Constipation can be extremely uncomfortable or even painful. It often causes bloating, abdominal pain, hard stools, and difficulty having bowel movements but many consumers are hesitant to use chemical laxatives due to their potentially dangerous side effects, medication interactions, and the risk of dependency. Thankfully, there are safer natural laxatives out there that can be used without serious risk.
10 Natural Laxatives to Try If You Haven’t Already
Senna can be found in many over-the-counter laxatives and is even used in some medications designed to clear the bowels before medical procedures, but it can also be taken in tea form. Senna tea typically gentler than pills but it can only be used as a short-term solution. Long-term use of senna can cause liver damage.
Slippery elm works by stimulating the nerves in the consumer’s GI tract. This increases mucus production, making it easier to pass stool and providing relief from constipation. Companies like Super Trees combine slippery elm with other natural laxatives for maximum effect.
Marshmallows produce beautiful flowers in unexpected places but that’s not all they’re good for. Marshmallow root can also be used to make a tea that acts as an anti-inflammatory, a digestive aid, and a mild laxative. The same soothing effects can also be obtained by taking supplements that contain marshmallow root.
Aloe vera latex is better known for its ability to soothe sunburns and rashes but it’s also an effective laxative. It works by harnessing the power of anthraquinone glycosides to draw water into the intestines, softening stool and stimulating the digestive tract to increase the frequency of bowel movements.
All parts of the dandelion are edible and most have medicinal properties. Dandelion root stimulates bile production in the liver and acts as a mild diuretic, which can soften stool. It’s good for treating mild digestive symptoms, including occasional constipation.
Psyllium is a type of fiber derived from the seeds and husks of Plantago ovata. It contains soluble fiber, which absorbs water and forms a gel to soften stool and relieve constipation. In some studies, psyllium actually produced better results than docusate sodium, a popular laxative medication.
Prunes and Prune Juice
There’s a reason some people swear by drinking prune juice to relieve constipation. Not only prune rich in fiber, but they also contain sorbitol, a type of sugar alcohol that acts as an osmotic agent.
Olive oil acts as a lubricant, coating the rectum to ease the passage of stool. It also stimulates the small intestine. Olive oil is most effective when paired with colon-cleansing herbs.
Green and Black Tea
While most people associate caffeine with coffee, some teas also naturally contain caffeine, a stimulant known to speed up bowel movements. Stick to using these liquid remedies in the morning when the extra energy boost from the caffeine won’t interfere with sleep.
Parsley Leaves and Seeds
Parsley is best known as a culinary herb but its leaves and seeds can also help to alleviate mild constipation. Historically, people have chewed on the leaves and stems of this common garden herb to get rid of flatulence as well.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of natural remedies for treating mild to severe constipation. Herbal teas and supplements are safer to use than many pharmaceutical medications and in many cases, they’re just as effective. Just make sure to buy natural laxatives from a reputable supplier.
Liked this article? Share it to say “thanks!” Your support is much appreciated!
I would love to connect with you!