Constipation! Almost 90 per cent of people face this health issue at some point in their life but won’t admit it. It may result in chronic constipation if not treated at the right time. The home remedies for constipation give you relief and help you prevent escalation of the problem any further. Being careful and disciplined is necessary, especially if you have health conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, gastric disorders, etc.
Using medication may give you instant relief from constipation but might not be right for the long term. By following the natural remedies mentioned in this article, you will be able to relieve constipation and the symptoms associated with it effectively.
Causes of Constipation:
Although it might be challenging to pinpoint the cause of constipation, here is the list of the factors that contribute to this condition:
- Change in your daily routine or the food you consume.
- No physical activity.
- Consuming oily foods and not having enough fiber in your meals.
- Not drinking enough water.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Chemotherapy and cancer treatments.
- Side effects of certain medications.
- Disregard the need to pass the stool.
Symptoms of Constipation:
Here is a list of some of the symptoms of constipation:
- If you pass less than three stools per week.
- Difficulty passing stool.
- Hard and lumpy stool.
- Bloated stomach.
- Loss of appetite.
- The feeling that there is a blockage in your rectum.
- Urge to pass the stool forcefully.
- Bloating and pain in the stomach.
How You Can Prevent Constipation:
By following some simple steps and making lifestyle changes can help give you relief from constipation.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Include fiber-rich foods in your diet in abundance.
- Avoid processed and junk food.
- Consume probiotics.
- Stay physically active.
- Try new hobbies to manage stress.
- Maintain a regular schedule for bowel movements.
- Don’t suppress the urge to pass the stool.
Best Home Remedies for Constipation:
We present you with some of the home remedies for constipation that are both cost-effective and provide relief:
1. Drink More Water:
Staying hydrated is the key to the healthy functioning of our body. When you don’t drink enough water, it affects your body’s metabolism, resulting in Constipation issues. Drinking at least 10 to 12 glasses of water is recommended and is one of constipation’s best home remedies (1). Please make sure you drink water throughout the day and not during meals, and it is a remedy safe for people of all ages.
2. Prune Juice:
The antioxidant properties, combined with the essential vitamins and minerals in prunes, make it one of constipation’s best home remedies (2). Like whole fruit or juice, prunes are packed with fiber that makes your stool easy to pass, making it soft and bulky (3). It also accelerated the functioning of your colon with the help of dihydroxy phenyl isatin.
- Five to six prunes.
- Hot water- one cup.
- Place the slices of prunes in the blender.
- Add water and blend the contents smoothly.
Caution: Drinking prune juice in excess may cause diarrhea. So drink it once in the morning and a glass at night.
According to many studies, one of the prominent causes of chronic constipation is an imbalance of gut bacteria. Including probiotic foods in your diet enriches gut enzymes improving the digestive process (4). There are supplements also available in the market that can be used under medical guidance. Some of the foods that provide Probiotics naturally are:
4. Avoid Dairy:
Dairy intolerance has become a common problem for many, and the adverse effects may result in constipation in some people. As a quick constipation remedy, you can stop consuming all dairy products and see the difference. To avoid calcium deficiency, try to replace dairy products with their equivalent.
Including high concentrations of fiber in your diet acts as immediate constipation relief. The high fiber and simple form of carbohydrates make your stool soft, making it easier to pass by adding bulk to it (5). Try to include barley, oats, and bran rich in fiber and avoid fried and complex carbohydrates. There are supplements available in the market but consult your doctor before using them.
6. Cow Ghee:
Cow ghee is one of the popular ingredients used in ayurvedic medicine. The butyric acid present in ghee helps improve your bowel movements’ metabolic activity and frequency, making it one of the best home remedies for constipation. It also enables you to get relief from many other symptoms of this condition, such as pain, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, etc.
Ghee reduces constipation’s risk by providing lubrication to your body that helps it clear the intestinal passage freely.
- One tbsp of cow ghee.
- 200 ml of warm water.
- Consume the ghee with warm water first thing in the morning.
7. Moderate Consumption of Coffee/Tea:
Consuming hot beverages like tea or coffee is a part of the daily routine for many of us. The caffeine present in coffee and many teas promotes healthy bowel movement by stimulating your digestive muscles. One cup of coffee per day works as a perfect constipation treatment for adults.
Caution: Taken in excess, caffeine may result in dehydration. Therefore, limit the caffeine intake to not more than three cups.
You can relieve constipation fast with the help of the herbal laxative called Senna. Available in the form of capsules and leaves, you prepare a tea or directly take the tablet. Senna has plant compounds called glycosides that help create a nerve stimulation in your gut, causing a laxative effect (6).
- One tbsp of dried senna leaves.
- A cup of water.
- A spoonful of honey.
- Add senna leaves to the boiling cup of water.
- Let it steep for a few minutes.
- Strain the leaves and pour the liquid into a cup.
- Add honey and mix it well.
Caution: Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid this tea.
Flaxseed is loaded with soluble and insoluble fiber that acts as a natural cure for constipation by adding the much-needed bulk to it (7). You can either add ground flaxseeds into your diet in cereals, salads, or tea too. Preparing flaxseed cookies is a healthy option for both kids and adults that prevent constipation healthily.
- Freshly ground flaxseeds.
- A glass of water.
- Presoak the ground flaxseeds overnight.
- For the best results, drink the water first thing in the morning.
10. Aloe Vera:
Aloe vera is considered one of the natural remedies to treat constipation as its soothing properties improve the urgency, frequency, and consistency of stools in constipated patients. It also significantly reduces the pain, discomfort, and flatulence associated with this health condition (8).
- Two tbsp of aloe vera gel.
- A glass of water.
- Few drops of lemon juice.
- Place the water and aloe vera gel in a blender.
- Blend it until a clear liquid appears.
- Add a few drops of lemon juice for taste.
11. Epsom Salt:
Epsom salt is a combination of compounds magnesium and sulfate that helps draw water into the intestines, making it the best remedy for constipation. It enables the excretion process much easier by making your stool softer.
- A cup of Epsom salt.
- A tub full of warm water.
- Add the Epsom salt to the tub of water and mix them thoroughly.
- Soak your lower body in the tub.
- The magnesium in Epsom salt gets absorbed through your skin into your body.
Ginger is one of the ingredients commonly found in many households. Using ginger in dishes or merely making tea from it can be very useful. The laxative properties of ginger are one of the natural cures for constipation (9). But make sure you drink this in moderation.
- One tbsp of grated ginger.
- A cup of water.
- One tbsp of honey.
- Boil a cup of water.
- Add the grated ginger and let it steep for a few minutes.
- Strain the contents into a cup.
- Add honey as per your taste.
13. Sesame Seeds:
Sesame seeds are another common ingredient found in many households. These seeds’ natural oils and fiber content provide relief to your constipation issues by loosening up your body. You can add sesame seeds with a combination of jaggery or sprinkle them on salads as it is also a rich source of calcium and iron (10). It also makes your stool soft by lubricating your intestines.
This fiber-rich fruit is packed with fiber, which works as a laxative, improving bowel movement (11). It also eases the digestive process since they have vitamin B6 in abundance. Eating figs with the skin is the key since it has the most fiber.
- Two dried figs.
- One cup of water.
- Presoak the dried figs in the water for some time.
- Eat them throughout the day.
15. Baking Soda:
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a quick home remedy for constipation. It also helps reduce the feeling of fullness, bloating and reduce the acidity in the alimentary canal by releasing gas associated with constipation (12).
- One tbsp of baking soda.
- A glass of lukewarm water.
- Take the glass of water and add the baking soda.
- Mix them thoroughly.
- Gulp the concoction down.
- Use this remedy on an empty stomach.
The antioxidant compound, which is high in Vitamin C abundantly available in lemon, is considered one of the best home remedies for immediate constipation relief. The lemon’s citric acid acts as a natural stimulant that helps flush out all the toxins from your digestive tract (13). It also kick-starts your day with a free bowel movement.
- Two tbsp of lemon juice.
- A glass of warm water.
- Mix the lemon juice into the glass of warm water.
- Mix the contents and drink it first thing in the morning.
Papaya makes the digestion of protein easier because of an enzyme called papain. It also helps treat digestive disorders since it is packed with vitamins A and C, beta carotene, and minerals like phosphorus, iron, calcium, potassium (14). This fruit’s natural healing properties make it a natural laxative, making it the best home remedy for constipation.
Consume the fruit at night so that you can have a clean bowel movement in the morning.
Almonds, walnuts, and pecans are some of the nuts that are packed with fiber. Consuming them in roasted can be a perfect way to treat constipation (15). The fiber content of these nuts are:
- One ounce almonds- 3.5 grams fiber.
- One ounce walnuts- 1.9 grams fiber.
- And, One ounce pecans- 2.7 grams fiber.
19. Triphala churna:
Triphala churna is a popular ayurvedic home remedy for constipation that stimulates digestive enzymes’ release, improving your digestive system’s functioning (16). Amalaki, haritaki, and bibhitak are the three plants that form this brown-coloured powder. It relieves constipation by acting as a natural laxative.
- Two tbsp of Triphala powder.
- One glass of warm water.
- Add the Triphala powder to the warm water.
- Mix the ingredients thoroughly.
- Drink the concoction before going to bed.
Caution: Do not eat or drink eat anything after taking this potion except water.
20. Low FODMAP Diet:
The key to treat constipation naturally is to increase dietary fiber intake by following a low FODMAP diet. Fermentable Oligo Di Mono-saccharides And Polyols is the abbreviation of FODMAP.
The group of fermentable carbs called FODMAPs aggravate gut symptoms in many people, and therefore it is best to avoid foods that come into this category.
Some of the foods you need to avoid which come into the FODMAP diet are:
- Whole wheat.
- Foods that have lactose.
- Foods that contain fructose.
- Blackberries and lychee.
21. Aromatherapy with Essential Oils:
Highly concentrated extracts derived from plants are called essential oils, and they are quite popular in treating many health conditions. Everybody is different, and the effect of essential oil has a different impact on each person. It may help treat conditions like constipation by encouraging muscle contractions and relaxing the body. Some of the popular essential oils used for constipation are:
- Ginger oil.
- Fennel oil.
- Rosemary oil.
- Peppermint oil.
- Lemon oil.
Caution: Remember to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil since taken directly, they might be toxic.
22. Acupressure Points:
With so many things going on, sometimes our body needs a nudge to push things forward. Acupressure is an alternative medicine technique that encourages eliminating waste from your body by promoting your digestive system’s healthy functioning (17).
This procedure helps you apply pressure at specific points in your body that reinstate proper body flow by providing manual stimulation locally and distal channel.
23. Coconut Oil:
Using coconut oil for your hair is quite common; it also gets you relief from infrequent bowel movements with the high amounts of medium-chain fatty acids, making them the best Constipation treatment at home. It helps treat chronic constipation as well when consumed regularly.
- Half tbsp of coconut oil.
How to use:
- You can either mix it with the food or drink half a tablespoon coconut oil in the morning and night for effective results.
- For chronic constipation, you can add in half a tablespoon more.
Caution: Coconut oil may cause diarrhea-like-symptoms if taken in high doses.
Work-life has become a big part of our life, and sitting for hours comes with the job profile. One of the prominent reasons for constipation in people is being physically inactive. Going out for a brisk walk along the breezy environment can be an effective home remedy for constipation. Physical activity helps your digestive system work efficiently by contracting your intestinal muscles naturally (18).
25. Follow The Schedule:
By making a few lifestyle changes, and following the schedule will improve the condition. But don’t make drastic changes, all at once; start with small ones. Here is the list of some of the changes you can make:
- Eat a meal at the same time every day.
- Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning.
- Once done with your breakfast, do some light exercise.
- Take the stairs instead of using a lift.
- Include high-fiber foods into your diet.
- Snack on fruits.
- Make a particular time for a bowel movement.
- Don’t hold your stool.
- Have good sleeping hours.
- Drink water throughout the day.
- Stay physically active.
When to Consult a Doctor:
Consult a doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
- If constipation lasts more than three weeks.
- If the stools are combined with persistent stomach pain.
- Ans, If your stool has blood.
- If it is your first time, consult a doctor to not lead to a severe issue.
Constipation is a health condition that starts as a simple issue, but it may lead to painful problems like hemorrhoids and anal fissures if left untreated. Therefore by using all the home remedies for constipation, you can nip the situation in the bud. We hope the treatments mentioned here have helped you get relief. Don’t forget to let us know how this has helped you!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not a replacement for professional advice. Seek the guidance of your medical practitioner if you have any questions you have regarding your health.
1. What are the Dietary Changes You Need to Make to Avoid Constipation?
Ans: By including and avoiding some of the foods in your diet, you will maintain gut health efficiently.
- Stay hydrated.
- Consume foods such as Zucchini, cucumber, etc., that are water-rich.
- Include foods such as figs, Spinach, prunes, apples, beans, oranges, etc., rich sources of fiber.
- Try to avoid red meat.
- It is better to avoid dairy products when you feel constipated since they may exaggerate some people’s condition.
2. What are the Exercises You Can Perform to Relieve Constipation?
Ans: Proper diet, healthy lifestyle are some of the mains lifestyle changes you need to make that may reduce constipation. Some of the helpful exercises that maintain the metabolic activity of your body are:
- Cardio exercises like walking and running.
- Pelvic floor exercises.
- Cow and cat pose.
- Breathing exercises.
3. What Can be the Reason for Constipation Even After Adding Fiber to Your Diet?
Ans: It is always good to add fresh fruits and vegetables packed with fiber, more water, whole grains, and other plant foods to gradually relieve this health issue. There might be a medical reason or side effect of medication, or it could be health issues if you are still constipated. Make sure to consult a doctor if this condition persists even after three weeks.