Herbal Constipation Medicine

By Dr. Ritu Krishnatreye, BHMS

Herbal constipation medicine

Regular bowel movements are important for good health.

Whether one suffers recurrent chronic constipation or just finds themselves occasionally bound up, we may need an external source for relief.

Laxatives provide fast and effective relief, and herbal laxatives tend to be safe and many don’t have the dangerous side effects that other laxatives have.

Categories of Herbal Laxatives

Herbal Stimulant Laxatives

Herbal stimulant laxatives work in a similar fashion as chemical stimulant laxatives.

They increase the peristaltic contractions of the intestines, thereby pushing stool along for evacuation.

Some of the more common herbal stimulant laxatives include:

  • Castor oil 
  • Bisadocyl
  • Frangula

  • Senna works by keeping water in the intestines, which causes an increase in bowel movements. It contains anthraquinones, which stimulate bowel motion contractions.

  • The purgative action of rhubarb root is useful in treating constipation. The root contains tannins that stimulate the contraction of the intestines, thereby pushing the fecal matter out of the bowels.

  • Aloe vera latex is another stimulant laxative, but it needs to be used with caution as it is very potent. 

  • The action of Cascara Sagrada is similar to that of Senna. It retains water in the colon, which further pushes the contractions of intestines. This causes the stools to get evacuated from the body. 

Stimulant herbal laxatives are effective, but should only be taken for a short duration, since the body can become dependent on them for bowel contractions.

Herbal Bulk-Forming Laxatives

These work by adding mass or bulk to the stool. Small, hard stools move more slowly through the colon and tend to collect into a larger, more difficult mass of stool.

Compared to this, soft, bulky stools require less effort to evacuate.

Some herbal bulk forming laxatives include:

  • Psyllium husk
  • Flax seed
  • Pectin

All of these natural remedies provide a good source of fiber. Bulk forming herbal laxatives are generally mild in nature and therefore can be used for an extended period of time.

  • Psyllium husk is a traditional remedy for constipation that is derived from the Plantago Ovata plant. It contains a good amount of soluble fiber that helps in adding bulk to stool.
    When psyllium husk comes into contact with water, it swells and forms a gel-like mass that holds in moisture. This makes stools soft and easy to pass. Psyllium husk also works as an intestinal cleanser.

  • Flax seed contains a lot of soluble fiber that adds bulk to stools. It also works by forming a gel, which combines with stool. As the volume in stool increases, it stimulates a reflex contraction that pushes fecal matter out of the body.
    Each morning, use a coffee grinder to mill one or two tablespoons of flaxseed into a powder. Stir this into 8 ounces of water and drink.
    Flax seed powder may also be sprinkled onto food. Most people find bulk forming laxatives to be quite an effective solution for constipation.

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas are widely known for their laxative effect. Chammomile tea, licorice tea, green tea and Senna tea are all good choices.

How do herbal teas stimulate a bowel movement? Besides any laxative properties of the tea, even just the warmth of the tea has a laxative effect.

So enjoy a cup of tea in the morning to get your day off to a good start. It may help to get your bowels moving, plus provide a daily dose of anti-oxidants. 

A magnesium supplement

If the above mentioned herbal remedies aren't enough, try a magnesium supplement

  • Magnesium works in multiple ways to provide relief from chronic constipation. It has an osmotic action which draws water into the colon.

  • The increased volume promotes peristalsis, which helps to move waste along.

  • More water in the intestines helps to keep stool moist and soft, making it easier to pass.

  • Magnesium helps to relax tense intestinal muscles to help restore normal bowel contractions. 

Since a magnesium supplement is intended for daily use, it just may be the long-term constipation solution that you are looking for.

Not only is it not habit forming, but it may provide numerous health benefits

Conclusion, herbal constipation medicine

Herbs are known as the gift of mother nature, and have been used for centuries for various health problems.

Although herbal constipation medicine tends to be more friendly than other medicines, they should be used with caution in children, pregnant and nursing women, the elderly and by those with an existing medical condition.

(Return from Herbal Constipation Medicine to Natural Remedies for Constipation)

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