Constipation is the most common stomach related problem that bothers people of all age groups from time to time. Most of the time is not related to any serious issue, but can surely cause discomfort and irritation.
One feels constipated when the movement of the bowel slows down in the colon, which makes the stool or faeces hard or difficult to pass. This can happen due to numerous reasons like low intake of fiber, physical inactivity, less water intake, during pregnancy or due to intake of some medications. Frequent episodes of constipation can be a sign of poor lifestyle habits or some underlying health condition. Occasional cases of constipation can easily be treated by adjusting your lifestyle habits or reaching for home remedies. In case of a serious issue, you surely need to check with your doctor. Here are some simple remedies that you can try for relief from stomach related issues.
Insufficient intake of fluid is the common problem that makes the stool hard in the colon and difficult to pass out. So, the first and simplest remedy to treat constipation is increasing the intake of water. Whenever possible drink lukewarm water. If constipation is a regular thing for you then make it a habit to drink at least 2 glasses of lukewarm water every morning in an empty stomach. Besides, try to drink 2-3 litres of water throughout the day.
Coconut oil contains an abundance of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which help to stimulate bowel movements and soften the stool. The oil lubricates the intestine that helps in easy movement of the body, preventing constipation. It also helps to remove excess waste from the body. People often suffering from the problem of constipation must have one or two teaspoons of virgin coconut oil daily for relief. Coconut oil is safe for consumption and has no known side-effects.
Widely used in cooking to add flavour, ginger has multiple health benefits. This spice that is commonly found in every Indian pantry is known for its natural laxative properties that help to promote bowel movement and thus cure constipation. You can use ginger in two ways either drink the tea or massage your abdomen with ginger essential oil.
The caffeinated drink can also stimulate the bowel movement by contracting the abdominal muscle. Drinking coffee can help move the stool toward the rectum and then move out. When feeling constipated drinking one or two cups of coffee can easily do the trick. A study revealed that coffee can stimulate the gut in a similar manner to a meal.
Coffee can help move bowels, but excessive intake can also leave you dehydrated. Drink plenty of water when drinking caffeinated beverages.
Warm water with lemon juice is one of the popular home remedies to get rid of the problem of constipation. Lemons are acidic in nature, packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, which helps to remove toxins from the digestive tract and pulls water into the gut. When the level of water increases it helps soften stool and stimulate bowel movements.
Probiotic is a popular food for promoting healthy gut bacteria, but it is also effective in treating constipation. The healthy strains such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus found in probiotic encourage healthy bowels. They promote easy elimination of stool, improve consistency and a reduced digestive transit time. Foods such as sauerkraut, yogurt and kefir are some easily available sources of natural probiotics. These should be taken regularly by people who often suffer from stomach related problems.
Pineapple juice is not only tasty but also has some amazing health benefits. It contains an enzyme called bromelain, which helps to ease constipation, reduce bloating and stomach cramps. The citric juice adds bulk to the stool and also keeps you hydrated.
Fennel seeds act as a laxative when ingested and get your bowel moving. It is also effective in other stomach issues like indigestion and bloating. The tiny seeds increase gastric enzymes in the digestive system, which makes it easier for the stool to pass from the colon. Take half a teaspoon of fennel seeds powder daily with a glass of warm water to improve your stomach health. You can also mix 2-3 drops of fennel seeds oil with some carrier oil and massage your abdomen with it.
Milk and ghee
Consuming too much of dairy or dairy products are known to lead to constipation, but some people swear by the benefits of drinking milk with ghee for stimulating the bowel movement. The combination of the two foods have been recommended by Ayurveda and have been used for centuries to cure constipation. 1-2 teaspoons of ghee with a glass of warm milk in the evening can naturally encourage a bowel movement the next morning.
Peppermint is known for its antispasmodic properties, which can relax the muscles in the digestive tract, making the bowel looser and providing relief from the problem associated with constipation. You can add 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil into a glass of lukewarm water and drink the concoction every morning on an empty stomach. Peppermint tea can also have a similar health benefit.
Other effective home remedies
Some other home remedies for treating constipation are:
Increasing the fibre intake: Low intake of fiber can also make it difficult to pass the stool. This is common when following a low-carb diet. Include more carb and fibre rich foods to regularise your motion.
Exercises: Increasing the amount of your physical activity is also known to improve the symptoms of constipation and get the stool moving.
Prune juice: Rich in dietary fiber and sorbitol, prune juice or dried plum juice can bulk up the stool and help in their easy passage.
Honey: Due to its laxative property honey is highly effective in combating constipation. Have two to three teaspoons of honey daily for relief.
Sesame seeds: The tiny seeds have an oily composition that helps to moisturize the lining of the intestine and let the stool pass easily.