What are Some Remedies for Constipation?

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  • Written By: Deborah Ng
  • Edited By: Lindsay D.
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2018
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Constipation, infrequent or irregular bowel movements, is no fun for anyone. It can be painful and uncomfortable. Difficulty moving the bowels can usually be attributed to at least one of several factors: poor eating habits, lack of exercise, not eating enough fiber or drinking enough fluids, and even possibly serious illness. Fortunately, there are things one can do to prevent constipation.

Since dehydration can lead to bowel problems, people should always drink at least eight 8-ounce (236.5-ml) glasses of water each day. Individuals should avoid caffeine since it causes dehydration and can act as a diuretic. Those who do enjoy caffeinated beverages on a regular basis should do so in moderation.

A healthy diet is key for preventing constipation. A high fiber diet rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts ensures regularity. Consuming an apple every day, with its skin intact, can also help. Guava is another helpful fruit, but it should be eaten with its seeds to ensure the full effect. Starchy foods should be avoided when a person is constipated, as this will only escalate the problem.

Regular exercise will also help keep a person regularity. Even if it's a daily stroll in the park, exercise is important. These other remedies may help individuals who are feeling a little backed up:

  • Laxatives — There are many over-the-counter products to choose from in price ranges and formulas to suit everyone's personal preference. People who aren't sure which product is right for them can check with a pharmacist or healthcare provider.

  • Lemon and Honey — Individuals can mix 2 tablespoons (29.5 ml) of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon (4.9 ml) of honey into a glass of warm water. They should drink one glass in the morning and one in the evening to bring back regularity.

  • Orange Juice and Olive Oil — A glass or mug filled with half each of orange juice and olive oil can be consumed. It may not taste great, but it will have a person's plumbing running smoothly in no time.

  • Licorice — Licorice has laxative qualities, so eating several pieces of real licorice may bring relief.

  • Grapes — A large bunch of grapes may do the trick.

  • Castor oil and honey — Honey seems to appear in many remedies for constipation. In addition to taking it with lemon and even by itself, a sufferer can also mix 1 teaspoon (4.9 ml) of honey with 1 teaspoon (4.9 ml) of castor oil.

  • Tomato, sauerkraut, and carrot juice — Something else a person who is suffering from constipation can try is 1 cup (236.5 ml) of tomato juice mixed with 0.5 cup (118.2 ml) of sauerkraut juice and 0.25 cup (59.1 ml) of carrot juice. It may not have a pleasant flavor, but it works great.

When it comes to constipation, the important thing is to have a proper diet, drink water often throughout the day, and exercise on a regular basis. People who suffer from it for more than a week should contact a medical professional.


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Discuss this Article

Post 27

I am 67 year old male, and I have had constipation for several years now. I have one question. I only move my bowels once a week and that's after I take two Ex-lax. I have been taking the two pills for about a year now, once a week. Is that OK? Thank you, Dave P.

Post 26

Chronic constipation? The only thing that will work for me is Epsom Salts. Take 4 tsp in a glass of water. Drink 1/2 a glass of water after (it will taste real good after the epsom salt mixture) You will get great results after one or two hours and it is, painless. Replace your electrolytes afterwords with a sports drink, like gatorade. This is not for people with kidney problems, but ask your doctor.

Post 25

I started having an apple a day and a cup of chamomile tea at night. It has helped me tremendously! I have had severe constipation problems my whole life and nothing helped. I can't believe that I have finally found this combo! It is keeping me regular. I feel so lucky!

Post 23

I had regular constipation for years. I was always afraid when I had to go to the bathroom. Recently I had to stay in the hospital for other illness for two weeks. After the stay the constipation came back badly for weeks. My wife went through all the suggestions online found Nutra Bona. I was so much in pain so I tried it. The second day after taking this supplement, the stool was soft and I had not pain. After three weeks of drinking it and also drinking lots of water, the constipation is gone.

Post 22

I am allergic to wheat so wheat-based products are out for me. I eat copious amounts of fruits and veggies, tried ex-lax and other laxatives, herbal teas, prune juice, liquprice but am still constipated. My GP only gives me fibregel which doesn't work. I'm really fed up now and uncomfortable. I have suffered from IBS for 30+ years and am running out of ideas, so any suggestions about what else I can try and get hold of in the UK would be much appreciated.

Post 21

My son has dealt with chronic constipation for almost two years (he is a little over three years old). The only thiing that I have found that helped him is Rickland Orchards Greek Yogurt bars (I found at Sam's). They run about $1/bar but he eats one every two or three days and it keeps him regular.

Post 19

I have an impaction, but it's high up. I've been taking miralax for a week along with two ex lax and didn't do much today. I drank two cups of prune juice and I can't stop the black water. I hope this helps the impaction. I'm going to get a colonic on Thursday if I survive this day. I am sick of doctors passing me on to the next laxative

Post 18

Re: to the person who takes pain medication: Try really cheap prunes. They do the trick for me. I have to eat them at about 8 p.m. every night. I eat about 10-15 per night! It's tough, but I'd rather do this than take another medication.

If you're seriously backed up, try Fleet Phosphate Soda, but please ask your doctor beforehand, because you can't take it if you have certain medical issues or if you're on certain medications. I used to just drink three-fourths of a bottle straight, and it did the trick within a half hour to six hours. After you drink it, you have to drink water. It tastes terrible, but if you're really backed up, it will work.

Post 17

Herbal tea really does the trick! Also for kids, there's pills which go in the wrong way around. Ask your pharmacist for them. Soapy water up the bum also does it for kids. Herbal tea for me, one in the morn, does the trick.

Post 16

Abdominal massage, to help stimulate peristalsis waves, really helps me when things get desperate (four or more days with no results/movement).

Also I have had times when I can go standing up even though I can't while sitting. Strange, but when it gets so bad you cannot even keep food or water down you'll do strange things.

Post 15

The reason people get constipated these days is the diet we eat. You can eat a ton of fiber but, the truth is it can actually be detrimental if your body cannot pass it through.

If you don't want to change your diet to purely organic with fresh veggies, try NuTUMMY. I have been taking it for a few months and it has helped tremendously. It is a little pricey but it has honestly changed my life. I would probably recommend just eating a lot of fresh fruit and veggies if you can do it, but if you have a busier than normal life, this product works to supplement what you don't get from everyday foods.

Post 14

Thanks for sharing some remedies for constipation. I love reading this article. It got what I'm looking for. I'll be sure to bookmark it. Thanks again!

Post 12

Milk of Magnesia, olive oil, hot tea, slow, deep abdominal breathing. That should take care of it. And I found out the hard way if you have a severe fecal impaction at the base of the anus, you can either gently break it up yourself of go to the emergency room and have someone do it for you. It's better not to let it get to that point. Be proactive, especially if you're on meds. The typical recommendations of fiber and exercise aren't enough for some. Try to go at least every other day.

Post 11

I started taking cinnamon tea with honey and I think it helped with my gas and bloating. I am only 17 and have many stomach problems i.e., constipation you get the idea. Well this really seemed to help. I didn't exactly have a bm but small ones throughout the day which is more than usual!

My allergies also stopped acting up. I don't know if that is the reason though, but i realized i just felt better all around and I felt comfortable -- like I could breathe! Because of all the pressure in my tummy wasn't there like before!

Anyway, I hope this helps. Look up the remedies! they are very useful.

Post 9

I am trying honey and lemon in warm water. The honey and lemon seems to be great for many ailments including a common cold.

Post 8

constipation due to calcium channel blockers is hell on earth. other calcium channel blocks give you diarrhea.

Post 7

hi, this is for the anonymous people above who felt so embarrassed about their problem. please do not, any longer. I am convinced it actually makes things worse. Why should constipation be worse than having a serious case of flu? If you cannot see the funny side of it so as to laugh yourself (and chances are that if you feel as bloated as I do you don't) then at least take lightly other people's reactions. It does help if you are not constipated about constipation. Best, anonymous grace

Post 6

Problems having a BM due to pain meds have led to a partial blockage of my colon. After some luck with a soapy water enema at the ER I am able to go more regularly than before, but can tell the problem is still present even though a CT Scan wasn't revealing.

I have stopped the pain meds and tried everything from prunes and mineral oil to Fleets enemas at home without much luck. The mineral oil doesn't seem to soften the matter that forms the partial blockage. By watching my diet I am able to have a BM every few days but am afraid I'll have to have an operation to have a portion of my colon removed

if I can't find something to break up the blockage on my own. I can't really afford to go to a clinic for a colon cleansing and am not one for seeing a doctor unless it's an emergency.

I've been nauseated and battling this for over a month now. It's embarrassing to talk about and a "friend" actually laughed when I stopped to tell them I was on the way to the ER about the problem.

Oh to just be able to go naturally again...

Post 5

These home remedies work well, I am sure, but I have been taking a series of different extended-release and immediate release narcotics for years and years now. So, what should I do about the constipation induced by these medicines, when I eat plenty of fiber and drink lots of fluids? Miralax works wonders, but I worry about taking too many medicines on top of the pain-management regimented meds.

Post 4

when my children get a little constipated, i make sure to up their fluids that day and get some extra fruit and cereal in them. prunes (they have these really sweet, juicy individually wrapped prunes i've convinced my kids are candy that do the job) or prune juice works great! also, be sure they have a stepstool in front of the toilet so they can rest their feet if they can't touch the floor. i think this makes them more comfortable, and gives them, ahem, leverage, to get the job done. if it becomes a regular issue, or is really causing them pain, call your doctor ASAP.

Post 3

Is it safe to give a 5 year old mineral oil for constipation ?

Moderator's reply: mineral oil should never be given to a child without supervision of a pediatrician. ask your doctor about how to change his or her diet, such as increasing fiber, fluid intake, etc., to treat constipation.

Post 2

They say that the average American eats about 50% of the recommended daily intake of fiber! Hence, increasing your fiber intake is probably the best/easiest long term solution for constipation. These days there are tons of high fiber cereals and granola bars that can relatively easily help increase your fiber intake.

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