Constipation can be a common issue among various people at some point in their lives. Those who experience fewer than three bowel movements per week will have difficulty passing their hard stools. It is also common to notice abdominal cramps and bloating. While constipation is uncomfortable, it is not typically serious and can usually be relieved with natural laxatives that you have at home.
Oils as Natural Laxatives
Oils can make your stool slippery enough to move down your intestine easily and quickly. The following home laxatives are highly effective and may give you noticeable results in as little as six or eight hours.
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil works to stimulate your digestive system, improving the function of the colon. When you take it regularly, it can relieve constipation.
For the best results, take a teaspoon of olive oil in the morning while your stomach is still empty. If you don’t like the taste, try mixing it with a teaspoon of lemon juice.
2. Mineral Oil
When used as a natural laxative, you should take mineral oil orally. Keep in mind that this method should not be used too frequently as it may lead to vitamin deficiencies. You should also avoid this treatment if you take any blood thinner.
To use mineral oil as a laxative, take a teaspoon of it at a time. You can repeat the process if you don’t experience relief within 6 to 8 hours, but don’t take it more than three times a day.
3. Castor Oil
Castor oil works as a natural laxative by affecting the mucosa in the intestines to change the electrolyte and water secretion. In specific, it lubricates the bowels and cleans the fecal matter during this process.
Swallow a teaspoon of Castor oil in the morning when your stomach is empty. If you think it tastes bad, you can also swallow a teaspoon of optional fruit juice.
4. Flax Oil
Flax oil has large quantities of omega-3 fatty acids which allow it to lubricate the walls of your colon and soften stools to give you relief from the constipation.
You can experience the benefits of this natural laxative by swallowing a half teaspoon of the oil. An alternative is to grind up flax seeds and add them to baked foods.
Dietary Fibers as Natural Laxatives
Dietary fiber includes all the elements of carbohydrates and plants which are edible but cannot be digested. You can get dietary fiber from legumes, seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruits. Dietary fiber works by making your stools bulkier, allowing them to retain more water.
Avocados contain vitamin K, folic acid and potassium, which are all beneficial for the functioning of your body. When you eat an avocado, you will get 30 percent of your daily fiber needs. Additionally, lutein and magnesium in avocado improve your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from other foods.
Plums are known as the top natural laxatives as they encourage bowel movement and push the stool through the intestine by their sugar sorbitol. Plums also have beneficial bacteria that can clean the colon.
3. Citrus Fruit
Citrus fruits are known as detoxifiers. They contain vitamin C which converts toxins into materials that the body can digest. Each orange gives you 15 percent of your daily recommended fiber intake.
Raw seeds can also help your digestion. Examples of raw seeds include sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, Chia seeds and linseeds. All seeds will give you vitamin E, proteins and zinc, in addition to fiber. Other options include pine nuts, almonds and walnuts.
Bulk-forming laxatives and fiber absorb a lot of water. Therefore, you will need to drink a minimum of 2 liters (8 to 10 cups) each day. If you don’t drink enough water, you may notice that your stools become dry, which means that they are more difficult to pass.
It's common and normal to experience an increase in abdominal bloating and flatulence when more dietary fiber is consumed. It should settle down within several weeks as your gut adjusts to the new fiber levels.
Abdomen Massage as Natural Laxative
In some cases, massaging your abdomen will be enough to alleviate bloating as well as assist you with passing stools. You can even use this technique while on the throne.
Begin by lying down with your belly up and placing a palm on the abdomen. Make small clockwise motions around the belly button with your flat fingers, gradually increasing pressure while drawing 4 circles. Now put the other hand over your first hand, drawing bigger circles with your palms, covering the entire abdomen. Do this 4 times clockwise.
Now use fingers from one hand to draw a single circle in small rotating movements before kneading the abdomen with index fingers and thumbs. Soothe the area with gliding light pressure, starting left and heading right, using both hands in a wave-like pattern. In the end, put your palms underneath your belly button and breathe calmly for a minute.
The following video can help you understand the process of self-massage for constipation relief.
Other Natural Laxatives
1. Aloe Vera
Opt for pure aloe vera gel when possible. Remember that this pure gel is highly concentrated so you shouldn’t have over 2 tablespoons. Aloe juice also works.
Yogurt prevents and reduces constipation by keeping beneficial bacteria strong. The easiest way to encourage your bacteria is to have yogurt with probiotics as a part of your breakfast.
Coffee stimulates the colon muscles, promoting peristalsis. This is the coordinated contraction and relaxation of intestinal muscles which helps bowel movements. Coffee also works quickly, giving the colon less time to reabsorb water from fecal matter.
Walking for at least 10 minutes daily can help your digestive system function better. You can also pick a more intensive activity such as swimming, jogging or running. Even stretching can relieve constipation.