Constipation is a chronic condition in which your bowel movement occurs less than usual. Constipation occurs when your colon absorbs too much water from the food leaving your stool hard and dry. The hard and dry stool is difficult to be expelled out of the body from your rectal muscles.
The good thing is that constipation can be resolved by following a few lifestyle changes and using some simple home remedies.
Best Home Remedies for Constipation
#1. Insoluble Fibers as Home Remedy for Constipation
Your body cannot break down insoluble fibers. Hence the insoluble fibers can neither be absorbed nor digested. The fibers bulk up your stool and help to comfortably pass through your intestinal tracts and out of the body via excretion.
Insoluble fibers do not dissolve in water and hence are not converted to colon gas. The fibers cling on to the water within the colon, improving the regularity of defecating.
Insoluble Fiber-rich Foods Include
- Whole grain cereals, oats, barley, brown rice
- Fruits such as watermelon, pear, apple, banana, strawberries
- Peas, beans, pulses
- Vegetables such as broccoli, carrot, beetroot
#2. Drink More Fluids to Cure Constipation
Dehydration is one of the common causes of constipation. The foods you eat passes through the stomach, small intestine, large intestine and finally out of the body through the anus. During this process, the essential nutrients and water are soaked up by the small and the large intestine, leaving only food waste. This food waste is hard and dry which results in difficult passage of the stools.
Staying well hydrated keeps the stools soft and comfortable to pass as it will be beyond the capacity of intestines to absorb all the water from the food. Drinking more fluids makes your stomach both smooth and flexible too.
#3. Triphala Powder for Constipation
Triphala powder contains three important herbs
- Amalaki (Amla): The cooling properties of Amalaki help to cool the inner lining of the stomach and reduce inflammation. Amalaki also helps to relieve the burning sensation that is caused due to the infrequent passing of stools.
- Haritaki (Harad): Haritaki is lubricant is nature which helps to loosen the stools and easy passage of waste through the rectal region.
- Bibhitaki (Baheda): Bibhitaki is a natural laxative and contains insoluble fibers. These fibers act as a digestive agent and expel the food waste out of your digestive system.
How to use
- Mix two teaspoon of Triphala powder in one cup of warm water
- Consume the mixture half an hour before sleep
- Optional: as Triphala is bitter to taste, you can add one teaspoon honey to get a sweet taste
We have also written a post on home remedies for constipation in kids
#4. Aloe Vera Juice
The anthraquinones present in the aloe vera latex are natural laxative which increases intestinal water content, stimulates mucus secretion and the involuntary constriction and relaxation of the abdominal muscles.
Anthraquinones also increases the water holding capacity of the stool thereby improving your bowel movement.
Aloe vera latex content doesn’t allow stools to settle in the intestines for an extended period thereby promoting a reduced transit time. Aloe vera juice also helps normalize the healthy bacteria in your gut, keeping your intestines healthy. Hence consuming aloe vera juice has a tonic effect on your intestinal tract.
How to use
- Wash the aloe vera leaf. Slit one of the edges and open up the outer layer
- Scoop off the gel and put on a blender
- Add sufficient water and blend for 3 to 4 minutes
- Your aloe vera juice is ready. You can also add a dash of lemon for added taste.
#5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil increases the metabolism by breaking down the food faster which leads to an increase in the frequency of bowel movements. The fibers present in the coconut oil absorb water which makes the stool softer, thereby making it easy to pass through the intestine and out of your body.
The medium chain fatty acids present in the coconut oil boosts the energy of the intestinal cells and speeds up the metabolism rate which means frequent and smooth bowel movements. The fatty acids also help soften the stool and help in easing the bowel movements. Coconut oil also balances the pH level of your stomach and assists to improve the tone of your intestinal muscles.
How to use
- Coconut oil can be added to hot soups, curries and stews
- You can also add coconut oil to smoothies and fresh fruit juices
- You can sprinkle the coconut oil on the top of the salad
#6. Kombucha Tea
Kombucha helps the growth of healthy bacteria (probiotics). These healthy bacteria occur naturally in the gastrointestinal tract and release enzymes that aid in digestion by breaking down the food at a rapid rate. The healthy bacteria also help to break down the stool into small sizes.
Kombucha detoxifies and eliminates the heavy metals and toxins by destroying the bad gut bacteria from the digestive tract thereby helping the proper maintenance of the track.
How to prepare
- Prepare a regular sweetened black tea and cool down for 20 minutes
- Pour the black tea in a clear glass jar and cover with a lid
- Allow the black tea to cool further for 2 hours
- Add the Kombucha mushroom to the tea
- Cover the mixture with a white cloth and keep away from sunlight for 7 days
- Remove the Kombucha mushroom from the glass jar and relish your Kombucha tea
#7. Senna for Constipation
Senna contains a chemical sennosides. Sennosides are actually given to empty the bowels before a certain medical procedure or a surgery.
What senna does is that due to its stimulant laxative nature, it stimulates the nerve endings in the walls of the bowel and rectum. This makes the muscles in the intestines to constrict and relax with increased force leading to the proper passage of food waste and in turn, helps in emptying the bowels quickly.
How to take senna
- Consume senna in liquid or tablet form immediately before bed
- Make sure you consume ample amount of water after consuming senna
#8. Prune Juice
Prune contains fiber and an ample amount of sorbitol which has natural laxative effects. Sorbitol remains undigested throughout the digestion process and draws water into the stomach. This process bulks up the stool and encourages the natural bowel movement.
The phenolic compounds present in the prune juice are antioxidants and functions as stimulating laxatives. The process results in the stools moving faster and preventing the stools from being less dehydrated during the entire digestive process.
How to prepare
- Soak 5 to 6 prunes in a cup of warm water for 5 minutes
- As the prunes soften up, toss the prunes into a blender along with the water
- Blend for 3 to 4 minutes
- Relish the drink at least 3 times a day
- Optional: Add sugar or honey for taste
#9. Avoid Dairy Products
Dairy products contain high fat and low fiber content. Due to high fat, the food starts binding inside the stomach and does not loosen up quickly. The lactose in the dairy products is responsible for the gas formation and bloating which causes constipation.
Dairy products slow down the digestive process, which means the food you consume remains too much time in your stomach. And this makes you uncomfortable by causing stomach cramps especially when you are not moving frequently.
#10. Avoid Red Meat
Red meat has high-fat content and tough protein fibers. Fats take a longer time to break down in your digestive tract. The tough protein fibers are also difficult for the stomach to digest quickly.
Red meat also contains iron which slows down the metabolism in your body. Iron also binds the food together making it hard to pass it to the bowels easily.
#11. Yoga the Best Remedy for Constipation
Yoga helps to relax and strengthen your abdominal muscles which in turn improve the digestive system. Yoga also improves the blood circulation in the abdominal region and strengthens the digestive organs and the gastrointestinal tract.
Final Take away
While there are many types of over the counter laxatives available in the market which may affect your health if you are on any other medication.
All the above-mentioned home remedies are safe and secure to follow. However, being constipated for a too long time can have a negative impact on other aspects of your health. If the remedies don’t sufficiently resolve the problem, please visit your doctor immediately.