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Alternative Medicine Remedies for Constipation:

Herbal constipation remedies

Constipation, constipated

Herbs for a Better Bowel Movement

Nature has provided us with a lot of remedies for constipation. Most of these are herbs that are readily available in our herbal gardens.

Let us take a look on nature's provisions for our healthy living:

  • Senna

    Senna is usually the main ingredient of most laxatives. It is also known as cassia senna, locust plant, or wild senna. Its leaves and pods are the main sources of anthraquinones, which are identified as highly powerful and potent laxatives.

    A word of caution though, in using laxatives that have senna as its main ingredient: these should not be used beyond seven consecutive days (except when advised by a physician).
    Also, children, pregnant and nursing women are advised not to take senna. This is because the effects of this powerful laxative can cause abortion or may cause diarrhea in children. People with ailments such as diverticular disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, anemia, heart diseases, congestive heart failure, any gastrointestinal cancer or people with any recent colon surgery are not advised to take senna. Side effects are also common. Some of these include melanosis coli, very disturbing abdominal pain, rash, nausea, and even dehydration. Any electrolyte imbalance due to senna should prompt discontinuation of the use of the laxative.

    Senna is available in most slimming teas. Just let the dried leaves seep into warm water for a few minutes and you're ready!
  • Aloe Vera

    Typically used to enrich the hair, aloe vera is also a potent remedy against constipation. It is recorded to have anti-inflammatory effects, an immune system stimulant, and a laxative. In fact, traditional medicine are already utilizing this against constipation, aside from using it to treat Crohn's disease, diabetes, wounds as well as burns, frostbite, and other gastrointestinal diseases such as kidney stones and hemorrhoids.

    Another interesting thing about aloe vera is that it is also rich in calcium, iron, folate, amino acids, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and magnesium. Low levels of magnesium are correlated with instances of constipation. Aloe vera is also found to possess Vitamin A and C, which may partly account for its ability to stimulate the immune system, as well as Vitamin E.

    The outer skin of the aloe is what is used for relieving constipation. This may taste very bitter, mind you! So be prepared.
  • Milk Thistle

    The milk thistle, as used in Western traditional medicine, is not commonly used to remedy constipation, but it is included here because it also has mild laxative effects. Thus, its potency is not as strong as that of senna or aloe vera. The milk thistle is typically used by people who have liver problems, because of the substance silymarin that it contains. Silymarin helps protect the liver and helps it maintain its function. Because it helps regulate fat digestion, this herb is very useful in preventing constipation.

    However, you cannot simply make tea out of the milk thistle. This herb comes in readily available extracts which are conducted using alcohol. This is because the main ingredient in milk thistle is not readily soluble in water. You can avail of these extracts at your drugstores. After availing of the extract, prepare a cup of water and bring it almost to its boiling point. Then, add the extract. Walah! There goes your milk thistle tea!

    If you find it a fuss to find the extract, you can try making your own kelp tincture. However, it takes longer than the typical. Allow the plant (may it be dried or fresh), to steep into ingestible alcohol like vodka or ethanol. If fresh, the proportion a handful of kelp to a pint of drinkable alcohol will work quite well. If dried, measure two ounces of kelp and steep it into one pint of drinkable alcohol. Allow steeping for a week. If you don't like an alcoholic drink to mix it with, you can substitute with vinegar or glycerin.
  • Kelp

    You may be very familiar with the kelp! But are you familiar with its functions, especially as a remedy for constipation?

    Do you know that the kelp is considered bulking material? This is due to its high fiber content. This means that its main function is to add bulk to your stools, and thus, help speed up or ease the defecation process. The more bulk in the stool, the heavier it becomes, and therefore, the faster its transit across your digestive system. Aside from fiber, kelp is also a rich source of iodine, and it is also used as an anti-rheumatic.

    Kelp is prepared through infusion. First, bring a cup of water to a boil. Remove from the heat and place in a covered container. Add in 5-10 grams of dried kelp, and let it seep for 10-15 minutes. Your infusion is then ready!

    However, it is important to remember a few precautions: the intake of kelp should be avoided in individuals who have hyperthyroidism. Pregnant and nursing women are also advised not to take it.
  • Rhubarb

    The rhubarb is also known as rheum palmatum, or Chinese rhubarb. It is typically used in traditional Chinese medicine, and it is found to have laxative effects. Like the senna, it contains anthraquinones, which are the compounds responsible for its laxative effect. But what is nicer with rhubarb is that it also contains tannins, which have anti-inflammatory effects. Thus, though the anthraquinones may cause a great deal of irritation in the colon, the rhubarb can compensate due to the tannins it contains.

    Rhubarbs can be taken through capsules ready available at drugstores, extracts and even through dried roots. You can make tea by allowing it to simply seep in through recently boiled water. Regardless of its preparation, expect to feel its laxative effects after 6-12 hours from ingestion. It is quite a powerful remedy against constipation.

    It has similar side effects with that of the senna. It is also advised to be avoided by pregnant and nursing women, and also in children. Word of advice: careful with ingestion of large amounts of anthraquinones, since it is linked with colorectal cancer.
  • Dandelion

    The dandelion is a potent remedy for constipation, and its mechanism of action is different from most herbs linked with it. The dandelion's leaves are found to have diuretic effects, its roots are found to be effective in blood purification. It relieves constipation by increasing the production of bile in the gastrointestinal tract.

    Do you know that you can make your dandelion preparation more interesting rather than just juicing dandelion leaves added with parsley plus an apple? Here are some instructions on how to prepare your dandelion tonic drink.

    First, obtain dandelion flowers on a warm day. Macerate about 60 grams (approximately a cup) of flowers. Allow the macerated flowers to steep in four liters of white wine in an airtight container. Set aside for about a month. You can add taste through adding a bit of honey to your mixture.

In to swimbi.com