Home Remedies for Constipation
One of the most common ailments due to poor lifestyle choices these days is constipation. Unhealthy food choices such as processed foods which has less fiber contribute to this condition. Although, the instinctive reaction of most people who are constipated is to reach for a laxative, this is absolutely unnecessary when there are so many healthy natural ways to alleviate this condition. The most effective method is to eat 25 to 30 gm of fiber a day. Fiber absorbs more water and makes the stool larger and softer which enables it to pass through our system with ease. However, if you are eating more fiber, you must take care to consume at least eight 8-ounces of water a day since fiber being highly absorbent, failure to drink enough water will make your stools hard, small and painful to pass.
However if you are severely constipated and the condition is chronic, then you have to visit a gastro specialist to ascertain the underlying medical reason. In such cases home remedies should be discontinued and you have to consult the physician immediately.
Few home remedies to alleviate constipation
- The all-time best that takes care of constipation is normal water. Have 2 to 3 cups of water in the morning and that should take care of healthy bowel movements. Make this a habit in the morning the moment you brush your teeth and rinse your mouth.
- The second best remedy is working out daily. Routine exercise to your body such as brisk walks, weight training, yoga, etc, help move food through the bowel more quickly.
- Dried beans, prunes, figs, pears and oatmeal are rich in soluble fiber which turns into gel on reaching the intestines and helps soften the stools. Fiber rich prunes are one of the oldest home remedies for constipation and contain a compound which stimulate the bowel contractions
- Breakfast on high-fiber bran cereal, served with milk is a good choice.
- Flaxseeds are packed with fiber and they are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids (good cholesterol) which keep your heart healthy. Grind 1 tablespoon of the flaxseeds and have them two or three times a day. Alternatively, they can also be stirred into the morning cereal or added into a fruit smoothie. Another option is to grind the seeds and keep in the fridge and sprinkle half teaspoon into orange juice
- A cup of coffee has a bowel – loosening effect since the caffeine in coffee induces bowel movement by stimulating the colon. However, coffee has to be had in moderation since caffeine is also a diuretic which eliminates fluids from our body
- Any hot beverage in the morning such as herbal or decaffeinated tea or even a cup of hot water with a little lemon or honey will stimulate the colon
- Dandelion tea made with 1 tsp of dried dandelion root steeped in one cup of boiling water can be had three times a day
- Take 1 to 2 tsps of castor oil taken on an empty stomach will take about 8 hours to alleviate the constipation. Castor oil has a component which breaks down into a substance that stimulates the small and large intestines
- Raisins are high in fiber and contain tartaric acid which has a laxative effect.
- Senna (Aavarai in Tamil) is a natural laxative which takes about 8 hours to work and so it can be taken at bedtime. Take 20 to 40 drops of it at night. However, repeated use can lead to cramps and diarrhea. So watch out and do not overdo it.