If you’re suffering from constipation, you’ll be happy to know that there are some natural cures for it. These natural cures can help relieve your symptoms, but remember to take steps to target the causes of your constipation so you can enjoy permanent relief.
Fiber is one of the most well-known natural cures for constipation. Fiber is the indigestible part of plants. When you eat foods with fiber, the cells travel through your digestive system and end up in your intestine. There, they combine with special enzymes from your liver to create a “gel”-like substance. This digestive gel helps bulk up the stool and makes it easier to pass.
Getting the benefits of fiber is as easy as adding more fiber-rich foods to your diet. This is achieved simply by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Prunes are a popular natural cure for constipation. Prunes have plenty of fiber, in addition to other nutrients. All plant foods and whole grain products contain fiber. Check the labels on whole grain products for fiber levels so you can make sure you’re eating enough.
One of the most effective natural cures for constipation is drinking more water. Most people don’t get the recommended amount of water each day. Water is essential to digestion and other bodily functions. Constipation is partially a result of not having enough water in your intestine to keep the stool soft, so increasing your water intake to 64 oz per day (8 8-oz glasses each day) is a surefire way to cure it.
Herbs and Natural Supplements
There are certain herbs and natural supplements that can serve as natural cures for constipation. Dandelion root is well known for its ability to help regulate your digestive system. Psyllium is a natural bulk-forming laxative that will help make stools easier to pass. Cascara and Senna are “irritating” herbal laxatives. They create contractions in the intestines and stimulate bowel movements. Aloe and rhubarb are also irritating laxatives.
Herbs can be effective natural cures for constipation, but they should be used very carefully. Even though they are natural, they are very powerful and you can easily over-stimulate your digestive system if you don’t use them wisely. However, when you compare them to medicines that relieve constipation, they are considered gentle.
Consider Your Diet
The most important thing while treating constipation is your diet. Your diet should contain enough fiber and not too many processed foods. Usually, fiber-less diets and low water intake contribute more to constipation. Do not ever replace water needs with non-alcoholic beverages such as soda or cold drinks. Note that these changes in diet or water intake will not really help with chronic constipation.
Disadvantage of Laxatives and Prescription Drugs
Some people rely on laxatives for treating constipation, but laxatives are not the best way to treat constipation and should only be taken on a temporary basis for minor cases. Laxatives add bulk and water to the stool and trigger the bowel to contact and move the stool out. There are both herbal laxatives and man-made laxatives, but people often end up dependent, and an overuse of laxatives may end up in permanently affecting the natural ability to have bowel movements. Use of laxatives can also result in side effects worse than constipation, such as excessive gas, nausea, headaches, diarrhea, bloating and migraines.
Prescription drugs are also very popular for treating constipation. These drugs create bowel contractions by affecting the chemicals in intestines. Although it helps instantly, it also results in side effects similar to laxatives, or even worse if used long term. Therefore, prescription drugs are not the best cure for constipation.
Most conventional methods to treat constipation are not that great and can result in side effects. That does not mean constipation is not curable. It is, but you should focus on treating the cause rather than the symptoms.