Constipation is a kind of medical condition that gives different symptom in different individuals. For some people, constipation causes infrequent stools while for another set of people, they experience difficulty whenever they need to pass out stool due to the unusual hardness of the stool.
Constipation may also occur at the end of a diarrhea due to fecal impaction which causes the stool to harden and prevent free passage of stool.
Bowel movement patterns in every individual differ. However, it is expected that a normal individual should have at least three to twenty-one bowel movements per week. Therefore a person who has less than one bowel movement in a week may be considered as suffering from constipation.
Constipation may be acute or chronic. Chronic Constipation is when a person suffers from a long episode of constipation without any other severe symptoms. Acute constipation on the other hand may be a sign of an underlying medical condition like colon cancer. It usually comes with other severe symptoms like rectal bleeding, excessive loss of weight, cramps, nausea and vomiting.
Symptoms of constipation include loss of appetite, flatulence, abnormal stool patterns, acidity, bad breathe, headache, acne, bloated abdomen, loss of appetite and depression.
Although the first thing that comes to the mind of people who suffer from constipation is to sue a laxative but sometimes, laxatives may not really be the best option. Consistent use of laxatives may cause damage of the colon or inflammation of the linens of the intestines. It is therefore safer to make use of safer and natural laxatives if you must use laxatives.
Acute constipation is best treated with professional medical attention but milder cases of constipation may be treated with the following herbal remedies.
1. Fennel: Fennel is a very effective remedy for indigestion. It is used to cure several ailments relating to indigestion because of its ability to promote easier muscle movement in the digestive tract. To use fennel as a cure for indigestion, here is what you should do:
- Get a cup of fennel seeds and roast it. You can also make use of pre-roasted fennel seeds if you cannot roast them yourself.
- Ground the roasted seeds into a smooth powdery form and sieve.
- Mix half a teaspoon of the powder in a cup of warm water and drink up for gradual relief.
2. Castor Oil: Castor oil acts as a stimulant to both the small and large intestines. It helps to promote bowel movement and reduce constipation within few hours. You only need to take a teaspoon or two of castor oil and watch your constipation gradually disappear.
This treatment should only be used once in a while and not for a prolonged period as prolonged use may cause very serious side effects.
3. Flax Seed: Flax seed has high fiber and omega-3 acid contents. It is another very effective remedy for constipation due to its laxative properties.
To use fennel seeds as a laxative to cure constipation, you should do the following:
- Grab a glass of water and mix a tablespoon of flaxseed in it. Leave the mixture to stand for about an hour then drink it.
- Another equally effective option is to chew about two to three spoons of flaxseed once daily. Remember to wash it down with a glass of water.
4. Lemon: Lemon is another natural laxative that helps to stimulate the digestive system. There are several ways to use honey as a laxative. Some of them include:
- Get a medium-sized melon and cut it in half. Then squeeze out the juice into a glass of warm water. Add a pinch of salt or some honey if you like and drink up.
- Drink a glass of warm water mixed with lemon juice first thing in the morning.
Results are usually quick and satisfying.
5. Honey: Honey acts as a laxative and can help to relieve mild cases of constipation especially when mixed with lemon juice. You only need to take a spoon or two of organic honey three times daily and to experience relief.
6. Figs: Including figs in your diet is a very good wad way to prevent constipation. It also helps to cure constipation when mixed with almonds.
To use figs as a natural remedy for constipation, you should get some dried figs and two or three almonds. Soak them in water and leave for a few hours after which you should ground it into a paste and mix with honey. One tablespoon this mixture should be taken at night before bedtime until the constipation is cured.
7. Grapes: Fresh grapes are yet another natural remedy for constipation due to its insoluble fiber contents. You can choose to have a cup of natural, unsweetened grape juice or boil some seedless grapes in milk for about 5-10 minutes and drink the solution.
8. Raisins: This can be used as an alternative when grapes are unavailable. Simply soak some raisins in the water and eat after a few hours.
9. Molasses: Although they are very high in caloric contents, they act as natural laxatives. Molasses can be used to mix some milk , fruit juice or peanut butter.
10. Spinach: Spinach contains components which can help to get rid of constipation and cleanse the intestines. Raw spinach works better so you can just chew upon some spinach leaves but if you find this difficult, you can try making some spinach juice and drink it at least two times daily.
11. Fluids: Drinking lots of fluid, especially water, can help to soften up the stools and promote bowel movement. Make sure you have at least eight ounces of water a day and drink plenty of fluids when suffering from constipation.
12. Olive Oil: You know how engine oil gets your car running smoothly, well; olive oil does the same thing to your digestive tracts. All you need is a tablespoon of olive oil first thing in the morning.
13. Exercise: Lack of exercise may get your digestive system clogged up and of course cause constipation. Therefore, you should try out some exercises and you just might not need any other treatments for your constipation.