Home Medications and Cures for Constipation
Constipation is a common gastrointestinal condition. Constipation can be defined as difficult or infrequent stools. It is healthy to have a bowel movement at least once a day and up to 3 times a day. In this condition, the bowels do not move regularly, or are not completely emptied when they move. Appendicitis, rheumatism, arthritis, high blood pressure, cataract, and cancer are only a few of the disease in which chronic constipation is an important predisposing factor.
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Symptoms of Constipation
You may exhibit a broad range of symptoms of constipation depending on your normal bowel habits, diet, and age.
These are common problems you may have if you are constipated:
Difficulty in passing or completing a bowel movement
Irregular and difficult passage of stool
Excessive and painful straining of hard stoo
If you have intestinal obstruction, nausea, vomiting, no defecation, and inability to pass gas
Distended abdomen, headaches, and loss of appetite
Coated (furred) tongue, offensive breath, and bad taste in your mouth
Common Causes of Constipation
Inadequate fiber intake
Insufficient liquid intake
Excessive consumption of dairy products
Inadequate physical activity
Certain medicines (Some pain killers, antacid, diuretics, iron supplements, and antidepressants may cause constipation.)
Generally all fruits, except banana and jackfruit, are beneficial in the treatment of constipation. Certain fruits are, however, more effective. Bael fruit is regarded as the best of all laxatives. It cleans and tones up the intestines. Its regular use for two or three months throw out even the old accumulated faecal matter. It should be preferably taken in its original form and before dinner. About sixty grams of the fruit are sufficient for an adult.
Pears are beneficial in the treatment of constipation. Patients suffering from chronic constipation should adopt an exclusive diet of this fruit or its juice for a few days, but in ordinary cases, a medium-sized pear taken after dinner or with breakfast will have the desired effect.
Guava is another effective remedy for constipation. When eaten with seeds, it provides roughage to the diet and helps in the normal evacuation of the bowels. One or two guavas should be taken everyday.
Grapes have proved very beneficial in overcoming constipation. The combination of the properties of the cellulose, sugar, and organic acid in grapes make them a laxative food. Their field of action is not limited to clearing the bowels only. They also tone up the stomach and intestines and relieve the most chronic constipation. One should take at least 350 gm of this fruit daily to achieve the desired results. When fresh grapes are not available, raisins, soaked in water, can be used. Raisins should be soaked for twenty-four to forty-eight hours. This will make them swell to the original size of the grapes. They should be eaten early in the morning, along with the water in which they have been soaked.
Orange is also beneficial in the treatment of constipation. Taking one or two oranges at bedtime and again on rising in the morning is an excellent way of stimulating the bowels. The general stimulating influence of orange juice excites peristaltic activity and helps prevent the accumulation of food residue in the colon.
Papaya and Figs:
Other fruits specific for constipation are papaya and figs. Half a medium-sized papaya should be eaten at breakfast for it to act as a laxative. Both fresh and dry figs have a laxative effect. Four or five dry figs should be soaked overnight in a little water and eaten in the morning.
Among the vegetables, spinach has been considered to be the most vital food for the entire digestive tract from time immemorial. Raw spinach contains the finest organic material for the cleansing, reconstruction, and regeneration of the intestinal tract. Raw spinach juice-100 ml, mixed with an equal quantity of water and taken twice daily, will cure the most aggravated cases of constipation within a few days.
Half a lime, squeezed in a glass of hot water, with half a teaspoon of salt is also an effective remedy for constipation. Drinking water which has been kept overnight in a copper vessel, first thing in the morning, brings good results. Linseed (alse) is extremely useful in difficult cases of constipation. A teaspoon of linseed swallowed with water before each meal provides both roughage and lubrication.
1. Drink at least 8 cups of fluid per day in the form of water, diluted juices, or broths. This is especially important when the stools are hard. Drinking milk may not be beneficial as it can cause constipation in many individuals.
2. Consume an adequate amount of fiber daily. Eat 1 tablespoon of wheat bran per day, and drink 1 cup of fluids immediately afterwards. Do not use bran if your stool is in the form of dry, hard pebbles. Also, eat 2 apples and at least 2 servings of raw vegetables a day.
Also recommended are steamed, green leafy vegetables such as spinach, chard, kale, or beet greens. These vegetables are readily available in most supermarket produce departments.
3. Eat at least 1 serving per day of whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice.
4. Avoid, as much as possible, white flour and white sugar containing foods such as candy, white bread, cakes, or pastries.
5. Early in the morning, eat 6 prunes that have been soaked overnight (with their liquid), or drink prune juice, starting with 1/2 cup per day and increasing your intake until you get results.
Eat slowly and chew your food well. When possible, try to relax for a few minutes before eating a meal.
Toning up the muscles also helps in the treatment of constipation. Fresh air, outdoor games, walking, swimming, and exercise play an important role in strengthening the muscles, and thereby preventing constipation.
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