Constipation is a very common digestive disorder that affects people of all ages. Constipation causes difficulty passing stools and may even lead a person to strain too much to empty the excessively hard stools.
Constipation is when your bowel becomes difficult to pass, and the normal interval between passing stools increases noticeably. Infrequent bowel movements are characterized by less than three bowels per week.
Some of the main causes of constipation are poor diet, insufficient water intake, irregular defecation habit, lack of physical activity, weakness of abdominal muscles, hemorrhoids, stress, intake of certain medications, and laxative abuse.
Medicines and treatments can have side effects on the body. It is best to follow natural remedies to cure and prevent constipation. If you have gastric disorders or irritable bowel syndrome, you should be careful and disciplined. Listen to your body and try to find out if you have constipation symptoms. If yes, then follow these simple home remedies to relieve constipation.
Lemon — Lemons, or more specifically the juice from lemons, can treat constipation as it stimulates the digestive system and gets things moving.
- Extract the juice of half a lemon and add it to a glass of warm water. You can also add a pinch of rock salt or one-half teaspoon of table salt and a little honey to it. Drink the lemon water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. You can also drink a glass of this solution in the evening. Follow this remedy daily and expect results within a few days.
Fennel — Fennel seeds are useful in treating issues like indigestion, bloating, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome as they encourage smooth muscle movement in the digestive tract.
- Take one cup of fennel seeds and dry roast them. Then, grind them and sieve the mixture. Take half a teaspoon of this powder daily with warm water.
Figs — Figs are very high in fiber and act as a natural laxative. Those suffering from chronic constipation should include figs in their diet.For the treatment of constipation, both fresh and dried figs can be used. When fresh figs are available, eat them with their skin on. The skin contains most of the fiber and calcium.
- Take two to three almonds and dried figs. Soak them in water for a few hours. Peel the almonds and grind the ingredients. Take this paste with one tablespoon of honey at night.
Castor oil — Being a stimulant laxative, castor oil stimulates the small and large intestines and improves the bowel movement.
- Simply swallow one to two teaspoons of castor oil on an empty stomach.
Honey — Honey is highly beneficial in relieving constipation as it acts as a mild laxative
- Consume two teaspoons of honey three times a day.
- You can also mix one tablespoon each of honey and lemon juice in a glass of warm water. Drink it every morning on an empty stomach.
Flax Seeds — Flax seed has many medicinal properties along with tons of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Also, flaxseed has a laxative property, which can be very useful in curing mild to very serious cases of constipation.
- Mix one tablespoon of flax seed in a glass of water and allow it to rest for two to three hours. Drink the water daily before going to bed. In the morning, your bowel movement will be much better.
- Alternatively, you can simply eat two to three tablespoons of ground flax seed with a glass of water.
Grapes — Grapes contain insoluble fiber that helps produce regular bowel movements.
- Eat a small bowl of grapes or half a glass of fresh grape juice daily.
- Another option is put 10 to 12 dry seedless grapes in milk, boil it for a few minutes and drink the solution in the evening. This particular remedy works great for young children who have constipation and to prevent future episodes of it.
- If fresh grapes are not available, then eat raisins soaked in water for a day or two. You must eat the soaked raisins along with water on an empty stomach in the morning.
Spinach — Spinach is really good for the digestive tract, especially when you are suffering from constipation. Raw spinach has various components that can cleanse, reconstruct and regenerate the whole intestinal tract.
- To get rid of constipation, you must include spinach in your diet. You can eat it either raw or cooked, depending on how you like it.
- If you have severe constipation, drink a mixture of one-half glass of raw spinach juice and one-half glass of water, twice daily. Within a few days, you will get much relief.
- It is essential to eat high-fiber foods like beans, potatoes, carrots, brown rice, prunes, wheat germ, fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, all kinds of nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, broccoli, peas, and so on. You can also opt for fiber supplements.
- Make sure to drink about eight to 10 glasses of water daily.
- For best results, put water in a copper vessel overnight and drink it first thing in the morning. This will stimulate bowel movements and give you good results within a few days.
- Along with water, you can also drink fresh vegetable juice and fruit juice throughout the day. Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine as both cause dehydration and can make your condition worse.
Ayurveda to the Rescue — Try having two or three Triphala tablets (you could also use the powdered form) with warm water before you sleep. Triphala is made with Harad also known as black myroblan and works as a fantastic laxative. It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties which makes it a great form of treatment for diarrhea and other kinds of infections as well.
How to have it — Mix one spoon Triphala powder in warm water and drink it all in one go. Don’t eat or drink anything after and let Triphala work its magic through the night. The mix tastes extremely bitter and in case you have difficulty gulping it down, add a spoon of honey to it.
I’m Dr. Malini Bhat MD (Ayu); an Ayurvedic Doctor and a health blogger. Follow me on social media to get daily health tips which you can easily adapt to a healthy lifestyle.