7 Natural Laxatives to Relieve Constipation
A person with a good digestion process should have one to three bowel movements a day. But if you have two to three bowel movements a week then you might have constipation.
Also, are your bowel movements painful? You have a problem if so. The stool shouldn’t be hard and dry. If that’s the case, begin treatment as soon as possible and make some dietary changes.
To start this treatment against constipation, here are some tips by the Mayo Clinic:
- Drinking enough water a day is essential. Good hydration helps all systems function properly and, therefore, promotes the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal system.
- Consume more fiber. In order to control constipation, it’s necessary to eat foods rich in fiber on a regular basis. This is because it helps the body to expel stools later.
- Do daily physical activity (walking, running, dancing). A sedentary lifestyle is the worse enemy of good intestinal health.
- For no reason should you force evacuation or interrupt it. Furthermore, facilitate bowel movements whenever you feel like having them.
- Finally, another way to cleanse the body and accelerate the digestion process is to take natural laxatives. Always consult your doctor first and, depending their indications, use the pharmaceutical they recommend
Although it’s true that some natural laxatives can be of great help, it’s important to use them responsibly and always under the supervision of a doctor. You want to be sure there’ll be no adverse effects. Here are some of the most common ones:
1. Coconut water
Coconut water doesn’t only have a refreshing taste. It can also replenish your body’s minerals, which is why it’s a recommended beverage for hot seasons. It can also improve blood cholesterol levels. At least, according to this study conducted by the University of Navarra, in Spain.
Read about 10 Benefits of Drinking Coconut Water
2. Apples can function as laxatives
The apple stands out due to its pectin content. This substance is responsible for stimulating the intestinal tissues, making it ideal for controlling constipation. So says this study conducted by researcher Johnson W. McRorie.
If you have constipation, eat one or two apples a day to take advantage of their fiber intake.
3. Aloe vera
Taken in its pure form, aloe vera is a powerful laxative. Because it contains anthraquinones, substances that increase the liquid content in the intestine.
In addition, this plant helps remove particles that accumulate in the digestive tract. However, exercise caution as it can be toxic, according to this study conducted by the National Center for Toxicological Research in the US.
4. Chia and flax seeds
These seeds have a high fiber content that’s great for relieving constipation. You should drink plenty of water with them to soften their effect in the body.
Flax seeds don’t only provide omega-3, they also have alpha-linolenic acid that helps prevent cardiovascular diseases and eliminates excess fat.
Are you looking for another reason to drink coffee? Well, you should know it improves digestion and relieves constipation. At least, according to research conducted by Oregon State University.
When you eat food, your body releases hormones: gastrin and cholecystokinin, which are in charge of intestinal movement. Furthermore, these hormones multiply when you drink coffee. As a result, stool can exit the body faster.
6. Plums are known laxatives
Like apples, plums contain a substance called pectin. This acts similar to fiber, as it purifies excess fat and cholesterol. Eating plums frequently is a good way to control constipation.
How to eat them?
- Soak three plums in a glass of water overnight
- Drink the resulting mixture in the morning
- Repeat the procedure during three days
To control constipation you can also resort to eating raw vegetables — organic vegetables have better effects. Moreover, they’re high in fiber and accelerate metabolism.
Read about the 6 Best Fruits to Detox Your Body
Final recommendations for using laxatives
You can also relieve constipation by:
- Eating legumes like chickpeas, lentils or beans regularly
- Eating five servings of fruits or vegetables a day, preferably in their natural state and unpeeled as it’s rich in fiber — apples, pears, plums, etc. are the best
- Taking a handful of dried fruits a day — raisins are the most recommended
- Including products with lactobacilli, such as yogurt and kefir
- Doing 30 minutes of physical activity a day
If the problem persists, consult your doctor as soon as possible.
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.
- Liu, L. W. C. (2011). Chronic constipation: Current treatment options. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology. https://doi.org/10.1155/2011/360463
- Chmielewska, A., & Szajewska, H. (2010). Systematic review of randomised controlled trials: Probiotics for functional constipation. World Journal of Gastroenterology. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v16.i1.69
- Biggs, W. S., & Dery, W. H. (2006). Evaluation and treatment of constipation in infants and children. American Family Physician. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.mpg.0000233159.97667.c3
- Alame, A. M., & Bahna, H. (2012). Evaluation of constipation. Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0032-1301753