Constipation remedies abound in the natural world. While it’s true that you could simply walk into your local pharmacy and buy a laxative, by sticking to natural solutions, you’ll avoid potential side effects (such as cramps) and also help your body regulate itself.
Here are seven constipation remedies you can try right now!
Natural Constipation Remedies
#1 Low Dose of Magnesium Glycinate
A little known fact is that magnesium works pretty effectively for constipation!
Start with 200mg to 400mg a day. You may consider taking magnesium supplements every day anyway for their health effects.
#2 Take Psyllium Husk
Psyllium husk has so many health benefits including even weight loss, that it is recommended you take it regularly. Psyllium husk is rich in fiber and swells up to 10 to 20 times its original size when mixed with water, and therefore is super effective in cleaning out the colon. This article explains how to best take psyllium husk.
#3 Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed is a great source of fiber and also acts as a coating product for your intestines. This combination not only softens the stool but also increases the frequency of bowel movements.
You can take flaxseed in both seed or oil form. Flaxseeds and flaxseed meal (finely ground flax seeds) are both great sources of fiber and can be sprinkled on anything from salads and sandwiches to your cereal or even your morning glass of orange juice.
If you’re choosing the oil, one tablespoon a day added to salads or other uncooked foods is the best option.
#4 Aloe Vera
While aloe vera is better known as a topical agent for skin burns or small injuries, the truth is that this plant contains h2 laxative compounds. In fact, over-the-counter laxative products containing aloe vera were in sale in the US until 2002. At that time, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) ordered all aloe-vera based laxatives to be removed from the market because of the lack of clinical trials and safety data.
However, you can still buy aloe vera gel or fresh aloe to consume daily. Aloe vera juice is also available at health food stores and might be the simplest way to incorporate aloe into your diet: simply drink the small amount indicated on the bottle every morning.
#5 Warm Water with Lemon
Water is an essential component of healthy digestion, and drinking too little of it can lead to constipation.
While drinking the minimum recommendation of eight glasses of water per day could help normalize your bowel movements in the long run, there’s something that can provide quicker relief: warm water with lemon.
To try this simple but old folk remedy, all you need to do is add one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to a glass of water (either at room temperature or the temperature at which you would drink tea).
In Ayurvedic medicine, warm water and lemon are used to cleanse the body of toxins, as well as to help regulate the intestines. It is also one of the easiest constipation remedies.
While prunes could technically be lumped under “fiber-rich foods,” they deserve their own entry because of how effective they are against constipation.
In fact, one study published in the Natural Medicine Journal showed that people consuming prunes on a daily basis had more regular bowel movements and fewer problems with constipation than even those taking psyllium (a form of soluble fiber, mentioned above).
#7 Fiber-Rich Foods
Perhaps the easiest way to fight constipation is to eat more foods high in fiber content. Simply put, fiber helps add bulk to your stool, stimulating the movement of food through the intestines.
According to WebMD, the average American eats just 11 grams of fiber a day. This is a lot less than the recommended daily intake, which is at least 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men.
If constipation is a regular problem, you might want to take a closer look at your diet and see if you’re eating enough fiber-rich foods, including fruits and vegetables with skin, whole grains, and wheat bran.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Aloe Vera
WebMD: Dietary Fiber for Constipation
Huffpost Living Canada: Lemon Water Can Really Improve Your Morning (And Day)