Natural Assitance For Constipation

 Everyone will experience constipation at one time or another. The occasional natural remedy will do no harm. Problems occur when these remedies become habitual. Please remember that these are once-in-awhile remedies. Diet, exercise, and water are the everyday foundation of good bowel habits.

Magnesium

Constipation is often relieved with added magnesium. Remember Milk of Magnesia? Citrate of magnesia is often given before a hospital procedure. Simply put, magnesium encourages bowel evacuation. This is a well-known fact. Of our diets provided a sufficient supply of magnesium, however, we wouldn’t need to supplement with this crucial mineral. Most people are magnesium deficient because their diets lack enough green leafy vegetables. This dietary deficiency can result in myriad complications, including increased blood pressure, muscle spasms, low blood sugar, lack of energy, poor calcium utilization, insomnia, and constipation.

Herbal Remedies

There are three types of bowel-stimulating herbs: aperients, laxatives, and purgatives.

Aperients are slow acting and can be safely taken regularly. They include foods such as olive or flaxseed oil, dried fruits (figs, prunes, and raisins), seeds (chia, psyllium, and flax), seaweed (agar agar or kanten), turkey, rhubarb, and licorice root.

Laxatives stimulate bowel evacuation more quickly than aperients and should not be used on a daily basis but only to help the body empty, detoxify, and heal occasionally. These include the herbs, aloe vera, cascara sagrada, wahoo bark, dandelion root (when the liver is involved), and rhubarb, which contains oxalic acid and should be avoided by those who have kidney stones, arthritis, and gout. Laxatives are typically taken at bedtime and can be taken singly or combined. They can cause gas and cramping, so be careful.

Purgatives act quickly and are known to drain energy from the body. They include American mandrake rot, jalap, castor oil, buckthorn bark, and senna. These should not be used by anyone with hemorrhoids, dropped bladder or uterus, intestinal bleeding, or vomiting. These should also be avoided if there is abdominal pain, especially in the area of the appendix. Make sure you have a strong constitution before trying these purgatives, and use them only with the guidance of a health care professional. Using purgatives can be dangerous.

For children mix one ounce of raspberry leaves mixed with one and one-half ounce of flaxseed. Pour one quart of boiling water over the herbs and seeds and let them steep for one-half hour; strain and administer 2 tablespoons three times a day.

Mixing 10 drops of yellow dock tincture in a little water will gently stimulate the liver, which in turn stimulates action. Some people may need a dropperful of tincture or twice-a-day application to get things moving again.

Flaxseed tea also works well and is simple to make. Simply boil a teaspoon of flaxseed in 1 ½ cups water for 10 minutes.

There are some ancient remedies for constipation that have been passed down through generations throughout different cultures.

Hawaiians traditionally use watermelon pulp.

The Dutch recommend simmering six cloves in 2 tablespoons of water for about one minute, then add cold water, steep for 10 minutes, strain, and drink each day.

German tribes mixed a tablespoon of honey into a little warm water, added a glass of cold water, and drank this first thing in the morning.

Traditional Chinese Medicine maintains that fever, strength, dryness, and/or coagulation cause constipation. Depending on the pattern of symptoms, practitioners may recommend rhubarb, cinnamon, or peony.

Constipation is a sign that there is something out of balance. Always check your lifestyle, eating, and drinking habits first.

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