Constipation means different things to different people. For many people, it simply means infrequent stools. For others, however,
constipation means hard stools, difficulty passing stools (straining), or a sense of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement.
The cause of each of these "types" of constipation probably is different, and the approach to each should be
tailored to the specific type of constipation.
Medically speaking, constipation usually is defined as fewer than three bowel movements per week. Severe constipation
is defined as less than one bowel movement per week. There is no medical reason to have a bowel movement every day. Going
without a bowel movement for two or three days does not cause physical discomfort, only mental distress for some people.
The normal length of time between bowel movements ranges widely from person to person. Some people have bowel movements
three times a day; others, only one or two times a week. Going longer than three days without a bowel movement is too long.
After three days, the stool or feces become harder and more difficult to pass.
You are considered constipated if you have two or more of the following for at least 3 months:
* Straining during a bowel movement more than 25% of the time.
* Hard stools more than 25% of the time.
* Incomplete evacuation more than 25% of the time.
* Two or fewer bowel movements in a week.
Constipation is usually caused by a disorder of bowel function rather than a structural problem. Common causes of constipation
* Inadequate water intake.
* Inadequate fiber in the diet.
* A disruption of regular diet or routine; traveling.
* Inadequate activity or exercise or immobility.
* Eating large amounts of dairy products.
* Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement, which is sometimes the result of pain from hemorrhoids.
* Overuse of laxatives (stool softeners) which, over time, weaken the bowel muscles.
* Neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis.
* Antacid medicines containing calcium or aluminum.
* Medicines (especially strong pain medicines, such as narcotics, antidepressants or iron pills).
* Eating disorders.
* Irritable bowel syndrome.
* Colon cancer.
Constipation can be caused by lack of exercise, too much junk food, poor diet, painkillers, antidepressants and/or pregnancy.
However some chronic problems such as thyroid problems, circulatory disorder, diverticulitis, colon malfunction (fistulas,
polyps, tumors, and obstruction) can also cause constipation. Children should also get plenty of liquids to drink everyday,
especially clear liquids such as fruit juices and water. When a child is constipated, push lots of water!
The diet should be rich in fruits and vegetables, for these are natural laxatives. The patient should have regular meals
and avoid nervous tension. He should sleep at least 8 hours a night and take regular exercise. Many cases of constipation
are relieved by the use of prune juice, figs, bananas, or other natural laxatives. Sensible habits of living, plus 8 glasses
of water per day and a reasonable amount of exercise will cure most people of constipation.
HOME REMEDIES FOR CONSTIPATION
· Bael fruit is the best laxative of all fruits. It cleans and tones up the intestines & gives constipation relief.
. Giving bran cereal may relieve constipation in, infants and older children
· Guava when eaten with seeds provides roughage to diet can give relief from constipation
· Apple pectin helps with constipation and brings fibers into the body.
· An insufficient intake of folic acid also leads to constipation. Thus to avoid constipation take sufficient amount of
· To avoid constipation take Aloe Vera juice twice a day.
· Eating more fruits can also helps to prevent constipation such as prune pears, grapes, Orange juice & Papaya.
· Ginger tea is a very good home remedy for constipation. It helps start bowel movement.
· Add one tablespoonful of corn syrup to 8oz of water to cure constipation
· Yerba mate in tea form is very helpful with constipation.
· Another natural remedy for constipation is to add a little extra sugar or some honey to a glass of milk. Drink twice
· Take a high fibre diet. Soluble fiber, found in grains, legumes and fruits, is particularly effective. Oatmeal, rice,
wheat germ, corn bran, prunes, raisins, apricots, figs and an apple a day are all good sources.
· A person with constipation should try to avoid milk and milk products such as cheese. Both milk and cheese contain casein,
an insoluble protein that tends to block up the intestinal tract.
· Exercise also helps to get rid of constipation. Aerobic exercise such as walking, running and swimming is best.
· Chop three stalks of rhubarb (remove the leaves, which are toxic) and mix with one cup of apple juice, 1/4 of a peeled
lemon and one teaspoon of honey. Blend in a food processor until smooth. It makes a very good remedy for constipation.
· Drink one liter of warm water and walk around for a few minutes immediately after waking up early in the morning.
· Mix lemon juice with warm water. Take it two to three times a day. It helps to relieve constipation.
· For ordinary constipation, take 10/12 pieces of Raisin (Munnakka), wash and remove the seeds and then boil them with
a glass of milk. Once the milk is boiled, eat the raisins and drink the milk.
· One of the most important remedy to cut short a bout of constipation is to sit in a bathtub of warm or hot water. It
may take several immersions in the water to cure the problem, but it does work.
· Take a glass of warm water to which the juice of 1/2 a lime and 1 tsp honey has been added. Drink daily in the morning.
· Prepare a mixture by adding 2 tsp psyllium husk (Isabgol) in 1/2 a cup of hot milk and drink immediately. Drink one
cup of plain milk to follow. Repeat this every night for chronic constipation.
· Fry small Harad 100 gm in ghee. After that, the harad will bloat and start smoking. Remove from ghee. Measure 100 gm
Aniseed (saunf). Keep aside 50 gm and fry 50 gm in the same ghee. When lightly roasted mix with harad and remaining aniseed.
Powder all three together. Mix 100 gm ghee and 400 gm sugar candy and powder along with the other powders. Take 2tsp along
with 1 cup of milk twice a day. Do not eat anything 1 hour before and after.
· Apply 3-4 drops of lukewarm castor oil over the navel at night. In the morning, the patient will pass the stools.
· Haldi (turmeric powder) boiled in milk along with figs also helps in relieving constipation.
· Take a cup of fresh apple juice. Add equal amounts of dry or fresh figs and raisins and a small organic apple. Blend
it in a blender. It will help to get rid of constipation if taken for a few days daily.
· Mix one glass of 50% fig juice and 50% prune juice. Drink this first thing in the morning. This powerful home remedy
will help to get rid of constipation.
· Take 10-12 figs and keep them in two glasses of distilled water (16 oz). Keep it overnight. In the morning remove the
figs, warm and drink the juice. Eat the figs through out the day.
· Prepare a drink by adding three or more figs, fresh or sun dried, one banana, 1 tablespoon of honey or molasses, one
cup of rice dream Drink first thing in the morning and any time after lunch or dinner.
· Mulberry juice helps in relieving constipation in elderly people.
· Prepare a mixture by adding ½ cup of distilled water and ½ cup of blackberries. Drink this first thing in the morning
to fight against constipation.
· Eat fresh cherries throughout the day or drink three 8 oz glasses of cherry juice during the day. This will help to
get rid of constipation.
· A teaspoon of linseed swallowed with water before each meal provides great relief from constipation.
. 30ml Aloe Vera juice, fresh from the leaf, helps in relieving constipation. Take freshly extracted inside pulp
of the aloe leaf, twice daily. Aloe Vera Barbadensis has numerous healing properties.
. In case of severe constipation, mix 2 teaspoons of castor oil in warm milk and drink it just before going to bed.
. In the case of children, constipation can be relieved by making a suppository of betel leaf stalk dipped in castor
oil and introduced into the rectum of the child.
. Soak one seedless date in half cup of water overnight. Mash the date and remove the pulp, drink one spoon of this
water 3-4 times a day.
. The most important part to control constipation is diet. Eating a fiber rich diet helps in improving bowel movement.
Fresh vegetables and salads also contribute towards alleviating constipation.
Physical exercise is a must. Walking helps in proper digestion and drinking of water helps in softening the stools. If
proper care is taken, then there will be no constipation at all.