20 Natural Laxatives for Constipation Relief- Did you know that most you can find in your kitchen pantry? Keep reading to find out.
Natural laxatives for constipation relief are any substances, remedy or foods that relieve constipation and enable you to empty your bowels.
They increase and ease the movement of material from the intestines by softening and loosening them.
Constipation is commonly known to make people feel uncomfortable. As a result, they go for over the counter medication for quick relief.
Though these drugs may provide comfort, most contain synthetic chemicals and additives which can be detrimental to your health with long-term use.
What causes constipation?
Constipation is difficulty moving your bowels or not being able to use the bathroom regularly.
In ordinary cases, a human being should have at least three bowel movements in a day to three times a week.
If you do not poop often, you may become constipated.
Constipation can be as a result of;
- Dehydration (not drinking enough water)
- A poor diet that lacks fiber
- Some medications or their side effects
- Misuse of laxatives.
- Ignoring the urge to go
- Change of routine such as when traveling
- Medical conditions
How to avoid constipation.
Drink plenty of water
Water Hydrates and keeps your body lubricated. It softens and helps move feces from the large intestine.
Water helps to replace the fluids lost through sweating and digestion.
In addition to that, it also protects the inner tissues and joints from friction.
Drinking plenty of water often keeps you hydrated. It also helps prevent constipation.
It also helps to filter out waste materials from the body and maintain other body functions.
Exercises are good laxatives for constipation. They help to speed up the movement of food along the digestive tract.
They can help decrease the amount of time it takes to move waste through the large intestines.
Physical activities also increase your heart rate and blood flow to your body.
An increase in blood flow enhances the contraction of organs such as the colon.
Try to do exercises at least an hour or two after eating a large meal. Working out increases the flow of blood to your stomach and intestines.
Exercising helps the digestive systems to empty faster and improve the reflex to pop.
Do less strenuous exercises like; walking, jogging or dancing.
Avoid exercising immediately after eating as this can contribute to gas, bloating and constipation.
Eat foods high in fiber.
Foods high in fiber facilitate the movement of material along the digestive tract.
They enable your body to retain more water in your stool.
Fiber makes the stool softer and more comfortable to pass through the intestines.
Eating foods that have high amounts of fiber such as; whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables can prevent constipation.
Stress can cause irregularity of your bowel function.
Not having stress can be a good laxative for constipation.
In most cases, anxiety makes you forget to take care of yourself. You may find yourself making poor changes in your diet. You start indulging in eating junk food, overeating or drinking less water.
It can also cause anxiety which may result in acid reflux and indigestion.
These may lead to a weak digestive and immune system.
Learn to manage your stress to avoid constipation and other health complications.
Avoid processed foods
Most processed food may taste good, but they lack or have fewer dietary fibers compared to unprocessed foods.
They have high amounts of fat and calories, but lack fluids. They are thus likely to slow down your digestion and cause constipation.
Eat processed foods in moderation and if possible eliminate them from your diet. Eat whole, unprocessed foods rich in fiber and fluids instead.
Cut out saturated fats.
Eating a diet high in saturated fats increases your risk of constipation. Saturated fats take longer to digest.
This is because their fat molecules stick tightly together; hence are hard for the body to break down.
Since saturated fats get processed slowly, they may cause or worsen constipation.
They may slow the movement of waste from the body. Use unsaturated fats in your cooking instead.
Symptoms of constipation
Constipation may contribute to:
- Trouble having a bowel movement
- Passing fewer than three stools a week
- Straining to pass stool
- Bloating or pain in the abdomen
- Having dry or hard stool that is difficult to move.
Why should you use natural laxatives for constipation?
Natural laxatives for constipation relief are safe and cheaper compared to over-the-counter medication.
They rarely cause side effects or dependence like most prescribed laxatives.
Therefore, they can help the body heal itself naturally without interfering with its natural flora.
Over the counter medications can cause serious side effects especially with prolonged use.
They can cause inflammation and damage to tissues such as those of the Colon and the intestines.
Prescribed laxatives can sometimes cause dependence such that you cannot do without them.
Take them with caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
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Natural laxatives for constipation relief.
1. Apples/applesauce as a natural laxative
Apples have a natural laxative effect for constipation. They have high amounts of soluble fiber in the form of pectin which helps to regulate and balance the intestinal flora.
The pectin in apples increases bowel movement hence relieves constipation.
Try to eat the apple fruit with the skin on because they tend to have most of the fiber.
Applesauce, apple cider vinegar or apple pectin supplement work well too in place of the apple fruit to relieve constipation.
Consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
2. Flaxseed as a natural laxative
These seeds are an excellent natural laxative for constipation relief because it has both soluble and insoluble fiber.
The fiber is on the husk of the flax seed. Therefore, it is recommended to buy the whole ground Flaxseed form.
Add it to your smoothies, teas or salads to prevent and relieve constipation.
In a study of 26 healthy young adults were placed on 9.0 g of flaxseed supplement daily for two weeks.
Each day their fecal weight was observed and each time all showed an increase in their fecal weight.
Researchers also found that Flaxseed oil may also relieve intestinal irritation associated with constipation when taken in moderation.
Please do not take more than one teaspoon.
4. Figs as natural laxatives for constipation.
As natural laxatives for constipation, figs have high amounts of water and fiber.
When eaten regularly, they help lubricate the stool and make it easier to pass through the rectum.
They have a calming effect on the digestive tract. They help to stimulate contraction of the large intestines to allow movement of waste.
Eat them dry or fresh to prevent and relieve constipation.
5. Berries as natural laxatives for constipation.
Fresh berries are great fruits full of antioxidants and dietary fiber which can alleviate constipation.
Blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries have high amounts of fiber.
They are a better choice for relieving constipation compared to strawberries.
Eat them fresh or add them to your smoothies to prevent constipation
6. Rhubarb natural laxative
It is a natural laxative that can treat constipation. A Study showed an increase in defecation frequency on constipation patients with orthopedic surgery. (1)
Though rhubarb can help relieve constipation. Please do not use it for a long time since it can cause intestinal pain or stomach discomfort.
In may even cause vomiting in severe cases.
In addition to that, prolonged use may also result in diarrhea which can cause dehydration.
7. Kiwifruit for natural constipation relief.
There are high amounts of soluble fiber in the green flesh of kiwi that can help relieve constipation.
Their fiber content surpasses those in apples by far. It also has large amounts of water which helps move bowels faster.
A 2017 study of constipated Chinese patients found that kiwifruit increase bowel motion per week.
Kiwifruit also has high amounts of vitamin C and potassium which are vital for the body.
8. Honey as a natural laxative
Honey is a mild natural laxative for constipation relief.
The minerals and enzymes present in honey help to keep the digestive system healthy.
You can take one tablespoon of honey orally.
Another alternative is to mix honey and lemon in one cup of warm water and drink.
Consume honey often for constipation relief.
9. Castor oil a natural laxative for constipation
Castor oil acts as a stimulant laxative that can relieve symptoms of constipation.
It causes contractions on the digestive walls of the intestines which help squeeze and move the bowels out of the rectum.
Take one tablespoon castor oil for adults or one teaspoon for children. Consume it on an empty stomach preferably early during the day before you go to bed.
Castor oil tends to act faster so take it knowing that you might want to go to the bathroom quickly.
Take every four to six hours after the first dose before the initial urge to use the bathroom.
Mix the oil with some cranberry, or orange juice to dilute the bitter taste of castor oil.
Please do not use it for more than seven days.
Prolonged use of castor oil can cause electrolyte imbalance in the body hence use it fewer times as possible.
Do not take castor oil if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or during your menstrual periods.
Use food grade castor oil which is 100% pure and cold pressed.
10. Prunes as a natural laxatives for constipation.
Dried plums or prunes are popularly known as natural laxatives for constipation.
They have high amounts of soluble fiber notably pectin which absorbs water in the intestines.
Prunes aid in the movement and elimination of fecal matter.
The skin of prunes also contains high contents of sorbitol – a fruit sugar alcohol in dried fruits. This sugar helps to stimulate the movement of material from the intestines.
According to the GI Society, a study of 40 people who had symptoms of chronic constipation found that 20 of the participants who ate prunes every day with their meals had significant constipation relief compared to the group that did not.
Eating prunes or their juices often alleviates constipation.
11. Probiotics natural laxatives
This help promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Healthy gut bacteria produce essential enzymes that aid to break down food.
Probiotics make the food more manageable for the digestive system to handle.
The bacteria found in the intestines helps to break down the waste matter and enable them to pass quickly.
They also help to improve the natural gut flora in the body which help fight the harmful bacteria.
12. Oat bran as a natural laxative for constipation.
Oat bran is in the outer layer of the grain. Bran is very rich in soluble and insoluble fiber which acts as a mild laxative.
The fiber in oats helps to lubricate and soften the interior of the digestive system to pass waste.
Oat bran increases dietary fiber in your digestive system thus promote regular bowel functions.
13. Magnesium citrate
This supplement is a natural laxative that helps to treat constipation.
It is an osmotic laxative that combines with citric acid to prevent or relieve constipation
It relaxes your body and draws water into your intestines.
The water softens and emulsifies your stool making it easier to pass through.
Since magnesium citrate draws water into the intestines, it should be taken with plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
Please do not use it to treat chronic constipation.T his is because it can cause electrolyte imbalance and dehydration.
Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when taking magnesium citrate supplements.
14. Green vegetable laxatives for constipation relief.
Vegetables have healthy amounts of fiber, vitamins, and nutrients that are vital for your digestive health.
The fiber in green vegetables such as spinach helps improve digestion. The high contents of water in plants help to lubricate the digestive tract and enhance the movement of waste from the body.
Eat them raw or cooked for their health benefits.
15. Water as a natural laxative
Water is a natural laxative for constipation relief.
Drinking plenty of water keeps your colon and intestines hydrated.
Therefore less water your system will require to withdraw less during elimination.
It also softens your stool and makes it easy to pass through the rectum.
Water makes your digestive tract smooth and flexible hence prevent frictions that might irritate your colon or intestines.
16. Aloe Vera juice natural laxative
The juice or pulp of the Aloe Vera plant is a natural laxative for constipation.
Aloe Vera has been used for decades to treat diarrhea, constipation, and irregularity.
Its juice helps to draw more water into the intestines and stimulate their muscle contraction.
The contraction loosens the stool and increases its movement along the digestive tract.
17. Papaya as a natural laxative for constipation
Papaya especially the unripe ones have high amounts of the enzyme papain which is very helpful at relieving constipation.
This enzyme helps to break down digested protein in the large intestine.
The massive amounts of antioxidants, fiber and, water in papaya are also significant for digestive health.
The enzymes in papaya have anti-inflammatory compounds.
These compounds can help prevent discomfort and irritation in the digestive tract as a result of severe constipation hence prevent constipation.
Eat at least two cups of ripe chopped papaya or add them to your breakfast bowl to prevent or treat constipation.
You can as well make one cup of papaya smoothie and drink to speed up your bowel movement.
18. Olive oil Natural Laxative
Olive oil can soothe and lubricate the digestive tract and make it easier to pass stool. It can also soften the stool and make it easier to hold in more water to enhance movement.
Take one teaspoon of olive oil on an empty stomach to relieve constipation.
Too much intake can cause diarrhea hence take with caution.
Do not give olive oil to small children and infants but instead provide them with apple juice.
19. Ginger tea a natural laxative for constipation.
Hot ginger tea can help stimulate digestion and prevent constipation. It is a natural laxative hence can promote bowel movement.
Ginger also contains some dietary fiber which can help soften stool and propel its movement from the colon.
It also helps to relax and soothe the intestines to ease digestion and regulate elimination.
Use freshly grated ginger to make ginger tea, and then drink it warm. You can as well chew ginger root pieces daily to prevent and treat constipation.
20. Pears Natural Laxative
Pears have high amounts of fiber and are easy to digest.
Fiber helps to add bulk to your stool. It facilitates its movement through your digestive tract more quickly.
It, therefore, regulates bowel movement and prevents constipation.
The fiber in pears also helps clean the colon to remove harmful bacteria and other build up.
Eat pears with their skin on regularly to help with irregularity and constipation.
Constipation is discomforting and painful. Do not suffer when there are many natural laxatives for constipation that work.
Some can be found right in your kitchen pantry, try them. Consult your doctor if your condition worsens.