Home Remedies for Constipation - Causes, Prevention, Treatment

Being constipated is when you find it hard to move your bowels easily or you have a painful and prolonged bowel movement. It is a natural and common problem, usually associated with eating meals that have only small quantities of fruit and vegetables and low fluid intake. Some people including, both adults and children are more prone to constipation than others.

Fortunately there are a wide variety of way of preventing it occurring and home remedies for treatment, relief and prevention. Rarely it can be a sign of disease and if it occurs regularly and the natural prevention strategies and remedies do not work people should consult a Health Care Professional to seek proper diagnosis and treatment. This article reviews and summarizes the various natural remedies for constipation in adults and children.

Constipation is very common in women
Constipation is very common in women | Source

Causes of Constipation

The colon, or large intestine, withdraws water from the digested food in the intestine while it forms the waste products, or stool. Automatic muscle contractions in the large intestine and colon move the stool toward the rectum for expulsion. Constipation occurs when the stool is too hard and not moist enough. This can occur when the colon withdraws too much moisture from the digested food, or the material in the large intestine does not contain enough moisture or fibre, producing large and hard stools that a difficult to expel. Another cause is that the muscle contractions in the colon are too slow or sluggish. The passage of food through the gut can be slowed by lack of exercise or a sedentary lifestyle. Common causes of constipation are:

  • not enough fiber in the diet, or large meals with no fruit or vegetables
  • lack of regular physical activity such as walking, running and swimming
  • problems with irritable bowel syndrome
  • side effects of medications
  • milk and dairy products
  • changes in lifestyle routines or major changes such as pregnancy, travel, aging and holidays
  • passive dehydration or induced by dry foods in the diet
  • specific diseases or medical conditions
  • medical problems with intestinal functioning, particularly the colon and rectum

Home Remedies for Constipation

Adults

  • Drink lots of water with a little lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or honey
  • Try strained or whole prunes.
  • Dried fruits such as apricot and peach
  • Drink freshly squeezed lemon juice added to a glass of warm water with breakfast every morning.
  • Add a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water.
  • Bananas are high in fibre and can help improve bowel function.
  • Honey is a renowned mild natural laxative. Take one teaspoon three times a day.
  • Liquorice (Licorice) is a very effective natural remedies for constipation.
  • Mix a tablespoon of olive oil with half cup of orange juice
  • Cabbage is a good source of dietary fibre which stimulates better bowel movements. You can eat raw cabbage sprinkled with pepper and a dash of lime juice. Or you can juice the cabbage ad drink half a cup.
  • Herbal Laxatives

Children

  • Give the child a warm glass of milk containing two tablespoons of castor oil
  • Warm milk with honey and olive oil
  • Citrus drinks about 2 to 3 times a day
  • Try to get your child to get into a regular bowel movement routine.
  • Boysenberry juice, fresh prunes and prune juice are excellent natural laxatives
  • Liquorice (Locorice)
  • Fresh grapes and dried grapes in the form of sultanas and raisins.
  • Dry fruits and vegetables are very helpful to your general digestion such as prunes, applies, pineapple, raisins, dried plums, sultanas and other.
  • Mix a tablespoon of olive oil with half cup of orange juice (or any other fiber rich fruit or juice) and drink.
  • Herbal Laxatives

Prevention Strategies for Constipation

Adults

  • Drink lots of water, they say to drink 8 glasses of water per day, and extra water when eating dry foods such as crackers, biscuits and potato crisps.
  • Reduce white flour and sugar from your meals and replace them with whole foods
  • Eat fruits and vegetables at every meal. If you eat a large serving of potatoes or fries in a large meal you may cause a bout of constipation. Always eat fruits and vegetables with such meals and drink lots of water or fruit juice.
  • Exercise is very important to keep food moving through your gut. How often have you noticed that exercising makes you want to go to he toilet during exercise or immediately after.
  • Olive oil can be very effective and try adding it to mots of your meals including soups, salads and your cooked food items such as baked potatoes.
  • Dry fruits and vegetables are very helpful to your general digestion such as prunes, applies, pineapple, raisins, dried plums, sultanas and other.
  • Drink freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices with meals and as snacks.
  • Eat lots of honey, by adding a teaspoon to drinks and to various foods, about 2 to 3 times a day
  • Wholegrain, fibre rich breakfast cereals such as All-Bran, Bran Flakes, Weetbix, Shredded Wheat and various muesli products, including homemade varieties.
  • Substitute Brown rice, wholemeal and rye breads, wholemeal spaghetti for the processed 'white' varieties of foods.
  • The bowels are most active following meals and by recognising the signals for a bowel movement you can avoid constipation liked to delays.
  • Drinking tea, coffee and other beverages containing caffeine in the morning can also be also be helpful. Caffeine is a mild laxative, but can also cause dehydration.
  • Eat raw cabbage with a dash of lime juice and some black pepper sprinkled. Or take1/2 cup of cabbage juice.
  • Grapes are a natural laxative, both fresh and dried and eating grapes can help produce in soft and easy bowel movements. Dried grapes in the form of raisins, sultanas and currants and fresh grapes have many health benefits.

Children

  • Make sure the child drinks plenty of water and fresh fruit juices.
  • Include more fruits and vegetables in every meal.
  • Wholegrain breakfast cereals and lots whole foods in the diet to replace processed foods.
  • Dry fruits are very helpful for general digestion and avoiding constipation such as prunes, apples, apricots, peaches, nectarines, pineapple, raisins, dried plums, sultanas and many other varieties.

© janderson99-HubPages

© 2012 Dr. John Anderson

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Comments 5 comments

kehussy profile image

kehussy 4 years ago from Houston, Texas, USA

I think that the home remedies are the best way to treat diseases as they do not seem to have any side effects.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

I will come back to this later, looks like a really informative hub and it's bedtime.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

Very informative, voted up and I will pass it on.


Healthy Pursuits profile image

Healthy Pursuits 4 years ago from Oregon

Thank you for a hub loaded with good information. We don't seem to follow such simple rules with our bodies, and occasionally we have to learn the difficult way how to treat ourselves.


JMiller8893 2 years ago

I was having this chronically with other IBS issues and got better over time by taking probiotics regularly and cutting out most grains, dairy, and processed foods. It takes more time and effort to prepare meals but is worth it to feel better. I had tried everything you can think of before to no avail including seeing gastro doctors. Another thing that helps a lot in the mean time is aloe GEL caps. Take 2 or 3 per day and it may take a couple of days to kick in but it definitely works better than anything else I've tried.

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