By Fritz Mequiabas, RN, BSN
Home remedies for constipation
For those dealing with constipation, who are experiencing dry, hard stool and straining upon defecation, there may be a simple home remedy that can relieve your discomfort.
Leafy greens are a rich source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
If you are constipated, just a cup of any leafy greens will provide you a great amount of fiber.
Eat them raw or combine them with other foods and you may very well notice an improvement in bowel movements.
Leafy greens are easily one of the best home remedies for constipation.
Radishes are not generally recognized as a remedy for constipation.
However, this amazing vegetable helps to detox the liver and promoting peristalsis, the wave-like contractions of the colon that move stool along.
Radishes not only eliminate any excess bile from our bodies but they also help to relax the intestines when you’re having a hard time defecating.
Aside from protein, legumes like navy beans, chick peas, lentils, kidney beans and soy beans have a lot of fiber and magnesium.
This magical vegetable is always available in the vegetable department of any grocery store. Fix them up any way you like, and legumes become a healthy and delicious way to help restore bowel function.
Of all the vegetables, broccoli is a star when it comes to fiber.
You can make it a side dish for salmon, or you can combine it together with other vegetables for wonderful relief of constipation.
Just one cup of broccoli has 5.1 grams of fiber.
Sweet corn is easy to cook and delicious to eat.
Not only is it packed with flavor, but it also has approximately 4.3 grams per cup.
Prunes are highly esteemed for constipation relief. This fruit contains both fiber and sorbitol, which makes it a natural laxative.
Sorbitol is a carbohydrate that softens and adds bulk to stool. When you are suffering from mild to moderate constipation, eat three handfuls of prunes in the morning (before breakfast) and in the evening (an hour before going to bed).
If you prefer prune juice, drink a glass of it in the morning and in the evening, and you will see how it can help to normalize bowel movements.
Eating too many prunes or drinking too much prune juice may result in diarrhea, so proceed with caution.
Berries are known as a great source of antioxidants, but who knew that they are also a good source of fiber and one of the great natural home remedies for constipation?
So eat some raspberries, blueberries, currants or strawberries to help relieve constipation AND nourish your body.
Apples can be a perfect fruit for relieving constipation. The skin of an apple has 3 to 5 grams of fiber.
That is why, when you eat an apple, wash thoroughly, then eat the skin with the flesh.
Aloe vera is known to treat a number of skin conditions, but it is also beneficial for treating constipation.
The high fiber content of this herb makes it a natural laxative to help bring gentle relief from constipation. You can add a glass of aloe vera juice to your favorite smoothie and take it each morning and evening.
However, not all aloe vera is the same. The latex, found in the skin of aloe leaves, is a powerful stimulant laxative that irritates the colon, stimulating it to contract and move stool along.
Aloe latex is habit forming, and should only be used occasionally.
Fenugreek is commonly known as a cooking herb, but its seeds can minimize stomach upset and help to relieve constipation.
You can buy it in supplement form, or cook this herb and add it to casseroles or soups.
Dandelion leaves are often made into a tea. If you want to relieve constipation without having to take a laxative, try drinking dandelion tea twice a day for a natural home remedy relief.
Its leaves are rich in fiber, plus they contain antioxidants that can help remove harmful toxins from the body.
Aside from its heart and blood vessel benefits, flaxseed oil can also relieve constipation. A good time to take flax seed oil is before breakfast on an empty stomach. Keep refrigerated to preserve freshness.
Flax seed is also an excellent constipation relief tool that is rich in fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. For an interesting treat, use a coffee grinder to turn flax seed into powder, then sprinkle it on food or even stir it into a glass of water and drink.
Castor oil is a common home remedy for constipation.
Its laxative benefit can help relieve chronic constipation in children. However, it should be administered cautiously, particularly in the morning, because it works quickly. Castor oil has proven itself to normalize the bowel movement.
Unfortunately, most people don’t like the taste. But this can be overcome by mixing in a sweetener or a fruit juice.
Castor oil is not recommended for continued use.
A teaspoon of olive oil in the morning can stimulate the production of bile juice, which helps with proper digestion and elimination of food.
In fact, olive oil is one of the best home remedies for constipation, especially if you combine it with lemon juice or other fruit juice.
Did you know that dark chocolates may help to relieve constipation naturally?
Fortunately, this sweet treat is a great source of magnesium, a compound that relaxes the intestinal muscles and helps promote normal bowel movements. When buying dark chocolate, choose an organic one with at least 72% cocoa.
Milk chocolates and other types of chocolate don’t work. In fact, they can actually cause constipation.
If you want better bowel movements, grab a cup of yogurt or a bit of Kefir in your grocery store.
Plain and organic yogurts and kefir contain probiotics, which are healthy bacteria that can promote proper digestion of food.
(Paul Schneider, founder of this website. Here are a couple of videos I have made that show you how to make your own powerful probiotic kefir and Kombucha)
Whole grains are one of the most common and convenient sources of fiber. Look for whole grain pastas, cereals and breads. Bran cereals and muffins contain extra whole grain fiber.
However, some foods that say “whole grain” have very little whole grain in them. So check the label before buying because some of it.
Magnesium is one of the best ways to relieve constipation. It serves as a natural osmotic laxative that pulls water into the colon, helping stool to stay moist and soft.
A magnesium supplement can be taken daily in order to sufficiently keep the muscles of the intestines healthy. This is especially important for those dealing with chronic constipation.
Besides constipation relief, magnesium is a nutrient needed for energy production, blood glucose control, muscle and nerve function, and is needed in protein synthesis.
Taking 200 mg. to 400 mg. of supplemental magnesium each day helps to meet the body’s requirement for this mineral.
Whether constipation is mild, moderate or severe, there are home remedies that may help.
Generally speaking, home remedies are more friendly to the body than medications. However, should constipation get worse, please see your doctor.