This is perhaps the most common problem suffered by humans. A huge percentage of us are constipated, some severely, some mildly. Constipation is generally an indicator of poor health, and there can be many causes to it. However, there are countless home remedies for constipation, so you can ease out the straining and pain while defecating and pass out a smooth bowel movement.
There are lots of laxatives out there for constipation, but they harm your body , in one way or the other. On the other hand, natural remedies seem to work the best for relief from constipation. Some are so well-known that they are considered synonymous with constipation cure and even doctors recommend them, like prune juice .
Constipation is quite disgusting. That feeling of incomplete bowel movement, the pain while you try ever so hard to evacuate the bowels. The stool is hard, or way too watery when it comes out. Although constipation is not a serious health concern, but it was believed to be the cause of most illnesses by Dr. Norman Walker ( the pioneer of juicing ). Home made natural remedies are very easy to perform and they can help in the severest of constipation. Incorporating them on a frequent basis can help one get rid of chronic constipation for life.
There are many varied symptoms of constipation.
- Irregular bowel movements. The person’s regular bowel routine may be disrupted.
- Pain and straining during a bowel movement.
- Tenesmus – feeling of incomplete evacuation of the bowels. This prompts the person to go to the toilet again and again. There is an urge to defecate, but with no results.
- Abdominal distension, swelling and bloating.
- Infrequent loose or hard stools. The consistency of stools should be a smooth semi solid, which is less common in constipation patients.
- Nausea on eating food.
Home Remedies For Constipation
( Photo Courtesy: jennycu )
Home remedies for constipation in women and men adults. ( For kids, there are some other remedies, these ones may be really very powerful for them )
1. Prune juice ( the truly awesome constipation remedy )
By far the best natural remedy for constipation is prune juice. In fact, it is synonymous with constipation. But, definitely, it helps almost all people suffering from constipation . It is easy to procure fresh prune juice. It provides quick and effective relief from constipation for most people.
- Ingredients Fresh extracted prune juice. ( If you can’t get that, no problem. Go get a canned prune juice ).
- Directions / How to useDrink it when you feel defecation trouble, i.e. constipated. If you are a chronic constipation sufferer, drink this juice first thing in the morning and drink some warm water afterwards. For severe constipation, you need to drink slightly more than recommended. “How much prune juice to drink for constipation in adults ? ” About 100 – 250 ml should do the trick. The higher limit is for severe constipation ( you haven’t gone to defecate for 4 days or maybe even a week ). It works in less than 10 minutes.
- Why it works ? Prunes are nature’s easily available and quite potent laxatives. They contain sorbitol and phenols, plus adequate dietary fiber ( 7 grams per 100 grams of dried prunes ). In the juice form, the fiber may reduce a bit, but it still works great.
2. Warm lemon juice or Lemonade
Lemon is awesome for mild constipation. Maybe you knew of it beforehand, yeah, lemon is so common, it’s not so potent ! Hey, lemon is really very powerful. Here is the perfect recipe.
- Ingredients2 lemonsWarm Water ( 1 glass – approx 250 ml )
- Directions / How to use ( The Recipe )Step 1 : Juice the lemons with the rind , yes with the rind on in a juicer. You should get a greener juice.Step 2 : Add this to a glass of warm water. ( You can add some sweetener, like cinnamon or stevia, or sugar )Step 3 : Drink this warm.
- Why it worksLemon juice stimulates the colon and helps you pass out. Plus, it is wonderful cleanser, detoxifies the liver and helps it to produce bile in good amounts.
” You can add honey to this when it cools down and that makes it even more potent for constipation. “
3. Spinach and tomato juice
This is a marvellous combination. It can lead to some gas production, so if you are a chronic acidity sufferer, you can as well opt it out. But, otherwise, it is great for constipation.
- IngredientsFresh spinachFresh red tomatoesJuicer
- Directions / How to useJuice out equal parts of spinach and tomato. Make it to about 2 glasses ( 500 ml ). It provides relief from even the stubborn constipation and it is quite nutritious as well.
- Why it worksSpinach is a nice cleanser of the colon. It is extensively used in colon cleanse therapies. Tomato juice adds some tangy taste to the juice, because spinach juice is pretty awful in taste. But, you got to drink lots of this for it to work ( 1 ounce of spinach juice would probably not work as the human colon is pretty big ). Spinach also improves the normal corkscrew mechanism of digestive tract to move food down.
Alternative : If tomato doesn’t work out well in the recipe, an alternative is to add carrots. Then you would make Spinach – Carrot juice combo for constipation.
” Are grapes good for constipation ” You’re right, they are. Actually, too much grapes can cause diarrhea. Just eat a whole bowl of grapes to provide relief from occasional constipation. It is a natural laxative  and can help the bowels in emptying completely.
- IngredientsAny kind of grapes ( green ,red, black but seeded are better )
- Directions / How to useEither feast on grapes or you can juice them and drink 1 glass juice 3 times a day. It takes some time to work, but you would most probably witness a difference in the color of fecal material.
- Why it worksGrapes have a mild colon cleansing effect. Plus, they are hydrating and stool becomes easier to pass. Consuming large amounts of grape juice can cause colored stool ( green, red or purple ) and watery stools, which provides relief from constipation.
5. Dark coffee
Make your coffee with enough coffee powder, less milk and warm works nice in relieving occasional constipation without making you want to go to the bathroom very quickly. It doesn’t act that quickly. Coffee acts gently and helps with mild constipation .
- IngredientsMore coffee powder or beans than usual ( You are going to make a stronger coffee )Milk ( If you do not like milk, then you can use nut milk, like almond milk )No sugar
- Directions / How to useMake your coffee and drink it warm. Do not drink this early in the morning. It should bring about a bowel movement in half and hour or so.
- Why it worksCoffee mildly stimulates the colon and liver and it can provide a bowel movement, even if it be untimely. This is probably attributed to the mental effects of caffeine in coffee. It works on the brain.
Word of Caution : Excessive coffee consumption leads to constipation, so keep your coffee intake under control .
6. Honey in cold water ( or slightly warm water , never hot )
Honey is easily available in our homes. It can be used as a constipation remedy, however, it may not work for all.
- IngredientsHoney ( pure, organic and raw is best )Water
- Directions / How to useTake 3 tablespoon of honey and add it to warm water. Then let this water cool down and drink it. About 1 glass of liquid should do the trick.
- Why it worksYou may think that honey would worsen constipation because it is very viscous. But, not the case. Honey actually helps in evacuating the bowels. It is a mild laxative.
7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil ( Gulp it straight down )
This is one remedy that I am sure many people from the Mediterranean would always recommend, edible grade olive oil. Now, some of you may be averse to drinking oils, but it is certainly healthy, if you are within your daily intake limits. Olive oil is a fantastic oil for the body ( it is mostly unsaturated fat ). It lubricates the intestines well and constipation is a rarity if you take olive oil regularly .
- IngredientsExtra Virgin Olive OilLemons
- Directions / How to useTake 2 tablespoon of olive oil and gulp it down your throat. If you can’t take it directly, put 2 tablespoons lemon juice in it and then drink it.
- Dosage Issues :If your body fat percentage is on the higher side, like 25 – 30 % and you are overweight, then you should probably take 1 tablespoon of olive oil daily. Otherwise, 2 tablespoons is ideal dosage to get rid of constipation.
” If you still don’t like the taste, well, its okay. You can drink it in orange juice, grapefruit juice or any other juice of your choice. ”
8. Dandelion Greens
Most of us think dandelions are weeds. Yes, they are wild, but dandelion greens are edible. They serve as a nice home remedy for constipation, if you have them.
- IngredientsDandelion greens
- Directions / How to useYou can juice them, eat them raw or put them in a cooked food recipe, any one you like. Personally, I juice them. That way, you have it more potent and in its raw form.
- Why it worksDandelion is a powerful liver stimulant. It improves the functioning of liver, which ultimately helps in your digestive and excretory response in many ways. In fact, it is the liver which coordinates most of the chemical reactions in our body.
9. Epsom Salt For Constipation
Epsom salt is usually associated with bathing. But, it can also be ingested, but precaution needs to be taken, as it is a salt. Epsom salt can help with constipation.
- IngredientsEpsom SaltWater
- Directions / How to useTake 1 -2 tablespoon of epsom salt and dissolve it in warm water. Then drink this water. It is a mild laxative, so you may expect results after some time ( 1 – 2 hours ). You can repeat it within 6 hours , but not more than that.Caution : Do not consume salt regularly because it can be harmful to the body.
You can also use Epsom salt as an enema, but the technique is a bit complicated, you should consult someone who is expert in enemas. But, that too helps with severe constipation.
10. Baking Soda
Baking soda, too is a salt. It is alkaline in nature, and is useful in number of conditions. It is therefore, the most versatile and most useful chemical to have at home. However, it should not be taken in regular amounts for long periods of time. as it may alter the pH of blood. So, just use it to cure your constipation, but not for chronic constipation.
- Ingredients1 tablespoon baking soda1 glass warm water.
- Directions / How to useDissolve just 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 glass warm water and drink this. Wait for the bowel movement. This is a slow acting remedy, so it may take some time for the bowel movement to come.
- Why it worksBaking soda works in numerous home remedies. It is quite incredible how it is so useful in all these conditions, like UTI, sore throat etc.
11. Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
We have already discussed how to use honey alone for constipation. It can also be mixed with Apple Cider Vinegar to get a more powerful home remedy for constipation.
- IngredientsApple Cider Vinegar ( organic, raw, unprocessed ). ( You can also make yours at home )Honey ( organic )Water
- Directions / How to useTake 2 tablespoon each of honey and ACV and dissolve in warm water. Then cool it down and drink this. Never drink the honey when the water is warm, as it is harmful.
- Why it worksACV is a colon cleanser. When mixed with a natural laxative, like honey, it becomes a constipation home remedy. ACV also contains soluble fiber from apples, that is pectin and other fibers, which help to bulk the stool. That is why I stressed to buy unprocessed or even better raw homemade organic apple cider vinegar. Plus it can be used regularly and it provides relief from chronic constipation as well.
12. Flax seeds – Yogurt Smoothie ( delicious constipation remedy )
Most constipation suffers use laxatives. But they taste awful. Some chronic constipation sufferers regularly take organic flax seeds, as it induces regular bowel movements . There are two kinds of flax seeds – the yellow ones and the brown ones. They have certain differences in nutrition, but for constipation, you can use either of them.
- IngredientsFlax seeds
- Directions / How to useJust eat a handful of flax seeds. make sure to chew them up really well, because then the body can digest it optimally. But, the better way is to prepare a smoothie of flax seeds with some frozen yogurt. That way, it tastes better.
- Why it worksFlax seeds are very high in dietary fiber ( 27 grams in 100 grams ). Fiber is needed for proper large intestine functioning, which you can get a lot from flaxseeds. That is how it relieves constipation. Yogurt contains probiotics. They improve digestion and functioning of the colon.” In the end I have mentioned a list of some common high fiber foods for constipation. “
13. Black strap Molasses ( excellent for constipation )
There are many types of molasses ( light, dark and the black strap ). The last ones contain very sugar, because most of it is extracted from the sugarcane, or beet or whatever is used to extract sugar. So, this is actually the concentrated sugarless juice of beets / sugarcane etc which is incredible healthy. This is pretty bitter but it can be used conveniently to relieve constipation.
- IngredientsBlack strap MolassesWater
- Directions/How to useTake 1 glass of warm water and add 1 tablespoon of black strap molasses. Stir well. The bitterness decreases considerably. Drink this up. Wait for the bowel movement.P.S. – It is quite nutritious.
Powerful Juice recipes for constipation relief
Below are some juice recipes which are awesome for constipation. But, they are very powerful and can even cause temporary pain, although eventually you should get complete relief from congestion in the colon.
Note : They have to be freshly extracted juices.
14. Beet Juice
Beets are a strong colon mover and liver stimulant. Drink 1 glass of pure beet juice. It would taste very rough and can be tough to ingest, but it is a miracle for constipation. Don’t panic if you see reddish colored stool or urine.
15. Aloe Vera Juice
The leaves of aloe Vera contain a gel. It’s known for its hydrating and skin improving qualities. Besides, aloe Vera is excellent for the digestive system.
- IngredientsAloe Vera leafJuicer
- Directions / How to useTake 3- 5 aloe Vera leaves and remove the layer of skin to expose the gel. Now, run them through the juicer and top it up with lime or orange juice. So, you get a glass of lime/ orange juice with the juice of some aloe vera leaves. Drinking this liquid is great for constipation.
16. Apple Juice
This is the ultimate remedy for constipation. Juice 4 apples. To the juice, add 2 tablespoons of apple pulp which comes out as waste from the juicer. It takes some work to do but it is well worth it. The juice now becomes thicker. Drink this up and you are going to witness relief from constipation pretty quickly ( 10 minutes ).
17. Turnip Juice
This one comes out of the blue. I once tried turnip juice. It was not good tasting, very pungent, kind of meek version of an onion juice shot. As soon as i had ingested it, there was slight burning sensation inside my abdomen. After about 15 minutes, I had to rush to the toilet for a bowel movement, even though I had no constipation. The bowel movement was slightly painful, but complete. I had taken about 150 ml of it.
These were the remedies for one time constipation. But, a lot of people are chronic sufferers of constipation. If you suffer from chronic constipation, then it is sure to be a trouble in life. Chronic constipation strikes again and again. People who are on some kind of medication may be even more affected. There is often stress and discomfort. These are some powerful home remedies for chronic or recurring constipation.
- Figs with warm milk at night : Take a few dried figs with milk the night before. The next morning, bowel movement is easier and better because the stool becomes soft. There is greater feeling of complete emptying of the bowels and one does not have to keep going to the bathroom again and again with no relief.
- Eating guavas : Not many people would think that guavas are excellent in relieving chronic constipation. But, there is one trick here. One should eat really partially ripe guavas. Consume enough guavas and their natural bowel cleansing property will provide relief. You would need to eat a huge amount of guavas for them to perform a thorough cleansing of the colon.
- Pears : These are excellent for constipation. All you need to do is eat 4 – 5 pears or juice twice these pears to see the effects. You would regularly experience complete emptying of bowels, less bloating and less abdominal swelling. It relieves constipation on a daily basis and as such, can be really helpful for those who have some digestive issues which leads to constipation.
- Full fat yogurt : This yogurt is not what most people take. People usually go for less fat or no fat yogurt. But, in constipation, one can take the help of some fats. They smooth the stool and make it easy to pass. So, take some fat containing yogurt for a few days.
- Castor oil : It is an awful tasting oil but it is one of the finest treatments of severe constipation. In many people, it can cause diarrhea. Only a few drops of castor oil in milk is what is needed. Add 2 drops of organic and virgin castor oil ( edible grade ) in 1 glass warm milk. Add cinnamon for sweetening the milk. Drink this late in the night and you are going to witness complete evacuation of bowels in the morning.
- Slippery elm : It contains mucilage which is very helpful in relieving intestinal spasm. Taking slippery elm tea helps with chronic constipation and digestion troubles. But, consult your doctor before taking it. This is a Native American remedy for this condition.
- Cascara Sagrada : This is a tree which bears berries, pretty common in the Pacific Northwest and even up to California. The bark of this tree is powdered and used as a laxative for constipation.
- Senna : This herb has been the ultimate remedy for severe constipation. It has been used in Nigeria to cure constipation. Senna is used as a tisane, i.e a herbal infusion in water. But, it is too powerful and should not be used without the consultation with a practising herbalist.
Special Constipation Home Remedies For Toddlers ( upto 3 years )
The idea is that toddlers are gentle. Their bodies are still developing, so herbal remedies or strong, concentrated juices like turnip juice are really not the answer to baby constipation. You can try these ones out.
- Diluted apple juice : Dilute the apple juice with a bit of water. Make it warm and feed the baby. It will help the baby get a better bowel movement.
- Warm chicken soup is also a nice remedy for infant constipation.
- Make a banana – avocado smoothie . Banana bulks up the stool and avocado contains healthy fats to lubricate the colon. Add a little water to this smoothie and also add few drops of olive oil. ( If the baby doesn’t like olive oil, try coconut oil ).
- Abdomen and Back Massage : Take olive oil and warm it up a bit, just a little if the oil is at cold temperature. (Do not heat on the stove, just keep near a room heater ). Then massage the oil on the baby’s back and lower back in a downward motion. It helps to achieve a bowel movement. This can also work for adults sometimes.
- Flaxseeds – It’s the best among seeds for dietary fiber. You can add about 50 – 100 gm a day in a smoothie or something.
- Dark chocolate – 33 gm per 100 gm. That’s really high, so now you know that eating chocolate is quite beneficial in many ways, not just for the heart.
- Any bran – oat, wheat, corn etc – about 75 gm per 100 gm. So, even 25 gm bran will yield a lot of fiber.
- Raspberries – 7 gm in 100 gm. So eat berries.
- Cereal grains , legumes and beans are all good in fiber.
- If there is sharp pain or bleeding when passing stools, one should immediately get medical care.
- If there is vomiting, then one should not neglect constipation. It could be the result of an obstruction in the intestine, which is quite dangerous.
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