7 Natural Laxatives That are Really Helpful

By:Ariba Khaliq, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Jan 26, 2015

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Even the sound of the word constipation can give you a constipated face. Of course, not getting your bowel movement regularly is a nasty problem. But, before you pop a pill to poop, try these 7 natural laxatives that are really helpful.
  • 1

    Are you experiencing difficulty in emptying your bowel?

    From time to time, we all end up feeling a bit constipated. It can happen for a wide array of reasons that many of us have no idea about. Constipation is the solidification of waste material in your body that makes the process of evacuation very painful. The first sign of constipation is difficulty in passing stool. Other symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain and swelling, and loss of appetite. While a serious case of constipation will need some medical attention. There are ways of preventing and treating it at home using natural laxatives. The following are 7 natural laxative s that are really helpful.

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  • 2

    Fibrous Foods

    Dietary fibre is one of the best natural laxatives when it comes to relieving constipation. Fibrous foods make stool bulkier and help it retain more water so that it remains soft. All the edible parts of plants or carbohydrates that you cannot digest are dietary fibre. Wheat bran, whole grains (opt for whole grain breads, cereals and pastas), cereals, seeds, and fruits and vegetables (as far as possible, eat them with skin) are all examples of fibrous foods.

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  • 3

    Olive Oil

    Olive oil is not only healthy, but is a laxative too. It stimulates the digestive system that helps better functioning of colon. When taken regularly, olive oil not just relieves constipation but even works towards preventing it from coming back. In the morning, on an empty stomach, have a teaspoon of olive oil. If you cannot stand the taste of pure oil, add some lemon juice to this and then have it.

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  • 4

    Coffee

    In addition to stimulating your brain, coffee also stimulates your bowel. It is however not known if caffeine is the reason behind it. But what is known is that coffee stimulates the movement of your colonic muscles and promotes peristalsis. Peristalsis is the coordinated contraction and relaxation of your intestinal muscles and it is the cause of your bowel movements. Coffee works so fast that due to the increased peristalsis, your colon doesn’t get enough time to reabsorb water from the faecal matter which is essential for well-formed stools. So, you need to be prepared for loose stool if you choose coffee as your natural laxative! Just have a strong coffee and forget about constipation.

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  • 5

    Aloe Vera

    Aloe vera gel contains powerful laxative compounds. This is why, it is used in various constipation-relieving products. Some of these products include aloin, aloe-emodin, and barbaloin. The aloe latex contains anthraquinone glycosides that are said to have laxative effects. Extract fresh aloe gel from the plant and mix it well with water or fruit juice and have in the morning. You could also buy aloe vera juice instead of getting aloe gel and have 1 cup of it in the morning or whenever you feel the need to take laxative.

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  • 6

    Psyllium Husk

    Obtained from the plant ‘Plantago Ovata’, psyllium husk, popularly called Isabgol in India, has been used by Ayurveda since ages as a natural laxative. It is essentially fibre derived from the husk of the psyllium plant’s seeds. It is an insoluble fibre and this makes it bulk forming laxative. Thus, when you consume psyllium husk, it helps the stool soak up water in your intestine and makes bowel movements easier. After an hour of having your dinner, drink a glass of warm water or warm milk with 1-2 tsp of psyllium husk added to it. Your bowel movement should be easy the next morning.

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  • 7

    Prune Juice

    This is one of the traditionally tried natural laxatives. To relieve constipation, you should use unfiltered prune juice because it contains natural fibres of the prunes it is made from. To add scientific evidence to this traditional remedy, a research conducted in 2011 had also approved prunes to be good for treating constipation. In this research, 40 adults with chronic constipation were studied for the effect of prunes versus ispaghula or the psyllium. And it found that briefly, on average, about 6 prunes twice daily seemed to be better at relieving constipation than 11 g psyllium taken twice daily. Have a cup of unfiltered prune juice still having some fiber in it, right in the morning on an empty stomach. Alternatively, have 6-7 prunes at a time, two to three times a day.

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  • 8

    Ripe Bael Fruit

    India and other neighbouring countries use bael fruit, also called wood apple, for various medicinal purposes; constipation is one such reason. It excellently cleans and tones up the bowels; but only the ripe bael fruit is useful as laxative. It is aromatic and has astringent properties. It is so good a laxative that its use for two to three months will clean off even the old accumulated faecal matter for regular constipation sufferers.

    Image: Getty

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