Natural remedies for constipation can be effective alternatives to taking laxatives, without any side-effects. Constipated individuals may experience stomach ache, bloating, a general sense of sluggishness, fatigue or exhaustion, and even rectal bleeding. We have compiled a list of food and lifestyle changes that adults can adopt to release all that pent-up bodily waste.
9 Quick Adult Remedies For Constipation
Water helps waste matter to move easily through the intestines. It also keeps the intestines smooth and flexible. Meanwhile, dehydration, or not drinking enough water, will force the body to compensate by absorbing water from food waste. This results in hard stools. A well-hydrated individual will produce softer stools that pass effortlessly. Fruit and vegetable juices are good alternatives to water. One should avoid alcoholic beverages as these cause dehydration.
2. All Fiber In Food
There are two types of fiber. Soluble fiber found in oats, apples, and dried beans makes stool retain more water, therefore making it softer. Insoluble fiber found in flax seeds, blueberries, and garbanzos bulk up the fecal matter to make it pass more quickly. Other foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, oats, beans, and barley.
Prunes have been described as a natural, traditional remedy for constipation. Aside from their high fiber content, prunes contain a sugar alcohol called “sorbitol.” Sorbitol helps trigger the action of the colon that pushes out the stool. The recommended dosage for prunes is about 50 grams, or seven medium-sized prunes taken twice in a day.
Coffee can be a remedy or a cause of constipation. Drinking coffee activates the muscles in the gut 60% more than drinking water does. Coffee contains soluble fibers which prevent constipation by balancing the good and the bad bacteria in the digestive system. Drink in moderation, though because coffee is also a diuretic. Like alcohol, it removes water from your body. So you also need to drink a lot of water to compensate. Otherwise, this can cause dehydration and a hardening of the stool.
5. Castor Oil
Castor oil is a stimulant laxative. It increases intestinal movement that pushes out stool. Take one or two teaspoons on an empty stomach and see results within two to six hours. This natural laxative may work very quickly. It’s not a good idea to take it before going to bed.
Researchers have found signs of bacterial imbalance in the digestive system of constipated patients. Taking probiotics may help return the balance between good and bad bacteria and relieve constipation. Probiotics also produce fatty acids and lactic acid which may help gut movement and move stool faster. Probiotics produce stool of better consistency and increase the frequency of bowel movement. Try some yogurt, kimchi, and kefir to add more good bacteria to the gut.
7. Epsom Salts
Epsom salts increase water content in the intestines. This softens the stool, allowing for easier passage of fecal matter. This is a very versatile form of treatment because it can be taken both internally and externally. For internal use, dissolve 2-4 teaspoons of Epsom salts in 8 ounces of water and drink right away. This dosage is for kids 12 years and up, and adults. For external use, dissolve 5 cups of Epsom salts in a warm bath. Soak in the bath, and the magnesium may help the bowel relax as it is absorbed by the skin. Take Epsom salts twice a day at the most. Do not take for longer than one week without consulting the doctor.
Kiwi is full of water and is high in fiber. These two factors make it ideal for inducing bowel movement. Research shows that people who eat kiwi regularly have smoother bowel movements and spend less time on the toilet. This prevents colon stagnation which can trigger constipation. Eating kiwi also provides enough vitamin C for the day. Kiwi is a delicious, nutritious, side-effect-free alternative to over-the-counter laxatives.
Exercise promotes muscle health and stimulates digestion. It can be a very effective natural treatment for constipation. Taking a walk after a meal may help ease symptoms. While more vigorous exercises such as pelvic exercises, Pilates and running can be even more effective natural treatment than laxatives. The movement involved in doing these exercises helps move waste down the digestive tract.
Check out this video from Ekunji to learn some amazing juice recipes to help with constipation:
Constipation can make life difficult. Symptoms can range from a simple stomach ache to rectal bleeding. Getting treatment right away will help normalize bowel movements and prevent the condition from getting worse. But what is the right treatment? Taking over-the-counter laxatives will work but no laxatives are free of side effects. Trying a more natural form of treatment may provide lasting comfort with no complications.
Have you tried natural treatments to relieve constipation? Tell us about this in the comments section below!