Constipation can be painful and inconvenient. However, by making a few lifestyle changes and having a ingredients on hand for a few fast-acting home remedies, you can reduce the chance of experiencing this uncomfortable sensation. These home remedies are easy to prepare, work quickly, and can be made from common household items.
The best way to tackle constipation is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. By making a few small lifestyle changes, you may find that your constipation problems will become a thing of the past. It is important to stay active, and exercise several times a week.
We often think of drinking a lot of water in the hot summer months, but staying well-hydrated year round is another way to prevent constipation. Water is possibly the easiest and cheapest way to assist your body's natural eliminatory processes. Warm or room-temperature water is considered most beneficial, especially when you drink it first thing in the morning. Drinking coffee is another way to jump start this process. Because coffee is a diuretic, it helps to eliminate water from the body by moving it through your digestive system, which can help you to pass the stool. Other remedies include drinking warm milk, taking several teaspoons of castor oil, and consuming a blend of equal parts olive oil and orange juice.
Make sure your diet is rich in fiber, particularly from fruits and vegetables. These might include prunes, as well as mangoes and other stone fruit. Oatmeal is also high in soluble fiber, and adding flax seeds into your diet is another way to get much-needed fiber.
One of the most effective remedies is aloe gel. Long used to help heal minor cuts, the gel of the aloe vera plant is a strong laxative. Simply consume 1 or 2 tbsp. of the fresh gel from the plant, and wait. A less powerful purgative is chicory, sometimes found in certain brands of coffee. By adding chicory to your diet, your will find it easier to stay regular. Flax oil or ground flax seed are also beneficial to someone suffering from constipation. Add some ground flax seed to your baked goods or replace the vegetable oil in a recipe with flax oil to help soften stool.
Ayurvedic remedies are holistic healing approaches based on centuries of Indian knowledge. Some of these remedies for constipation include soaking a date in a cup of water overnight, then mashing the date in the water, straining the pulp, and drinking the juice, which is high in fiber. Another tactic involves consuming the high-fiber plant known as psyllium just before bedtime with a glass of water.
Tucker Cummings is a freelance writer based in New England. She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of New Hampshire and is a member of the Association of Professional Business Writers. Cummings is also a food writer and curates the blog, Brave New Breakfast.