Contents - Click a link to skip to the section you want to read
- 1 Eat healthily, all the time
- 2 Prunes do still work, though
- 3 Flax as a laxative
- 4 Loosen up with lemons
- 5 Open sesame
- 6 Get up and get active
- 7 A little oil can smooth the way
- 8 Caffeine can help
- 9 Psyllium for a healthy tum
- 10 Water, water, water
- 11 Take in an infusion or two
- 12 Get moving with blackstrap molasses
- 13 Finally, try fiery fenugreek water
- 14 Conclusion
The majority of us have, at some point or another, suffered the horrendous discomfort of constipation. Wouldn’t it be great to find some natural constipation remedies that really work?
Well, that’s what we have for you right here, so ditch those nasty, over the counter potions and stick to what nature provides us with.
Let’s jump straight in and take a look at 13 natural vegan constipation remedies that will get you moving again:
Eat healthily, all the time
You didn’t really expect us not to mention the benefits of eating a whole food, plant-based diet here, did you?
This may not be a remedy per se, but as the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
Watch the video from Dr Michael Greger above and you’ll see why it just had to be number one on our list.
Prunes do still work, though
Despite the evidence laid out in Dr Greger’s video above – which proves that a vegan diet is far more effective for maintaining regular bowel movements than the occasional dried plum – prunes do still work.
They can be especially effective when you are after some quick relief rather than looking for a long term prevention strategy.
Be warned, though. When they work, they really work!
How to use:
To get your bowels moving, try a small glass of prune juice to begin with. If nothing happens after a few hours, try again with a slightly larger quantity.
Due to the fast acting nature of prune juice, it is wise to take it when you have easy access to a bathroom. Drinking a whole lot of prune juice before travelling is not advised!
You can also dry your own at home using a food dryer. Check out our best food dehydrator reviews to ensure you get the right model for your needs.
Flax as a laxative
Flaxseeds are wondrous little things that we should all be eating on a daily basis.
They are packed full of Omega-3, vitamin B1, protein, fiber, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus and manganese, making them one of the healthiest, most nutrition dense foods on the face of the earth.
If you are already grinding up these powerful little seeds and putting them into your morning juice or smoothie (take a look at our best Ninja blender to buy article if you’re looking for a new smoothie maker), the likelihood is that you’ll never need any of the natural constipation remedies listed here.
Just two tablespoons of ground flax seeds contain around a quarter of the recommended daily amount of fiber and they can help your friendly bacteria thrive inside your colon, too, helping your body rid itself of any waste found in your system.
However, for those of you who are yet to hop aboard the flaxseed bus, there are ways that they can be used as a remedy for constipation.
How to use:
For the fastest results, flaxseed oil is the best way to go. All you need to do is stir in 1 to 3 tablespoons of flaxseed oil into a regular 8 oz glass of juice (we prefer to use carrot juice rather than fruit juice).
This will help your body naturally overcome constipation.
Loosen up with lemons
Lemons are great for more than just lemonade. They’re jam packed with vitamin C and also contain pectin fiber, which is a water soluble fiber that is extremely good for our colon health.
Lemons also give you potassium, phosphorus, calcium and the ever helpful magnesium, too.
Add to that the fact that the citric acid found within lemons acts as a stimulant to our digestive system and you have a sure fire natural remedy for constipation sitting in your fruit bowl.
How to use:
Simply slice a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a glass of warm water, then drink. As simple as that!
Repeat morning and night until your bowel movements become regular again. You can, of course, continue to drink lemon water daily – the health benefits of doing so can be huge.
In a similar way to flax, sesame seeds can help us maintain great digestive health, but they can also provide some immediate relief from constipation, too.
Not only do these little seeds give you some much needed roughage, they also contain a good amount of oil as well, which can help loosen hard stools and help you pass them more easily.
Plus, they’re probably one of the tastiest ways to get some vegan constipation relief too!
How to use:
To get the most from your sesame seeds in the shortest amount of time, crushing them before eating is the best way to go.
All you need to do is grind a tablespoon of seeds in a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder and add to your morning smoothie or cereal.
Get up and get active
Believe it or not, one of the key factors for many people’s constipation is the fact that they are sedentary for much of the day.
Modern lifestyles have caused us to be far less active than we should be and sitting down for prolonged periods can play havoc with our digestive health.
Moving around helps our bodies to kickstart our digestive systems and it decreases the amount of time that it takes the food we eat to pass through the large intestine. This process helps helps to limit the amount of water that is lost from the stool, keeping it soft and making it easier to pass.
How to use:
Even a short walk can help give you some relief from constipation if you are not already active, so try and aim for a 15 minute stroll each day to keep every part of your body moving as it should.
If you are capable of doing more, try some light aerobic exercise to help get things moving in the right direction.
A little oil can smooth the way
Using a good quality olive oil is something that many of us do without even thinking about the benefits that our bodies may be experiencing.
Olive oil is the perfect digestive aid, not only does it lubricate the parts that need lubricating, it also stimulates our digestive system and has a protective effect on mucous membrane found within the colon, too.
In addition, a study showed that consuming virgin olive oil may even have a preventative effect against colon cancer.
How to use:
Take two tablespoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil every morning before breakfast when constipated.
Olive oil works much better on an empty stomach, so if you forget to take it before your morning meal make sure that you wait a few hours before taking.
Caffeine can help
That early morning cup of coffee can often get us moving in more ways than one, and there’s a good reason for that.
Caffeine is another natural stimulant for our digestive systems, so it’s little wonder that the first cup of the day has the bowel-loosening effect that it does on so many of us.
However, our coffee intake should be kept to a minimum as too much of a good thing can lead to problems.
You see, coffee is also a diuretic, i.e. something that promotes the body’s production of urine. Therefore, too much coffee can lead to dehydration, and dehydration can, in turn, lead to constipation.
We’ve noticed one of the great types of coffee for such consumption is a cold brew one, as seen at Home Grounds.
So, what may be helpful in moderation can become a hindrance if consumed in excess.
How to use:
Coffee should be drunk in moderation. For maximum benefit, one to two cups per day should be the upper limit.
Tea, on the other hand, can be taken a little more liberally – especially green teas, as these have the additional benefit of providing the body with numerous antioxidants, too.
Psyllium for a healthy tum
Psyllium can help with constipation, providing you heed the warnings to take plenty of water on board when using this natural product.
Its effects are not the quickest in the world, but when used correctly, Psyllium can certainly help our bodies move waste effectively through the digestive tract, thus relieving the unwanted constipation.
How to use:
The easiest way to take psyllium is in capsule form. However, it is vital that you check the ingredient list to ensure that you are not ingesting any other nasties along the way.
It is also important to follow the guidance and directions for use on the label, as psyllium can actually make constipation worse if misused.
Psyllium can also be added to foods. Either by sprinkling over the top of salads, scooped into your blender when making smoothies or used in baked goods. Again, adequate water intake is very important, so be sure to follow any guidelines provided.
Water, water, water
Following on from the importance of adequate water intake when using psyllium, it would be remiss of us not to point out the importance of good hydration when it comes to maintaining a healthy digestive system.
Constipation is largely related to dehydration in the colon, so it follows that getting plenty of water inside us will help relieve many of the symptoms of the uncomfortable condition.
However, extra fluid will not cure constipation, but it will go a long way to preventing it from occurring in the first place.
How to use:
Listen to what your body is telling you and drink whenever you feel thirsty, although thirst is an indication that dehydration has already begun.
Average healthy humans should aim for at least eight good sized glasses of water every day, but if you are in doubt or have a medical condition, obviously it is prudent to consult your doctor about the amount of water should be getting each day.
Take in an infusion or two
Hot beverages can help alleviate digestive problems by stimulating your system into action.
Herbal teas are great for this, and they are a joy to drink, too.
Popular herbal infusions for digestion include:
How to use:
Herbal and fruit infusions can be taken as often as you like and at any time of the day. As they are caffeine free, infusions can be the perfect drink once you have reached your limit of tea or coffee for the day.
Be aware, however, that some fruit teas can be damaging to your teeth if taken to excess.
FOR THE BEST BREW, SEE OUR GUIDE TO GLASS TEAPOTS HERE
Get moving with blackstrap molasses
While many abhor the taste of blackstrap molasses, its power at getting things moving cannot be denied.
It’s the magnesium that works wonders, along with a multitude of other vitamins and minerals that are missing in regular molasses.
How to use:
Simply take 1 teaspoon of blackstrap molasses whenever you feel that you are constipated. Some prefer to add the gooey stuff to warm water or even tea to make it more palatable.
Should a single teaspoon prove ineffective, you can slowly work your way up to as much as 2 tablespoons, but take it steady and start off with smaller amounts first.
Finally, try fiery fenugreek water
Fenugreek seeds can be great for constipation on their own, but mixed with a little cayenne pepper they can really do the trick.
Although the scientific evidence backing fenugreek as a solution to constipation may be lacking, many people swear by the little seeds and their ability to make things move when all else fails.
Similarly, taking cayenne pepper is more of a home remedy than a scientific bedrock, but, again, the fiery little pepper can help get results and has helped numerous people overcome the miserable condition that is constipation.
How to use:
Add one tablespoon of fenugreek seeds to some water and leave to soak for at least one hour. Once softened, retain the soaking water and crush the seeds.
Return the seeds to the soaking water and add one teaspoon of cayenne powder, top the glass up if necessary. Mix thoroughly and drink.
There’s our top 13 natural constipation remedies that will hopefully help get things moving for you and return your digestive system back to normal.
Remember, water and fiber are key components to good digestive health, so getting plenty of fruit and vegetables is by far the best way to make sure that you never suffer from constipation ever again. It’s also imperative to ensure that you are always getting the right nutrients, too.
What have we missed out? Let us know your favorite natural vegan constipation remedies in the comments section below.