Natural remedies for constipation can help improve an uncomfortable issue for millions of Americans. According to a study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, constipation is widespread and affects twice as many women as men. It’s also something that can occur when doing a Clean Program.
The good news is that acute and chronic constipation can be greatly reduced or resolved with these simple methods. While herbal remedies for constipation are often the go-to treatment, we think a combination of herbal, food, and lifestyle changes are the most soothing and beneficial long term.
NATURALLY RELIEVE CONSTIPATION DURING A DETOX
Facilitating the movement of waste material through the intestines is crucial at all times, but especially during a cleanse program, when it is very common to see increased mucus being released. This released mucus is sticky, so naturally, it can cause constipation.
The success of a detox relies on proper daily elimination. Without it, you’re less likely to experience the massive health benefits of a detox and in some cases, if you ignore elimination, more discomfort is created.
9 NATURAL REMEDIES FOR CONSTIPATION
In our experience, there is no one method that works for everyone -- personal experimentation is important. The remedies below can help an acute case of constipation, but if you are one of the many people with chronic constipation, you’ll most likely need to use a combination of the methods until you are eliminating properly.
Chronic constipation doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t be surprised if it takes a few days to get things going:
1. Drink plenty of water
Hydrating the body and colon helps make sure elimination is running smooth to remove waste out of the body. Often drinking more water is enough to relieve constipation over a 24-hour period, but increasing your daily water intake consistently will be necessary to reduce or stop chronic cases. Drink enough water so that you’re going to the bathroom about once every 2-3 hours. Boost the nutrients and improve the taste of your water with a spoonful of our tasty Greens drink mix.
2. Eat fiber-rich and water-rich foods
Eating the rights kinds of food is one of the best ways to reduce constipation. Making a habit of eating more fiber-rich and water-rich foods on a daily basis can reduce the causes of chronic constipation and improve your overall health. Leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, cherries, pears, apples are easily accessible options to start with. In addition to foods, adding in a scoop of easily-digestible fiber to a shake or glass of water can be wonders.
3. Move gently
Movement and exercise stimulate peristalsis -- the contraction and relaxation of muscles that encourage good bowel movements and reduce constipation. Jumping exercises—jumping jacks, jumping on a mini-trampoline, and jump rope—going for longer walks, and doing yoga are all great for toning the colon and keeping things moving.
4. Take Magnesium
Low micronutrient intake, such as magnesium, has been associated with the acceleration of degenerative diseases and the increase in constipation. Currently, magnesium deficiency affects 56% of adults in the United States. Fortunately, inexpensive magnesium supplementation is one of the simplest natural remedies for constipation, both chronic and acute, that we have. Magnesium gently helps to relax the nervous system and increase bowel movements. Add a spoonful of magnesium to a warm cup of water to create a tasty magnesium drink before bed. This simple habit will help to improve elimination, especially during a the Clean Program.
5. Drink green juice
Green juice is a wonderful cleansing drink. Typically made of low-sugar vegetables like cucumber, celery, and leafy greens, green juice is a powerfully hydrating drink full of important phytonutrients and minerals. Having a green juice each day or a few times a week when you’re feeling constipated adds a tasty way to keep you hydrated and your bowels moving.
6. Get to bed
When we’ve underslept, especially for weeks at a time, not only do we feel tired but our digestion and elimination get backed up. For many of us, we’ve become so used to inadequate sleep that we may think the poor digestion and elimination that results from it are normal. But often a few nights of quality sleep can start to change this pattern and reduce constipation. Go to bed early or take an afternoon nap. Long-term, you’ll want to develop a consistent sleep cycle and use a few sleep optimization tricks to help make chronic constipation disappear.
7. Disconnect and relax
Stress is a common and often overlooked cause of constipation. The body, as well as the bowels, needs periods of relaxation to function properly. If you notice you’ve been burning the candle at both ends and not scheduling enough downtime, consider shutting off the phone and computer for a while and relaxing. Take a hot bath with Epsom salts, cozy up to a good book, and give your body some TLC.
8. Take an herbal laxative
For short-term constipation or during a 21-Day Cleanse, taking herbal laxatives in the form of teas and capsules can be very useful. While we don’t recommend them as one of the long-term natural remedies for constipation, using them for a few weeks is fine.
Here’s one caveat: Before you try herbal laxatives, try the suggestions above first. These are the most gentle and are easiest to turn into healthy long-term habits. A few herbal laxative options readily available at most health food stores include Smooth Move Tea, Swiss Kriss, and Triphala (an Ayurvedic colon support supplement). We have had good success with clients taking six Triphala tablets a few hours before bed and again in the morning.
9. Get a colonic
For chronic constipation, colon hydrotherapy can be very helpful. Colon hydrotherapy is the process whereby a colon therapist uses water to flush out the length of the colon. Contrary to what many Western-trained physicians may say, colonics are generally safe and beneficial when done with the right therapist.
Natural Remedies for Constipation Can Improve How You Feel
If you're experiencing acute or chronic constipation, these 9 natural remedies for constipation can help improve how you feel. Try them in combination with each other and don’t get discouraged if one doesn’t work right away. Each person often needs a different combination to get the bowels moving. Rest assured that if you stick with these, and focus on eating whole, unprocessed, clean foods, you’ll go a long way in making constipation a thing of the past.
If you enjoy this post, we also recommend The Connection Between Probiotics and Weight Loss