Constipation can make life uncomfortable. In fact, this is one of the most common gastrointestinal problems in the world. This condition is also common for women as they grow older. Constipation may happen due to plenty of reasons but there are many ways that can help relieve this discomfort. There are over-the-counter medicines that can relieve constipation. However, this medicine can cause such side effects. Luckily, there are natural ways to do that, and you can easily do it in the comfort of your home.
Constipation is defined as infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools. Generally, it is described as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. Constipation can be caused by the food you eat, lifestyle, medication, or disease.
It can be really difficult to have constipation, as you will feel bloated and uneasy. You may not notice it anything at first, but here are some symptoms to watch out for:
- You have fewer than three bowel movements per week.
- You are having difficulty to start and complete bowel movement.
- Your stool consistency may look like rocks and pebbles.
- You are having discomfort and feeling incomplete in emptying.
Natural Ways to Soften Your Stool
If you are experiencing mild constipation, good thing that there are simple and natural ways that can help you manage your situation. Here are some ways that can help:
Eating more fiber to help with proper digestion
Adding fiber to your diet can help with the digestion of food and as a result, it would avoid you in getting constipated. There are 2 kinds of fiber that you should consider; soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber helps soak moisture in the food, thus slowing digestion. Here are some good sources of soluble fiber:
- Flax seeds
Insoluble fiber helps relieve constipation by adding bulk to the stool. Here are some good sources of insoluble fiber:
- Fruit Skins
- Dark and leafy vegetables (such as kale and spinach)
Drinking more water
Drinking enough water helps you avoid constipation. Dehydration can make a person stressed which can complicate digestive problems.
Getting more exercise
Having movements such as walking or running promotes regular digestion and may reduce symptoms of constipation. Plus, getting more exercise is good for your overall body.
Use of Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is a popular remedy for many ailments such as muscle soreness and stress. This is also known as magnesium sulfate, which consists of chemical compounds such as magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. They can be effective for relieving short-term constipation. You can use Epsom salt in the bathtub by adding 3 to 5 cups of Epsom Salt. You can also take it orally by adding 6 teaspoons of salt into an 8 ounce water.
Drink Mineral Oil
Drinking mineral oil provides relief as it has the ability to safely lubricate and keep the moisture within the stool. It can help promote bowel movements easier.
5 Herbal Remedies for Constipation
Using herbal remedies for constipation are easy to find. There are many over-the-counter laxatives that contain herbal properties. Here are 5 herbal remedies for you may want to consider to treat constipation:
1. Cascara Sagrada (Buckthorn)
It is known as a popular herbal laxative that comes from the bark extract of California buckthorn trees. This works by causing muscle contractions in the intestine, which helps move stool through bowels. However, this is only recommended for short-term use as it may harm the liver if used long-term.
This is also commonly known as a natural fiber laxative which helps create bulk stools. This laxative may be combined with both natural and synthetic medicine.
This vegetable has a laxative effect that can treat constipation. Rhubarb also has an antidiarrheal effect. This remedy is only recommended for short-term use.
Senna is a natural laxative from Senna plants that can be used as a remedy for constipation. However, this can only be used for a short period and with a recommended dosage.
5. Slippery Elm
Another natural laxative is the slippery elm that stimulates nerves in the gastrointestinal tract. It leads to mucus production and provides relief from constipation.
Constipation can make you feel bloated and uneasy. There are natural remedies that can help relieve constipation. These herbs are safer and natural. But, if eating more fiber, drinking more water, exercise, and herbal laxatives did not solve your problem, it is still best to see your doctor.