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.