Being constipated is no way to go through your day. But, that’s what most of you end up having to do. You know that your lifestyle and your diet are likely to blame. For a problem as common as constipation, natural remedies should be preferred over prescription pills.
Constipation is a condition in which there is difficulty emptying the bowels and is usually associated with hardened feces. Restricted bowel movement is often accompanied by pain, gastric trouble and a feeling of bloating.
While there should be at least one bowel movement each day in normal situations, a healthy individual may pass two or three bowel movements a day.
What pleases your taste buds is often not as pleasant to your digestive system. Your indulgent diet more often than not puts a lot of pressure on your digestive tract, eventually resulting in constipation.
If you lead an inactive lifestyle with little or no exercise throughout the day, that could also be a problem. Long hours confined to a chair with no movement, caffeine-fueled all-nighters and lack of proper sleep may also be underlying causes of your constipation.
All in all, you can use natural remedies to get rid of constipation naturally, but in order to prevent it, you may need to review your diet and lifestyle.
Here are eight proven home remedies that can regularize your constipated bowel movements:
- Method 1: Using Lemon Water
- Method 2: Using Honey Water
- Method 3: Using Flaxseeds
- Method 4: Using Blackstrap Molasses
- Method 5: Using Castor Oil
- Method 6: Using Yogurt
- Method 7: Using Figs
- Method 8: Using a Salt Water Flush
- Additional Tips
Method 1: Using Lemon Water
Warm water and lemon juice, which is slightly acidic, work to stimulate the digestive system and help move the contents of the intestines forward. Lemon also helps flush toxins as well as undigested material stuck to the lining of the colon out of the body.
Things you’ll need:
- Lemon juice, fresh – from ½ lemon
- Warm water – 1 cup
Add fresh lemon juice to warm water
- Squeeze the juice out of half of a lemon into 1 cup of warm water.
Drink this warm water before going to bed and again right after you wake up in the morning. Drinking warm lemon water twice daily in this manner will surely regulate your bowel movements.
Method 2: Using Honey Water
Honey has been used forages as a mild and safe laxative. Honey softens the hard stool and stimulates mucus production that helps expel old fecal matter.
Abundant in so many nutrients, honey also protects and strengthens the digestive system. Honey and warm water can stimulate the intestinal tract and help you beat the constipation.
Things you’ll need:
- Honey – 1 tablespoon
- Warm water – 1 glass
Pour honey into warm water
- Add 1 tablespoon of honey to a glass of warm water and stir the mixture thoroughly.
Using raw and organic honey of good quality will produce the best results.
Drink the warm honey water twice a day – at night before going to bed and first thing in the morning after waking up – for relief from constipation.
Method 3: Using Flaxseeds
Besides containing vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds contain a huge amount of fiber. They can relieve constipation, as well as pain and bloating.
The oil present in flaxseeds also helps relieve constipation. It coats the lining of the walls of the intestines and colon and helps move the fecal matter along.
Whole flaxseeds don’t do much for constipation, as your body will simply pass them out whole. Only ground or crushed flaxseeds alleviate constipation. They should always be consumed with some form of fluid like orange juice or water to ease constipation.
Things you’ll need:
- Flaxseeds, ground – 1 tablespoon
- Water – 1 cup
Add ground flaxseeds to water and let it sit
- Add 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds to 1 cup of water.
- Let it sit for 2 to 3 hours before drinking.
Drink the flaxseed water and give it some time to work.
You may need to be patient, as it may take up to 5 hours to work. If convenient, you can drink it at night just before going to bed.
Alternatively, you can sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds over your cereal. Wash it down with milk, juice or water.
Method 4: Using Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses is the by-product that forms when pure cane sugar juice is boiled to make sugar. The third boiling in the sugar-making process results in the formation of blackstrap molasses. It contains magnesium and other minerals and vitamins that help relieve constipation.
Blackstrap molasses can have a bit of a strong taste, so you may need to dilute it in a drink before consuming. You can consume molasses with water, green tea, cereal, porridge, baked goods or sweet dishes. Taking it with honey or prune juice can increase its effectiveness.
Things you’ll need:
- Blackstrap molasses – 1 teaspoon
- Warm water – 1 glass
Add molasses to warm water
Add 1 teaspoon of blackstrap molasses to a glass of lukewarm water and stir well.
Drink the molasses water three times a day to ease constipation and regularize bowel movements.
Method 5: Using Castor Oil
Culturally seen as a form of punishment, castor oil is essentially a laxative and a very good one at that. It works by stimulating intestinal contractions, which results in repeated bowel movements, ridding the intestines and colon of undigested material.
- You may take 1 to 2 teaspoons of castor oil orally to relieve constipation. If you find the taste unacceptable, consider diluting it with juice for consumption.
- Wait for it to show results, as it may take 6 to 12 hours to work.
While a sure-shot remedy for constipation, castor oil should always be administered with caution.
Notes: Never exceed the prescribed dosage, as it may give rise to serious side effects. Also, never take castor oil continuously for more than 7 days. If you observe any side effect, decrease the dosage. If the side effects are serious, discontinue usage immediately and contact your doctor.
Castor oil has traditionally been used to introduce labor pains in pregnant women. Therefore, pregnant women should never consume castor oil to relieve constipation as it may lead to uterine contractions.
Method 6: Using Yogurt
If you’re suffering with painful constipation, let creamy and yummy yogurt cure you. Yogurt contains probiotics (a host of gut-friendly bacteria) that aid digestion and keep the gut lining healthy. Yogurt keeps the gut lining clean and prevents buildup of undigested material along the gut walls.
- Consuming yogurt on a regular basis will prevent constipation, bloating and pain.
You can include yogurt in your diet to keep your digestion smooth and your bowel movements regular.
- Always prefer organic yogurt,which doesn’t contain any additives or preservatives.
Read the info on the packaging before buying yogurt to ensure that you get the best and the healthiest.
Method 7: Using Figs
Rich in fiber, figs are a natural laxative and can be consumed to relieve chronic constipation. While figs can be consumed both fresh and dried, the latter variety is most widely available.
A single dried fig contains more fiber than a small apple or orange.
- If eating the fresh fruit, eat it along with its skin because most of the fiber is present in the skin.
Figs are abundant in both soluble and insoluble fibers. The insoluble fiber helps add bulk to the stool, making it easier to defecate. The soluble fiberbinds the fatty acids and holds the food in the stomach for a longer time, allowing proper digestion. This reduces the chances of undigested material clogging the lower gastrointestinal tract.
Things you’ll need:
- Figs, dried – a handful
Soak figs in water overnight
- Put a handful of figs in a small bowl. You can safely consume 4 to 6 figs at a time.
- Add enough water to the bowl to fully immerse the figs.
- Let the figs soak overnight.
- Discard the water the next morning.
- Consume the soaked figs on an empty stomach.
Doing this regularly for a couple of days should gradually bring your bowl movements back on track.
Method 8: Using a Salt Water Flush
Sea salt can act as a natural laxative. Consuming salt water can help relieve constipation. Your body can’t absorb salt water. As a result, it is quickly passed out of your system. This stimulates bowel movements, alleviating the symptoms of constipation.
You can make a salt water flush with salt or salt water sole. If using salt, opt for Himalayan salt or sea salt. The refined table salt will not benefit your body as well as Himalayan salt. Salt water sole is simply saturated salt water in which no more salt can be dissolved.
- Add 1 teaspoon of Himalayan salt to a glass of water and mix thoroughly.
- Alternatively, mix 1 teaspoon of salt water sole in a glass of water.
The best time to consume this salt water is in the morning on an empty stomach before you’ve eaten anything. This will prevent bloating and nausea, and give you plenty of time to use the bathroom.
- Lemon water is a great tonic for the body and you can continue taking it even after getting relief from the constipation. It will keep your body hydrated, boost your immune system and balance your body’s pH level. It can even help you achieve healthy weight loss and give you clear, glowing skin.
- If using flaxseeds, you can grind them in your coffee grinder or a good blender. Use only freshly ground flaxseeds, as their oil tends to oxidize and become rancid when kept for several hours.
- Ask your doctor if you can safely consume castor oil, keeping in mind your age, medical conditions and any medication that you might be taking.
- Ensure that you drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. Furthermore, you may need to increase your water intake in proportion to the amount of dietary fiber you consume.
- Avoid processed foods and include at least 30 minutes of exercise in your daily routine.
Summary of How to Get Rid of Constipation
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