Insufficient dietary fiber and fluids and not enough exercise are the primary causes of constipation. Eating more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, drinking plenty of water, and exercising daily will resolve most cases of sluggish bowels. To avoid weakening the intestinal tract, don’t rely on laxatives herbal laxatives — even for more than occasional relief from constipation.
Relieve IBS Symptoms with Herbs
An herbal mixture of chamomile, hops, and fennel seed can relieve intestinal cramping and gas pains, and promote healthy digestive secretions.
- 1 fl oz (30ml) chamomile extract
- 1 fl oz (30ml) hops extract
- 1 fl oz (30ml) fennel extract
Combine the extracts and store in a dark glass bottle. Take half a teaspoon three times daily, 15 minutes before meals for up to two months.
Take Time for Relaxation
Emotional tension and anxiety make IBS symptoms worse. Try stress reducing techniques that calm both body and mind, such as meditation, yoga, and focused breathing exercises. Regular daily exercise such as walking
also alleviates stress and encourages healthy bowel rhythms.
Drink Peppermint Tea
Peppermint contains potent essential oils with antispasmodic properties and helps ease intestinal cramping and gas.
- 1 cup (250ml) boiling water
- 1 teaspoon dried peppermint
Pour the boiling water over the peppermint in a teapot. Cover, steep for 10 minutes, and strain. Drink three cups throughout the day
Herbal Relief for Constipation
Cascara Sagrada is an effective and gentle herbal intestinal stimulant and is a popular ingredient in over-the-counter and prescription laxatives. Ginger and fennel mask its bitter taste and help relieve gas and
- 1 teaspoon dried cascara sagrada bark
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried ginger root
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 cups (500ml) water
Simmer the herbs and water in a covered pot for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to steep for an additional 10 minutes. Strain, add sweetener if desired, and drink one cup (250ml) before bed and another
cup in the morning if necessary. If you prefer you can take cascara sagrada extract; dilute half a teaspoon in a small amount of warm water
Warm drinks can stimulate the digestive tract, especially first thing in the day. To relieve mild constipation, drink a glass of warm water mixed with the juice from half a lemon first thing in the morning.
Add Additional Fiber
For stubborn constipation, add additional bulk to your diet in the form of fiber supplements such as psyllium husks. Take one to three teaspoons daily stirred into a glass of warm water followed by an additional glass of water. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day when taking fiber supplements to avoid creating constipation.