There are few things more debilitating than a bout of constipation. It’s not only uncomfortable, it can have more serious side effects like fissures and bleeding. Many people turn to laxatives when constipation strikes. However, according to WebMD, overuse of laxatives can cause weakening of the bowel muscles and, ultimately worsen the condition. While bowel movements vary from person to person, less than three a week could be a sign that you need to change your habits. Read on for some easy home remedies against constipation.
1. A Prune A Day
Prunes, or dried plums, are most likely the method grandma used to get rid of constipation. And it seems she knew best. Packed with insoluble fibre and gentle natural laxatives like sorbitol and dihydrophenylisatin, prunes can work wonders on the system. Prune juice may not be everybody’s favorite drink (especially not children’s), so mix it with another juice to hide the flavor.
2. Try Some Dandelion
Dandelions get a bad rap from gardening folk, but did you know that a cup of dandelion tea is one of the best home remedies for constipation? Dandelions, like prunes, contain gentle laxatives and have a great detoxifying effect.
3. The Good Oil
Oil helps to lubricate your intestines, which makes passing stools easier, and there are three oils in particular that help get the job done:
Omega 3 or fish oil supplements are a good source of omega-3, as well as a great home remedy for constipation.
Castor oil is readily available from pharmacists. It’s quite potent and acts quickly on the system, so be careful to follow the instructions on the bottle carefully, especially when giving it to children. One spoonful of it should be enough.
Pure olive oil stimulates your digestive system, which helps get things moving through your colon. In the morning, swallow one tablespoon of olive oil while your stomach is still empty. It’s a good idea to mix it with lemon juice, as lemon juice is another natural way to get rid of constipation.
Remember, prevention is key, so it’s worthwhile including some of these preventative measures as well:
4. Is Milk Giving You Problems?
Some studies have linked constipation to lactose intolerance in children. So if you’re lactose intolerant, dairy could be the culprit. It may be worth getting your doctor to check if you are lactose intolerant.
5. Friendly Bacteria
These days, our stomachs are constantly bombarded with processed sugars and other foods. This wreaks havoc on our digestive systems and depletes the natural bacteria found in our stomachs. A good way to keep the good bacteria alive is to eat a cup of live yoghurt every day. Nutritionists say that the probiotics in yoghurt are known to cut down the risk of constipation. Eat it at breakfast with some bran or a good high-fibre cereal as a great home remedy for constipation.
6. Flush it Out
Drinking water is one of the best ways to flush waste from our bodies. If you’re prone to constipation, make sure you drink 10-20 ounces of pure water every morning before breakfast. Warm it up and add some lemon juice for best results.
7. Fantastic Fibre
Because dietary fibre isn’t absorbed into the bloodstream, it goes straight to the colon, where it absorbs water and bulks up your stools, making them easier to pass. The best sources of natural fibre are wholewheat breads and cereals, as well as fruits and vegetables. So cut out the processed foods and up your intake of wholewheat bread and pasta, bran, broccoli, apples, pears, berries and lentils. Flaxseed is one of the best sources of fibre there is, and it has a great nutty taste. Add it to your morning cereal for an extra kick.
8. Get Moving
We all know that exercise is beneficial. But few people know that these benefits include preventing constipation. Lifestyles that involve sitting for most of the day contribute to unhealthy bowels. Moving the body, in whatever way, activates colon muscles ensuring that waste passes more easily. There are also specific exercises, especially yoga poses, that help get rid of constipation.
9. Quality Toilet Time
It might sound strange, but one of the best home remedies for constipation is to develop good toilet habits. Mornings are prime time for waste elimination, so develop a morning routine that involves some relaxed toilet time. Bring a book or listen to music if you need to, anything that makes you less tense. And if you feel the urge to go, always follow it, as holding on increases the amount of time a stool spends in the bowels, which will make it harder and more difficult to pass.
Constipation can be a pain in the butt. But it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a full and healthy life. Make a few dietary and lifestyle changes, and you’ll soon begin to notice changes. If the problem still persists, consult your doctor.