Constipation treatment
Soaking up water, intestinal cleansing and removal of waste particles from digestive system are essential in order to get rid of constipation. Consumption of 20-35 grams of dietary fiber on daily basis is recommended by FDA and UC Davis Department of Nutrition. (13)
Add foods in your diet rich in fiber. According to US food nutrient database: American Nutrition Association foods that are rich in fiber include:
- Bran cereals, - Potatoes, - Oatmeal, - Almonds, - Lentils, - Barley, - Nuts, - Red Beans,
- White beans, - Black beans, - Whole grain bread, - Apricots, - Nuts, - Berries
- Broccoli, - Plums, - Pears, - Apples and most vegetables.
Source: US food nutrient database: American Nutrition Association
8. Coffee for Constipation cure
I have been a great supporter of coffee all my life. A long list of health benefits is now medically associated with consuming coffee. A lot of people take coffee for mental alertness. Whereas coffee is also good for digestive health, and eventually, it can help you to obviate constipation.
In an NCBI Study titled “Coffee, Tea, and Caffeine Consumption and Incidence of Colon and Rectal Cancer”, it was found that “Modest consumption of coffee was associated with a decreased risk of constipation”. (14)
However, in the same study mentioned above, the results showed that the frequent consumption of coffee can result in constipation.
This means that coffee consumption in moderate quantity is helpful to overcome constipation issues and provide mental/physical alertness at the same time.
9. Raisins, Apricot & Cherries as Constipation remedies
Raisins are a rich source of tartaric acid that creates a laxative effect. In addition to tartaric acid, raisins also contain fiber to improve digestion and provide relief in constipation.
A medical review with the title: A review of dietary fiber and health: focus on raisins - “Raisins are good for lowering blood cholesterol and blood glucose concentrations.” (15)
Apricot and cherries are also rich sources of fiber and antioxidants. Antioxidants remove waste material from our intestines. (16)
Bonus Tip: Addition of yogurt with the use of cherries, raisins, and apricot can ameliorate constipation.
10. Castor Oil for Immediate Constipation relief
If you need to empty your stomach easily without much pain, if you are experiencing advanced stage or if you cannot handle much pressure (if you know what I mean 🙂 ) then castor oil is the right choice for you. It is considered as an instant solution for constipation.
- Castor Oil
- Take 2 teaspoons full of castor oil on empty stomach can stimulate intestines and anal canal to pass the stool quickly resulting in instant constipation relief.
The walls are lubricated which allows smooth passage. (17)
11. Flaxseeds & Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil - both are equally beneficial for constipation sufferers. Flaxseed oil directly imposes a purgative impact on the walls of the anus canal, intestines, and stool to increase the number of bowel movements.
Flaxseeds can be grinded into powder and then used with salads and main courses. (18) (19)
- Flaxseed oil
- Pulpy Orange Juice
Consume 1 tablespoon of Flaxseed oil with 250 ml of Pulpy Orange juice.
12. Lemon - Do Wonders
Lemon is a widely used fruit with amazing anti-oxidative, rejuvenating and anti-aging qualities.
Lemon is a quality source of numerous nutrition like fiber, vitamin C, ascorbic acid, calcium, copper, iron, flavonoids, B-complex vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Lemon has wide range of Health Benefits:
- Improvement of lungs’ function
- Regular bowel movements
- Fights against infections
- Increased Brain health
- Increased Bone density
- Healing of wounds
- Promotes digestion and as an antibacterial. (20)
- Lemon juice
- Baking soda
- Warm water
Take 1 lemon juice, a tip of baking soda and 1 cup of warm water. The combination will turn into a tasty fizzy drink.
Enjoy your drink and get rid of constipation in a couple of days.
13. Aloe Vera means anti-aging
Aloe Vera is most commonly used for skin rejuvenation and cuts and bruises.
However, there are researchers that have proved its utility in improving digestion and constipation. Herbal Medicine: Chapter #3 - Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects, the 2nd edition on PubMed supports the use of Aloe Vera to treat constipation and gastrointestinal disorders.
The inner mucus/gel of the leaves provides fiber and lubrication for easy stool pass. (21)
- Aloe Vera gel
- Warm water
- Green smoothies
- Natural juices
Take 2 tablespoons as it is or Aloe Vera gel can be consumed with water, green smoothies, juices and other healthy drinks.
14. Baking Soda
It must be the number one ingredient in all home remedies used around the world. Baking soda is so amazingly versatile that its use as a home remedy for constipation is equally effective.
Baking soda is alkaline in nature, it can neutralize stomach acidity and result in easy stool release. (22)
- Baking soda
- Warm water
- Flavored mineral water
- Take 1 teaspoon of baking soda, add in quarter glass warm water. The idea is to consume the mixture instantly so that the alkaline effect of bicarbonate is maximized.
- Take a tip of baking soda with liquid water enhancer (black cherry flavor).
A caution for regular consumers of baking soda: Case Files of the Medical Toxicology Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco says: “those who consume baking soda on regular basis should avoid its use as a home remedy for constipation. Because baking soda overuse can cause heart problems.” (23)
The food in our stomach is digested using different digestive enzymes and healthy bacteria present in our body.
Similarly, a large number of complex microorganisms/microbiota are present in our gut to keep it healthy. To consume these important elements we can use yogurt.
Because, yogurt is a milk product with a large number of these microorganisms / microbiota, probiotics, and digestive enzymes. So, yogurt is an essential food for our healthy gut and must be consumed regularly to keep things in balance our digestive system.
In addition, yogurt can also be used as a home remedy for preventing and treating constipation. The abundance of good bacteria will make sure that GI issues including constipation are under check. (24)
- Plain Yogurt.
To treat constipation at home, eat 200 gm to 250 gm yogurt daily in the breakfast to consume daily requirement of probiotics and healthy microorganisms.
16. Dandelion or Cankerwort
Dandelion is medicinal herb used as a digestive tonic for the treatment of upset stomach, loss appetite, constipation and intestinal gas.
Dandelion with “Uva Ursi” in a specified quantity is clinically proven to prevent urinary tract infections. (25)
- Dandelion herb/extract
You can take dandelion mixed in a salad, in soups or as a tea.
17. Epsom Salt
Don’t worry you can ease your symptoms and agony using this salt. The two main reasons to use Epsom salt as a home remedy for constipation include;
a) it is rich in magnesium which helps in stool passing smoothly in the large intestine,
b) Epsom salt hydrates the anus walls and again makes it easier for the stool to pass through.
A research study with the title: “Current management strategies and therapeutic targets in chronic constipation” consider the use of Epson salt can be fruitful in constipation. (26)
- Epsom salt
- Natural drinks
Usually, the Epsom salt is used with natural drinks/fruit juices. The recommended dose for the first time is teaspoons and the follow-up should be teaspoon from next day on wards. Reduce the dose to a half teaspoon for children under 12.
Epsom salt can also be used with fresh or canned mushrooms. Mushrooms are another rich source of fiber, with little or zero calories.
18. Corn Syrup
Corn syrup was used by our mothers and grandmother in the past for the treatment of constipation.
Historically, during the World War 2, the shopkeepers use to sell corn syrup to people with constipation as a self-treatment option. (27)
- Corn syrup
- Apple sauce
The remedy is to take 2 tablespoons of corn syrup with a ½ cup of apple sauce or warm water.
19. Exercise & Stool Timing
There is something you need to do other than using herbs and spices.
- Set Schedule for Bowel movements
First of all, in order to solve constipation and other digestive issues, you must make a set pattern to the stool. Untimely and increased/decreased number of bowel movements will ultimately result in digestive problems including constipation.
Although, there is no set rule for how many bowel movements you should have. Everyone has different eating patterns. However, the routine is still very important. The best time to make a bowel movement is early in the morning.
Secondly, you also have to do some exercise daily to keep your bodily organs/systems running properly including your digestive system.
A 20-30 minutes walk can solve your constipation complaint. Start with a 10 minutes walk and then increase it to the maximum you can do.
The higher, the better. Swimming, cycling, running or any physical activity will help you achieve fitness goals.
Finally, try to use all or most of the above-mentioned foods/ingredients for better health, improved digestion, and anti-aging. Adding broccoli, green smoothies and Stevia as a natural sweetener in your diet is not a bad idea.
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