Home Remedies for Constipation: Natural Remedies to Try at Home

Home remedies for constipation
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Home Remedies for Constipation

Constipation is a fairly widespread and irritating health problem, which can cause immense discomfort in our day-to-day life and lifestyle.  It is a condition when bowels don’t move out of intestines easily. Almost 20 percent of people in the US are affected by it every year.

The symptoms of constipation include less than three bowel movements per week, hard and dry stools, and experiencing of difficulty or pain in defecation. A bloated feeling and gas are other symptoms of this fairly common health problem. Constipation can adversely affect not only your physical health but also your mental health temporarily. Chronic constipation can disrupt the quality of life for not so short periods and may even adversely impact the productivity of the affected persons.

Causes of Being Constipated

Constipation commonly occurs due to dietary reasons or lifestyle choices or some medications which people take. In some cases, constipation can be chronic in nature. There can be several causes behind constipation, which can range from dehydration or not drinking enough water daily to eating food with very less fiber. It can also surface as a side effect of some medication. Irregular meal times also may cause constipation.

 But there can be other serious causes behind constipation too. Constipation can also be caused by stress, hormonal changes, cancer or problems in digestive tract. So please don’t take constipation lightly, and if home remedies do not address it kindly visit the doctor without delay.

Water is Must

There are several home remedies for constipation, which has the potential to address this irritant effectively. Often the most common and easy among the home remedies for constipation can be drinking enough water, as very often not drinking enough water on a regular basis or for some days at a stretch can make you experience constipation. Generally, one needs to have at least eight 8-ounce glasses of clear liquids per day to have normal bowel movements. 

Besides intake of normal water one can take some carbonated or sparkling water also to ease constipation. However, do refrain from having sugary carbonated beverages as they can worsen your constipation.

Exercise and Abdominal Massage

Another of the possible effective home remedies for constipation is being engaged in doing some light exercise daily, which can help you to strengthen your abdominal muscles. It is because strong abdominal muscles contribute towards improving the digestive process. Regular walks, swimming or jogging might help you to get eased out of constipation.

Several research studies have revealed that exercise can help reduce the symptoms of constipation. Studies have also found association between sedentary lifestyles and increased risk of constipation. However, many studies contradict such claims also and therefore more research is needed in this direction. But all said and done, though exercise may reduce constipation symptoms among some people but this remedy is expected to show result only in the long-run.

Abdominal message does also have potential to act as a natural cure for constipation. You can lie on your back and massage the abdomen in a clockwise motion for 15 minutes, twice or thrice a day. The clockwise motion massage facilitates to gently shove the stool in the colon toward the rectum. 

Have a Fiber-rich Diet

Another of the home remedies for constipation can be realized through increasing the intake of dietary fiber in your diet. You can do so by having a diet where fruits and vegetables, legumes, beans, and whole grains play important role. It is because enhancing your fiber intake can improve bulk and consistency of bowel movements, which in turn facilitates their passing through the digestive system. Or in more simple words, intake of more fiber in your diet tends to make your stool more weighty, thereby facilitating its movement through intestines faster. One needs to have a daily intake of 25-30 gm of dietary fiber, on an average.

Dietary fibers can be broadly classified into two categories –the insoluble fibers and soluble fibers. You can find insoluble fibers in green vegetables, whole grains and brown rice whereas oat bran, nuts, carrot, beans, peas and lentils and some fibrous fruits are some good sources of soluble fibers.

You can have these items in adequate quantities in your diet and also try fiber supplements like psyllium husk to address constipation. Psyllium is a non-fermentable soluble fiber, which is derived from the husks of Plantago ovata’s seeds. In fact, psyllium can give quick relief from constipation than the intake of fiber rich food.

Intake of OTC fiber supplements can increase your fiber intake quickly. Fiber supplements can come in capsule form and also in powder form. Here you need to remember that you could infuse powder fiber supplements to water or juice and have it but do not mix them in carbonated beverages.

Having some prunes daily may also help to keep constipation away from home. Prune is an excellent source of fiber which facilitates movement of food through the digestive system. Besides being rich in fiber, prunes contain sorbitol, which is believed to have a laxative effect. Intake of a glass of prune juice every morning has the potential to keep you away from the irritant of constipation.

Among the fruits which can help you in solving your constipation problem, kiwi should get importance. Kiwi is rich in fiber, and a research study suggested that it may assist digestion. Kiwi may act as a natural constipation relief.

Raisins or figs can also help to address your constipation problem, provided you take them regularly.

Ginger, Tea and Coffee

Ginger is one of the natural remedies for constipation which can facilitate you to get relief from this fairly widespread problem. According to the findings of a research done some years back, those people in the clinical trials involved in the research who took 100 mg of ginger extract had increased movement in bowels as compared to the group who took a placebo. You can have raw ginger slices or ginger tea or you can have ginger steeped in hot water to tackle constipation.

Drinking coffee and teas can also induce a laxative effect many a time. Drinking tea and coffee can get you more warm water in the body and extra water in the body tend to make the stool soft and can facilitate it to pass smoothly. Moreover, coffee and tea may also stimulate the digestive system, which in turn can relieve constipation symptoms.

Moreover, teas and coffee can give you temporary relief from stress and stress can also contribute towards constipation. In fact, warm liquids can have a soothing effect to our digestive and gastrointestinal systems. Your coffee may also have soluble fibers in small quantities which can play their role in tackling constipation. Herbal teas in particular could be a good stress reliever.

Among the herbal teas you should give more priority to senna tea and peppermint tea if you are suffering from constipation. Senna has laxative properties.  Senna plant has glycosides that stimulate the digestive system. The leaves and fruit of senna plant are used as laxative. Senna stimulates the nerves in the gut and facilitate in quickening bowel movements. Senna leaves have compounds called sennosides, which can irritate the digestive tract to trigger bowel movement.

Senna can be used as an herbal laxative also to treat constipation. This herb has been used for millennia as an herbal remedy for constipation. It can be had in   tablet or liquid form too. If one has senna in the night before going to sleep chances are that his/her constipation would show signs of easing in the next morning. It has the potential to be used as a natural cure for constipation.

However, senna should not be administered to pregnant women and breastfeeding infants and to people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease and some other health conditions or if the person is taking blood thinners or steroid medications. Moreover, senna should be used for occasional relief from constipation; extensive usage of senna can damage your digestive tract.

Many OTC laxative pills also have high concentrations of senna. 

The menthol in peppermint with its soothing effect can facilitate movement of stool through intestines, which make sipping peppermint tea a pragmatic option to get relief from constipation.

Tea made from licorice root does also have the potential to become a constipation treatment at home. Licorice root is endowed with anti-inflammatory effect, which can facilitate digestion. The anti-inflammatory properties of licorice root have the potential to help digestion after a meal. Having a cup of licorice root tea after meal might alleviate your constipation problem.

Having marshmallow root in teas may also help you to get relief from constipation as the root is characterized by laxative properties.

Probiotic Effects

The intake of probiotics may also help in fighting chronic constipation if that chronic constipation is due to imbalance of bacteria in the gut. Probiotics can be described as live bacteria which are beneficial to our health and which occur naturally in the gut. Consuming probiotics food can help in restoring or improving this balance, which in some cases relieves one of constipation. Probiotics rich diet facilitates in restoring or improving the content of healthy bacteria in the digestive system.

Yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, green olives, sourdough bread, tempeh, kimchi are some of the probiotic-rich food, which one  can have to get quick relief from chronic constipation. One can also try probiotic supplements by ordering them online.

Honey and Others

Honey can also facilitate to ease constipation. Honey can be taken plain or infused with tea, water, or warm milk to tackle constipation. Another of the natural constipation relief can come from blackstrap molasses. It comprises vitamins and magnesium which have the capacity to provide relief from constipation. One tablespoon of blackstrap molasses in the evening can stimulate a bowel movement in the morning.  

Fennel, which has mild laxative properties, can be roasted and added to warm water and then the mixture can be consumed to get relief from constipation. Consumption of fennel seeds leads to the generation of more gastric enzymes, which in turn can facilitate the movement of stool through the colon.

Squeezing a fresh lemon in a glass of warm water and sipping the drink slowly in the morning, before the start of the day may also help you to get relief from constipation. Lemon juice is a natural digestive aid. Probably the water soluble fiber in lemon can be helpful to alleviate constipation problem. Lemon juice can also be infused in a warm cup of tea and then consumed to stimulate bowel movements.

One can also drink aloe vera juice or drink it by infusing aloe vera juice in smoothies. It might be one of the natural ways to alleviate the disturbing constipation symptoms for you.

Another of the natural ways to relieve constipation is coconut water which can stimulate the digestive system. Coconut water also has magnesium which helps the intestinal wall muscles to excrete fecal matter. 

Vitamins and Oil

A diet enriched with Vitamin C, Vitamin B-1, Vitamin B-5 and Vitamin B-12 can also help to keep constipation away from your health. Having food which have these vitamins can smoothen your bowel movements. 

Flaxseed oil might also be helpful as a constipation treatment at home. One can intake flaxseed oil capsule, which you can purchase online, to get some relief from constipation.

Administering of castor oil can also be regarded as one of the natural ways to relieve constipation. Castor oil is derived from castor bean and its oral intake of 1-2 teaspoons on an empty stomach can encourage bowel movement. This oil not only lubricates the intestines but makes the intestines to contract. If you are lucky you can see the result within 6-8 hours of having castor oil.

Ancient Remedies

According to the ancient Indian medicinal system of Ayurveda, triphala can act as an herbal remedy for constipation. Since ancient times, triphala has application in traditional Ayurvedic medicine as a multi-purpose treatment for various health issues. This herbal remedy for constipation combines Indian gooseberry, black myrobalan, and belleric myrobalan and besides its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, Triphala acts as a mild laxative too.

There is much clinical research to substantiate the use of triphala in reducing occasional constipation.  However, children, pregnant women or breastfeeding infants should avoid taking triphala. You can purchase this herbal concoction in the form of a liquid, powder, or pill and so no need to worry about preparing it.

Amalgamating a tablespoon of ghee or clarified butter, which is extensively used in Indian cooking, to a small cup of warm milk or warm water, and drinking the concoction before going to sleep can relieve you of constipation. You can see the results in the next morning. But there is not any scientific evidence to back up this home remedy. However, there is no harm in exploring this constipation treatment at home provided you are not lactose intolerant. And it should be taken into account that over consuming of dairy products can sometimes get you in to constipation.

Other Remedies

Baking soda can be another effective home remedy for constipation. Add one teaspoon of baking soda to one-fourth cup of warm water and gulp it. The baking soda will react with stomach acids which can stimulate bowel movement.

One can also try osmotic laxatives as one of the home remedies for constipation, which can facilitate movement of fluids through colon. The quantity of intestinal fluid may increase because of intake of osmotic laxatives. Magnesium hydroxide, polyethylene glycol are some examples of osmotic laxatives. But do not use osmotic laxative without consulting a doctor.

You can also try a lubricant laxative like mineral oil as a constipation treatment at home. The lubricant laxative creates a coating to your intestine’s walls, which facilitates stool to move through your colon and excrete. It is preferable to use mineral oil within two hours after your dinner.

One can also use stool softener medications (on the advice of doctor), which has the potential to give quick relief from constipation.

You can also administer rectal suppository containing glycerin, which can facilitate bowel movements by softening the stool. You can find a rectal suppository in your local pharmacy.

Enema can also be used to address constipation. It is a procedure where liquid is inserted through the rectum. An enema with water mixed with little salt can be helpful in giving a natural constipation relief.  Prepared enema solutions containing sodium phosphate can be particularly helpful. Soapsuds, and tap water enemas are also helpful in getting quick relief from constipation. But do not administer enema before knowing how to do it.

Potential but No Surety

However, it should be remembered that none of these home remedies will guarantee you relief from constipation though they can give or has the potential to give you reprieve from constipation. It is not easy or rather not wise to say that which among them is the best home remedy for constipation.

Constipation generally doesn’t demand emergency medical attention. But when the home remedies for constipation don’t yield you the desired results within one week, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the doctor to check whether your constipation has a serious cause (mentioned above) or not. In case your constipation is accompanied by dizziness or fatigue or spasms or blood in the stool, fever and unexplained weight loss don’t go for home remedy/ies and go to the doctor immediately. Read more at SEEMA.

FAQs

How can I relieve constipation quickly?

Prune juice, and lemon juice in warm tea, hot coffee and taking some OTC laxative pills are some of the quick measures to get relief from constipation. Along with these drinks, you can also try abdominal message in clockwise motion, stool softener medications, or can administer lubricant laxative like mineral oil.

What foods will make you poop right away?

One cannot guarantee that any food will induce you immediately to go to bathroom to relieve yourself. However, fiber rich food with sizeable content of water such as carrot, apple, avocado or prune can facilitate to get things moving fast. Fiber supplements like psyllium husk can also be helpful in this regard.

How do I empty my bowels?

Having a diet rich in insoluble and soluble fibers, taking probiotic rich food and taking adequate water daily are expected to help you to empty your bowels without much difficulty.

How can I unblock my bowels at home?

There are several home remedies given above which can be explored to get relief from constipation. Abdominal message in clockwise motion is one among them. Stool softener medications, administering of lubricant laxative like mineral oil, rectal suppository and enema are other ways through which one can have potential to get quick relief.

What drinks make you poop?

Besides water, prune juice, and lemon juice in warm tea, hot coffee, senna tea, peppermint tea, tea made from licorice root, marshmallow root tea are some of the beverages which can give you relief from constipation.