Constipation is not a disease or disorder, but is a common condition associated with the infrequent bowel movement. Moreover, incomplete evacuation of the bowel, passage (may be painful) of hard and dry feces is also referred to as constipation. Constipation issues need to be resolved as this condition can act as a major contributing factor to onset of several diseases like arthritis, appendicitis, cataract, cancer, etc. Retention of food in the bowel for a long time can be deleterious, as prolonged presence of food in the bowel conduces to toxin production, which make their way into the bloodstream. If these toxins are absorbed by the body, various ailments can be induced. To prevent all this, it is wise to treat constipation problems as early as possible with constipation remedies.
Home Remedies for Constipation
Several chemical laxatives are present in drug stores to cure constipation problems. There are also some over-the-counter medicines available to treat the condition. However, the side effects associated with them cause people to look for natural constipation remedies. Let us have a look at the various remedies for constipation.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits like oranges, mangoes, pears, figs, papaya, orange, etc. and vegetables like carrots, peas, sweet potatoes and other green vegetables furnish the body's digestive system with ample amounts of fiber and roughage. Guava, when eaten with its seeds adds ample amounts of roughage to the body. This will in turn help increase bulk of the stool and facilitate easy bowel movements.
Garlic is another good remedy for constipation relief. Its high potassium content contributes to proper muscle contractions of the intestines, thereby increasing peristaltic movement. Cut some pieces of garlic and add it to soup, juice or honey and have it thrice a day for constipation relief.
Vitamin C intake should be increased to relieve constipation as it helps boost the body's immune system and enables it to fight off any illness conducing to constipation. Squeeze out the juice of a lemon into warm water and keep sipping it. However, refrain from adding salt or sugar.
Milk of Magnesia
Milk of magnesia, also known as magnesium hydroxide is an alkaline suspension taken orally. The hydroxide present in this compound combines with hydrochloric acid present in the stomach and pacifies the hyperactivity in the stomach. It is an effective constipation remedy, which needs to be taken before going to bed. However, do not take this without consulting your health care provider, as milk of magnesia is not a natural remedy and has its own side effects.
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe Vera juice is another effective constipation remedy as it helps stimulate bowel movements. Consume aloe Vera juice for 10 days, however, after the first 5 days take a gap of 2 days and again have it for another 5 days. People suffering from chronic constipation need to drink it on a daily basis till the problem disappears.
Prune juice acts as a natural laxative and simplifies sugars in the body, thereby helping in drawing fluids to the intestines. The fluid softens the stool and enhances better bowel movements. Thus, prune juice for constipation is a highly effective remedy.
Raw spinach is known to have exceptional organic material that are capable of solving problems related to cleansing of the intestinal tract. To make spinach juice, wash the spinach leaves thoroughly and blend it. To this paste add equal quantity of water and stir well. Drink this juice daily and notice how your constipation problem gets solved.
Figs have great laxative properties and help relieve constipation. One should eat at least 2-3 dried figs everyday. Moreover, you could also soak figs overnight and consume them the next morning, along with the water.
Flax seeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They are great to alleviate distressing constipation, by softening the stool and cleansing the colon. You could either add these seeds to your salads or soak them overnight and add them to a bowl of cereal or blend it with your smoothie.
Castor oil possesses the ability to stimulate the intestines to excrete waste materials. It cleanses the small as well as the large intestine of all unwanted matter, thus, is a useful oil in case of constipation. Moreover, Castor oil is cheap and easily affordable. 2-4 tsp of Castor oil can be added to ginger tea during its preparation and had before going to bed. However, this oil is also known for its side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, belching, etc. Castor oil should not be takem by pregnant and feeding mothers.
Drink lots of Water
If the body is not receiving adequate amounts of water each day, it will extract as much water as possible from the intestinal tracts. This will cause the bowels to become hard and dry, causing constipation. To keep the stool soft, the body should be hydrated. Thus, it is important to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. If such a lot of water is difficult for you, then try adding diluted, fresh fruit and vegetable juices to your diet.
'Triphala Choorna' is an ayurvedic medicine prepared by combining three fruits: Indian gooseberry, chebulic myrobalan and belleric myrobalan. This medicine is available in both capsule and powder form and when taken twice a day brings relief from constipation. Another ayurvedic medicine is the 'rhubarb', which is also effective in treating constipation.
Besides these constipation remedies, one should also make sure a healthy and balanced diet is being consumed. One should also drink ample amounts of water (6-8 glasses a day). Exercise is another must routine that will help food in the bowel to move faster. One should also toilet-train oneself to ensure clearing of the bowel on a daily basis.