Constipation is an obvious side-effect of the modern lifestyle, characterized by lack of physical activity, sedentary office jobs, irregular meals and snacking, but it can also be due to stress. Other common causes for constipation that we can safely add to the list are:
- Insufficient dietary fibers (fruits and veggies)
- Too much protein and fats intake
- Dehydration and lack of liquid foods
- Taking prescription drugs or iron supplements
All these situations can trigger constipation episodes, but there may be some underlying causes for the condition. Medical conditions such as colon cancer, diabetes, hypothyroidism, hemorrhoids and anal fissure etc. can also manifest with episodes of constipation. Some weight loss diet programs are based on low dietary fiber intake but are rich in proteins and fats. This can also trigger constipation.
Forcing things to come out isn’t a good idea, nor is taking laxatives on long term. These can lead to a series of complications such as bowel obstruction, hemorrhoids, cystitis, mycosis, anal prolapse or even urinary or fecal incontinence, and we don’t want that.
Don’t panic just yet, because we have here for you 20+ of the best home remedies for constipation and sluggish digestion that you can safely try yourself. Moreover, at the end of this article you will find some amazing diet tips for constipation relief as well as a list of foods that are good when constipated and another on of foods to avoid. Basically you have here everything you need for to get rid of constipation for good the natural way. Here we go!
20 Best Home Remedies for Constipation Relief
1. Water Remedies
One of the main reasons for getting constipated is lack of hydration. These water based home remedies for constipation are really amazing:
- Sparkling water. Drink 1 cup of warm water with 1 tsp. of honey first thing in the morning. Honey with sparkling water is just as efficient. Follow this cure for 1 week, until you develop the habit of having honey and water in the morning and your constipation will go away.
- Salt Water. Drink 1 cup of cold water with ½ tsp. of salt dissolved in it before each meal.
- Water & Milk Cure. Add 1 tsp. of salt in 2/3 cup of warm water and add in 1/3 cup of milk. Drink it first thing in the morning before eating. If you don’t have a bowel movement in a few minutes, repeat the procedure 2 hours later.
Flax Seeds and Spring Water. Pour 1 cup of clean spring water in a blender and add 2 tbsp. of flax seeds. Blend well until you get a sticky consistency drink. Add a pinch of cinnamon and a tiny bit of honey to it and drink it. Have this twice a week, before bedtime.
2. Wheat Brans Treatment
Rich in dietary fibers, celluloses and B complex vitamins, wheat brans are amazing against constipation. You don’t need to sift them, in fact the coarse the better. Wheat brans are best stored in paper bags in the fridge and there’s no restriction or limits in consuming them. They are usually soaked in water, milk or tea before eaten, and you can make really delicious porridges with them. Here is how you can use them effectively if you suffer from constipation.
- Soaked Brans. Steep 1 tbsp. wheat brans in 150 ml of boiling water, cover the mug and leave it overnight. Eat the resulting wheat porridge and the water first thing in the morning. If you totally dislike the taste, you can add a bit of honey.
- Bran Bread. Mix equal parts of wheat brans with flour and a small fresh yeast cube. Add water and salt, knead well and leave it to rise for 30 minutes. Bake the bread for an hour or so, depending on how big the bread is. Have 1 slice of this brans bread at breakfast. You can have it with kefir for more efficient transit. You can eat this bread throughout the day as well. So effective!
- Bran Porridge. Mix together 2 tbsp. of each: wheat brans, honey, ground walnuts, sour cream and 2 grated apples. Stir all the ingredients well and store in the fridge. Have 2 tbsp. of this preparate first thing in the morning after which you drink 1 cup of chamomile tea. For more convenience, you can make double the quantity at once, no problem.
3. Plums for Constipation
A great home remedy for constipation are dried plums, because of their colon depurative properties and high vitamin content. Soak dried plums in water overnight. Next morning, bring them to a boil, let them cool off a bit and eat them together with the water.
- Plum Jam & Olive Oil. Mix 1 tbsp. organic virgin olive oil with 1 tbsp. natural (no sugar added) plum jam and take it first thing in the morning. An hour later you should have a loose bowel movement, so make sure you don’t leave the house before you go.
- Plum Compote. Thoroughly wash 500 gr of dried plums and put them to boil, as if you were making fruit preserve. After they’ve boiled, remove the kernels and mince the resulted pulp with a food processor. Use a tbsp. to measure how many tablespoons of fruit you’ve obtained and add the same amount of honey, around 8-9 tbsp. Mix well, pour in a large glass jar and store in the fridge. Have 1 tbsp. of this plum preserve 3 times per day before meals.
4. Probiotics Constipation Cures
Pickled and fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut are loaded with gut-friendly probiotics, that are so amazing againts constipation and other digestion related issues.
- Pickled Juice. Dissolve 2 tsp. of coarse salt in 250 ml of pickled juice and drink it first thing in the morning. If needed, repeat the procedure next morning. You can also use pickled juice for constipation this way. Add 1 tsp. of fresh yeast (4 gr) in 1 cup of pickled juice, warm it up a bit and drink it first thing in the morning.
- Borsch. Drink 2 cups of fresh borch, one in the morning before breakfast and the other one at night before bed. If you don’t find fresh borsch in your local supermarket, here is how you can make it at home. Add 3 cups of wheat brans, 1 cup of cornmeal, 1 tbsp. of salt, a few dried dill flowers, lovage and celery leaves in a 10 L jar. Boil enough water to fill the jar up, after it has boiled let it sit to cool off. After the water has cooled off pour it into the jar and seal it. Stir 2-3 times per day and your borsch is ready to use in a couple of days.
5. Herbal Home Remedies for Constipation
- Chervil. Add 1 tsp. of salt and another one of fresh butter in a pot with boiling water. Before it starts boiling, add a handful of chervil, one of sorrel, ½ leek stalk cut into fine rings and a handful of lettuce. After a few minutes of boiling the concoction is done. This is a month long home remedy for constipation, that also has very powerful body hydration properties.
- Lovage Juice. Drink 1 cup of fresh lovage juice every day, preferably in the morning. If you find it too strong, you can mix it with carrot juice to sweeten it up. This remedy is also amazing for putrefaction colitis.
- Sorrel. Make an infusion by scalding 30 gr. sorrel leaves into 1 l of boiling water and leave it to sit for 10 minutes. Strain and have 3 cups a day. Another home remedy for constipation with sorrel is this one. Boil 40 gr. sorrel leaves, 20 gr. leek, 20 gr. lettuce and 20 gr chervil in 1 l of water for 30 minutes. Drink 200 ml of this infusion 3 times per day, in the morning, evening and night.
- Dill. Drink every day an infusion of dill seeds that you can prepare by steeping 2 tbsp. dill seeds for 1 l of water. Drink it in the evening before bedtime.
- Wolf’s-foot Clubmoss. A very old cure for constipation is drinking wolf’s-foot clubmoss tea every morning on an empty stomach. Prepare it as a regular tea and drink it unsweetened. If you totally dislike the taste, you can add just a bit of honey. After 1 week of treatment, you should be constipation free. Resume whenever you have a day without a bowel movement.
6. Carrot Salad, a Remedy for Constipation
Carrot Salad. Grate carrot or apple and mix it with a bit of honey. Have a few tsp. of this “salad” every morning before breakfast. This is very nutritious, full of fibers and a great constipation relief.
7. Lemon & Honey
In the evening before bedtime drink a mix of: the juice from 1/2 juicy lemon, 1 tbsp. organic honey and another one of cold-pressed olive oil. Use a porcelain or glass cup for this. Stir really well and put it beside your bed, within reach. Next morning, stir the content again a bit and drink it right away. Then lay down in bed on your right side for 15 minutes straight. This is a 30 days treatment and is really effective not only for constipation, but also for chronic conditions like duodenum ulcers.
8. Whey Cure
Drink 1 cup of fresh cow milk or sheep milk whey before each meal, 3 times a day. In the morning, 1 hour after drinking the first cup of whey drink freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (with the pulp in) in which you add 1 tsp. wheat brans.
9. Magnesium Sulfate
Dissolve 1 small packed of magnesium sulfate in 200 ml of warm water and drink it on an empty stomach.
3 Effective Natural Remedies for Chronic Constipation
1.Wheat Brans and Honey
Mix 2 tbsp. of wheat brans with 1 tbsp. honey and 1 cup of hot milk. Have this first thing in the morning. This remedy is efficient even in treating blood in stool caused by constipation.
2. Clay Cure
This is a 3 weeks long treatment. Mix 2 tbsp. of clay and another one of wheat brans in 1 cup of warm water and drink this twice a day, in the morning before breakfast and in the evening, two hours after dinner. You mustn’t have anything else after you drink this remedy in the evening. This is for the first week. In the second week do exactly the same, but add only half of the clay quantity (1 tbsp.). For the third week, drink only the water with 1 tsp. of clay and no brans for the mineral rebalance. To make this remedy even more effective, you can use herbal tea instead of water in the 3rd week of treatment. You can use bistort root tea (Polygonum bistorta) or Echinacea.
3. Mustard Seeds
Have 1-2 tbsp. of white mustard seeds whole every morning on an empty stomach. You can swallow them with a bit of water. This remedy is also highly effective for irritable bowel syndrome, not just for constipation.
2 Constipation Home Remedies for Children
A great home remedy for constipation for children is this one that uses wheat brans. Mix 2 tbsp. of wheat brans with 1 tbsp. of honey and 1 cup of hot milk. Stir and serve, but make sure it is not way too hot so the kid might get burned with it. Be cautious! This must be drunk first thing in the morning, but for beginners the kid should take it in the evening, right after dinner.
Another cure for constipation in small children is very similar with the one above, with a slight variation. This time, you need to pour water over 2-3 tbsp. of wheat bran in a cup, just enough to cover the brans up. Let them sit overnight. Next morning, pour some milk over the wheat bran and boil for a few minutes. Sweeten with honey and garnish with nuts, homemade plum jam, raisins or fresh fruit, whatever your kid prefers.
You should put your kid on the toilet and not the potty and take him/her to the bathroom for 10-15 minutes the same time every day, until they develop a habit. Make sure you stick to this ritual, even if they don’t have a bowel movement. Consistency is key!
Your baby’s diet is really important too. Feed them plenty natural yogurts and kefir, borsch and other sour foods, but leave out sweets and chocolates, because they only aggravate constipation.
3 Natural Laxatives that You Can Prepare at Home
- Coffee Bean Broth
Boil 2 tbsp. of unroasted coffee beans in 500 ml of water. Drink this first thing in the morning, before breakfast and also before lunch.
- Tomato Juice
Drink 250 ml of fresh tomato juice or natural bullion 30 minutes to 1 hour before the first meal of the day. Fresh apple or orange juices are just as good if taken before breakfast.
Wash 2 figs very well, cut them into smaller pieces and put them in a coffee cup. Pour water over them and leave them to stay covered in water overnight. Next morning bottoms up! Figs are excellent natural laxatives and a great home remedy for constipation, so you may as well fill your pantry up with figs. Eating mulberries and wild strawberries is also amazing for constipation.
The Best Diet for Constipation
For constipation it is very important to have raw veggies and fruits based diet. In fact 25% of your diet should consist of raw fruits and veggies because they are loaded with fiber. The reason is fibers regulate the bowel movement.
Adults should consume on average 20-35 gr of fibers daily. Foods rich in soluble and insoluble fibers are highly recommended for constipation. Foods that contain soluble fibers contribute to keeping blood sugars low as well as the cholesterol levels. These can be found in apples, barley, beans, carrots, oranges and rye, while insoluble fibers are found in whole cereals, beans, whole fruits and veggies, seeds and wheat brans. Each of these fiber-rich foods has a beneficial effect on the body, hence they are recommended in your everyday diet, even if you don’t suffer from constipation.
Drinking plenty of water every day is also a must.
Diet Tips for Constipation and Easy Digestion
- Drink plenty liquids during the day, herbal teas and water mostly; avoid sugary drinks or sodas
- Make sure you’re eating accordingly to your needs, and have regular meals; avoid eating solid foods 3 hours before going to bed
- Exercise daily even if it’s just a 30 minutes’ walk after meal
- Replace foods that are full of refined sugars with whole cereals
- Add raw garlic into your daily diet; garlic is a natural antibiotic and it helps cleanse the stomach and digestive tract of the bad bacteria
- Start your day with a glass of water in which you add 1 tsp. of honey; this will rev up your metabolism and stimulate the digestive so it is ready to receive food
Hildegard von Bingen’s advice for constipation is to eat whole rye bread soaked in organic hot cow’s milk. Also, avoid eating meats and diary and use caraway and ginger to season your foods.
8 Foods that Relieve Constipation Fast
The best foods for constipation are mostly the ones that have a lot of fiber content, especially raw, uncooked fruits and veggies as well as fiber-rich grains. Probiotics are also amazing with constipation as well as honey and cold-pressed organic oils.
1.Raw Fruits & Veggies. Apples, pears, apricots, grapes, figs, pineapple, plums (fresh or dried) all should be included in your diet if you want to get rid of constipation immediately. Bananas are not good when constipated because of their high starch content, so it’s better to leave them for now. Raw veggies like lettuce, asparagus, cabbage, radish, carrots, etc. Carrots, beetroot, black radish, celery root have a very great action on the digestive and excretion system. You can eat them as they come, but you can do something even better. Grate them and add some cold-pressed olive oil on top and make them into the best anti-constipation salad ever! Include fresh dairy-free veggie soups, either cooked or raw into your diet as well.
2.Dried Plums. These fruits are famous for making you go as they’ve been praised since ancient times for their natural laxative properties. You can eat them instead of breakfast, soaked in hot water or as they come. They are absolutely amazing against constipation, so definitely add them to your grocery shopping list.
3.Wheat Brans. Oats are great for constipation but wheat brans are just amazing! Ten times better! You can soak them in hot water overnight and eat them with fruits next morning, or have them with kefir and make your own anti-constipation power recipe. Whole corn flakes, rolled oats or boiled faro are also amazing with constipation.
4.Natural Yogurts. For a regular transit have 200 ml of natural yogurt first thing in the morning. You can eat it with some additives-free whole-wheat bread. You will have a bowel movement somewhere between 5 minutes and 2 hours after having the yogurt, so stay close to the toilet. Go for organic and natural yogurts, not the ones ultra-pasteurized that no longer have the good bacteria in them. You can even make kefir at home if you have organic, raw milk around.
5.Legumes. Dried beans, lentils, soy should also be part of a healthy diet, especially if you often confront with constipation of a slow, sluggish digestion.
6.Nuts & Seeds. Flax seeds, walnuts and raw nuts in general are packed with fiber and natural fats that aid digestion. Olives and olive oil should not be missing from your diet as well, since they are amazing fats for your body.
7.Olive Oil. Olive oil is a great remedy for constipation on its own. Baked eggplant with olive oil is a great and simple food for constipation. Look up baba ganoush for a simple and tasty recipe with eggplants. An olive oil cure is also recommended if you are confronted with constipation. Simply have 1 tbsp. of olive oil in the morning and another one in the evening before bedtime and continue until you’re digestion has improved.
8.Green Tea. Drinking green tea a few times per day is a great constipation prevention method. People in Asian countries have used green tea for centuries to help digestion, but also for its anti-bloating and anti-constipation effects. If you want to sweeten your green tea, add a tsp. of honey, but avoid sugar or artificial sweeteners. The more natural the better.
4 Breakfast Ideas for Constipation
Kefir and Oats
Having 1 cup of natural kefir 2-3 times every day on an empty stomach is a sure cure for constipation. If you want to make it even more delicious, add your favorite whole sugar-free cereals or muesli in it and a little honey to sweeten it up. This is a tasty breakfast idea!
Pour 200 ml of cold milk or lemon water over 3 tbsp. of rolled oats in a bowl. Leave the oats to soak the liquid for 20-25 minutes, and then you’re ready to enjoy it. If you find it rather dull, you can add a few raisins in as well or some organic honey.
Wheat Bran Musli.
Mix 2 tbsp. wheat brans with 2 tbsp. of rolled oats and barley mix, 1 tbsp. honey and 200 ml of plain and natural yogurt drink. If you make your own yogurt drink at home that’s even better. Let the bran and oats soak well for a few minutes and then you’re ready to enjoy a lovely and tasty laxative and colon cleansing porridge.
Polenta Recipe. Add 3 tbsp. of cornmeal, 1 tsp. of olive oil, 1 tbsp. of sugar and fill the rest of the cup with water. Boil the mix on low heat until you obtain a soft polenta. Then you take it off the fire, crack an egg on top and blend it well in the polenta. Serve while warm.
7 Foods that Make Constipation Worse
Constipation is our body’s reaction to an improper lifestyle, but mostly diet. The first things to reduce or even better, completely cut out from your diet are highly processed foods, preservatives and additives loaded foods, even cooked foods in general, not to mention deep fried foods. Refined wheat products, pastry, sweets are also off the list, until you regain a healthy digestion and a regular bowel movement.
1.Sugar. Sweets and highly sugary foods should be off your diet if you suffer from constipation, bloating or any other digestive problems. Sugar contributes to killing the good bacteria in the gut and raising the inflammation in the body. If you’re on a sugar low, have a fresh fruit or a handful of raw nuts instead and your gut will thank you later.
2.Cooked Foods. Reduce as much as possible the cooked foods and have as many raw meals as possible. Fresh fruit, salads, legumes, soaked brans or oats, these are the kind of foods that help you get over constipation. Make sure your diet is composed of at least 50% raw fresh fruit, veggies and legumes and the rest is steamed light foods.
3.Refined Grains. And we’re talking white flour especially, but this extends to pasta, white rice as well. Rice is well-known for its constipation properties, making a great food if you have diarrhea, or loose stools, alongside toast and banana.
4.Meat & Dairy. Leave meat and dairy out of your diet for a while. Meat turns into glue-like matter in the stomach, making you bloated and constipated while dairy create mucus in the body. An exception would be the natural occurring bacteria in yogurts called Lactobacillus-Bifidus, which is actually good for constipation, because it helps decompose and digest foods in the stomach.
5.Fruit Juices. Fruit juices are depleted of fiber and instead they are just loaded with fructose, the natural occurring sugars in the fruits. Although they are not as bad as sodas, they don’t provide the amount of fiber you need to fight constipation. Instead, opt for green teas or plain water to get hydrated and have an apple or an orange on the side.
6.Tannins. The consumption of red wine, blackcurrants, cranberries and other foods that contain lots of tannins should be put aside, at least until you get rid of constipation. Afterwards, if you are predisposed to constipation, have these foods in moderation.
Other Simple Tips for Constipation Relief
Besides these awesome home remedies for constipation and the diet tips and food recommendations, there’s something more you can do for a holistic constipation relief treatment.
Here is what you can do to relief constipation:
- Better Posture
The squat, crouched position is the best one when you’re on the toilet, ready to go. This posture favors the relaxation of the sphincter muscle and helps the inferior part of the colon to take a horizontal position. In addition, this position allows the abdominal muscles to contract more easily and help excrete faster. The easiest way to take this position is to place a small stool beneath your feet when sitting on the toilet, so that your knees are higher than your hip and your body is inclined forward, but your back is straight.
- Avoid Holding for Too Long
Ideally, when you feel like going to the bathroom, you should go right away, otherwise your sphincter will learn to hold in for longer than it should. Your body loves routine, so make sure you have a regular time in the day when you go to the bathroom.
- Inactivity Makes it Worse
Constipation is more prevalent in people who lead sedentary lives, if fact it makes it worse. A minimum of 30 minutes of walk every day, after mealtime is ideal to help your bowels get to work and make you poop with ease. Use the stairs, and make sure you’re on the move as much as possible; yoga or Chinese gymnastics is also great if you don’t like sweating that much.
Hope you’ve found with us some very helpful home remedies for constipation, as well as some easy to follow tips that will aid you getting rid of constipation immediately. Always remember that there is a natural way to health! Take care!