Constipation visits us all. For most of us, it's an occasional inconvenience. For a few, it's a chronic condition that affects their very quality of life. Fortunately, no matter which group you're in, there are natural remedies for constipation that can help to quickly resolve the immediate problem and others that will help to keep you regular over the long haul.
But, what is regular? There are as many answers to this question as there are people that ask it. And, there is no one right answer. Some may go more than once a day. Others may only go 3 times a week. The fact is, your body will determine what's regular for you. Don't think, even for a minute, that just because your routine is different from others, you must be constipated.
When you are constipated, you'll know it! You'll find yourself straining a lot in the bathroom, your stool will be hard and dry, and you'll have a constant bloated, gassy feeling in your bowels. It's an unnatural condition that your body will attempt to remedy on it's own. Sometimes, however, it may need a little help from you. For those times, allow me t
Using a Laxative is NOT ALWAYS the Best Answer
In the world of laxatives, there are two general categories, chemical (or, stimulant) based and fiber based. Stimulants are fast-acting, but can be very harsh. Fiber based laxatives are much more gentle, but can take days to work. Neither option seems very appealing.
The worst thing about using a laxative, however, is the fact that your body may begin to rely on it and you'll find that bowel movements are virtually impossible if you stop using it.
You can become addicted, and that's never a good thing.
Are You Drinking Enough Water?
Believe it or not, one of the chief causes of constipation is lack of water. Without it, your bowel functions will slow (or even stop), resulting in constipation. For many, simply increasing water consumption is the only natural constipation remedy that's needed.
But...how much is enough?
A good "rule of thumb" is to drink, in ounces, half of your body weight each day. If, for instance, you weigh 160 pounds, you need 80 ounces of water daily.
I realize that 80 ounces sounds like an lot, but it's actually only eight 10 ounce glasses. And...you do have all day, right?
Seriously, try it for a few days. It can't hurt, and may completely eliminate your problem.
Natural Remedies for Constipation That Provide Quick Relief
As unpleasant as it sounds, you'll get the fastest relief from a warm water enema. Of course, most of us would prefer any other solution, but, if your condition has progressed to the point of being painful, this is definitely the shortest path to relief.
A natural remedy that usually works overnight is blackstrap molasses. Taking 2 tablespoons at bedtime will usually bring morning relief. If the taste of the molasses is too strong for you, stir it into a glass of milk or fruit juice. In fact, you can multiply the effects of molasses by mixing it with 8 ounces of prune juice. I would not, however, recommend this mixture for bedtime because it can work very fast. Morning is the best time for this remedy. Drink it first thing, while your stomach is empty, and stay close to the restroom.
Another same-day remedy for constipation is grey sea salt. This remedy requires some preparation, but is one of the most effective around:
- Pour one quart (or, liter) of high quality drinking water (not tap water) into a saucepan and heat to boiling.
- Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons of grey sea salt and stir until the salt is dissolved. Return the solution to heat and continue to add more salt a little at a time until you have a briny solution. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool.
- When your solution is cool enough, drink as much as you can in a one hour period. Sip the solution. Do not gulp it down. Drinking it too fast can cause some people painful stomach distress in a short time.
What to expect...This solution works very fast. Your body cannot absorb all of the sea salt and it will travel through your stomach and intestines quickly. Along the way, it will soften and remove any fecal material that may be trapped in small pockets that we all have in our intestines, and then work on the material that is causing your constipation.
Within a couple of hours, you will begin to visit the restroom...a lot! This will continue until all of the waste is out.
One word of caution...It's best to use this remedy on a day when you have nothing else planned. Once you drink the solution, it's going to work, and it doesn't care whether you are sitting at home or in the church house.
It can also cause your body to lose some electrolytes. Spend the rest of the day resting and drinking your favorite sports drink (think...Gatorade) or chicken soup. This will help replace some of what the solution took from you.
Natural Remedies for Constipation That Provide Continuing Relief
This is where I'm supposed to suggest all of the things that medical professionals will tell you to do to get and stay regular. You know...eat more fruits and veggies, get more exercise, eat a well balanced diet and stay away from processed foods.
All good suggestions, to be sure, but, in today's world, much easier said than done.
There are some other ways to reach the same result, including:
- Drink More Water! (see above)
- Flax Seed Every morning grind 2 tablespoons of flax seed and take it with water or fruit juice. This will help your intestines to do their job and provide additional fiber, as well. Just remember that flax seed will spoil very quickly after being crushed, so grind it fresh every morning.
- Add more garlic to your diet. Garlic is a natural laxative that works in any form (raw, cooked, etc.)
- Start taking a natural probiotic formula to replace and restore digestive bacteria in your system. Proper digestion is essential in the fight against chronic constipation.
- Sesame Seeds are a healthy snack that will provide you with bulk fiber and oil to soften your stool. Eat about one half ounce every day and wash it down with plenty of water. You can also sprinkle them on foods and salad. Just remember the 1/2 ounce limit. Eating more can cause diarrhea.
The easiest solution is to start using a product like Bowtrol Colon Control that will provide your system with everything it needs, including probiotics, to get, and stay regular.
There are, of course, many other natural remedies for constipation that work to varying degrees. Finding what works for you may take some trial and error, but the ones mentioned here are a very good place to start.