10 Natural Laxatives for Constipation

Because apples contain large amounts of pectin, they naturally help regulate your intestinal processes, including helping treat diarrhea and constipation.
10 Natural Laxatives for Constipation
Maricela Jiménez López

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Maricela Jiménez López.

Last update: 26 May, 2022

If you suffer from frequent “blockage”, you’ll want to understand the options available to you in natural laxatives for constipation . Your diet should already include foods that contain high concentrations of fiber; foods like yogurt that keep your intestinal flora healthy.

Natural laxatives are foods or herbs that allow you to cleanse your intestines. It’s important to differentiate between the two types of laxatives. One has a much more powerful effect and may lead to certain side-effects.

Types of natural laxatives for constipation

By looking at how they work on the body, we can distinguish natural laxatives into the following categories.


These are called purgatives, which are considered stimulants because they act on the intestinal muscle and have certain components that also act on the colon to stimulate defecation. They also work on your intestinal walls and boost the production of minerals and liquids. Finally, they diminish the intestines’ ability to absorb sodium and chlorine.

Negative side effects are based on the amount of time that stimulants act on the body. Once ingested, they can work for up to eight hours. It is recommended that you take stimulant laxatives just before going to sleep.

natural laxatives for constipation


These are laxatives full of soluble and insoluble fiber that give volume to your waste, retain water, and hydrate the walls of your intestine. They also help in the most natural way to promote intestinal muscle movement. This will definitely help you go to the bathroom.

Mechanical laxatives are much gentler than stimulants and are recommended as first steps to address constipation. We recommend that you accompany these treatments with probiotics such as natural yogurt.

Take the next step in your health! Read more:
Cleanse Your Body of Toxic Substances


This type of laxative acts by increasing the amount of water in your intestine, thus softening stool. It’s similar to mechanical laxatives, as they contain a lot of minerals and force your body to vacate the bowel. Cherries are an example of osmotic laxatives. The effects are strong and require you to drink large amounts of water and isotonic liquids to rehydrate.


How to choose a laxative

Choosing natural laxatives for constipation will always serve you well. Among the most gentle of laxatives are mechanical ones, which include the following.

Apple juice and olive oil

Mix a half cup of apple juice with a half cup of olive oil. Drink the mixture before going to sleep.

Cherries and honey

In a pot, bring one cup of water to a boil. Add six cherries. Remove from heat, and let steep while covered over night. In the morning strain and add a tablespoon of honey. Keep the cherries to eat during the day.

Aloe vera

Slice an aloe vera leaf. Bing it to a boil in a pot of water. When cooled, seal in a jar and place it in the refrigerator unstrained. You should only consume this twice a week. This laxative is not recommended for pregnant women, women who are nursing, or those who are on anticoagulants.


Grape and linseed juice

Blend grapes until you have a smooth juice – approximately one cup’s worth – and add a tablespoon of linseed in powdered form. Drink in the morning, no more than once a week.

Castor oil

This is an external laxative. Soak a towel or gauze in castor oil and heat over a low flame. Place the heated pad on the small of your back or lumbar region. Cover so that it remains warm longer. Apply once a day. We do not recommend you consume or ingest castor oil.

Foods that act as natural laxatives

In addition to aloe vera and cherries, there are other effective foods that act as laxatives. Before you ingest anything, you should attempt to discover what is causing your digestive issues. Constipation is when a person “goes” less than three times a week, or whose stool is dry and hard.

Digestive problems are natural when you have an unhealthy diet. Lack of exercise, a sedentary lifestyle, dehydration, and overconsumption of fats and refined flours can all cause constipation.  If you want a healthy gut, you’ll need to change up your lifestyle a little. Some recommended foods include:


This plant originates in India and has lots of fiber which helps you “go”. It can absorb water, add volume to your stool, and stimulate your bowel movement.


Both red and green apples contain pectin. This substance promotes the healthy movement of the intestines, softens stools (because of their fiber content) and helps you go. Eat an apple a day, or have a small serving after dinner. We recommend eating apples raw or dried along with a serving of cherries.



This is another fruit that contains large amounts of fibers (and potassium) and thus makes a great natural laxative. One banana has 12% of your daily recommended fiber intake. And they also contain oligascarides which travel directly to the large intestine and promote digestion and defecation.

Looking for more creative ways to use your bananas? Try:
Banana Face Mask Recipe


Onions should always be a vegetable of preference. They’re not only tasty, but they hep protect your body from illnesses, pathogens and other conditions. And, onions make a promising natural laxative! When you eat raw vegetables, your body naturally produces gastric acids and it can help boost intestinal flora. The presence of quinine stimulates your liver metabolism, the pancreas, stomach, and finally, the intestines.

Before you turn to other measures, try these natural laxatives for constipation and other intestinal issues.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Alookaran J, Tripp J. Castor Oil. 2022 Mar 16. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan–.
  • Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62.
  • Bae SH. Diets for constipation. Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr. 2014 Dec;17(4):203-8.
  • Diaz, S., Bittar, K., & Mendez, M. D. Constipation. StatPearls [Internet]. 2022.
  • Bayer SB, Gearry RB, Drummond LN. Putative mechanisms of kiwifruit on maintenance of normal gastrointestinal function. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2018;58(14):2432-2452.
  • Hanif Palla A, Gilani AH. Dual effectiveness of Flaxseed in constipation and diarrhea: Possible mechanism. J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Jul 1;169:60-8.
  • Hong SW, Chun J, Park S, Lee HJ, Im JP, Kim JS. Aloe vera Is Effective and Safe in Short-term Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2018 Oct 1;24(4):528-535.
  • Jalanka J, Major G, Murray K, Singh G, Nowak A, Kurtz C, Silos-Santiago I, Johnston JM, de Vos WM, Spiller R. The Effect of Psyllium Husk on Intestinal Microbiota in Constipated Patients and Healthy Controls. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Jan 20;20(2):433.
  • Katsirma, Z., Eirini, E., Rodriguez-Mateos, A., & Whelan, K. Fruits and their impact on the gut microbiota, gut motility and constipation. Food & Function. 2021.
  • Knez Hrnčič M, Ivanovski M, Cör D, Knez Ž. Chia Seeds (Salvia hispanica L.): An Overview-Phytochemical Profile, Isolation Methods, and Application. Molecules. 2019 Dec 18;25(1):11.
  • Ladas SD, Haritos DN, Raptis SA. Honey may have a laxative effect on normal subjects because of incomplete fructose absorption. Am J Clin Nutr. 1995 Dec;62(6):1212-5.
  • Lever E, Cole J, Scott SM, Emery PW, Whelan K. Systematic review: the effect of prunes on gastrointestinal function. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2014 Oct;40(7):750-8.
  • Portalatin M, Winstead N. Medical management of constipation. Clin Colon Rectal Surg. 2012 Mar;25(1):12-9.
  • Ramos CI, Andrade de Lima AF, Grilli DG, Cuppari L. The short-term effects of olive oil and flaxseed oil for the treatment of constipation in hemodialysis patients. J Ren Nutr. 2015 Jan;25(1):50-6.
  • Roerig JL, Steffen KJ, Mitchell JE, Zunker C. Laxative abuse: epidemiology, diagnosis and management. Drugs. 2010 Aug 20;70(12):1487-503.
  • Turan İ, Dedeli Ö, Bor S, İlter T. Effects of a kefir supplement on symptoms, colonic transit, and bowel satisfaction score in patients with chronic constipation: a pilot study. Turk J Gastroenterol. 2014 Dec;25(6):650-6.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.