Constipation means you have difficulty having bowel movements. Your stools become dry, hard and difficult to pass. You may have fewer bowel movements than normal. People often use herbal remedies to cure constipation. Ginger tea is a natural laxative and an effective remedy for constipation. However, before using ginger tea, you should first talk to your doctor.
Ginger Tea and Constipation
Herbalists for years have recommended ginger tea for the treatment of constipation. It has mild laxative effects and is often used to promote bowel activity. In addition, ginger tea acts as a mild appetite stimulant, strengthens the stomach, and promotes digestion, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
In her book "Prescription for Herbal Healing," author Phyllis Balch recommends that you use 2 teaspoons or 1 gram of powdered or fresh grated ginger root per cup of boiling water to prepare ginger tea. For constipation, drink 1 cup of ginger tea two to three times a day. Your doctor can also recommend the right dose for you.
Diabetics should not take ginger tea, because it might affect the absorption of diabetic medications, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. As of 2011, ginger tea’s safety during pregnancy has not been established. Do not use ginger tea when you are pregnant unless such use is under the supervision of your doctor. Ginger has blood-thinning properties. It can prolong your bleeding time when combined with blood-thinning agents such as aspirin and warfarin. If you have gallstones, UMMC recommends you speak to your doctor before consuming ginger.
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Points to Consider
Dietary and lifestyle modifications are an alternative way to cure constipation. Consume an adequate amount of fiber per day. Harvard School of Public Health reports that adults should have 30 to 35 grams, or more, of fiber daily. Soluble fiber dissolves easily in water. It turns to gel during digestion and, as a result, makes stool soft. This promotes easier passage of stool through the colon. You should also increase your water or fluid intake. Increase your level of physical activity, since a lack of physical exercise can contribute to constipation.
- Prescription for Herbal Healing; Phyllis A. Balch
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Ginger
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: Ginger
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fiber: Start Roughing It
Henry Pitot has been writing since 1992. His work has appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals, including "The Lancet" and Cancer Research Online. He is certified in oncology and hematology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He received his Doctor of Medicine from University of Wisconsin in 1986.