Constipation occurs when bowel movements become less frequent and/or difficult. In most cases, constipation is caused by inadequate water or fiber intake, immobility, eating a large amount of dairy products, stress, not emptying the bowels when necessary, overuse of laxatives, eating disorders, irritable bowel syndrome or colon cancer. Most everyone experiences the problem at one time or another, and most of the time, you’ll need nothing more than one or two constipation home remedies.
Contact a doctor if you remain constipated two days or more after using these treatments, however, as this may be the sign of a more serious condition.
- Laxative Juice Blend – Combine 1 cup pineapple juice, ½ cup grapejuice and ½ cup aloe vera juice to make an effective constipation home remedy. Drink once a day as needed.
Mild Laxative Drink – Combine 2 cups pineapple juice, ¼ cup aloe vera juice, ½ cup yogurt, ½ ripe banana, 1 tbsp. slippery elm powder and 1 tbsp. psyllium seed husks in a blender. Blend until smooth and drink once daily as needed.
- Apple Juice Home Remedy for Constipation – Combine ½ cup apple juice and ½ cup olive oil. Drink just before bed for the best results.
- Molasses Constipation Remedy – Take 2 tbsp. black strap molassesbefore going to bed. Add to a cup of milk or juice if the taste is too strong for you. In most cases, you’ll have a bowel movement by morning.
- Classic Prune Remedy – Pour boiling water over several prunes, andthen allow the mixture to steep overnight or for a minimum of four hours. Add a few tbsp. honey if you require a little sweetness. Eat the prunes and drink the liquid. This is one of the most effective home remedies for constipation.
- Lemon Juice and Olive Oil – Combine 1 tsp. each lemon juice and olive oil. Take one to three doses a day, a few hours apart, until you have a bowel movement.
- Clove Constipation Treatment – Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 tsp. of whole cloves. Cover the mixture and allow it to steep overnight. Strain the next morning and drink the liquid for relief. Add honey to improve taste, if necessary.
- Cornmeal Treatment – First thing in the morning, combine 1 tbsp. cornmeal with 1 cup water, and then drink. One of the best constipation relief home remedies, this treatment should yield a bowel movement quickly. If not, take another dosage in a few hours.
- Yogurt and Pureed Fruit – Plain yogurt combined with pureed figs makes one of the best natural remedies for constipation, especially for children. Mix equal parts of each ingredient and eat once or twice a day as needed. If you don’t have access to figs, you can also use applesauce or pureed prunes.
- Psyllium Seeds for Constipation – Psyllium, the seed husks of the plant Plantago ovata, adds bulk to the stool and is commonly found in many over-the-counter bulk-forming laxatives. To use, mix 1 to 2 tsp. of the seeds with a cup of hot water and let the mixture steep for two hours. Add lemon juice and honey to taste, then drink. You can usually find psyllium seeds for sale in health food stores and drug stores. This remedy may also work with flaxseeds if you can’t find psyllium.
- Relief with Flaxseeds – High in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds also have a slight laxative effect on individuals suffering from constipation. Prepare them as described above, or simply take 1 tbsp. of the ground seeds up to three times daily. Some people enjoy the taste of flaxseeds, but if you don’t, you can sneak the ground seeds into applesauce, cereal or a smoothie.
- Constipation Porridge – Combine 3 tbsp. psyllium husks, some stewed fruit or cooked prunes and milk. Mix well and top with honey, molasses or brown sugar. Microwave for 5 minutes on medium power, and then eat immediately with extra milk to taste. This remedy provides a tastier way to consume psyllium and makes an excellent breakfast for individuals who don’t get enough fiber in their diet.
- A Cup of Joe – The caffeine in coffee has a bowel-loosening effect. It stimulates the colon, which causes a bowel movement. One cup is usually enough to do the trick. Avoid drinking too much coffee, as caffeine is also a diuretic that will elminate fluid from your body. Follow your coffee with a glass of water for the best results.
- Castor oil - An old-fashioned home remedy for constipation, castor oil really does work. The oil contains components that stimulate the colon and induce bowel movements. Take 1 to 2 tsp. castor oil on an empty stomach and give it at least eight hours to work (which it will). Do not exceed 2 tsp. in eight hours.