You know the symptoms – that bloated, uncomfortable, and often painful feeling that signals a bout with constipation. It may be brought on by a change in your activities and/or diet, pregnancy, medication or something as simple as stress. To be precise, constipation refers to bowel movements that are either infrequent or very difficult and painful. Although the “normal” number of bowel movements differs for each individual, in general, fewer than three bowel movements per week and/or painful movements are considered to be constipation.
For those that suffer from occasional or chronic constipation, and want to avoid taking laxatives or prescription medication, there are other options. The following home treatments for constipation are inexpensive, simple, and proven effective without the worry of side effects.
1. Olive or vegetable oil.
Take several tablespoons (2 – 3) per day until you get relief. It’s best to take it in the morning before eating. If you’re watching calories, remember to cut back on butter and other fats when you’re treating your constipation.
2. Black Strap Molasses.
Take a teaspoon in the morning with milk, juice or another beverage if you don’t like the taste. Molasses contains vitamins and magnesium, which aid in stimulating the colon.
3. Black Coffee.
Drink one or two cups of a good, dark coffee. The caffeine aids in bowel movement. Be careful not to overdo, since coffee is a diuretic.
Some constipation is a result of a sedentary lifestyle. Increasing the frequency and intensity of your activity stimulates muscles and gets the digestive system working.
Fiber is not easily digested and absorbs water. As it passes through the digestive system, it pushes waste through the colon. Foods high in fiber include beans, lentils, many fruits, green vegetables, potatoes and artichokes.
6. Prunes and Prune Juice.
Prunes are a fiber food, and they contain sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that the body absorbs slowly. The fiber creates bulk to get the bowel moving, and the sorbitol makes the stool soft.
It sounds too simple to be true, but drinking more water moistens the intestines and helps to keep things moving through the bowel tract.
If you’re struggling with occasional irregularity, and want to try a more natural approach to get back on track, give some of the above home remedies a try. They’re gentle on your system, easy to come by and can have amazing results!
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