Natural Medicine for Constipation
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR CONSTIPATION
Constipation: A Peril of Modern Living
Our modern processed foods have cut down on the roughage that we eat and have therefore led to a significant number of people in our society who suffer from constipation. Whereas the pioneers mostly ate all whole grain products, we typically consume a lot of denatured while flour products that have the fiber taken out of them. Another part of modern life that leads to constipation can be certain medications that we take such as blood pressure pills, pain relievers, antidepressants, tranquilizers, statin drugs for lowering cholesterol, and many more chemicals that we consume. Also, a sedentary lifestyle and not consuming enough liquids can cause bowels not to work properly. Even old age can lead to constipation as the bowels lose their muscle tone. Some people rely on chemical laxatives for a "quick-fix" for their problem, however these can cause permanent bowel damage and make the colon lazy. The traditional remedy that doctors usually prescribe is taking Metamucil or eating All Bran. However, if your problem is severe this advice probably won't work. Also, if you don't drink enough water with the fiber then it compounds constipation.
Laxatives from Around the World
An interesting website featuring natural constipation cures is found at: www.possumsal.homestead.com/constipation.html which has compiled a long list of remedies from around the world. It says that there is a special seaweed which grows off of the East Indian coast called "agar agar" can be taken as a laxative. To use it you can boil it down until it becomes a jelly and then flavour it with lemon or orange juice. Agar agar can also be eaten like a cereal with milk and sugar on it to disguise the taste. It can also be added to soups or cake. Make sure that you allow three days to a week for agar agar to be effective. Apparently, it is the ingredient in ice cream that makes it smooth.
In Israel people eat three or four barley muffins or biscuits to help constipation and indigenous inhabitants of the West Indies frequently drink Aloe Vera juice which is a potent laxative. To ease cramps from drinking the juice they blend in some fennel seeds. A warning about Aloe Vera is that it shouldn't be consumed by pregnant or menstruating women. American pioneers when they were travelling west carried rhubarb root to ease constipation. However, the Chinese rhubarb root is the strongest laxative. It is called "Tahuang" which is prepared by drying, then cutting and pulverizing. Another constipation remedy that Ethiopians use is chewing on pumpkin seeds. Eating fresh coconut meat is said to be good laxatives while the French use whole mustard seeds to treat nausea, indigestion, and constipation. Chinese doctors advise their patients to eat sweet potatoes with salt or sugar for chronic constipation.
Some other around- the- world constipations cures include Guava, Papaya, Chickweed, Buckthorn bark, and Dandelion root.
Laxative Recipes You Can Make at Home
Home made laxatives can be as simple as stewing up some prunes and eating four or five of them or grinding up flaxseeds in a coffee grinder and mixing three tablespoons of them with some yogurt. A constipation cure recipe that requires a little more preparation is the following
Simmer one half cup of raisins, or half a cup mixture of raisins, figs, and prunes with water and olive oil for several minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of toasted wheat germ and some 3 tablespoons of toasted natural bran. Next, add some Wheatabix, milk, and sweetener. Eat this every morning to keep constipation at bay.
A back issue of The Parkinson's Society's newsletter has some interesting ways to make laxatives tasty. Their site is found at: www.aa.psg.org/october2003.pdf and the recipes are as follows:
½ cup prune juice
½ cup applesauce
½ cup wheat bran flakes
½ cup whipped topping
½ cup of prunes canned or stewed
Blend ingredients, cover, and put in fridge. Take ¼ cup every morning. It will keep for a week in the refrigerator.
2 pounds of raisins
2 pounds of currents
2 pounds of prunes
2 pounds of figs
2 pounds of dates
Grind fruit in food processor. Combine with two 28 ounce containers of undiluted prune concentrate and mix with electric mixed in large bowl. Put in large plastic container and refrigerate.
1 cup of bran
1 cup of applesauce
1 cup of prune juice
Combine together and store in refrigerator. Take 1 ounce daily, adjusting dose as needed.
Some other laxative recipes are as follows:
Easy Laxative Jam
1 cup pitted prunes
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup boiling water
Boil water in a medium saucepan. Chop fruit up finely. Next add to boiling water and cook until thickened. Use 1 tablespoon a day as jam on toast, bread, or crackers. The recipe makes around 20 tablespoons.
If you like drinking tea the following recipes should appeal to you. These recipes are taken from "Encyclopaedia of Natural Healing" by Siegfried Gursche and Zoltan Rona.
Laxative Tea # 1
3 tablespoons of Senna leaves
2 tablespoons of Elder flowers
A tablespoon of Fennel seeds
½ teaspoon of Anise
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of mixture. Steep for five minutes and strain.
Laxative Tea # 2
5 teaspoons of chamomile
2 tablespoons of Buckthorn bark over a year old
2 tablespoons of Caraway or fennel seeds
2 tablespoons of Senna
Recipes with Senna in them should not be used on a continual basis. You should use them just once in a while as dependency and damage to the bowels may be causes, however the fruit recipes are safe to use every day. One very economical recipe if you aren't avoiding salt is the following laxative concoction found at: http://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060904171604AAruaTC
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of hot water
Mix together and drink.
Morning Orange Juice-Flax Laxative
Boil two tablespoons of flax seed in three quarts of water and let cool. Store in the refrigerator. Each morning add two ounces to orange juice and mix with flax . Drink a glass every morning.
With all these natural remedies you should be able to get off of the chemical laxative bandwagon and achieve regularity. Remember, each person is unique and what works for one person may not work for another. With patience, however, you should be able to conquer constipation.