“Constipation – a sure sign your guts are giving you the silent treatment” – Online card greeting
As with diarrhea, we avoid talking about constipation in our everyday lives. It may be OK to talk about back problems or coming down with the flu, but the excretory system and all its features and effects seem to be something of a taboo.
However, constipation is no joke, nor is it anything to be embarrassed about. It can be painful, especially if it persists. Now, drop the laxative and try our fail-safe home remedies for constipation!
Causes of constipation
When your bowel movement is difficult or less frequent than normal, you become constipated. It is not a rare occurrence by any means, and seldom is it serious. The length of time between bowel movements generally depends on the individual. Some people have them just once a week, and others several times a day.
However, two or more days without bowel movement is usually too long. The stool becomes harder and passing one can be challenging!
Common causes of constipation:
- Changes in your diet or activities
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Neurological disorders
- Not getting enough exercise
- Colon cancer
- Excessive consumption of milk, cheese and other dairy products
- Painkillers and antidepressants
- Bulimia and / or anorexia
- Lack of hydration
- Excessive use of laxatives
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms of constipation include straining during bowel movement, small or hard feces, stomach pain, vomiting and / or having a feeling that not everything came out after bowel movement.
1. Aloe Vera does wonders for excretion
Aloe vera’s medicinal properties go way above and beyond skin care. It’s best to use real aloe vera gel from the plant (not the type sold in stores). You can get frozen aloe vera for this, warm it up and mix it with water or buy a plant and cut a few leaves. You can also use aloe juice – again, it should be as concentrated as possible for the best effect.
One cup of aloe vera juice or half a cup of gel
Mix the gel with fruit juice and drink the mixture in the morning on an empty stomach. Alternatively, you can drink aloe vera juice. Drink it every morning for a few days until your bowel movement goes back to normal.
2. Lemon juice – A Strong Dose of Vitamin C
Did you know that lemon juice is amazing for digestion and the kidneys? It’s also fail-safe when it comes to treating constipation. Lemon juice contains loads of citric acid, which speeds up your digestive system. It can also help expel toxins and undigested food that may be blocking the digestive tract, which is a common cause of constipation.
- The juice of one lemon
- One cup of water
- Mix the lemon juice and the water, which should be at room temperature. Drink in small sips once a day for a week or until bowel movement is normalized.
3. Baking soda – the Mother of all Home Remedies
You know as well as I do that baking soda is the main ingredient in the majority of home remedies. It works almost all the time and treats various conditions, among which constipation and stomach pain. Baking soda is also called soda bicarbonate. It relieves constipation by getting air to come out of you and restores normal pH by neutralizing stomach acid. This is how it makes expulsion easier.
- One teaspoon of baking soda
- 100 g of water
- Warm up the water and mix the baking soda into it. Drink the mix quickly, twice a day. I know it doesn’t taste good, but if you are trying to cope with that by drinking in small sips it will not work.
4. Flaxseed oil and orange juice are an amazing duo
Oranges contain tons of fiber, which most of those afflicted with constipation are lacking in their diet or not consuming in sufficient quantities. A nice and easy home remedy, flaxseed oil covers the insides of your intestines and increases the frequency of bowel movement.
- One tablespoon of flaxseed oil
- One glass of fresh orange juice
- Mix the juice with the oil and drink once every four hours the first three days. On the fourth, drink just once a day. Keep drinking it once daily as needed.
Note: Do not overdo it with this remedy – having too much of it may have the opposite effect.
5. Cane sugar – You can’t imagine the benefits!
Cane sugar is actually healthier than most people think – this is an all-natural product that is really great for the digestive, excretory and respiratory systems. However, I suggest you take it a little bit further and get yourselves some blackstrap molasses. These are incredibly effective because of how they are made: basically, what people do is boil cane sugar until it crystallizes.
Molasses also contain some very beneficial minerals, like magnesium, which not only relieves constipation but does wonders for the muscles and nervous system.
- 50 grams of molasses
- Eat a teaspoon of molasses – if you don’t like the taste, you can mix them with tea or water. Keep increasing the dose until you begin to feel relief from constipation.
- Green tea with molasses is excellent. Learn more by clicking here
6. Dandelions can make at least one wish come true
Some see a weed, others see a wish, and still others see it come true in the form of constipation relief. The healthy properties of dandelions make them an effective cleanser and natural, tender laxative. Eating a lot of processed foods or leading an inactive lifestyle are often associated with constipation, so a cup of this tea is going to offer unbelievable advantages.
Put the dried dandelion leaves in a container and mix them with the boiled hot water. Cover and let sit eight minutes. Drink twice a day over a period of 10 days.
7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil – It’s Good for More than Salads
Extra virgin olive oil is delicious, healthy and relieves constipation. That will not come as a surprise if you look at the consistency and texture of olive oil – it’s basically the hallmark home remedy for constipation. If this doesn’t help you, nothing will.
Olive oil stimulates the excretory and digestive systems, which makes things easier on your colon. You won’t have a problem with constipation if you take it on a regular basic.
- Equal amounts of olive oil and lemon juice
Eat one tablespoon of olive oil every morning before breakfast. If you forget, wait a few hours without eating anything and then have it again. If lighter flavors are your cup of tea, you can mix it with a small amount of lemon juice. Keep in mind that lemon juice is a fail-safe natural constipation aid.
8. Prune juice – An absolute classic
You may have heard about Rodney Dangerfield’s Viagra and prune juice experience (“I don’t know if I am coming or going”) but there is definitely more to prune juice than that! Yes, it does wonders for the reproductive organs, so to say, but also for constipation. The fruit contains a lot of fiber and sorbitol, which makes stools softer.
- Half a liter of prune juice
Half a liter of prune juice is about three glasses. Drink one glass in the morning on an empty stomach, one before lunch and one in the evening to relieve constipation. Alternatively, you could eat a few prunes if you don’t feel like making juice. You should begin feeling its effects within a few hours, so do not drink one glass right after the other. If you forgot, just skip it.
Note: Do not drink more juice or more often than instructed. It will have the opposite effect, making stools softer – i.e. diarrhea.
9. Magnesium sulfate – salt with a twist
Magnesium sulfate is an effective home remedy for constipation because it causes the bowel muscles to contract and you can pass the stool more easily. It also draws water from its surroundings, making the stool softer. Table salt is also effective in extracting water, but magnesium sulfate or Epsom salt as it is sometimes called also has magnesium, the effect of which is decisive.
- One cup of fruit juice or water
- Two teaspoons of magnesium sulfate or half a teaspoon for children
Dissolve the magnesium sulfate in the juice or water and take a huge gulp. Repeat if there is no sign of bowel movement in the next few hours. Do be very careful about the doses – they are different depending on whether you are treating an adult or child
Note: Do consult the box for the right amount and do not give Epsom salt to very young children or babies.
And now, for the Number One home remedy for constipation that you just won’t believe…
10. Cooled boiled water!
Boiled water is an age-old, tried and true remedy. It works for most people I know, myself included. It is really, really simple – just pour two cups of tap water into a pot and put it on the stove. When it reaches boiling point, remove it and let it cool overnight. In the morning, drink a cup of this (you can warm it up slightly if has gotten too cold and tastes bad).
The other cup can be drunk later that day or the next morning so you don’t have to make time to boil water every day. Do drink it on an empty stomach right after you get up.
How to prevent constipation
It is very simple and easy to prevent future bouts of constipation. There are just a few simple rules you have to follow:
When you need to go, just go.
Most of us do not go to the bathroom when we need to. Surprising, but fact. We ignore the call of nature unless it threatens to deafen us. Our bodies are telling us something, giving us a signal for a reason, but we don’t pay attention. We say, “I’ll go right after I finish this” and “just a second”, “it can wait” and so on and so forth, but the longer you hold it in, the harder the stool becomes.
Take care of your intestinal flora
You can’t do it without the right bacteria. Healthy intestine flora is of paramount importance in terms of keeping our excretory system working right, especially when our guts are being bombarded by all kinds of processed sugars and foods. If you working to keep your good bacteria alive and kicking, bouts of constipation will keep decreasing in frequency.
There are a few proven ways to keep your bacteria healthy and flourishing. The easiest way is eating organic yoghurt that contains probiotics. Two cups a day are recommended - one with breakfast and the other in the afternoon.
If home remedies are not working for you, though, you may need to see a doctor and get tested to find out what the underlying causes of your constipation are.
Tummy and back massages are also helpful in relieving constipation. Find the best massage chair for your home and spend at least 15 minutes on it daily.
Did you enjoy our list of home remedies? Were you surprised by anything on it? Constipation is usually not dangerous, but it can potentially signal a deeper issue, or if it doesn’t, it can be just plain annoying, which is enough to start taking measures. Do not rush to the pharmacy for expensive laxatives that are just going to make it worse!