Constipation is a very common problem faced by many and it occurs when the bowel movements become reduced or less frequent and therefore the passing of stools becomes more difficult. So, when a person is constipated, the person may pass less than 3 bowel movements in a week.
The reasons for constipation can be due to various reasons which needn’t be necessarily due to any underlying disease. It can be due to lack of exercise, dehydration, consuming an unbalanced diet, side effects of certain medications, stress, pregnancy, cancer, sedentary lifestyle, changes in routine or food timings etc.
It is important to know that if the constipation exceeds three weeks or if you have severe pain while passing motions or in case you see blood in your stool, then it is important to get medically checked to find out the cause and get appropriately treated.
Being constipated is a very unpleasant feeling and can sometimes cause extreme discomfort and pain. So here are some home remedies to treat constipation naturally:
1. Drink lots of water:
Dehydration is one of the causes of constipation and being dehydrated for long hours can even make the constipation worse, as there are water receptors in the colon (large intestine) which extracts the water from the body, in turn making the stools softer. Water is very essential to help digest the food properly and move the waste along the digestive tract. When one is constipated and getting constipated frequently, then it is advisable to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to provide relief.
Chia water –
You will need –
- chia seeds 1 tsp
- Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp
- water – 1 cup
To use – Add 1 tsp of chia seeds to a cup of warm water and squeeze in half a lemon to it. You can add in honey for sweetness. Stir it well and set a side for the chia seeds to swell. After 15 mins, mix again and drink. You can also make overnight chia pudding to eat for breakfast to help with constipation. READ MORE – CHIA SEEDS: best ways to use along with benefits
2. Fibrous food items:
Consuming foods rich in fibre, also known as roughage, is very important for a good stool because fibre absorbs water and swells in the stomach, so it bulks up the stool. There are two types of fibre, soluble and insoluble fibre, both of which are essential to the stool. Foods rich in soluble fibre like apples, bananas, barley, oats, beans etc, add bulk to the stool, whereas foods rich in insoluble fibre like wholegrain foods, roots vegetables, leafy vegetables, fruits with edible seeds, beans, nuts and seeds can help speed up the process of transiting of food in the digestive tract., in turn relieving constipation.
3. Herbal laxatives, like Senna:
Senna is a herbal laxative (medicines taken to help ease constipation by emptying the bowels). And it contains many chemicals called sennosides that can cause irritation in the lining of the bowels which in turn causes a laxative effect. But it is important not to overuse this laxative as it is not a permanent solution and overuse can cause abdominal pain or diarrhea. It is always advisable to consult your doctor before intaking any new medications, especially if you are already on other prescription medications.
4. Fennel seeds to relieve constipation:
Fennel seeds aids digestion and also relaxes the muscles in the intestines, which can help relieve constipation. Crush 1 tsp of fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle. Add the crushed seeds to a cup with hot water. Cover and let it steep for 5 mins. Strain the seeds and drink the water. READ MORE – Ayurveda Miracle CCF Tea Recipe with Three Ingredients
Regular exercise is very essential for maintaining healthy bowel movements. It can help promote movement in the digestive tract and have an effect on the bowels. Exercises like yoga, playing a sport, running, jogging or even simple walking for 15 to 20 minutes (for older people especially) or dancing, can help loosen the stools, as it will also increase the blood flow throughout the abdomen. Regular exercising can help lower the time taken for the food to move through the intestine.
6. Consuming probiotics:
Probiotics or “good” bacteria are live, beneficial bacteria and yeast that are usually found in fermented foods are good for the digestive system. They help keep the gut healthy and can help maintain a balance between the “good” and “bad” bacteria present in the body. Some of the common probiotics are yoghurt, kombucha, kefir, pickled vegetables etc. consuming probiotics can help aid digestion and promote better passing of stools. Do not over consume probiotics as it can have potential side effects like stomach cramping, nausea, gas, diarrhea etc.
7. Consuming foods which can have a natural laxative effect:
- Prunes, raisins, figs
- Liquorice root, rhubarb, sesame seeds, dalia
- Foods with heathy fats
- Herbal teas to aid digestion, like ginger, lemon, etc
- Drink a cup of milk with one teaspoon of ghee before bedtime