When there is a problem with the bowels, it is called constipation. It can be any one of these- too hard or too little stool, difficulty in passing stool or infrequent bowel movements. However, infrequency amounts to constipation only if there are less than three bowel movements per week.
Causes of Constipation
There are many reasons for constipation, main being dietary imbalance, certain medical conditions and inactivity. The causes of constipation can be listed as
- Low fiber diet
- Insufficient fluid intake
- Inactivity like those in disabled or elderly people
- Medical conditions like hypothyroidism, pregnancy, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, spinal cord injuries, and colon cancer.
- Sometimes certain medicines taken for pain, muscle spasms, depression, mineral deficiencies, high blood pressure, and heart disease can also lead to constipation.
Home remedies for constipation
Include high fiber fruits and vegetables as well as exercises in your daily routine and don’t forget to drink lots of water during the day. Your diet should consist wholegrain cereals, bran, honey, lentils, green and leafy vegetables, fresh and dry fruits, milk products in the form of clarified butter, etc. All fruits are useful in treating constipation except banana and jackfruit.
Spinach- Take it raw or cooked. Spinach is the best diet for getting relief from constipation. Juice of raw spinach can even cure chronic constipation. Mix this with carrot juice to make it some more effective.
Bael Fruit– Bael fruit is a natural laxative. Preferably take it in its whole fruit form (not juice) before dinner.
Guava- Guava has lots of roughage which helps in the normal evacuation of the bowels. One or two guavas everyday can keep off constipation.
Grapes- Cellulose, sugar, and organic acid in grapes make them a good laxative food. Fresh grapes are best. Alternatively take raisins after soaking them in water for about 1-2 days so that they swell to the original size of grapes. Eat them early in the morning and also take the water in which they were soaked.
Orange-Yet another effective treatment of constipation is the delicious fruit orange that has lots of fiber. Orange juice is good but preferably take the fruit to get all its fibers.
Papaya- A bowl full of papaya pieces with breakfast can act as an excellent laxative.
Lime- Squeeze half a lime into a glass of warm water. Take it with a teaspoon of salt for effective treatment of constipation.
Water– Make the habit of drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water everyday. You can even keep water in a copper vessel overnight and drink it in the morning on an empty stomach.
Milk– take warm milk before going to bed. If suffering from chronic constipation, mix some almond into it (soak a handful of almonds for five to six hours and mix with milk after grinding them). You can even eat dates with milk for treating constipation.
Olive and Castor Oil- Take 1-2 spoonful of olive or castor oil. It is a good remedy for constipation. If you can’t take them alone put them in some juice like orange juice or carrot, spinach juice.
Linseeds and Sesame- Take some seeds of sunflower, almonds, sesame and linseed(flax seeds). Grind them to get their powder. Take 1 tablespoon of this herbal powder for a week with fruit juice or salads to naturally get relief from constipation.
Exercises and Yoga- Walking, jogging, swimming- do any of these or other exercises. Yoga is particularly good not only for constipation but for overall health. Learn ‘Vajrasana’ from some expert yoga guru. This yoga asana is particularly effective for the treatment of constipation.
Always chew your food properly. Make your mealtimes a priority over other works. Eat regular meals, preferably at fixed time everyday. Avoid too much of refined food items. Avoid sugary foods, white flour, too much of rice, white bread, cakes, pastries, biscuits, cheese, fleshy foods, preserves, white sugar, and hard-boiled eggs. Get enough of fresh air and indulge yourself in outdoor games and exercises to get rid of constipation.