Herbal and natural remedies for everyday ailments have grown in popularity over the last several years and are quickly becoming recognized as an effective treatment option to be used in conjunction with conventional medicine, or as an alternative means of treatment, in some cases. Common issues, such as constipation and diarrhea can often be treated effectively and affordably through herbal and natural remedies, as well as with simple lifestyle changes that promote healthy bowel function.

Constipation can be caused by inadequate intake of fluids or fiber, lack of exercise or increased stress levels, and is often indicated by abdominal pain, difficulties during elimination and infrequent or irregular bowel movements. In some cases, constipation can be a symptom of a health concern that may require medical attention; therefore, those who experience extended periods of constipation, or the occurrence of constipation with additional symptoms, should consult their physician.

Herbal and natural constipation remedies include natural stimulant laxatives, herbal products that increase bile or relieve cramping and bloating, and intestinal cleansing products that are most often a combination of herbal ingredients that serve several purposes. Natural products with laxative qualities include senna, cascara sagrada, buckthorn, linseed oil and aloe, each of which is available as an over-the-counter product online, in health food stores and in some drugstores. Psyllium, prunes and dandelion are other popular natural treatments that are widely available. Ginger, in the form of a powder, capsules or herbal tea is often used to relieve the abdominal discomfort and cramping that can be associated with constipation. Dietary changes, such as increased fiber consumption, increased water consumption and eating a balanced diet high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, are also important aspects of overcoming constipation and promoting healthy bowel function.

Diarrhea can also be an indication of an underlying health issue that may require medical attention, particularly if the diarrhea does not subside with dietary changes or herbal and natural remedies. Diarrhea can be caused by changes in diet, stress, anxiety, reactions to particular foods or medicines, viruses or bacteria, and is a common ailment that plagues many otherwise healthy people on occasion. Frequent or chronic diarrhea may be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome or other medical conditions; therefore, those suffering from repeated episodes or chronic diarrhea should consult a healthcare professional.

Herbal remedies for diarrhea include goldenseal, dandelion, skullcap and fenugreek, which are readily available in capsule form, or can be consumed as a tea. Peppermint or chamomile herbal teas are often used to treat the stomach cramping, pain and discomfort that is associated with diarrhea, and can also assist in replacing some of the fluid that is lost during episodes of diarrhea. Blueberries, bananas, rice and yogurt are foods that can assist in recovering from stomach ailments, including diarrhea, and can be easily incorporated into regular daily nutrition intake to stave off future episodes. People who are experiencing diarrhea should also increase water intake to prevent dehydration.

Herbal and natural remedies for constipation and diarrhea provide a convenient, affordable treatment option for occasional occurrences of these common ailments. Repeated or chronic cases should be reviewed by a healthcare professional to ensure that there are no underlying health issues in need of attention; however, occasional episodes can often be effectively treated with herbal and natural remedies.