For more than 2,000 years, people have used foods, herbs, and beverages as natural laxatives.
Bowel movements are necessary for overall good health.
The problem is, in the modern, stressful and dynamic society we live in, we tend to turn to poor diet.
Stress is another issue we deal on a daily basis.
Raise your hand if you do not go through a stressful situation at least once per day? I thought so.
With that being said, I recommend using natural laxatives instead over the counter medicine.
They are healthier, and instead of carrying unhealthy side effects, natural laxatives improve your overall health.
One of the reasons why I prefer natural laxatives instead of the pharmaceutical and over the counter solutions is that there is no risk of laxative abuse with natural solutions.
To deal with irregular bowel movement, people tend to reach for over the counter laxatives to get the job done fast.
Some statistics in the US show that laxatives are one of the most commonly bought medications.
So far, scientists have managed to identify four groups of people that abuse laxatives.
The first one is individuals suffering from an eating disorder, and the other groups is middle-aged adults with ongoing constipation, people with disorders on the digestive system and athletes and bodybuilders trying to lose weight and maintain a certain weight.
And the problem is, laxative abuse can lead to several health problems, including dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, water retention or edema, dizziness, damage to the colon, irregular weight gain and weight loss, complications with the cardiovascular system and much more.
As I start the list for natural laxatives, I cannot ignore one of the best all-around herbs on the market.
Aloe Vera is something you often used for the cosmetic industry, as the plant is extremely beneficial for your skin.
What many people do not know is that aloe vera is also one of the oldest natural laxatives.
And since aloe vera also has anti-inflammatory properties, by consuming it you will restore the pH balance in your body, reduce swelling and improve the function of your digestive system.
All you need is few aloe vera leaves for tea.
Another do-it-all home remedy, baking soda is the cheapest cure you can find on the market.
I always keep baking soda at home, since you never know what you might need it for.
When you think of it, baking soda gets the job done in 95% of the situations you face.
When it comes to constipation, baking soda encourages air to come out of you, relieves you from pressure and pain and restores pH balance in the stomach by providing some alkaline ingredients.
All you need for this mixture is a quarter of a cup of warm water and one teaspoon of baking soda.
Mix the ingredients, and then simply drink the beverage.
I continue the list with another darling of home remedies, and that is a lemon, thanks to its richness with vitamin C.
I will tell you a secret before I go over to the remedy.
Your stomach will appreciate the scent of a fresh lemon as much as your nose.
Now, for the natural laxative, you need juice from one fresh lemon and one cup of warm water.
Drink it up, and enjoy the benefits.
As for the benefits, the lemon juice with water will stimulate your digestive system and help you flush out toxins that might have contributed to your constipation.
One word of advice, though, make sure to use warm water, not extremely hot.
We are now into the seeds section for natural laxatives.
Flaxseeds are so beneficial and helpful for constipation, that I have heard some friends call them “laxatives”.
Among the many high fiber foods, flaxseeds are one of the best sources, and they can treat not only constipation but diarrhea as well.
The biggest strength of flax seeds is that they are tasteless, and you can add them to any recipe, be it pastries or smoothies.
A word of notice: make sure to drink plenty of water as well, as high fiber foods require lots of water.
Another type of seeds that works as a natural laxative, chia seeds are best consumed with water, when they form a gelatinous substance.
Chia seeds are another great source of fiber, and since you are consuming them with water, you are already getting the fluids you need to accompany the fiber.
Olive Oil has been known to improve the function of the colon and stimulate the digestive system for years.
And when it comes to constipation, olive oil works as a natural laxative to relieve constipation, but also prevent it from coming back.
What you need is one teaspoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of lemon juice (this is optional just for better taste).
To make sure you do not get constipation, every morning, have one teaspoon of olive oil on an empty stomach.
As mentioned, if you cannot stand the taste of it, add a teaspoon of lemon juice.
Leafy greens help your constipation in a number of ways.
For starters, they are rich in fiber, but they also provide you with a healthy dose of magnesium.
If you didn’t know, magnesium is a natural electrolyte that improves your digestive health, and therefore, acts as a natural laxative.
It is time to grab your coffee, as the caffeine-rich beverage is one of the best natural laxatives on the market.
Coffee stimulates the movement of your colonic muscles, and the best part is, unlike some of the other natural laxatives on the list, coffee works extremely fast.
A word of caution: be prepared for loose stool after you drink coffee, and try not to consume too much coffee.
The downside is that too much coffee can dehydrate your body as you will start to urinate more frequently.
High Fiber Fruits
Many fruits, including berries, apples, pears, prunes and figs are excellent sources of fiber.
And as we said by now, fiber is something you want to relieve constipation.
Berries act as great natural laxatives.
Fresh fruits, including melon and apples, are also good as they provide you with hydration and filling as well with fiber.
And while it comes down to individual reactions to different fruits, most fruits are helpful with constipation.
One of the best alternatives for plain old water is coconut water, and there are many benefits.
For starters, coconut water helps you maintain a healthy electrolyte level, clear your urinary tract and prevent you from dehydrating.
Coconut water is an especially good electrolyte, as it provides you with 12% of your daily dose of potassium.