5 Natural Constipation Remedies
As a nutritional therapist and someone who’s had their fair share of digestive woes, I don’t shy away from poop discussions. After all, we all know that good poop makes a good day.
Regular bowel movements indicate a healthy digestive system and proper diet. Poop is helpful insight into what’s going on inside our body.
We should have softly-formed bowel movements once to twice a day. Any less is considered constipation. But you can be constipated even if you are going once a day, if your bowel movements look like a 1, 2, or 3 on the Bristol Stool Chart. Ideally, it should be a 4 or 5.
Natural constipation relief means a good diet and digestion. Here are five natural constipation remedies that will give you good poops every day.
1. Practice Proper Poop Posture
First, do the squat! Elevating your feet while on the bathroom throne brings your body into the elimination position nature intended. A squatting position fully relaxes the puborectalis muscle, while the conventional seated posture actually puts a kink in the anorectal angle.
I’m using words like “puborectalis” and “anorectal” because I really don’t want to scare you off with personal details about how squatting rocks. So I’ll just say that proper pooping alignment means no straining. You’ll be surprised how the proper pooping posture offers natural constipation relief.
I use a Squatty Potty and I thoroughly recommend it. You can also use a step stool to elevate your feet, but the Squatty Potty is much less of an eyesore.
2. Eat the right fats
How do healthy fats support regularity?
It stimulates bile release from the gallbladder, and bile helps trigger peristalsis (muscle movement) of the colon. Without an intake of adequate fat, the gallbladder doesn’t release bile. That, in turn, compromises the health of the gallbladder. Improving fat digestion naturally relieves constipation.
It also supports a healthy metabolic rate, which governs the transit time of waste in the colon. Coconut oil has been shown to improve metabolic rate, and it recommended by alternative practitioners to improve thyroid function.
Finally, it supports hormone synthesis. The cholesterol found in “old-fashioned” fats like butter and egg yolks is a nutrient. Sex hormones and thyroid hormones, which play a role in metabolism and regularity, require the
What are some healthy fats that support regularity?
- Ghee – my most highly recommended option, read the benefits of ghee here
- Pastured eggs
- Butter from grassfed cows – read the benefits of grassfed butter here
- Coconut oil
- Lard and tallow, from pastured animals – read the health benefits of lard here
3. Get Enough Magnesium
Magnesium is a natural laxative. I use two different magnesium supplements:
- Natural Vitality Natural Magnesium Calm is not the most absorbable form of magnesium, but this means that it acts as a laxative. Natural Calm dissolves water to create a slightly fizzy beverage. Take it before bed and slowly increase your dose by 1/4 tsp. until bowel tolerance is reached.
- While Natural Calm can often produce a bowel movement the next day, magnesium oil is better utilized by the body but works more slowly. I recommend using magnesium oil daily, and Natural Calm when needed. You can make your own magnesium oil or buy it.
4. Balance the Beneficial Bacteria
Healthy gut flora lays the foundation for all areas of health. When these good probiotics get ravaged by processed foods, sugar, and toxins, the whole digestive process deteriorates.
Often, incorporating a fermented food with each meal significantly improves irregularity. Include a tablespoon of lacto-fermented veggies with lunch and dinner. Enjoy a cup of yogurt (homemade or the plain, whole milk type) with breakfast and snacks. I also recommend a this clinical-strength probiotic to help re-populate the gut with good bugs.
Balancing gut flora also means addressing an overgrowth of opportunistic flora by avoiding refined sugars, grains, and processed foods. In serious cases– like me –it means following the GAPS Diet for a couple years of intensive good bacteria breeding.
5. Eat the Right Fiber
When things are backed up, we usually reach for the fiber bars, Metamucil or psyllium husk powder. As we have been told by the media and mainstream health practitioners, fiber is the cure-all that will make you sexy, smart and – most importantly – regular.
However, the grain-based fiber in these supplements can be disastrously irritating to the digestive tract. Humans are not meant to consume isolated fiber… you won’t find Metamucil in nature. It is a fake food, just as much as canola oil is a fake food.
Further, consuming isolated fiber can worsen constipation because it is a dehydrating product, absorbing moisture in the digestive tract.
But the right type of fiber is crucial for healthy bowel movements. I recommend increasing your intake of cooked vegetables, specifically cruciferous veggies and leafy greens, for natural constipation relief.
While grains contain fiber, they are difficult for many to tolerate. I recommend obtaining whole-food fiber from vegetables, low-sugar fruits and some starchy veggies like sweet potatoes.
I wish you a good poop day!
Season Greetings to all.
Pray for peace on earth.
Don’t give bottle of Tylenol, exlax, and other junk as a Christmas presents! 😂
Instead, Give link to this page.
Or, book Prescription For Nutritional Healing. Or, any other good natural healing books.
As a gift to a mom, a few times I gave a bottle of castor oil (ughhh) or enema bulb syringe. Not for Christmas but during other times of the year.
Hope Lauren is fine.
Yes, pray for peace on earth. Please do that.
Love this blog. No one criticizes comments made by others. All are respectful of others.
Read Lauren’s other blogs. Love all of them!
Last time I gave “that gift” to another mom was few years ago. I am in early 70s. I remember both of them (castor oil and the enema bulb syringe) well when growing up.
Gave both to my kids and grandkids. Always worked! And always felt better afterwards.
The last time I gave them as a gift the mom’s 8 yo b wasn’t happy to know I gave them to his mom.
Guess he was hoping for junk food, candy or sodas in the bag! And that is why he needed them!
Since he hadn’t gone she gave him a dose of the oil while I was at her apartment.
She called me later that day and told me she used the bulb.
She gave him an enema. He was constipated.
The old home remedies work!
Good blog here!
Is constipation worse now than say 40 years ago?
That may be hard to answer.
The remedies suggested on here are not great.
Special thanks for Lauren.
Meant to say “remedies on here ARE great.”
Sorry about the “not.”
Meant to say “remedies on here ARE great.”
Sorry about the “not.”
Having read through many of the posts here, it’s apparent that many share similar concerns, challenges, and perhaps even practices in dealing with various issues. Some of you may be of similar vintage as I. This older guy has been reflecting on the past, even recalling many situations and circumstances of my childhood in the 50’s and 60’s. I even posted previously regarding discussions that arose as my sister was declining after being diagnosed with cancer. The family had gathered at her bedside.
One topic that she mentioned was that we were subjected to mom and grandma’s enemas as kids. The red enema bag was ever present as it hung above the tub to dry due to rather frequent use. Her kids, my nieces and nephews, had no clue as to enemas except for the visuals at grandma’s. My sister had been given an enema in the hospital and all were kept out until she was finished and back in bed.
As was the case when she and I were kids, a discussion about enemas may have been unseemly, but this was on her mind at the time. We used to tease each other unmercifully when enema time was about to be undertaken, and we kids did everything possible to avoid the inevitable. Nothing precluded that ultimate decision and while we shuddered at the impending doom, we always felt much better afterward.
Grandma, mom, our aunt, and any others gathered after Sunday dinner, often discussed such events of the prior week, and even any impending tests or procedures for the coming week. They were often consulted by other family, friends, and neighbors relative to the efficacy of enemas. I can only surmise that they had become known for their knowledge and background in such things.
One thing was for sure, an enema was their go to treatment for most any malady, or at least as an adjunct for other medications as prescribed or OTC. Many medical texts of the time suggested that the bowels should be kept open and functional until an illness had been overcome.
This old fashioned treatment, even in these modern times, has been quite effective in allowing me to perform at work, play, travel, and in many situations where digestive distress may have been a very negative factor. A few others may have come to this realization as well!
Bonnie’s Kid, glad you made comments recently.
You stated “This older guy has been reflecting on the past, even recalling many situations and circumstances of my childhood in the 50’s and 60’s.”
I thought you had stated you were an older woman in earlier comments. Doesn’t matter.
Lauren’s blog is wonderful. Glad it, and her other blogs, are for all to read, learn and comment on.
I don’t believe I ever stated I was an older woman, but certainly made reference to the older or more mature women in my life.
It is interesting that many of the “older” women seemed to understand, or detect, when things weren’t quite right when those various symptoms manifested themselves in our actions or behaviors.
The “cure” for such things was often a bit uncomfortable or embarrasing, but certainly dispatched many underlying issues, especially relative to digestive issues. What may be considered as “old wives tales” are actually simplistic solutions that may have more relevance in today’s hectic existence.
Blogs such as this do open the door to some of those solutions from yesteryear!
The price for OTC junk keeps going up. Like everything else these days.
More moms are learning and doing natural home remedies.
Not only save money but better for health and healing.
I have noticed in the last few years moms are also giving the enema in the home.
Which, IMHO, better than giving slow acting laxatives.
As I scrolled back through the posts here, I was taken by the fact that many posts were nearly 8-10 years old. I couldn’t help but ponder whether those posters were still well and thriving. I also wondered how many actually practiced some of the more “old-fashioned” remedies and treatments.
Because enema utilization was so prevalent in my upbringing, ever since early childhood, I often wondered if I was raised by a weird mom and grandma. It took several years of research to come to the realization that their methods were quite the norm for those early decades. I also realized that those methods were prescribed, recommended, or suggested by our pediatrician and the family physician for the adults. Their nurses were also on board with those practices.
While I was quite resistant to the enemas as a youngster, I came to realize that I always felt much better in the aftermath. I learned fairly early to self-administer as needed, and this lessened the likelihood of having to be subjected to any embarrassment of the procedure. As far as cooperation, I became far more willing to allow mom, grandma, or a nurse to administer at those times when a more thorough cleansing was needed, such as prior to a required test, surgical procedure, or when bound up by pain meds. It’s safe to say that I still cringed at those soapsuds or M&M enemas that sometimes occurred in those circumstances.
As I’ve read here about mom’s concerns when giving an enema to children, there are some good suggestions. I felt that I was being punished for a failure to have a BM inasmuch as one was expected daily. I thought mom and grandma were ornery and threatening. I also had great disdain for Dr. Ross because he often was gruff when he told my mom to “just give that kid an enema” if consulted because I had a tummy ache or other digestive distress.
The bottom line is that it may be well to console kids and try to explain the procedure and minimize any perception that an enema is punishment for failure to have a BM or for wetting the bed. Teaching them the mechanics of the procedure may also lessen any embarrassment if they are capable of self administration even if supervision is necessary.
While nothing in my posts should be considered as “medical advice”, I can honestly say that an enema has been a welcomed adjunct to my health and longevity. Concerns about overuse or a “bad habit” may well be overblown, although I advocate safe and sane solutions and frequency!
Yes, lots of dated comments on here.
I too wonder how their health is today.
Hopefully, many have learned from this wonderful helpful blog.
It strikes me that such topics seem to have much more relevance as some of us are aging. While my mom and grandma worried constantly about bowel habits, as did our pediatrician and family doctor, it seems that my own attention to such issues increased significantly as I aged. Perhaps, as a kid or young person, I didn’t concern myself beyond appeasing those who were caring for me in one way or another.
I happened across this blog while doing some research on the subject matter, and was pleased to discover there may be others who share similar experiences and preferences in dealing with some of these nuisance issues or ailments. I suspect I was rather late to some of the discussions but have enjoyed reading back through many of them.
I’ve mentioned that I believed mom and grandma were off the wall when I was young(er), but realize they likely knew what they were doing and acting in our families best interests. On my sister’s death bed, discussion of mom’s and/or grandma’s enema bags, always prominently hung over the tub on the shower head, became a focal point as her kids finally asked why those items were always there.
They hadn’t experienced what my sister and I had growing up. It only became significant because my sister had received an enema while languishing in the hospital with terminal cancer. She had become impacted and everyone had been shooed out of the room until she had been relieved of her discomfort. The topic, while perhaps unusual, became a rather comical one under the circumstances.
After reading back through many years of comments, I’ve concluded that many of us have dealt with pretty similar health issues. I do have some pretty distinct recollections of some of those issues that were common amongst my family members as well as friends and associates. Undoubtedly, Lauren has made quite an effort to assist in dealing with many of those issues.
I probably have a bit of a one track mind relative to some significant digestive issues that had become a challenge from the time I was quite young. Over the last 69 years, I’ve discovered some pretty simple solutions that have aided me tremendously. Interestingly, these solutions date way back to the time my mom, grandma, and medical folks were actively treating me as well as other family members.
While diet and/or food consumption may have been significant aspects of these issues, certain treatments rendered many challenges manageable, and even provided a degree of rest and relaxation (R&R). The medical folks of today may well disagree with my methods, but certain “old fashioned” treatments have kept me active and well for an older fart.
I do post about enemas as one of the most simple procedures that work for me, and have reportedly worked for others who eventually gave them a try. The “yuck” factor keeps many from utilizing these for a variety of reasons. I appreciate the comments from a few of those who understand or appreciate the efficacy of a simple enema.
One thing I have posted about elsewhere, is one of my favorite treatments, but not always readily available absent a willing assistant or therapist. “Enemassage” is my iteration of a very therapeutic treatment that combines those two modalities. Many spas offer colonics and massage as part of a package, but few will administer a typical enema along with a typical massage. I’ve been fortunate to enjoy a few, but find providers are seldom nearby or available.
In the discussions about getting kids calmed down and cooperative, this was one thing that was seemingly not considered. I’m sure there are some valid reasons. I was in the hospital for surgery as a younger person. An enema was an aspect of the prep and the nurse who came in to shave and prep me sensed some trepidation on my part. She was soft spoken and explained what was necessary and inquired about my previous experiences. The discussion helped allay some fears and diminish my embarrassment. As the enema was being given, she rubbed my back and shoulders and I found that as I relaxed, the enema was much easier to take than when mom and grandma were so matter of fact or even ornery. I was even able to retain the enema for the desired timeframe, before rushing to the toilet.
Having an enema is quite traumatic for some, and those 3H enemas during, or prior to labor, may well have convinced many women to avoid them at all costs. The most important aspect to a successful enema session has got to be relaxation. While a massage aids in the relaxation aspect, the enema itself provided me with significant relaxation as well. Coffee enemas are a wonderful way to enjoy a period of peace and R&R.
Again, I’m not attempting to give any medical advice, just mentioning the positive aspects of this simple procedure and pleasure!
Speaking of constipation…,
Recently when watching my grandson for a few weeks i soon discovered he was constipated and did not have good daily BMs! He was moody, fussy and complained of headache.
His diet was terrible. Junk food. I corrected the diet issue real fast!
No more sodas, candy and junk food for him.
Then in the morning , I called my daughter in law (his mom) who was out of town. She is divorced.
I also called my holistic doctor.
I told her he would benefit from getting an enema, or enemas, to help with him being constipated.
Her and the doctor agreed.
She told me he has never gotten one.
Knowing both would agree, I had brought an enema bulb syringe at the drugstore before calling them.
I hadn’t purchased one in years.
He saw me buying it and cleaning it in the kitchen sink. But, I didn’t say it was for him. Or told him anything about it. He was curious though.
I called a nurse friend of mine and told her.
She told me since it was his first ever enema, I would not know if he would resist getting an enema or not. Best to have someone help.
She told me she would be right over to assist.
Once she arrived we talked and she talked with him, she agreed an enema would be good for him to get.
She looked at him. Talked with him. Did brief exam. Took his temperature…yes that way….across her lap way.
She showed him the bulb and told him he was going to get an enema from his grandmother.
She helped me prepare things and him. Once everything was prepared and sitting on the kitchen table, she brought him to the kitchen.
I gave him a mild warm soapy water enema on the kitchen table. We had a towel on the table. I haven’t given one of those in years.
Yes! He was constipated! He felt better immediately after getting the enema!
Since he took it so well I let him rest on the couch watching tv. Covered with a blanket.
While cleaning the enema bulb, table, towel … we talked about him. She suggested he be given a second cleansing enema later that day… She suggested he be given the second enema at bedtime.
We didn’t tell him he was going to get a second enema that night. She told when she was working she learned not to tell a second enema was going to be given.
She was kind enough to stay at my apartment and help again that night.
At nine when he was in bed he was given his second enema. Poor baby. We agreed she would give the second enema.
For those who don’t know giving the enema is easy. Not a mess.
We pulled the bed covers off his bed. Put a towel on the bed. Once the enema, again a mild soapy enema was given, was prepared we took everything to his room. He was given another enema with the bulb syringe by her.
No mess! She gave him two bulb syringe full. While giving the two bulb full she told him to take deep breaths in and out of his mouth. “Like panting.” And to relax.
Taken to expel. Results were much better than the enema given to him in the morning. Taken back to bed. I remade the bed when she took him to expel the enema she gave him.
Not medical advice.
Always consult your doctor before giving an enema.
If it is his first ever enema session best to have another mom assist when giving it.
Talk to him before giving it. Explain it and if he is old enough ask questions.
Tell him it will make him feel better and will make him go potty.
When he was in bed
One must wonder why constipation is such a big issue these days.
Seems (in my early 70s now) years it was not so prevalent. Especially in the child.
My mom, grandmother and aunt were always monitoring the child’s BM.
If they felt the child didn’t go every day, was sick in bed, had a fever, moody, sluggish, grouchy….they immediately took care of it.
Almost every time they gave castor oil, Epsom baths, tummy massages, gave juice and fruits, enemas and more.
At least they didn’t ignore it or gave OTC junk or laxatives
Joan, Sue, and others who occasionally view Lauren’s blog. I ran across this source much later than many and have enjoyed the information shared here. I suppose there’s a degree of validation for my own perspectives on a topic not often discussed openly anymore. That is different than those frequent discussions I often overheard when young.
Bowel habits and monitoring were a very prevalent issue around our house. Grandma lived next door and she and mom paid close attention to my older sister’s and my digestive output. Grandma was a frequent caregiver when mom was working and our pediatrician made housecalls on short notice.
Seldom was there not an inquery about our BM’s if there was any consultation regarding illness or our expected growth and health.
I grew quite fast and was a large kid for my age. I attained all of my growth by age 12 and this created some concerns. When younger, it seemed that I was always being scrutinized relative to diet and food consumption. Ultimately, my digestive habits were also monitored and “managed”.
I was no stranger to enemas and mom and grandma assured that I was eliminating regularly. The doctor and his nurse were on board with the program. At one point, the doctor threatened to stick me in the hospital and put me on a diet of Metamucil with regular enemas and laxatives.
Of course, I really resented all of this and resisted the enemas at times. My grandpa had bought me a weight set and I was lifting heavy weights and was quite strong at age 7.
Eventually, I had become proficient at giving myself the enemas and found them quite tolerable. My health was quite good and stable and my diet was conducive to sustained digestive activity and regularity although supplemented with a simple enema as needed or desired.
It seems that many struggle with a variety of digestive issues. While the OTC or prescription options work, they seem unpredictable. At least before heading out to the lake fishing, or to play golf, or a lengthy road trip, I can take a quickie preemptive enema and eliminate any challenges to finding a suitable restroom or toilet.
In hindsight, mom and grandma likely had a reasonable solution by managing our digestive issues as youngsters. My disdain for their ideas and solutions was misplaced as I learned some simple solutions of my own.