No one likes to talk about constipation, but we’ve all suffered through it before. It feels like your stomach is tied up in knots. The stomach pain, discomfort and bloating can get so bad it even starts affecting your mood. It’s absolutely miserable.
But harsh chemical laxatives have unpleasant side effects, the worst of which is becoming so dependent on the drugs you can’t even go on your own anymore. Why take the risk?
Try one of these gentle, safe, and effective home remedies for constipation instead…
1. Blackstrap molasses:
One tablespoon of blackstrap molasses before bed can help ease constipation by morning. It’s the syrup’s high magnesium content that does the trick. Research has found that low magnesium levels are associated with constipation. So raising your levels could give you the relief you need.
High fiber foods such as whole grains, leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, nuts, legumes and fruit can help relieve constipation. Shoot for at least 20-35 grams per day to keep you regular. If you’re having trouble fitting in enough fiber you can even take a fiber supplement. Just remember to drink plenty of water so the extra bulk doesn’t back you up instead of get you moving.
3. Mint tea:
It turns out a warm cup of mint tea doesn’t just help ease away the day’s stress from your mind, it can help relax your digestive tract, too. And when your insides aren’t tensed up and spasming, it’s easier to go. Relax your entire body from brain to bowels with soothing mint tea, and you’ll be regular in no time.
4. Ginger tea:
If you’ve ever found yourself sweating a bit after eating something with ginger in it, it’s likely the natural warming effect of ginger kicking in. That same warming ability can help gently speed up a digestive system that’s slowed to a crawl. Grate fresh ginger into boiling water, and let it steep for 20 minutes. Add a dollop of honey if you’d like, and enjoy.
5. Olive oil:
In much the same way oil can lubricate your car engine, olive oil (or flaxseed or coconut oils) can do the same for your own insides. Add olive oil to salads, try a supplement, or simply combine a tablespoon of olive oil with a teaspoon of lemon juice and swallow. However you choose to take it, adding more healthy oils to your diet will help get things moving along again soon.
6. Lemon water:
Start every day with a cup of warm lemon water and you could stop worrying about constipation for good. The lemon juice stimulates your digestive tract, while the extra water helps to keep stools soft so they are easy to pass. The combo can help get things unstuck, and then keep it that way.
It turns out the caffeine in coffee wakes everything up in the mornings, including your colon. Drinking a cup or 2 a day can help you stay regular. But if you’re not careful coffee can backfire on you because your favorite morning brew is also a natural diuretic. That means if you’re not careful coffee could end up causing you to lose too much fluid, leading to constipation. Luckily the solution couldn’t be simpler, for every cup of coffee you drink have a glass of water too.
If the bacteria that live in your gut get knocked out of balance, you can end up with backed up bowls. But you can help keep your good gut bugs balanced by eating some plain probiotic-rich yogurt. Plain yogurts have the live active cultures you need, with very little inflammation-linked sugar. Not a yogurt fan, or need some extra help? You can try taking a probiotic supplement. Research has found probiotics help with constipation by softening stool and increasing bowel movements.
If you can’t remember when you last went, think about when you last walked. Being sedentary can block you up. Try taking a 15 minute walk to get you – and your bowels – moving again.
10. Put your feet up:
When you’re sitting on the toilet use a small stool to raise your feet about 6 inches off the floor. This puts your body in its ideal position for having a bowel movement, and that may be all it takes to get things moving along again.