(WellnessNova.com) - Constipation refers to the inability to sustain normal bowel movement and pass stools. This is a very common digestive problem that affects people of all age groups. A bloated abdomen, hard stools, bad breath, loss of appetite, acne, mouth ulcers, and etc. are symptoms of constipation. People generally consume laxatives as a cure for constipation but overuse of the same leads to drug dependency and inability of the body to absorb calcium and vitamin D. A better alternative is to try out some natural remedies for constipation which can be followed at home as these have absolutely no side effects.
1. General Lifestyle Guidelines
More often than not, constipation becomes a chronic lifestyle problem which refuses to go away even with use of laxatives. Curing constipation has more to do with lifestyle interventions than mere diet changes or consumption of a particular formulation. Here are some tips for a healthier constipation-free life.
If you do not have the habit of walking, then do begin taking short walks every day. Increase your walking time gradually until you are comfortable walking for 20 minutes and more. Walking increases the blood circulation, which directly affects the bowel movement in a positive way.
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water everyday as this regularises the bowel movement. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as both are harmful for the digestive system.
Establish a daily routine for your bowel movement, and make sure that you do not rush through the process. The ideal time is in the morning either before or after breakfast.
Try using a small 6 to 10 inches’ stool to support your feet as you sit on the Western toilet. You will be able to flex your hips, and your pelvis will be placed in a normalized squat position which encourages better bowel movement.
2. Lemon Therapy
Lemon juice is one of the most potent natural medicines around, and it can be used to resolve a lot of health issues, including sluggishness of the digestive system. Lemons are an easily available fruit and they can be used in a variety of ways to reduce the problem of constipation.
One of the easiest therapies is to extract the juice of one half of a lemon and add it to a glass of lukewarm water. One pinch of rock salt and a spoon of honey should go in next, and the mixture should be gently sipped in the evening or in the morning on an empty stomach. You will notice a considerable positive change in your bowel movements after one week of regular lemon therapy.
Biochemistry of Lemon
Citrus flavonoids are present in lemons, and they are responsible for improvement in digestion. The soothing ingredients found in flavonoids calm down an upset stomach and prevent indigestion. The flavonoids supplement the role of hydrochloric acid and help in faster digestion. They also help in proliferating the good bacteria population in the gut. When the gut and the stomach works to the best of their capacity, food gets digested better and the bowel movement improves.
3. Roasted Fennel
Fennel seeds are one of the most naturally therapeutic substances that have a wide variety of uses. Fennel seeds contain a particular enzyme that encourages smooth muscle movement in the digestive tract. Fennel seeds can cure problems like irritable bowel syndrome as well as constipation, and they are very effective in reducing bloating.
Take a cup of fennel seeds and roast them on a wide-brimmed iron pan over a slow fire. Grind the roasted seeds and sieve the fennel seed mixture till you achieve a smooth consistency. This powder should be stored in a clear glass container and half a spoon of this mixture should be consumed each day along with a glass of warm water.
Biochemistry of Fennel
Fennel seeds have essential oils and aspartic acid, which are actually stimulants and urge the secretion of gastric and digestive juices. Often, people suffering from constipation suffer from inflamed intestine and stomach, which hinder proper absorption of food. However, the soothing properties of fennel reduce the inflammation and acidic feeling in the stomach. The carminative property found in aspartic acid is a good cure for flatulence since it expels gas from the stomach.
4. Flax Mixture
Flax seeds are high in natural fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which makes them an excellent health supplement for people suffering from digestive issues. Flax is a natural laxative which can cure very mild to serious constipation issues. You can mix one spoon of flax seed in one glass of water. Ideally this mixture should be consumed every day before going to sleep. If this routine is followed daily, a positive change in the bowel movements will be noted soon.
Biochemistry of Flax Seeds
Flax contains enzyme inhibitors which are actually hard to digest. However, once they are soaked in water for 8 hours and then dried, the enzyme inhibitors die and the nutrients remain unchanged. The 20 to 30 percent fiber content of the flax seeds is capable of speeding up the movement of the food along the digestive tract. More movement means faster stool formation and faster passage. The presence of omega-3 fatty acids and lignans are the added benefits.
5. Fig Paste
Figs are a powerhouse of fiber and antioxidants and still remain one of the most under-appreciated fruits in nature. It is highly recommended to consume figs regularly either in dry or fresh form for the treatment of constipation as they are a natural laxative. Fresh figs are generally available in the summer season, and you could try consuming them with their skin on because the skin is a vital source of calcium and fiber.
If you cannot find fresh figs, then buy dry ones and make this delicious fig paste: Take 2 to 3 almonds and 3 dry figs and soak them all in water overnight. Grind the fruits and nuts together and make a thick paste. Consume this paste with one spoon of honey at night. Regular consumption of this delicious paste will bring sustainable relief from constipation.
Biochemistry of Figs
Figs have a very high amount of fiber which helps in softening stools, giving them smoother expulsion. Figs contain luteolin, which is a potent antioxidant which can overcome a lot of free radicals that result from an inflamed colon and digestive tract. The proteolytic enzyme found in figs is used in many pharmaceutical preparations that help aid in digestion.