Imagine you are getting ready to go on a trip of your lifetime with the best of your friends and well, you just can’t pass stool. A trip that could have brought some great moments is now destroyed because of constipation. Even if you plan to manage somehow and go to the trip, you’ll have a challenging time getting through.
Many people suffer from constipation and it is more common than perceived.
It is defined as a condition where one passes fewer than 3 stools per week and in the most severe cases, as less as 1 stool per week. It can result due to a number of reasons, some of them involving a change in lifestyle including poor diet, voluntary control, hormonal disorders, etc.
But what if you could get rid of constipation naturally at home?
Home remedies are certainly the best bet for long-term relief and prevention.
We have listed 15 of the best home remedies for immediate relief from constipation without using any strong medication.
Lemons are always handy at home and one of the simplest ways to get rid of constipation. The contents of lemon oil stimulate the digestive system which increases the secretion of bile, acids and digestive juices. Lemons are also rich in fiber which helps to treat constipation. They clear the excretory system by cleaning the digestive tract.
Squeeze a lemon in a glass of warm water along with some salt and honey (optional). Consume the mixture early in the morning.
Honey is well known for its mild laxative components which are so due to the incomplete absorption of fructose.
Consume one tablespoon of honey three times a day. You can choose to consume it directly, mixed in a glass of warm water, or along with tea/ coffee.
Flax seeds perform dual action as they have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This makes them an effective home remedy for constipation. Besides, they are also high in phenols, vitamins and minerals, which is great for the body.
Consume them directly with water or grind them in water and then immediately consume. Take the mix every night before going to bed and see your bowel movement improve the next day.
Imp Tip: Drink lots of water with flax seeds as they soak up water and might rather aggravate the problem of constipation if plenty of fluids are not consumed.
Prunes (or dried plums) have high insoluble and soluble fiber content that induces digestive secretions and bowel movements. Components like sugar alcohol sorbitol and other phenols present in prunes have a laxative effect which helps get rid of constipation.
Consume 3-4 prunes daily either chopped or with a cup of yogurt daily. Children who might not like the taste can take prune juice mixed with some other juice of their choice.
Papayas are rich in papain, a natural enzyme that helps in the digestion of protein. Partially unripe papaya contains a high volume of papain, which prevents the accumulation of partially digested protein. Moreover, it is also a good source of insoluble fiber that helps in bulking up your feces assisting bowel movements.
Consume papaya juice or half piece of the fruit before breakfast.
Figs act as a natural laxative as they are high in fiber, polyphenols and anthocyanins. In fact, they are also used as traditional medicine for gastrointestinal and inflammatory disorders.
Take 2-3 dried figs and almonds and soak them in water for some time. Now, peel off almond skin and grind the two. Consume this paste before going to bed each night.
Tip – Eat figs with their skin on as it contains large amounts of fiber and calcium.
Spinach is extremely beneficial for the digestive tract as it is rich in fiber and oxalic acid. It is also rich in other components that are beneficial for the human body. There are plenty of components in raw spinach as well that cleanse and reconstruct the intestinal tract.
Consumption depends entirely on your liking, raw, cooked or in any manner you prefer.
Fennel seeds contain essential oils that are composed of anethole, fenchone, limonene and camphor. It is effective in treating various issues like irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, constipation, etc. by encouraging muscle movement in the digestive tract.
Dry roast one cup of fennel seeds, grind, and sieve them. Consume half teaspoon of the powder daily with warm water.
Grapes contain high quantities of insoluble fiber that assist in regular bowel movements. However, in case you are diabetic, you must avoid grapes due to the high sugar content.
A small bowl of grapes or half a glass of fresh grape juice daily is great for easing bowel movements.
Peppermint has a number of health benefits and one of those is helping your bowel movements. It encourages the production of bile in the digestive system which produces a soothing effect on the lining of the gut.
It can be consumed as peppermint oil in a various dishes. Also, peppermint tea can be used as an alternative to normal tea.
Castor oil improves the bowel movement since it is a stimulant laxative, stimulating the large and small intestines. It has chemical constituents like fatty acids, amino acids, terpenoids, and phenolic compounds etc. which yield anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects.
Swallow 1-2 teaspoons of castor oil on an empty stomach. You’ll notice the change in a few hours.
PS- Use castor oil in only severe cases of constipation in regulated quantities as an overdose of the same can cause diarrhea. Also, do check the source of the castor oil since most of the castor seeds are heavily processed.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. However, it also prevents constipation. It contains natural laxatives that assist in easing the bowel movement.
Consume the fruit directly or take a glass of apple juice or apple cider vinegar (easily available in the market) as they too act as laxatives. Dilute apple cider vinegar in water and consume as a beverage for best results.
Coffee stimulates the muscles in the human digestive system by relieving constipation. Caffeine also contains small amounts of soluble fiber which is again great for bowel movements.
Take only regulated amount of coffee since too much of it will cause dehydration and rather aggravate the problem.
Water and Fiber
Water and fiber are the two most important things for a proper bowel movement. Lack of consumption of any of the two components can result in constipation. While water acts as a stool softener, fiber binds to water in the intestine which adds volume to the stool.
These two components work in complete harmony keeping the bowel problems at bay.
Time and again studies have proved how effective exercise is for people suffering from constipation. Exercising daily reduces the symptoms of constipation to a great extent, especially brisk walks or long runs.
So, as you eat, exercise!
While most of these remedies are extremely helpful, in case you still don’t feel any relief and the problem persists, you must visit a doctor. The doctor will be able to identify the type of medication you require to get rid of constipation.
This article is presented by Sharda Hospital and rounds up convenient and safe home remedies against constipation. Sharda Hospital is one of the largest super speciality hospitals in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR).