Normally we can expect to have two to three bowel movements a day – or in some cases, one is quite natural too. But the inability to have a bowel movement is known as constipation and this can lead to a variety of diseases and illnesses as well as lethargy, depression, stress, anxiety, obesity, gas, insomnia, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, reflux acid, bad breath, body odor, bad hair, skin and nails, and more. Constipation is a very common condition that affects people of all ages. It can mean that you are not passing stools (feces) as often as you normally do, you have to strain more than usual or you are unable to completely empty your bowels. Constipation can also cause your stools to be unusually hard, lumpy, large or small. The severity of constipation can vary greatly. Many people only experience constipation for a short period of time with no lasting effects on their health. For others, constipation can be a chronic (long-term) condition that causes significant pain and discomfort and affects quality of life.
Everyone has their own normal bowel habits, which can differ greatly from person to person. For example, some adults normally go to the toilet more than once a day, whereas others normally go only every three or four days. Babies and infants have several bowel movements a day, while others normally pass stools only a few times a week.
When you are constipated, you feel that passing stools has become more difficult than it used to be. It may feel more difficult for several reasons. For example, you may be going significantly less frequently or much less effectively (you feel you are unable to completely empty your bowel).
Passing stools may also seem more difficult because your stools are:
- dry, hard and lumpy
- abnormally large
- abnormally small
As well as causing a change in your normal bowel habits, constipation can also cause the following symptoms:
- stomach ache and cramps
- feeling bloated
- feeling nauseous
- loss of appetite
As well as infrequent or irregular bowel movements, a child with constipation may also have the following signs and symptoms:
- loss of appetite
- lack of energy
- being irritable, angry or unhappy
- foul-smelling wind and stools
- abdominal pain and discomfort
- soiling their clothes
- generally feeling unwell
If your child has these symptoms or has spoken to you about having difficulty passing stools, we recommend you consult a licensed health practitioner.
Constipation can occur in babies, children and adults, and affects twice as many women than men.
Older people are five times more likely than younger adults to have constipation, usually because of dietary factors, lack of exercise, use of medication and poor bowel habits.
Approximately 40% of pregnant women experience constipation during their pregnancy.
It can be caused by a number of reasons and it can be difficult to identify the exact cause. A common side effect to prescription and non-prescription drugs is constipation so firstly stop taking them! However, certain factors increase the risk of constipation, including:
- not eating enough fiber, such as fruit, vegetables and cereals
- a change in your routine or lifestyle, such as a change in your eating habits
- ignoring the urge to pass stools
- side effects of certain medication
- not drinking enough fluids
- anxiety or depression
Low thyroid function can lead to a sluggish digestive system, often resulting in gastro-intestinal problems.
In children, poor diet, fear about using the toilet and poor toilet training can all be responsible.
As with all diseases this did not happen overnight. The very first thing you must do is see a licensed health professional. Find a list of practitioners in your local area here
Here are some things you can discuss with your practitioner:
- Eliminate Candida: Click here to find out how
- Do the Hydrogen Peroxide Protocol to strengthen the immune system:
- Drink 3oz of Colloidal Silver, three or four times a day for 60 days www.colloidsforlife.com/ Silver has long been recognized as a powerful natural antibiotic. Colloidal silver is silver that has been removed electronically from its source and then suspended in water. It is used to treat a myriad of diseases.
- Go on a fast to clear your system of toxic waste www.wecarespa.com
- We recommend regular colonics to remove toxicity from the body. Read more about colonics by clicking here. Find a practitioner here.
- Most of the water that we drink is very acidic and in order to heal our bodies need a more alkaline state. During the program drink alkalized water, which you can buy from Real Water www.drinkrealwater.com/
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr. Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
- Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
- . Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Miller’s Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
As always the fastest most effective way to receive tailored advice to your own situation is to visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Ayurvedic practitioners here
To treat constipation, ayurvedic medicine recommends colon detoxification. One method is to use a medicated enema of dashamoola, a traditional combination of 10 herbs. Dr Vasant Lad, director of the Ayurveda Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico recommends boiling 1 tablespoon of dashamoola powder in 1 pint of water for 10 minutes, strain it and then let it cool before adding ½ cup of warm sesame oil. The mixture should be used during the vata time of day (6-7am and 6-7pm) until bowel function is improved.
Triphala can also be used at a dose of up to 1 teaspoon of powder in a warm glass before bedtime. Senna leaves are also used in ayurvedic medicine, taking ½ teaspoon with ginger tea. During pregnancy however, triphala and senna should NOT be used. Instead drink one cup of warm milk with a teaspoon of ghee (clarified butter) before bedtime. This will act as a mild laxative.
For children with constipation, Dr. Virender Sodhi, MD, director of the Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Medical centre in Bellevue, Washington, recommends drinking almond oil with a dash of sugar added to increase peristalsis (contraction and relaxation of muscles.) Acacia fistula, a sweet fruit, high in Vitamin C and fibre, can also be used, mixed with sugar, honey and rose petals.
You may also wish to research or discuss the following Ayurveda herbal remedies:
Take 1 tsp of triphala to 4 parts water this helps to draw toxins from the colon and works as a mild laxative
Include ghee and sesame oil in your diet to add moisture to the colon
Traditional Chinese Medicine
We recommend you consult a licensed health practitioner, as treatment should be matched to the individual and their condition and constitution.
However, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupressure and acupuncture is regularly used to ease discomfort and aid digestion. ** Link to acupressure points. This can restore the natural contraction and relaxation of the colon.
Rhubarb root, aloe vera and senna leaf are often given as a tea or an alternative is a mix of seed lubricants such as sesame, apricot kernel and peach kernel made into a compound.
Other Chinese remedies used include:
Chinese Foxglove Root, Rehmannia Glutinosa Radix, Sheng Di Huang
Nourishes Yin and Blood, Generates Fluids, Clears Heat, Cools Blood,
Major known constituents: B-Sitosterol, Mannitol, Stigmasterol, Camesterol, Rehmannin
Ophthipogon Tuber, Ophiopogonis, Tuber, Mai Men Dong
Moistens the Intestines, Nourishes the Yin, Clears Heat
Major known constituents: Opthiopogonin, Ruscogenin, B-Sitosterol, Stigmasterol
Tang Kwei Root, Angelica Sinensis, Dang Gui
Tonifies Blood, Invigorates Blood, Mosistens the Intestines and Moves Stool.
Major known constituents: Butylidene Phthalide, N-Valerophenone-O-Carboxylic Acid, Vitamin B-12, Carotene, Beta-Sitosterol
Peach Seed Kernel, Persica Semen, Tao Ren
Breaks Congealed Blood, Moistens Dryness, Lubricates the Intestines
Major known constituents: Amygdalin, Emulsin, Oleic Acid, Glyceric Acid, Linoleic Acid
Unripe Bitter Orange, Citri Immaturus Fructus, Zhi Ke
Directs the Qi Downward, Moves Stool, Breaks Stagnations, Reduces Accumulations
Major known constituents: Neohesperidin, Naringin, Rhoifolin, Lonicerin, Vitamin C.
The following oils can be used to relieve constipation:
- Black pepper oil is highly recommended. You can also blend pepper essential oil with fennel essential oil and a carrier oil and apply it around your navel. This will help cure constipation gradually.
- Use a blend of rosemary essential oil, basil essential oil, and marjoram essential oil, mixed with a carrier oil like olive oil or jojoba oil.
- Ginger essential oil is also proven to be effective by stimulating the stomach for peristaltic movements for effective digestion and faster and regular bowel movement.
- The application of lemon essential oil also relieves constipation.
- Peppermint oil blended with other essential oils like rosemary and marjoram can also be effective.
- Cypress essential oil regulates the process of digestion.
You must always dilute these essential oils with a carrier oil and then apply it on and around your abdominal area.
Up to 10 drops of any essential oil can also be placed into a warm bath and it has also been proved that massaging the feet and ankles can be effective. The oils to use for this would be peppermint and rosemary.
As always the fastest most effective way to receive tailored advice to your own situation, you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Homeopathic practitioners here
You may wish to research or discuss the following Homeopathic remedies:
Alumina – for persistent constipation
Bryonia alba – for constipation caused by dehydration
Lycopodium – for constipation with gas
Nitric Acid – for painful constipation
Nux Vomica – the first port of call for sluggish bowels
Sulphur – for constipation mixed with diarrhea
The following herbs can aid digestion:
Ginger, cardamom, fennel, psyllium husks, linseeds, fenugreek, senna, buckthorn, cascara sagrada and aloe vera. We recommend you consult a licensed herbalist who will be able to prescribe herbs tailor made to your condition and constitution.
Prunes are one of the best natural remedies for constipation. A simple handful of prunes will make all the difference.
Apples contain naturally-occurring chemical compounds known as phytochemicals, polyphenols, or flavonoids, some of which have been proven to have antioxidant activity that inhibits, or scavenges, the activity of free radicals in the body. Cell damage from free radicals can be a factor in certain cancers, heart disease, strokes, and other conditions such as diabetes and constipation.
Powdered psyllium is a quality source of supplemental fiber. Be sure to drink plenty of water, otherwise the fiber will form an obstructing mass, adding to your condition. Start with one rounded tablespoon of the powder stirred well into a glass of water or diluted juice.
Acidophilus: The normal, healthy colon contains “friendly” bacteria (85% lactobacillus and 15% coliform bacteria). It is the friendly bacterial flora found in yogurt and is essential to the digestive system. When these bacteria are not in balance, then the person may experience bloating, flatulence, constipation, and malabsorption of nutrients. Acidophilus taken as a dietary supplement may help to detoxify and to rebuild a balanced intestinal flora. Acidophilus aids the digestion and helps to replace the “friendly” intestinal flora.
Green Whole Foods Powder can aid all day energy, greater focus under stress, sense of well-being, strengthened immune system, fewer food cravings and optimum synergistic balance of essential nutrients for total health. Green Whole Foods is a powder that contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, active enzymes, bioflavinoids, chlorophyll and other phytonutrients necessary for optimial cellular metabolism, repair and protection! These ingredients contain the most powerful combination of nutrients ever known in any grain, herb or food. They contain almost all of the vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes necessary for the human diet, plus chlorophyll.
Spirulina Blue Green Algae: Spirulina possesses a complete protein richer than steak, abundant organically complex minerals, a wide variety of essential vitamins, and many beneficial enzymes. Spirulina is more than just a food. As with Chlorella it has been shown to be valuable with almost every aspect of health. These necessities are bio-available which means that they are easily assimilated throughout the digestive tract, giving instant access to vital nutrients. Because of algae’s high chlorophyll and high nutritional content it is an excellent part of a cleansing program.
Chlorella Green Algae: Chlorella’s tough cell wall protects the valuable nucleus inside. When it is harvested it is instantly dried and the cell walls are gently cracked open. The nutrients inside retain full potency. Once in your body, the cracked open cells release their valuable nutrients. Because it is so easy to digest, your cells get the full benefit of this nutritional powerhouse. These necessities are bio-available which means that they are easily assimilated throughout the digestive tract, giving instant access to vital nutrients. The algae provides intestinal nourishment and has a soothing and healing effect on the mucous lining. It works to detoxify and purify the system.
Barley Grass and Wheat Grass: Eating barley and wheat grass is like eating a plate of green vegetables. These cereal grasses, are harvested young and are ecologically grown in nutrient rich soil. They are approximately 25% protein and contain all the essential amino acids, concentrated vitamins, minerals and fibre. They have been shown to increase overall health by reducing intestinal putrefaction and maintaining healthy blood another important component of cleansing.
Klamath Lake Blue Green Algae: This remarkable plant grows 100% organically in the Upper Klamath Lake of Oregon. Blue Green Algae has more protein and chlorophyll by weight than any other plant or animal on earth. Klamath Lake algae is considered to be the most nutrient-rich of the algaes.
Lecithin: Lecithin is produced naturally and is one of the main substances that digests cholesterol in the human body. Lecithin supports the liver and aids in the metabolism of fat. Lecithin is used to strengthen the heart as it clears the blood vessels of cholesterol. It is also useful as part of a weight-loss programs to help dissolve fat.
Psyllium Husks: A natural plant source of dietary fibre essential for the proper functioning of the digestive system. Fiber significantly lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels.
Barley water and constipation: articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-09-07/drinks-corner/29895975_1_barley-insoluble-fiber-fitness
Eat well to beat constipation: m.timesofindia.com/PDATOI/articleshow/12565729.cms
Bananas and constipation: www.natural-health-remedies.net/bananas-and-constipation.html
Natural health and constipation – www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbwcjFSjDss
Cure constipation with organic foods – www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubicLqg_Tz4
Abdominal massage: www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5VP5Jc6_1Q
Yoga for constipation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdw9-kyLX8U
How to treat the digestive system with reflexology: www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0gAV-hIIx0
Natural ayurvedic home remedies for constipation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPGoUHdM9sw
Efficacy of Chinese Medicine in treating Constipation: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19958146
Pro-biotics for children with constipation: www.naturalnews.com/031690_probiotics_constipation.html
Constipation, a childhood problem: www.naturalnews.com/025178_health_natural_constipation.html
Further Information (links and books)
Healthy Digestion the Natural Way, Lindsey Berkson; The Best Constipation Remedies, Rudy Silva; Natural Relief From Constipation, Donna DiMarco; Herbs That Cure – Constipation, Prayank and Kavita Singh
www.sunorganic.com (888) 269-9888
Dr. Natura, Colonix Program
www.drnatura.com (800) 877-0414
Flax seed meal, Forti-Flax
www.renewlife.com (800) 445-3529
Flax seed meal, Fiber Smart
www.renewlife.com (800) 830-1800
Digestive enzymes, Univase
www.rockyforkformulas.com (800) 630-4534
Ginger, Primal Essence
www.primalessence.com (877) 774-6253
Probiotics, Probiotic Advantage
www.drdavidwilliams.com (800) 888-1415
Nopal Cactus, HealthForce Nutritionals
www.healthforce.com (760) 747-8822
Triphala, Ayurveda Organics
www.compassionet.com (800) 510-2010
Fresh beet, apple, celery juice
Andrea Butje | Aromahead firstname.lastname@example.org – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt email@example.com – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA firstname.lastname@example.org – meditation, stress
Judith Hoad email@example.com – herbalist.
Kath May firstname.lastname@example.org – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges email@example.com – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika firstname.lastname@example.org – aromatherapy.
Rakesh GAC@AyurvedicLifeStyles.com – Ayurvedic Practitioner.