Constipation. It’s a fact of life that no one seems to want to talk about. But that means 42 million Americans can be left suffering in silence. If you’re one of them let’s make a deal. Starting right now let’s break that silence.
Getting blocked up and not being able to go is a miserable feeling. And if your insides are tied up in knots it’s tempting to reach for anything that will work fast. We get it.
But while chemical laxatives can work quickly, they won’t help keep you regular, and they come with their own list of risky side effects including dehydration, electrolyte imbalances and, perhaps worse of all, dependency.
Give these natural laxatives a try
So skip the harsh laxatives and head to the grocery store for these naturally gentle solutions for getting and staying regular instead.
1. Aloe vera:
You probably already know Aloe vera can be used to soothe burns, but did you know the gel of this succulent plant can also be used to relieve a case of constipation? In fact, Aloe vera is one of the very first natural laxatives that man ever discovered.
Stools need plenty of water to move through your system efficiently, and Aloe vera helps increase the water content in your digestive tract. It can also help trigger the small contractions that keep things moving along. Plus Aloe vera is a natural anti-inflammatory, so if inflammation is contributing to your back up, this multi-tasking plant can help.
Mix two teaspoons of Aloe vera gel with your favorite juice and drink. Just make sure that you’re actually getting 100 percent Aloe vera gel, or grow your own at home. Aloe vera can be quite powerful so plan to use it only temporarily, and if you find it’s too strong and causes your stool to be too loose, try cutting back to one teaspoon next time you use it.
2. Blackstrap molasses:
Thick, bitterly sweet blackstrap molasses is nutritional gold, but what makes it good for constipation is its high level of magnesium. The mineral naturally helps soften stools so they pass easier. A single tablespoon of blackstrap has 48 mg of magnesium.
Mix a teaspoon or two into a warm cup of tea and sip to help relieve a case of constipation.
3. Coconut water:
Unflavored coconut water is a refreshing alternative to soda you can drink anytime. But this lightly sweet, nutty flavored drink comes with a big bonus. Experts say coconut water is great for boosting hydration and keeping your electrolyte levels stable – both keys to staying regular.
This naturally fiber-rich drink can also help you get over a bout of constipation. If fact, coconut water can be so effective that you should be careful to not overdue it, which could lead to loose stools. If that happens simply cut back on how much you drink.
4. Lemon water:
Believe it or not simple lemon water is one of the easiest ways to help you get regular and stay that way. The citric acid in the lemons can help keep your digestive system running smoothly, while the water prevents dehydration and the hard stools that lead to constipation.
For best results to help relieve a current bout of constipation, squeeze the juice of one whole lemon into a cup of warm water, and sip. The warm water can help stimulate the small muscle contractions that move stool through your intestines, while the lemon helps remove toxins from your digestive tract.
Olive oil. Flax seed oil. Fish oil. Take your pick because they all work well when it comes to relieving constipation, for all the slippery reasons you might imagine. Try taking a tablespoon of oil on an empty stomach, if you can manage it.
If you find you have trouble swallowing the oil you can try soft gel supplements instead. They take a little longer to digest, but for most folks they still get the job done.
If you’re constipated you don’t need to sit around suffering in miserable silence, and you don’t have to resort to harsh chemical laxatives either. You can get and stay regular using all-natural gentle laxatives instead.