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Constipation

Most health practitioners view an irregular bowel movement as a case of constipation when it becomes less frequent than three per week. Constipation is a common disturbance of the digestive tract. In this condition, the bowels do not move regularly, or are not completely emptied when they move. Some of the other symptoms are hard and/or dry infrequent stools.
The ideal situation is to have a bowel movement after each meal (two to three times a day). When it is much less frequent, waste material moves too slowly through the large bowel. Elimination becomes painful, and toxins are reabsorbed by the system, placing an overload on the liver and kidneys.
As a thumb rule, all the body’s waste should be expelled within 18-24 hours.

There are a number of different physical problems that are partially caused by constipation:
bad breath, body odor, appendicitis, fatigue, gas, hernia, indigestion, malabsorption syndrome, varicose veins, obesity, insomnia, lack of energy, abdominal discomfort, light headache, poor appetite, lower back pain, coated tongue, and depression.
Toxins reabsorbed due to a constipated bowel can also result in migraines, chronic gas and bloating, thyroid problems and meningitis.

One of the main causes for constipation is wrong diet and life style.
Following is a list of errors in diets:

  • Any form of alcohol has a dehydrating effect.
  • The consumption of processed and rich foods lacking in vitamins and minerals.
  • Insufficient intake of water.
  • Consumption of meat in large quantities.
  • Insufficient chewing of the food before swallowing.
  • Overeating and wrong combination of foods.
  • Irregular habits of eating and drinking.
  • Concentrated foods, such as meats, sugar, and cheese & other dairy foods, soft drinks, white flour, salt, and sugary foods should be avoided.
  • Iron supplements cause constipation and the same for painkillers and antidepressants.
  • All decongestants and antihistamines are drying agents, and may cause the stool to become dryer than it should.

There are a few easy lifestyle changes that can help make your life more regular:

  • Drink more fluids every day - Drink liquids such as water, herb tea and juice.
  • Eating - Eat slowly and chew food properly.
  • Make meals fiber-rich - Substitute whole wheat instead of white bread, brown rice instead of white. Experiment with different grains and beans.
    Indulge yourself with fresh fruits and vegetables.
    Foods that are particularly good at promoting regularity include figs, prunes, blackberries, bran, almonds and apples.
    Avoid foods made from low-fiber, highly processed grains, such as packaged breakfast cereals, biscuits and pastries.
  • Drink more fluids every day - Drink liquids such as water, herb tea and juice.
    Start drinking warm water as soon as you wake up in the morning, a little at a time so that by breakfast time you have at least taken a litre. If you follow this simple method, you will start developing regularity in your morning bowel movements.
  • Monitor your magnesium - This mineral can have a laxative effect. Good food sources of magnesium include nuts, blackstrap molasses, whole grains, soya and seafood. If you do take magnesium supplements, most experts recommend that you should balance them with double the amount of calcium.
    Aim for a total daily consumption of around 1,000 milligrams of calcium and around 400 milligrams of magnesium, whether you get it from supplements or food.
  • Stay active - Make it a life style habit that after breakfast and every other meal you go outside and walk a little (or a lot) while not forgetting to breathe deeply. Exercise encourages good bowel function. You don't have to climb the Everest; Gentle exercises such as walking, gardening and yoga can be enough.


Be Aware that there is always the possibility that too frequent constipation occurrences can be a symptom of cancer or some other obstruction of the bowel. Other symptoms of colon cancer may include severe cramping, blood in the stool, a tender distended abdomen and very narrow faeces.
Note: Cancer can be present without these symptoms occurring.

Herbal Remedies

Psyllium

Psyllium seeds and their husks are a great source of natural fiber that's easily obtainable in commercial products. You can also buy powdered seed husks at health food stores and do without the added sweeteners. Some practitioners believe the seed husks may lodge in intestinal pockets and cause irritation, forcing the intestines to contract and expel their contents.

Typical dosage: 1 tablespoon dissolved in 14 litre of water or juice. Drink immediately, before the seed husks swell creating a sludge that is difficult to swallow. Follow immediately with another glass of water.

Flaxseed

This bulking agent provides a significant source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, one that is missing from the typical diet. Its benefit for constipation stems from its fiber content. The seeds can be ground and added to cereals or smoothies, or sprinkled directly on foods after cooking. Store the seeds in the freezer, because the oils in flax seeds spoil at even mildly warm temperatures.

Typical dosage: 1 teaspoon of ground seeds in 14 litre of water orifice up to three times per day.

Papaya

This tropical fruit contains proteolytic enzymes, making it a natural digestive aid. Half a medium-sized papaya should be eaten at breakfast for it to act as a laxative or make a tea of the leaves.

Figs

Soak in a glass of water five dry figs overnight and eat them in the morning.

Cascara Sagrada

Compounds in the bark of the cascara sagrada tree are so strong that the bark must be aged before it can be used safely. Cascara sagrada is an ingredient in some over-the-counter laxatives.

Typical usage: up to two capsules per day of 400 to 500 milligrams; or 12 to 1 teaspoon of liquid extract per day.

Caution: do not take if pregnant or breastfeeding. Like all stimulant laxatives, it can cause laxative dependency.

Senna

Among the strongest of the herbal stimulant laxatives, senna products can be derived from the seed pods or the leaves; the leaves are considered safer to use.
Important Note: Due to the fact that the compounds in senna are so potent, this herb is best used under the advice of a doctor or other qualified practitioner.

Caution: do not use senna if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you're taking heart medications, liquorice root, thiazide diuretics or steroids.

Bael Fruit

Bael fruit is regarded as the best of all laxatives. It cleans and tones up the intestines. Its regular use for two or three months throws out even the old accumulated faecal matter. It should be preferably taken in its original form and before dinner. About sixty grams of the fruit are sufficient for an adult.

Pear

The pear fruit as is or its juice taken for a few days will help in keeping you regular. A medium-sized pear taken after dinner or with breakfast will have the same desired effect.

Guava

The Guava, when eaten with seeds, provides roughage to the diet and helps in normal bowel movements. One or two guavas should be taken daily until constipation symptoms are over.

Grapes

Grapes are proving to be a very beneficial for overcoming constipation. The combination of the cellulose properties, sugar, and organic acid in grapes make them a laxative food. Their field of action is not limited to clearing the bowels only. They also tone up the stomach and intestines and relieve the most chronic constipation.
Eating 350 gm of grapes daily will help to achieve the desired results.
Raisins soaked in water for 24 to 48 hours. This will swell them to the original size of grapes. They should be eaten early in the morning, along with the water in which they have been soaked.

Orange

Eating one or two oranges at bedtime and again early in the morning is an excellent way of stimulating the bowels. The general stimulating influence of orange juice excites peristaltic activity and helps prevent the accumulation of food residue in the colon.

Spinach

Spinach has been considered to be the most vital vegetable food for the entire digestive tract for centuries. Raw spinach contains the finest organic material for the cleansing, reconstruction, and regeneration of the intestinal tract.
Hundred millitres of raw spinach juice mixed with an equal quantity of water and taken twice daily will cure the most aggravated cases of constipation within a few days.

Linseed

Linseed is extremely useful in difficult cases of constipation. A teaspoon of linseed swallowed with water before each meal provides both roughage and lubrication.

Water in Copper cup

Drinking water first thing in the morning, which has been kept overnight in a copper vessel will bring good results.

Lime

Half a lime, squeezed is a glass of hot water, with half a teaspoon of salt is also an effective remedy for constipation.