The best natural laxatives are those that are both effective and safe for your body. Some natural laxatives that are generally considered both safe and effective include prunes and prune juice, pear juice, and canned pears. You may also experience relief from constipation by taking an herb called senna. For additional ideas about natural, safe laxatives, you can seek the advice of a doctor, especially one who specializes in naturopathic treatments.
One of the simplest natural remedies you can use for constipation involves consuming fruit or fruit juice. Many people choose to eat prunes or drink prune juice as a natural laxative. Prunes work because of a substance called sorbitol, which is a type of natural sugar. Your body cannot digest sorbitol and reacts by sending fluids to your intestines. The fluid helps to soften your stools and makes it easier for you to move your bowels. A laxative called dihydrophenylisatin is found in this fruit as well.
Pear juice is also is one of the best natural laxatives. Pear juice contains both fiber and a type of sugar that is referred to as fructose, two ingredients that can help you to successfully move your bowels. Since you may find pear juice tasty, this natural remedy may be more enjoyable than other types of laxatives. Likewise, it is gentle on the gastrointestinal system, and you are unlikely to suffer from side effects when you consume it. Additionally, you may find that eating canned pears also helps to encourage bowel movements.
If you are looking for a stimulant type of laxative, you may find that teas, pills, or liquids that have the active ingredient senna are particularly effective. Also called cassia, this herb has been used as a natural laxative for hundreds of years and is an ingredient in many commercial constipation treatments. This herbal remedy contains a substance called anthraquinone, which is an organic compound that helps the intestines contract, resulting in a bowel movement. In general, you can expect a bowel movement in the morning if you take senna at night.
Although senna is one of the most effective natural laxatives, it is not without risks. Although usually safe and mild, it can cause such side effects as cramping, discolored urine, nausea, joint pain, and light-colored stools. It also has potential to cause jaundice, itching, and numbness in muscle tissue. Additionally, you may risk becoming dependent on senna for having bowel movements if you take it for a prolonged period.