Herbs For Treating Constipation And Bloating: Natural Treatment & Herbal Home Remedies For Constipation Relief
Constipation is a digestion problem; it refers to the condition in which there is difficulty in having gastrointestinal (GI) movements or irregular bowel movements. Constipation leads to bloating and makes stooling difficult.
CAUSES OF CONSTIPATION
Constipation may result due to various reasons. But the most common cause is a wrong diet, particularly a diet that is low in fiber. Because fiber consumption helps in the promotion of bowel movements, a lack or deficiency of fiber inevitably leads to constipation. Other causative factors include dehydration, biological factors, indigestion, and inflammatory disorders. Studies have also shown that living a sedentary lifestyle is another factor that causes constipation.
Furthermore, an overdose of vitamin or mineral supplements can also affect bowel movement which may lead to constipation.
Regardless, constipation can also be as a result of some other medical condition such as cystic fibrosis, thyroid disease, hemorrhoids, or some other GI conditions. Aside from being a symptom of a medical condition, constipation may arise as the result of some medication like over-the-counter medications for pain relief.
SYMPTOMS OF CONSTIPATION
There are various pointers to watch out for if you want to know whether you have constipation or not. Major symptoms of this gastrointestinal conditional are flatulence, accumulation of waste in the colon, abdominal pain, bloating or swelling. The most common symptom of constipation is having less than three bowel movements in a week.
HERBS THAT CAN CAUSE CONSTIPATION
As much as herbal teas are good at relieving constipation and its symptoms, some of them can also lead to constipation if they are used excessively and for long.
IMMEDIATE RELIEF/REMEDY FOR CONSTIPATION
For immediate relief from constipation, drink enough water and take a rest.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR CONSTIPATION
Nature has blessed us with so many solutions to our many problems. Some of the natural methods of treating constipation include:
Eat a diet rich in fiber
Lack of fiber in the foods we consume is a major cause of constipation. So, introducing foods with high fiber content in your daily diet is a simple and natural way of treating and preventing constipation. Examples of such foods collectively referred to as roughages include whole grains, berries, greens, and vegetables.
Take in more water during the day
In addition to having a fiber-rich meal, taking in more fluids during the day to keep the body hydrated is important in the prevention of constipation and for overall body health. This is because insufficient bodily fluids or dehydration is a known cause of constipation, and the remedy to dehydration is hydration. The best and most important fluid in this context refers to water – there’s no alternative to it.
Eating too much fiber without taking in sufficient water can also cause constipation. So, drinking enough water is very important in preventing constipation.
One of the main reasons people get constipated is because of an unhealthy physical lifestyle – little or no physical activities – such as a sedentary lifestyle that involves sitting in a particular position for long hours without standing up to stretch the muscles. Simple exercises like walking or jogging can help in relieving constipation. If you are close to a swimming pool, swimming is a good and quick way of easing constipation.
Aromatherapy refers to the use of aromatic plants extracts or oils in treatment. Most essential oils have a soothing property whereas some are known for their laxative effects. Examples of essential oils that can be used for relieving constipation are parsley oil, basil oil, and black pepper oil.
Drink caffeinated coffee
Caffeinated coffee helps in stimulating the walls of the digestive tract and contains trace amounts of fibers. Drinking caffeinated coffee is a natural way of preventing and treating constipation.
Drink lemon water
Lemon contains citric acid which promotes digestion and detoxification. Drinking water mixed with fresh lemon juice early in the morning helps to relieve constipation as well as makes it easy to take in more water during the day.
Remove dairy from your diet
Lactose intolerance may be the cause of constipation. Getting rid of dairy foods is a simple way of preventing and stopping constipation without the use of drugs for some persons.
Have some rest
Stress, anxiety, and depression can also contribute to constipation. This is because they affect the hormonal and chemical balance in the body which affect digestion. A chemical imbalance in the body can also lead to bloating. Hence, relaxing or resting can be a remedy for constipation as it helps in relieving the body of stress.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR TREATING BLOATING
Bloating is a symptom of constipation and is majorly caused by excessive gas build-up in the body. It can also be as a result of some other digestive condition such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). All of the remedies for treating constipation can also be applied for treating bloating. Other natural methods are:
Eat more foods with high potassium content
Bloating may also result from a chemical imbalance in the body; for example, excess sodium in the body. Eating foods rich in potassium will help the body to offset this imbalance. Examples of such foods are spinach and fruits like bananas.
Reduce the consumption of foods that can cause bloating
Eating too much beans or dairy products are easy ways of increasing bloating. So, reducing the consumption of such foods or eating them moderately will help to prevent bloating.
Drink ginger tea
Ginger contains anti-inflammatory and soothing substances which help in reducing bloating. Adding fresh ginger to boiled water and drinking afterward (after the water is cool) is another natural way of relieving bloating.
Eat foods with probiotics
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in the digestive tract and are essential for digestion. Bloating and constipation may be caused by the deficiency of these bacteria. Eating foods containing probiotics is a good preventive treatment for bloating and constipation. Examples of such foods include kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt.
HERBAL TEAS FOR TREATING CONSTIPATION
Before going to the hospital to get a prescription for your constipation, have you tried any of the several herbal teas? Many traditional teas have calming and laxative properties which make them good remedies for treating constipation and promoting good bowel movements.
Some of the herbal teas that can stop constipation are:
- Fennel tea
One symptom of constipation is accumulated waste in the colon. The anti-inflammatory properties of fennel tea help to enhance the purging of the colon, hence, taking away constipation.
Directions for use
Add some ground fennel seeds to boiled water.
Stir the mixture and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
Drink a cup of the tea every day until constipation goes away.
2. Nettle tea
The nettle plant has wonderful laxative properties which makes it a good remedy for constipation. Drinking a cup of nettle tea daily is a quick way to relieve constipation.
Directions for use
Pour one tablespoonful of fresh nettle in a cup of water.
Bring the mixture to boil, and remove from the heat source.
Filter the solution and drink early in the morning.
3. Flaxseed tea
Flaxseeds have laxative and anti-inflammatory properties for relieving constipation.
Directions for use
Add some flaxseeds to a cup of boiling water.
Remove the solution from the heat source and allow to cool.
Filter the solution and drink at least three times weekly.
4. Cascara tea
Cascara tea is a potent laxative and should be taken in moderation.
5. Senna tea
Senna tea contains chemical substances that help in stimulating bowel movement. This tea is a strong laxative and should be consumed in small doses.
Directions for use
- Pour some senna leaves into a cup of boiled water.
- Allow the solution to cool for a few minutes
- Filter and drink.
- Drink one cup of the tea once a day and at most three times each week.
6. Dandelion tea
Dandelion tea is known for its soothing property as well as promoting the flow of water through the urinary system. This tea can also be used to treat constipation and bloating due to its laxative properties.
7. Green tea
Green tea contains anti-inflammatory substances and antioxidants which can reduce bloating and ultimately constipation.
8. Peppermint tea
Peppermint tea stimulates the production of digestive fluids required for the digestion of fiber-rich foods. Drinking peppermint tea is a good way of treating constipation as well as for preventing it.
Other types of herbal tea that can be used for relieving constipation and bloating include black tea, cilantro tea, licorice root tea, and burdock root tea.
WARNINGS ON THE USE OF HERBAL TEAS FOR TREATING CONSTIPATION.
Despite the health benefits of consuming herbal teas, they are not recommended to be taken by children – only adults should take herbal teas. It is advised that other methods should be employed when a child has constipation.
Also, it is recommended for pregnant women to avoid the consumption of certain herbal teas due to their potential side effects. In addition, herbal teas should not be taken while on medication.
Herbal teas are meant for short-term use only and should be consumed moderately, and possibly after consulting with a physician.