Constipation is a condition that causes you to have difficulties emptying your bowels completely and/or on a regular basis. This causes stool to be hard, very big or pellet-like. The extent of constipation varies from one person to another. Some people experience constipation or a short period of time, while for others, it becomes a chronic condition that distorts the quality of life as it causes sharp pain and great discomfort.
There are several causes of constipation, but the most common include lack of fiber in your diet, a stressful event that significantly alters your life’s routine as well as repeatedly ignoring the urge to defecate. In some cases, constipation results from taking certain medications. Constipation is sometimes accompanied by bloating and loss of appetite.
It is important to note that for kids, some of the factors that may compound the problem of constipation include psychological factors such as poor toilet training techniques, an inherent fear of using the toilet as well as failing to take action on the urge to poop. Sudden changes in the child’s life such as moving to a new school or losing a parent can also worsen constipation.
The good news is that in acute constipation, you can easily use treat constipation by making healthy choices and improving your lifestyle. If this does not ease the condition, it is imperative to seek medical advice. Your doctor should then be able to inform you the proper course of action in addition to the healthy choices and natural remedies. Getting a medical checkup is important especially for those with long term constipation as this can lead to the development of piles or fecal impaction. Below are the top natural remedies used to treat constipation.
1. Lemon Juice:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Medium-sized lemon, juicer, a glass of hot water.
Lemon juice is one of the easiest ways to deal with constipation for the simple reason that the juice stimulates digestion and thus helps to ‘get things moving’ with relative ease. The juice also has the advantage of been a refreshing drink that makes it a perfect remedy to perk up your mornings. When taken for a couple of days consecutively, the lemon juice is a simple and effective treatment that you can use to treat constipation.
- Wash the lemon properly and proceed to juice it.
- Collect the juice in a cup and add it to the glass of hot water before stirring well.
- Drink the lemon water on an empty stomach, preferably first thing in the morning as this is when the digestive system is most receptive.
- Make sure you take the lemon water in the evening too. Repeat this remedy thrice daily for best results.
2. Castor Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Two teaspoons of castor oil. Preferred sweetener such as fresh fruit juice.
Castor oil has long been used as a great remedy for the management of constipation. The oil is a yellowish viscous liquid that is preferred due to its excellent laxative purposes. As a natural laxative, castor oil triggers movement in the intestines, thus enhancing bowel movement and making defecation easy. Note however, that the taste of castor oil does take some getting used to, so you may want to ingest the oil alongside a sweetener such as fresh fruit juice.
The advantage of using castor oil is that it is fast-acting. As such, the oil helps eliminate the pain and discomfort quite fast. On the flip side, this can also be a shortcoming as it restricts the time period during which you can take the oil. Its fast acting nature means that it should not be taken just around bedtime. Additionally, once the constipation eases, do not prolong the use of castor oil as this has potentially grave side effects.
- Place two teaspoons of the castor oil and place in a glass.
- Stir in the fresh fruit juice before refrigerating the mixture for 15 minutes.
- Drink the mixture in the course of the day and monitor your improvements.
3. Organic Honey:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Two teaspoons of raw organic honey and a half cup of fresh lemon juice.
Raw organic honey is an effective home remedy for a wide array of conditions, making it a diverse home remedy. In treating constipation, honey is loved for its mild laxative properties. This properties help improve bowel movement, thus allowing for the prevention and treatment of constipation. Honey, unlike castor oil, can be taken daily with no side effects so make the best of this amazing remedy.
- Take two teaspoons of honey thrice daily for improved bowel movement.
- Alternatively, mix the honey with half a cup of lemon juice and warm water and rink this mixture every morning immediately you wake up. The idea behind doing this in the morning is to allow for maximum absorption of the remedy’s ingredients and hence the best effects.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Fresh grapes. Alternatively, use 12 dried seedless grapes and a glass of milk.
Grapes are a great home remedy for the treatment of constipation, This is because they are rich in insoluble fiber which is the absolute best in helping ‘things to get moving’. Regular consumption of the grapes, over a considerable period of time, helps prevent constipation altogether. There are two ways you can use this amazing fruit: either by eating the fresh grapes or by boiling the dried equivalent in milk. The latter works perfectly for kids who are often picky eaters.
- Simply eat a bowl of grapes in the course of the day.
- If you opt to use the dried seedless grapes, simply mix them with milk and bring the mixture to boil.
- You will then allow the solution to cool before drinking it.
- Do this daily until you notice an improvement in emptying your bowels.
5. Probiotic Yogurt:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Probiotic yogurt. Supplements (optional)
Probiotic yogurt is an excellent way to deal with constipation. By definition, any food that contains the word ‘probiotics’ simply means that the particular food is laden with the good bacteria. These bacteria enhance digestion thus promoting the movement of fecal matter through the intestines. In yogurt, the most common probiotic is Lactobacillus. Other sources of probiotics that you can use include supplements and specific foods.
- Simply take your probiotic yogurt on a daily basis and watch for improvements in your bowel movements.
Time Required: 3 Hr
What You Need: One tablespoon of flaxseed, a strainer and a glass of warm water.
Flaxseed is a top herbal remedy used for the management of constipation. It constitutes herbal therapy, one of the most ancient forms of treating this condition. Flaxseed is packed with fiber which helps bulk up the stool, thus making it easy to pass stool. Additionally, flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The fatty acids are known to play an integral role in the proper functioning of the digestive system. It is also important to note that flaxseed has mild laxative properties which come in handy in the home treatment of constipation.
- Place a tablespoon of flaxseed in a glass containing warm water and soak for 2.5 hours.
- Strain the mixture and discard the seeds before drinking the water. Do this at bedtime since flaxseed is not as fast-acting as castor oil. Repeat this remedy thrice daily. After a couple of days, you should be able to start noticing an improvement in your bowel movement.
- The other way to go about this is to add flaxseed powder to a glass containing warm water and consuming this mixture. Or simply add the flaxseed to your bowl of morning cereal.
7. Fennel Seeds:
Time Required: 1 Hr
What You Need: A cup of fennel seeds, a pan with a heavy base, a grinder, a sieve and a glass of warm water.
Fennel seeds are an excellent home remedy for the treatment of varied conditions of the digestive system. This is because the seeds have bulk-forming properties that soften the stool and allow easy, more frequent passing of stool. The seeds’ mild laxative property is also key in the management of constipation. In addition to these traits, fennel seeds also stimulate the movement of the smooth muscle in the digestive system, making stool easy to pass.
- Take a cup of the fennel seeds and transfer them to a pan with a heavy base. This allows you to dry roast the seeds without burning them.
- Grind the seeds once dry-roasting is complete.
- You will then pass the mixture through the sieve to get fine fennel powder.
- Take a teaspoon of the powder and set aside.
- Transfer the rest of the powder to a jar with a lid.
- Place the teaspoon of fennel seed in a glass and add warm water before stirring.
- Drink this mixture daily until you get relief from the condition.
8. Pure Olive Oil:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (optional).
Pure olive oil is not only a healthy addition to your daily diet, it is also an excellent remedy for the natural treatment of constipation. Olive oil gets this done through the stimulation of the digestive system thus keeping ‘things moving’ through your intestines. Regular intake of olive oil is also a great preventive measure in dealing with constipation. Lemon juice is added to the oil because it also works through the stimulation of the digestive tract. The best time to take this remedy is in the morning and on an empty stomach. In case you forget to do so, make sure to use the remedy when you have not eaten for a while and are hungry.
- Place the tablespoon of olive oil in a shallow bowl and add the teaspoon of lemon juice.
- Mix the two ingredients well before consuming the mixture.
- Use this remedy thrice daily until you get relief from constipation.
9. Blackstrap Molasses:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of blackstrap molasses, a glass of warm water or tea (optional).
Blackstrap molasses are preferred fro their effective treatment of both acute and chronic constipation. The reason behind the popularity of this home remedy lies in the structural makeup of the molasses. Blackstrap molasses are different from regular molasses. During processing, the latter result from boiling cane juice, concentrating it and eventually crystallization. An added round of boiling following the production of regular molasses results in blackstrap molasses which is very nutritious.
More specifically, blackstrap molasses is rich in Magnesium which is what assists with providing relief from constipation. The general guide when using molasses is to start slow until you are able to establish how much of the molasses work for you. If you do not love the taste and texture of the molasses, you may add it to warm water or warm tea to act as a medium.
- Ingest a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses at least twice daily until you start to feel better.
- Alternatively, place the teaspoon of molasses in a cup containing warm water/tea and stir before drinking.
Other time-tested ways to deal with constipation include increasing the amount of drinking water, regular exercising as well as increased fiber intake. The latter means less processed foods, more natural foods as well as green veggies that are rich in roughage. Spinach is a great example in the list of green veggies. This is because spinach is not only rich in fiber, it also packed with nutrients that keep your digestive system in check.
Other foods and fruits that you can add to your diet include raisins, potatoes and citrus fruits. Aloe vera gel has also been shown to be an excellent home remedy for the treatment of constipation. Lastly, develop a schedule as a means of regulating bowel movement, a simple but effective method which works well for constipation in kids and adults alike!