If you have a bowel movement fewer than three times a week, you could be constipated. While virtually everyone has experienced constipation at some point during their lives, recurring or ongoing constipation is not normal.
Further, the symptoms it creates — bloating, straining, hard dry stools and difficulty eliminating — are often beyond uncomfortable … they’re painful and make it challenging to fully enjoy your life. As you may be all too aware of, when you can’t “go” it’s difficult to think about anything else except when you’ll find relief.
The good news is that natural constipation remedies are plentiful and can help get things moving again, fast.
Constipated? Try These 8 Top Natural Constipation Remedies
8. Drink More Water
The extra fluid will add bulk to your stool and fluid to your colon, helping make your stool softer and easier to pass. Stick with pure water or small amounts of juice if you’re constipated, as beverages that contain caffeine (like coffee, soda or tea) may make dehydration worse.
Constipation is common among the elderly and those facing bed rest after an injury, and it’s thought that inactivity is to blame. Exercise helps your intestinal muscles contract (this helps your stool move out quickly) while at the same time helping food move through your intestines quicker.[i] The faster your food moves through your colon, the less water will be absorbed, which means your stool will be softer and easier to pass (instead of hard and dry).
6. Evaluate Your Use of Medications
Certain medications can cause constipation. This includes:
- Pain medications
- Blood pressure medications
- Iron supplements
Ironically, overusing over-the-counter laxatives can also backfire and cause your body to become dependent on them in order to have a bowel movement. Oftentimes the dose must be increased in order to be effective over time, and in the long run cause your bowel habits to become worse instead of better.
5. Go When You Need to Go …
As soon as you feel the urge to have a bowel movement, make sure you get to a restroom. If you ignore the urge (which happens often because you’re too busy, don’t want to use a public toilet, stressed, etc.) it may go away and not come back, leading to constipation.
4. Eat More Fiber, including Psyllium Husk
Dietary changes are often incredibly effective at relieving constipation, particularly if your diet is heavy in processed foods, which have very little natural fiber. Fiber-rich foods like beans, fresh fruits and vegetables will help make your stool soft and bulky, making it easier to pass.
Adding psyllium husk (the outer coating of the psyllium seed) to your diet in supplement form is also effective, as psyllium husk actually has more than 14 times the fiber as oat bran (71 grams of fiber in one-third cup of psyllium husk compared to 5 grams for oat bran).[ii] Psyllium husk is actually hygroscopic, which means the husks expand in water, forming a gel-like substance that is invaluable for regulating your bowel movements, helping to transport waste through your intestinal tract and cleansing your colon.
3. Try Licorice Root
Licorice root has a natural laxative effect, as it promotes peristalsis (the regular, contracting action of the colon that moves fecal matter through) and coats your stomach and intestine to promote elimination — without the jittery feeling commonly associated with over-the-counter laxatives.
2. Consume Anthraquinones in Buckthorn Bark and Rhubarb Root
Anthraquinones are naturally occurring compounds found in certain plants such as rhubarb and buckthorn bark. They act on the nerves of your intestinal tract, promoting contractions of the colon while also attracting more water into your bowels, softening the stool and promoting the flushing of intestinal contents. For this reason, anthraquinones are often used as a natural laxative when dealing with constipation.
1. Eat Fermented Foods and/or Consume Probiotics
Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that help keep your gut microflora in a healthy balance, which is essential for proper digestion.
It’s been found that consuming probiotics may be effective in helping to relieve constipation. Researchers noted:[iii]
“Probiotics probably have at least two modes of action in improving constipation. Firstly, it is assumed that dysbiosis [imbalance] in the gut flora plays a role in constipation. Probiotics might improve this dysbiosis. Secondly, probiotics are able to lower pH of the colon by producing lactic, acetic and other short chain fatty acids. A lower pH enhances colonic peristalsis [muscle contractions] and subsequently decreases colonic transit time.”
Probiotics occur naturally in fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut and lassi (an Indian yogurt drink), but if you don’t eat such foods regularly, you can find them in supplement form.
Multiple Tools for Constipation Relief in One Natural Cleanse
Natural Cleanse is formulated to gently release and flush impacted fecal matter and other toxic build-up from your body while at the same time revitalizing and tonifying your colon.
When you use Natural Cleanse for 30 days, constipation often disappears, as you get the beneficial effects of multiple natural constipation remedies combined. This includes herbal remedies like buckthorn bark, rhubarb root and licorice root along with a patented probiotic blend and psylllium husk.
It’s the ultimate cleanse for your colon, providing constipation relief plus flushing your body of toxins, soothing inflammation in your GI tract and replenishing good bacteria in your intestines so your bowels begin to function normally, almost like magic — and with none of the side effects that over-the-counter laxatives may cause.
Are you ready to become free of constipation?
Written By: Updated: March 14,2013