Constipation is an uncomfortable and often painful condition that millions of people suffer from every day. It can have a range of causes, ranging from dehydration to changes in diet, but what’s certain is that the best way to get relief is through natural remedies. Herbal remedies like herbal teas, tinctures, and supplements are great ways to calm your system down and get back on track with normal digestion patterns. This post lists 10 of the best herbs for constipation relief.
Read on to find out more about these powerful yet gentle herbal allies and how they can help you regain digestive harmony.
What is Constipation?
Constipation occurs when your system has difficulty moving waste through your digestive tract. A person may have fewer than three bowel movements in one week. It can also refer to passing hard stools or straining during a bowel movement. People who experience constipation may also have abdominal bloating and discomfort. For some constipation sufferers, the recovery time between bowel movements can be up to several days!
It’s important to remember that there is no single “normal” frequency of bowel movements. What matters is that you’re able to pass stools when needed comfortably. However, if you’re going more than three days without a bowel movement, you should consult your doctor about possible underlying reasons for constipation.
What Causes Constipation and Irregular Bowel Movements
Constipation and irregular bowel movements can be inconvenient, uncomfortable, and just plain unpleasant. But what causes constipation, and why do some people suffer more than others? Knowing the causes of constipation can help you better understand your own digestive issues and find solutions that work for you.
The food that you eat plays a large role in your digestive system. Eating foods low in fiber, such as processed and fast foods, can cause constipation because these foods do not provide enough bulk for your body to move through your intestines quickly. Furthermore, if you do not drink enough water, this can cause dehydration, leading to constipation.
One of the biggest causes of constipation is dehydration. This can occur if you don’t drink enough water throughout the day or if your body loses fluid more quickly than you replenish it through your diet. Dehydration decreases the amount of water in your intestines, making passing stools difficult and cause hard, dry stools.
Your lifestyle habits can also affect your digestive system. If you are not physically active or sit for long periods without getting up to move around, this lack of physical activity can slow down digestion and cause constipation. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a new place or changed time zones, this could affect the regularity of your bowel movements due to changes in environment and diet.
Certain medical conditions can also cause constipation or irregular bowel movements. For example, some medications, such as painkillers and antidepressants, can slow digestion and make stool difficult to pass through the intestine properly. Similarly, disorders such as thyroid disease or diabetes may also cause problems with digestion leading to constipation or irregularity with bowel movements.
💩Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a medical condition in which a person experiences abdominal pain and changes to their bowel movements. Irregular bowel movements can also be caused by any number of things, such as consuming too much dairy or processed foods, eating too quickly without properly chewing food, consuming excessive alcohol or caffeine, taking certain medications like antibiotics, or having an underlying health condition like celiac disease. It can either cause diarrhea or constipation, depending on the individual.
💩Medication Side Effects
Certain medications can also cause constipation as a side effect. Painkillers such as codeine, antidepressants such as Prozac, diuretics, iron supplements, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, and aluminum-containing antacids, have been linked to constipation in some cases. If you’re taking any of these medications and experiencing increased levels of constipation, then speak with your doctor about switching medications or adjusting your dosage.
Pregnancy can also cause constipation. This is because the expanding uterus and hormonal changes during pregnancy can slow down digestion, causing stools to pass through the intestines more slowly. In addition, pregnant women are advised to eat a diet high in fiber to help prevent constipation.
💩Stress or Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can also cause constipation. When you’re stressed or anxious, your body produces hormones that can slow down digestion and make it difficult for stools to pass through the intestines. To help manage stress and reduce the likelihood of constipation, try meditation, yoga, or other relaxation techniques.
Will Herbs for Constipation Work for Your Digestive Tract?
For those struggling with constipation, it can be a frustrating journey. Fortunately, many natural remedies can help alleviate the symptoms and bring relief. One option is to use herbs for constipation. But do they really work?
The primary benefit of using herbal remedies for constipation is that they are gentle on the body and don’t have harsh side effects associated with traditional laxatives, such as cramping or dehydration due to excessive fluid loss. Most herbal remedies contain soluble fiber, which absorbs water from the intestines helping keep you hydrated while relieving your symptoms.
Additionally, many herbs have antioxidant properties as well, which can help protect against free radical damage caused by dietary toxins making them a great choice for those looking for a natural remedy for their digestive woes.
One thing to keep in mind when considering herbal remedies is that they may not be right for everyone. Some people may find that certain herbs don’t agree with their bodies or cause unexpected side effects like nausea or stomach pain. It’s also important to remember that the FDA does not regulate herbal preparations, so there is no guarantee about their quality or effectiveness.
Since herbs can interact with other medications you may be taking, it’s important to talk to your doctor before trying any type of herbal remedy for constipation relief.
Best Herbs for Constipation
Herbs have been used for centuries to help with various digestive issues. Here are some of the best herbs that can help your digestion get back on track.
Due to its spicy flavor, ginger is highly stimulating for delayed digestion. It eases indigestion and has the potential to hasten stomach emptying. It aids in preparing your digestive system for meals by being taken before a meal.
Similar to peppermint, ginger may not provide instant relief from constipation, but frequent use of the herb may “fire up” your digestive system.
To manage your digestive system, try ingesting a small portion of raw ginger with salt and lemon juice before a meal. Alternately, you may create tea as required by simmering raw ginger root in water.
One of the finest fiber-rich herbs for slow digestion or constipation is psyllium. It originates from a particular kind of plantain. Additionally, psyllium possesses mucilaginous qualities that draw in moisture.
This herb is high in soluble and insoluble fiber, making it an excellent choice for relieving constipation. It helps to soften stools and increase their bulk, which aids in their movement through the digestive tract. It also helps to reduce bloating and gas associated with constipation. You can also use psyllium seeds, which are kinder to the digestive system.
Add psyllium with smoothies and other liquids. A minimum of 8 ounces of water or a similar drink should always be consumed with it.
Peppermint has antispasmodic properties that help relax muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. Which can help alleviate symptoms of constipation such as bloating, gas, cramps, nausea, and vomiting due to its ability to improve circulation throughout the body’s organs, including those located in your digestive system like your stomach and large intestine.
It can also act as a stimulant for the digestive system, helping to move food along. Peppermint tea is considered safe to drink up to three times a day and can be purchased in capsule or liquid form for those who don’t prefer tea.
Fennel seed contains compounds called volatile oils, which have been found to act as a natural laxative by increasing gastrointestinal secretions and aiding digestion. Fennel seed is known to help flush out toxins and reduce inflammation in the gut, which can cause constipation.
Fennel tea is simple by steeping fennel seed in boiling water for best results. The tea can also be flavored with honey or lemon juice if desired. Fennel seed can also be taken in capsule form, but if taking it this way, make sure to drink a lot of water throughout the day.
🌿Slippery Elm Bark
Slippery elm bark contains mucilage, a type of sticky substance produced by plants that coat your intestines when ingested, helping to soften stools. Hence, they move more easily through your digestive system without causing irritation or discomfort along the way. This is because slippery elm bark also helps balance acidity levels in your stomach, which can keep your digestive tract running smoothly.
Slippery elm bark is best taken as a tea by boiling two teaspoons of dried bark powder in 8 ounces of water for 15 minutes. You can take this up to three times daily for the best results.
Marshmallow root contains mucilage which acts as a lubricant. It helps ease passage through your intestines while providing relief from discomfort. Discomforts related to straining during bowel movements due to hardened stools caused by chronic cases of constipation brought on by poor dietary habits combined with dehydration levels present within the body at any given time.
Take it as a tea by adding two teaspoons of the ground root to 8 ounces of boiled water and stirring for about 10 minutes.
Senna leaf is an herb commonly found in over-the-counter laxatives. Because of its ability to stimulate muscle contractions in your large intestine, which can help move stool along quicker during periods of severe constipation caused by underlying medical conditions or lifestyle factors like diet or dehydration levels present in your body at any given time.
Dandelion root has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for constipation due to its laxative effects on the body’s digestive system. It has a high content of dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, and other compounds. It aids digestion and stimulates peristalsis (the wavelike motion of our intestines).
It’s also believed that dandelion root stimulates bile production in the liver, which helps move stools through the body more quickly and easily.
Aside from producing a decoction by slowly boiling the roots in water, some herbalists advise using it as an alcohol-based tincture.
In any case, what matters is that you are experiencing a bitter aftertaste. Even if it is not the most enjoyable thing, you can’t complain if it makes restroom breaks easier.
Licorice root contains compounds called glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhetinic acid, which have been found to act as a laxative by increasing gastrointestinal secretions, aiding the digestive process, and easing the passage of stools through your intestines. It also helps flush out toxins from your body that can lead to constipation.
The best way to consume licorice root is tea. Simply steep two teaspoons of the dried root in 8 ounces of boiled water for 10 minutes and strain before drinking. You can also take it in capsule form for convenience but make sure to drink a lot of water throughout the day if taking it this way.
Yellow dock root is an herb best known for its ability to help flush toxins and impurities from the body. It is a purifying plant that enhances the generation of digestive enzymes and improves poor digestion. It has modest laxative effects without the power of a real stimulant laxative because it includes substances called anthraquinone glycosides.
If you’re suffering from slow digestion, yellow dock is a fantastic herb to ingest consistently since it also aids in toning digestive cells.
A quart of water and two to three teaspoons of dried yellow dock root are combined in a saucepan. Boil the tea for 20 to 30 minutes before filtering and sipping.
Other Natural Ways to Manage Chronic Constipation
Herbs may help you best manage chronic constipation, but there are other ways to help improve the situation.
🥜Increase Fiber Intake
Fiber is essential for keeping our digestion regular, so it makes sense that increasing your fiber intake can help with chronic constipation. Good sources of fiber include whole grains, fruits (especially those with skin or edible seeds), vegetables, nuts, and legumes.
Aim to add several servings of these foods into your diet each day. If you find it hard to increase your fiber intake naturally, then consider taking a supplement such as psyllium husk or flaxseed meal.
🥃Drink More Fluids
Manage constipation by drinking more fluids. It’s important to note that this doesn’t just mean water. It also includes other beverages such as herbal tea, coconut water, and hot chocolate!
Increasing your fluid intake helps to keep the body hydrated, which is key for preventing constipation. Staying hydrated is essential for healthy digestion and regular bowel movements. Men should consume at least 3 liters of fluid daily, while women should consume 2.2 liters.
However, if you have more severe cases of constipation, you may need to drink even more water throughout the day to stay hydrated and relieve your symptoms.
Regular exercise is another great way to keep the bowels regular and avoid chronic constipation. Exercise helps stimulate the digestive system and increases the amount of time food spends in the intestines before being eliminated from the body.
It allows for better absorption of nutrients and prevents stools from becoming too hard or dry. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, even if it’s just a brisk walk around the block!
🧃Eat Probiotic Foods
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help keep our digestion healthy. They can be found in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Eating these probiotic-rich foods will help balance your gut flora and keep you regular. You can also take a high-quality probiotic supplement if you prefer.
🧀Try to Avoid Dairy Products
Dairy products such as milk and cheese are high in fat, making them difficult to digest. They also tend to cause bloating and gas, both of which can lead to constipation. Try eliminating dairy from your diet for a few weeks and see if it makes a difference.
How to Care for Your Digestive System
Our digestive systems are a vital part of our bodies, responsible for breaking down food and nutrients so that our bodies can use them for energy and growth. Unfortunately, many people don’t pay enough attention to the care and maintenance of their digestive system. Let’s take a look at a few of the best ways to ensure that your digestive system is in good health.
❤Eat Slowly and Mindfully
Eating too quickly can cause air to become trapped in the stomach, leading to bloating and indigestion. Eating slowly and mindfully allows for better digestion of your food and allows you to enjoy the experience of eating. Chew each bite thoroughly before swallowing, and take time to savor the flavors and textures of your food.
❤Eat Lean Meats
Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish are easier to digest than fatty cuts of meat. These lean proteins will help keep your digestive system running smoothly and provide the essential nutrients your body needs for proper functioning.
❤Limit Too Many Fats in Food
Fats are essential for a healthy diet, but consuming too much can be hard on the digestive system. Try to limit how much fat you’re eating and opt for healthier fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.
❤Eat on Schedule
Eating at regular intervals will help your body establish a healthy digestive rhythm. Eating regularly will also ensure you get all the essential nutrients you need throughout the day.
❤Avoid Bad Habits
Smoking, drinking alcohol, and using recreational drugs can negatively affect the digestive system. Avoiding these unhealthy habits will help keep your digestive system functioning properly and prevent constipation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What gets rid of constipation the fastest?
The best way to get rid of constipation quickly is by drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, and eating a diet high in fiber. Additionally, consuming probiotic foods and avoiding dairy can help relieve constipation.
What natural drink cures constipation?
One of the best natural drinks to cure constipation is a herbal tea made with constipation-fighting herbs, such as ginger, fennel, and peppermint. These herbs have been used for centuries to help relieve digestive problems and will help get your bowels moving again. Prune, apple, and pear juice are also the best juices to help cure constipation.
What are the side effects of using herbs to treat constipation?
Herbal remedies are generally safe to use with few or no side effects. However, it is best to talk to your doctor before using any herbal remedy for constipation, as some herbs could interact negatively with other medications you may be taking.
What are some of the worst foods to eat?
Highly processed foods high in saturated fats, sugar, and sodium can be very constipating. These include fast food, fried food, sugary snacks and desserts, refined grains like white bread and pasta, and canned soups.
How often can I use herbs for constipation?
Herbs for constipation can be used daily if needed. However, it is best to use herbs in moderation and not rely on them as the only source of relief from constipation. If you find that your constipation persists despite using natural remedies, it is best to speak with your doctor about other options.
Constipation is a common digestive issue that can be managed naturally with the best herbs for constipation. Eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, and avoiding unhealthy habits are the best ways to keep your digestive system functioning properly.
Additionally, incorporating herbal remedies such as ginger, fennel, peppermint, prune juice, and others can help relieve constipation symptoms and get your bowels moving again.
If you find that natural remedies are not providing relief, speak to your doctor about other options. You can keep your digestive system functioning properly and stay healthy with the right diet and lifestyle changes.