These natural home remedies for constipation will keep you regular and feeling less bloated. Try these natural strategies for keeping the bowel moving smoothly so you can get on with your day.
The bowel is a muscle which needs both insoluble and soluble fibre from the foods we eat to help push the food along and soften stools. Eating too much starchy processed foods with little fibre can result in constipation.
Natural Remedies for Constipation
Prunes are the best natural laxative containing a substance called sorbitol. They also have a high amount of insoluble fibre. Try taking a handful of prunes before bedtime or a glass of prune juice.
Prunes are dried plums and while plums don’t contain a large amount of fibre, when plums are cooked, they release more fibre. When they are preserved, they release even more fibre (12g of fibre per cup) making prunes the ultimate choice for constipation.
If you get in the habit of taking a handful of prunes every night it may be difficult to stop taking them without having more problems with constipation. It is best to try increasing your fibre intake from other food sources.
Good news for coffee lovers, it does help stimulate the bowel as long as your coffee contains caffeine. Try drinking a strong coffee first thing in the morning before you would normally have a bowel movement. Pair your coffee with a high fibre breakfast cereal for the best results.
Psyllium husks (paid link) are a good source of soluble fibre which will aid bowel movements if taken every day. Try sprinkling ½ a teaspoon over your cereal in the morning then increase up to 2 teaspoons if needed.
Magnesium comes in two different forms so it is important to buy magnesium citrate (paid link) as it is the most effective for aiding constipation. It is thought the magnesium citrate draws more water into the bowel which softens stools. Take as directed but it should not be taken long term.
For constipation which isn’t relieved by the methods above try taking Senna (paid link). It is a readily available natural laxative which should be taken before bed. It can cause cramping as it stimulates the nerves in your gut however it is effective.
Senna should not be taken if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or with some health conditions.
Natural Remedies for Chronic Constipation
If you suffer from chronic daily constipation then the natural home remedies listed above won’t give you regular relief. You will need to look at your diet. Fibre and water intake are the key to good bowel health. Adults need 25 to 30g (1 oz.) of fibre a day and should drink 2 litres (½ gallon) or 8 glasses of water a day.
Dietary changes will not only help your digestive system but it will also help you to maintain a healthy weight and give you more energy throughout the day. It is difficult to break old habits but the change is worth it.
Try starting your day with this home made high fibre breakfast cereal.
Below is a list of common foods and their average fibre content in grams. As you can see beans have the highest fibre content and should be included in a balanced diet.
An ounce of nuts is approximately a handful.
- Almonds – 4g per oz.
- Walnuts – 1.9g per oz.
- Pecans – 3g per oz.
- Hazelnuts – 3g per oz.
- Pumpkin Seeds – 5g per oz.
- Dried Coconut – 5g per oz.
- Bananas – 3.1g for 1 medium banana
- Apple – 4.4g in 1 medium apple
- Orange – 3.1g in 1 medium orange
- Pear – 6g in 1 medium pear
- Tangerine or Mandarin – 1.6g in 1 medium
- Blueberries – 3.6g in 1 cup of berries
- Raspberries – 8g in 1 cup of raspberries
- Blackberries – 8g in 1 cup of blackberries
- Cantaloupe or Rockmelon – 5g in 1 medium melon
- Broccoli – 2.4g in 1 cup chopped broccoli
- Cauliflower – 2.1g in 1 cup chopped
- Peas – 7g in 1 cup
- Spinach – 2.4g in ½ cup cooked spinach
- Silverbeet or Chard – 0.8g per fresh leaf or 1.6g per 100g fresh
- Corn – 4.2g in 1 cup of corn kernels
- Carrots – 1.7g in 1 medium carrot
- Pumpkin or Squash – 0.6g in 1 cup cubed pumpkin
- Cabbage – 1.8g in 1 cup shredded cabbage
- Bell Pepper or Capsicum – 0.7g in 1 medium bell pepper
- Onion – 1.9g in 1 medium onion
- Zucchini or Courgette – 2g in 1 medium
Beans, Pulses and Grains
- Butter Beans – 13g in 1 cup
- Cannellini Beans – 44g in 1 cup
- Chick Peas – 35g in 1 cup
- Kidney Beans – 46g in 1 cup
- Black Beans – 15g in 1 cup
- Lentils – 16g in 1 cup boiled lentils
- Hulled Barley – 31g in 1 cup
- White Rice – 0.6g in 1 cup cooked white rice
- Brown Rice – 3.5g in 1 cup cooked brown rice
- Polenta or Corn Meal – 6g in 1 cup
- Wheat flour – 3.4g in 1 cup
- Whole Wheat Flour – 13g in 1 cup
- Rice Flour – 3.8g in 1 cup
- Brown Rice Flour – 8g in 1 cup
If constipation persists see a doctor as there may be an underlying medical condition which may need further treatment.
It is a good idea to have a natural remedy on hand when you need it. These products are readily available on Amazon and you can save money by buying in bulk. Try this top rated psyllium husk powder. (Paid link)
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Are you interested in growing and preserving food? Try this Homesteading guide.
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