Some Natural home remedies to treat constipation and indigestion
Constipation is a problem that many people live with for a long time before they realize the harm it does to their bodies. Severe constipation can lead to very hard stools and really painful to pass. Very hard stools lead to dis-eases such as fissures and piles and it then becomes a vicious cycle. The pain you experience when trying to pass a bowel movement makes you hesitate to go to the toilet when you should and that in turn leads to more constipation. Many babies and children also suffer from constipation. Constipation also leads to problems with acidity, gas and indigestion. Not being able to pass out stools is like living with garbage inside you and certainly not very healthy. Very often constipation and indigestion go hand in hand.
Indians love food, spicy food and sweets. they have heavy meals and have always known the importance of digestive foods. It is customary to include digestives as a post-meal addition. They end the elaborate meal by offering a digestive food and mouth freshener.
Aniseed is known for its digestive properties. In India it is a custom to offer aniseed or saunf after a meal. It works as a mouth freshener and also as a digestive. Aniseed can be eaten raw or roasted. It can be mixed with candy sugar or khadi sakhar as it is called in marathi.
For little babies, a few seeds or grains of aniseed are added to a cupful of water and boiled. After cooling, this water is given to the baby, especially after you have started the baby on solid foods.
Caraway seeds or ajwain seeds:
These are known for their carminative properties. Chewing a few of these seeds helps treat colic. Caraway seeds have a pungent flavor so you can mix it with aniseed. Boiling a few of these seeds in water and drinking the extract after it has cooled is a good way to control gas or flatulence.
Betel leaves: commonly known as ‘paan’
Eating or chewing paan is a tradition in India. It is a traditional way of ending a meal. The betel leaf has excellent digestive qualities and hence it was a custom to eat paan after a meal. Most households had their own paan-box. This was an elaborate box which had slots and compartments for betal-buts, cardamom or elaichi, clove, chuna, and whatever else you wanted to put in the paan. The betel leaf is used as a wrap for all the spices and sugar candy and gulkand (a sweet preserve of rose petals, it also has medicinal value ) that is put into the paan.
Paan is available in many flavors and varieties such as a ‘maghai joda’ or a banarasi paan. Selling paan is a good business for many people. The betel leaf is also needed for many pujas and functions. It is distributed as a part of many wedding ceremonies.
It is a matter of inculcating certain food habits in your lifestyle to treat constipation naturally instead of having to take any medication for it.
Including foods with high amounts of fiber in your diet is one very good way to overcome constipation. This means eating plenty of leafy vegetables and fruits and salads.
Papaya and pomegranates
Eating a portion of papaya everyday also helps in softening the stools and passing a bowel movement everyday.
Eating a bowlful of pomegranate (with the seeds) really helps in cleansing the system.
You can incorporate mint leaves in your diet. Mint or pudina is a very good digestive. You can chew the leaves raw, crush and add to iced tea, or beverages or make chutneys from mint leaves.
Milk and ghee
Before you go to bed, take a cup of warm milk. Add a teaspoonful of Ghee to it. (Ghee is clarified butter, ghee made from cow’s milk is preferred) drink this mixture. This works as a natural laxative. You are certain to pass a soft bowel movement the next morning.
It is essential to drink plenty of water as it is a natural cleanser. Drinking or sipping warm water also helps to clean the stomach.
I am sure there are many more simple remedies for treating constipation and indigestion, I have simply listed a few that I have tried and tested and found beneficial.