Although not a medical illness, constipation can be a tough problem to tackle. The condition is characterized by the inability to pass stools even though the individual in question may have the urge to do so.
This is soon followed by basic symptoms like discomfort, stomach pain, bloating, and abdominal gas etc. which intensify with time. And when the individual is finally able to go, it would usually be a very painful process that may also result in bleeding (stools containing blood).
Although the major causes for constipation happen to be dehydration and lack of fiber in the diet, other factors like age, stress, artificial sweeteners, lack of physical exercise, existing medications and existing medical ailments like diabetes, thyroid deficiency, cancer and irritable bowel syndrome etc. can also contribute to the condition.
Effective Home Remedies For Constipation
Although constipation can be treated with standard medications and laxatives, there are chances for an individual to get addicted to them. This would in turn lead them to rely on these medications on a regular basis and find it extremely hard to pass stools otherwise.
A suitable alternative would be to opt for certain home remedies that would help deal with the situation quickly, effectively and naturally. Given below are some of the most effective home remedies for constipation.
Increase Water And Fluid Intake
A dehydrated body would lead to hardened stools which in turn would cause constipation. Drinking adequate amounts of water every day (at least 7 glasses) can prevent this from happening. Individuals with severe constipation would find it very beneficial to drink a cup of lukewarm water first thing in the morning every day. This practice would soften the stools and regulate the bowel movement.
Individuals with severe constipation can also opt for increased fluid intake in the form of fruit and vegetable juices. Excellent examples for constipation include diluted lemon juice, diluted bottle gourd juice and diluted aloe vera juice (not advisable for pregnant women) etc. One glass of any of these juices first thing every morning can help maintain the bowel movements, thus preventing constipation.
Increase Intake Of Fiber
Lack of fiber in the diet can cause constipation. Fiber can ease the digestion process, improve the passage of waste material through the colon and keep the stools soft.
Increased intake of fiber therefore can help treat constipation and prevent recurrences. Excellent examples include whole grains, dark chocolate, flax seeds, soy beans, beans, nuts and sunflower seeds etc.
Eat Vegetables Regularly
Now would be the best time to start munching on some leafy greens. Vegetables like spinach, broccoli and lettuce etc. are considered to be very effective in dealing with mild-severe cases of constipation.
In addition to easing the digestion process, these vegetables strengthen the digestive organs and improve bowel movements. The best way to consume these vegetables would be via cooked dishes or fresh juices.
Don’t Forget Your Daily Dose Of Fruits
Increasing the intake of fruits can also help deal with constipation to a great extent. Some of the best examples include raisins (contain fiber and tartaric acid, both of which act as natural laxatives), apples (keep the body hydrated), prunes (contain fiber and dihydroxyphenyl isatin which ease the digestion process and improve bowel movements), grapes (help to soothe and tone the colon, thereby aiding the quick passage of food through the organ) papaya and dates (boiled) etc.
Try Some Coffee Or Tea
Caffeine is known to contain laxative and diuretic properties that can help loosen hard stools and regulate bowel movements. A cup of hot coffee or tea in the morning would help kick start the bowel movements and help prevent constipation to a great extent. However, it is considered wise to limit the intake of coffee to 1-2 cups a day as too much coffee can have the opposite effect on the body.
Health conscious individuals can also opt for decaffeinated or herbal teas for the same purpose. An excellent example is dandelion tea made brewed with dandelion root. The laxative properties of dandelion are just what the body would need in the morning to loosen up the stools and regulate the bowel movements.
Honey Is A Good Laxative
Honey is known to contain laxative properties that can help regulate the bowel movements and thus, treat constipation effectively. A tablespoon of honey in lukewarm water would usually do the trick when the individual in question is finding it difficult to pass stools.
Alternatively, a tablespoon of honey can be added to a cup of tea, or with an equal proportion of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water to loosen the stools and ease their passage through the colon effectively.
Get Some Oils In Your System
They may not taste that good but believe us when we say that they would shake up things inside the intestines for good. These oils contain laxative, diuretic properties that help lubricate the intestinal walls, making it easier for the waste material to pass through.
Excellent examples include soybean oil, safflower oil, castor oil and any vegetable oil etc. A few tablespoons of any of these oils just before a bowel movement can be very effective in treating constipation and preventing recurrences.
Garlic contains potent antibacterial and antiviral properties that would help flush out harmful radicals and other organisms that may directly or indirectly contribute to constipation in individuals.
Garlic also contains mild laxative and diuretic properties that help soften the waste materials, thereby regulating the intestinal movements. The best way to get the best benefits of garlic would be to chew a few raw cloves. Another alternative would be to add chopped/grated garlic to foods and juices.
Change Dining And Lifestyle Habits
In addition to all these home remedies, certain diet and lifestyle changes would help the body cope with constipation better if not prevent the condition altogether.
Accordingly, some of the habits you need to incorporate into your daily routine include regular physical exercises (help to keep the body and its organs active), smaller meals (6 small meals as opposed to 3 large meals a day), healthy eating (which means avoiding or limiting unhealthy foods and snacks), fixed meal timings (eat at the same time everyday with proper intervals between meals), proper chewing habits (help ease the digestion, assimilation and excretion processes, and routine bowel evacuation (preferably in the morning) etc.
These practices would work along with the other home remedies mentioned above to effectively curb constipation and its side effects in addition to preventing recurrences.