Herbs for Constipation

Top Herbs for Constipation Relief You Must Know About

Constipation makes anyone uncomfortable, no matter what their age or gender. If you are feeling heavy or bloated and you want fast relief, these herbs should be able to help you out. Use these natural remedies and relieve the problem of constipation without chemical medications or laxatives.

What is Constipation? Know More

Constipation is less than 3 bowel movements in a single week. This can happen once or twice or can be a constant problem, especially for those with IBS. Certain symptoms of constipation include hard stool, difficulty in bowel movement, blocked feeling in the bowling, need for laxatives, stomach pain in the abs, feeling of nausea and bloating.

What can cause constipation? Anything from inactivity to surgery, medications to lack of water or poor diet and stress or overusing laxatives can be the reason. Herbal remedies for constipation abound. In fact, many of these OTC drugs contain these herbal remedies. Many laxatives are rich in anthraquinones that stimulate the intestines. These laxatives draw fluids into the colon and enhance peristalsis. Peristalsis is the contraction of the intestine that releases material through for elimination. Consider these herbal remedies if you want to avoid chemical laxatives.

#1 Psyllium

Psyllium
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Psyllium is a plantain plant species which is a natural fibre that improves ease of elimination. Psyllium is for treating chronic forms of constipation combined with other laxatives. It can, however, lead to side effects such as allergy, nausea or stomach pains in some people.

#2 Rhubarb

Rhubarb
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This herbal plant has a fruit which can be used for treating constipation. Rhubarb is a potent laxative. The studies conducted so far have found antidiarrheal effects on account of increasing content of tannin. Rhubarb can be used for curing constipation.

#3 Senna

Senna
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Senna is a herb used for treating constipation for clearing the bowel before the medical process can be carried out. The fruit has a less potent effect than the leaf. It should only be tried in the short durations and at doses recommended by the herbalist. Long term and high dosage cause liver scarring. The Senna plan’s leaves and pods are medicinal and well known for laxative effects. It has been found in OTC remedies including Senokot.

Some people find the particular herb is not so effective, while others find it useful. If you have suffered from any medical condition, be sure to check with the doctor before taking this herb.

#4 Slippery Elm

Senna
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This miracle herb stimulates neurological cells or nerves in the gastrointestinal tract. This causes an overproduction of mucus providing relief from constipated symptoms. Less research has been done to assess the long-term impact. Slippery Elm coats the GI tract, reducing absorption of certain medicines if taken during the same time.

Other herbs don’t treat constipation directly. But even these can make a difference such as mint tea and chamomile which can relieve pain and ease constipation. This herb is found by health professionals because it has a soothing lubrication effect on the GI tract. Much like Aloe Vera, the Slippery Elm heals, nourishes and is excellent for IBS or stomach pain and cramps.

This herb is a natural emollient, which can lubricate the intestine tract and provide soothing relief for mucus filled membranes. It improves digestion and soothes gas and cramps. This soothes an irritated GI tract which makes it easy to ease constipation related to IBS. This herb can also be used for dealing with diarrhea.

Botanically known as Ulmus fulva, Slippery Elm also heals the digestive tract and soothes the gut. This herb's powdered inner elm tree bark to make poultices for soothing damaged skin. It also draws out toxins from abscesses and boils. European settlers used this herb to ease digestion issues in typhoid patients. This digestive recipe is popular for coping with acid dyspepsia, digestive discomfort, and irritable bowel syndrome. Demulcent, soothing and nutritive, slippery elm calms the stomach. Its moisturizing actions ease the stomach, protect your GI tract and eases intestinal cramps and diarrhea. It neutralizes acidity and coats the mucous membrane lining of the stomach tract. This herb is a non-digestible carb that makes its way through the gut, flushing toxic waste while transitting through the digestive system.

This stomach herb works to increase bronchial secretions as an expectorant, loosening up stubborn and thick mucus, decreasing the phlegmatic secretion in terms of stickiness and helping the stomach to remove it. The herb comes in powder form as well as tea for soothing the irritation of the digestive tract. Powder from this digestive herb can be consumed along with oatmeal or muesli. It heals the lining of the gut and is one of the top herbs for boosting digestion.

#5 Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera
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Aloe Vera has been used for topical purposes but it can also be ingested as a laxative. Aloe vera juice can make for excellent treatment. The herb can be perfect for the liver. It is a gently cleansing herb which works as a natural laxative besides causing inflammation. Juice can be consumed every day or aloe vera can also be taken in the form of gels.

#6 Fenugreek

Fenugreek
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This is a cooking herb yet its seeds are prized at settling the GI tract and relieving constipation. This is also rich in fiber and contains some vitamins and minerals. Fenugreek can be added to gravies and dishes with ease. It has a constipation-relieving impact too.

#7 Dandelion

Dandelion
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This is a natural laxative and it can be consumed as a tea too. This herb’s leaves can be added to summer salads. Ensure you wash them well first. Dandelion is botanically known as Taraxacum officinalis. This digestive bitter herb is derived from a French term meaning lion's teeth. This name was given by a fifteenth-century surgeon to this herb, because of its plant's distinctive jagged leaves. Folk medicines have also prescribed Dandelion root for cleaning the digestive system and warding off liver and digestive issues.

Further, Dandelion is also a herb useful for diuretic properties, working by restoring potassium rather than depleting it like conventional diuretics. It promotes healthy functioning of the digestive tract and is one of the best digestion herbs. It is a digestive system herb which impacts immunity as well. Improved immune responses are seen post the use of digestive herbs. Dandelion coffee made from its roasted roots is a renowned detoxifier and liver tonic. Dandelion tea is made from dried leaves and taken every day to help the body get rid of toxins.

This herb is also used for premenstrual bloating caused by excessive build-up of fluid prior to menstruation. Dandelion can be had in the form of tablets, tinctures, capsules, and root coffee or tea.

#8 Nettle

Nettle can be had as a tea and is a natural laxative. Nettle can be combined with Dandelion for improving the purity of the blood.

#9 Sorrel

This herb has a slightly sour taste but is a potent laxative. It can be used in cooking and even has value as a tea which can be drunk by steeping leaves in warm water.

#10 Sea Buckthorn

Buckthorn
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Sea buckthorn is a herb that is perfect for dealing with constipation problems. Those who don’t drink enough water will also make their problems go away by choosing this herb. Sea buckthorn also contains an essential fatty acid called Omega 7, known for helping coat the GI tract and ensure lubrication of the mucous membrane and improve healthy digestion. More fluid movement of stools through the bowel movement takes place through the herbs. Sea buckthorn is rich in vitamin A and B vitamins.

Buckthorn is gentle enough to be used for young and old patients alike. Sea buckthorn or cascara sagrada and slippery elm make for a perfect cure for long-standing, chronic constipation. It is used by herbal experts to even treat associated GI conditions like gallstones, ulcerative colitis, and liver congestion. This comes from bark extract of species of buckthorn. This irritates the colon enough for the promotion of the bowel movements. While using it for the short term is fine, in the long run, it can cause liver damage. It can also cause pain in the abdomens and electrolyte variances. Long-term use may also cause liver failure. This herb is non-habit creating, so it can be used without any fear of either addiction or habituation.

#11 Triphala

Triphala
Photo By: L. Shyamal/ CC BY

This herbal remedy is a combination of the following three fruits:

  • Amalaki
  • Bibhitaki
  • Haritaki

This is revitalizing and rejuvenating besides cleansing the bowels. Herbalists have effectively used this herbal remedy for a diuretic, weight loss and relieving constipation. This popular remedy in Ayurveda is a means of balancing the dossier or constitutional typologies of individuals. By adding the element of water or kappa, it balances the body and eases bowel movements.

#12 Licorice

Known in Latin as Glycyrrhiza glabra, licorice, specifically its root, is a cooling and powerful tonic for the digestive system. It is also used as a soothing demulcent to protect the GI tract's mucous membrane. How does this herb work? Licorice releases stomach secretions that shield the lining of the gut against stomach acid and digestive juices that trigger discomfort.

In one research trial, licorice was found to be effective in treating 100 individuals with peptic ulcer, many of whom reported complete cure of the ulcer, following the use of this herb. Licorice also has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties. This herb has a dynamic nature which exerts a gentle laxative impact and also works to counter diarrhea and other stomach problems.

Licorice can be used either alone or in large doses for longer time periods. It is a herb with potent synergist properties. It works best when combined with other herbs to increase medicinal action. It combines with digestive herbs like Ginger, Fennel or Chamomile to implement a well-rounded digestive formula. Additionally, licorice is also sweeter than sugar and can even be used as a substitute. This root's tiny pinch can be added to tea blends or powdered and consumed with drinks or dishes.

#13 Calendula

Also known as Calendula officinalis, this is a herb with plenty of benefits for the stomach. It is one of the most gut-friendly herbs in this lineup. Calendula aids in digestion and absorption of nutrients, reducing inflammation in the gut wall and detoxifying the body from pathogens. It also fights amoebic worms and infections and helps to clean the pelvic region and keep it free of bowel infections. It is gentle, versatile and effective for clearing the gut and healing the damaged gut wall.

#14 Chamomile

While German chamomile or Chamomilla Matricaria is the strongest version, other milder form of chamomile is Chamomilla Recutita. This herb soothes the nerves and helps in relaxation, which is why it soothes stress-related digestive issues. It also aids in digestion, reducing acidity and heartburn, while managing conditions like colic and resolving infections like gastroenteritis. Chamomile also cures stomach ulcers. German chamomile contains bisabolol, an alcoholic compound and key constituent in the magical plant that speeds up ulcer cures. It is perfect for soothing the stomach and easing constipation.

#15 Fennel

Foeniculum vulgare or fennel is a wonder herb for curing stomach problems. Not only does it soothe stomach aches, but it also enhances appetite, digestion and nutrient absorption. It helps the human body break down and digest fatty foods as well. It has the power to also stabilize blood-glucose levels and reduce the craving for sugars. This herb is useful for eliminating fatty foods from the body. It also settles the stomach and is a perfect cure for colic and bloating. Fennel relieves upset stomach, diarrhea, indigestion, heartburn, and nausea.

It's a common kitchen spice, but one of the most effective digestion aids that are herbal and natural. This is because fennel is an excellent carminative. Sweet and spicy, this crunchy seed contains aromatic essential oils that ward off bloating, flatulence and cramping. For Ayurveda medicine, fennel is counted as boosting Agni or the digestive fire in the body. This is because it transforms, absorbs and assimilates food into the body. It is essential to toast fennel seeds before consuming these. Fennel also relieves tension in the stomach muscle and wards off digestive issues.

#16 Ginger

Known botanically as Zingiber officinale, ginger is one of the best herbs for curing constipation. It is known for its ability to soothe the stomach and ward off inflammation. Ginger is a powerful herb to solve gut health issues. It is a warming, digestive stimulant to improve digestion and appetite. Ginger further removes toxins buildup and enhances immunity, preventing further inflammation from taking place. It even relieves indigestion, nausea, gas, irritable bowel syndrome and food linked allergies. Along with being a positive digestive herb, this warming spice also boosts circulation.

The root was counted as a digestive herb in ancient Rome. Chinese herbalists have also used ginger root for over 2000 years, while ancient Greece prized it as a way to boost digestion, mixing powdered ginger into the bread. It is native to Asia and the therapeutic benefits of this herb are now scientifically confirmed.

It has potent anti-emetic properties for alleviating nausea and an upset stomach. It is also used to cope with stomach cramps. Active constituents of this herb are gingerols and zingerones. It cures motion sickness and heartburn, making it great as a digestive aid for travelers. This digestive tonic herb can also normalize the process of digestion and is considered a yang digestive herb in the traditional Chinese medical system.

Ginger promotes appetite, prevents nausea and relieves constipation and flatulence. Ginger root tea is popular. This aromatic, time-tested digestive herb also cures upset stomach and is used in capsule or tincture form. It's root cures problems like stomach spasms, gas, colic, dyspepsia, lack of appetite and GI tract issues. It prevents sluggish bowel movements by boosting circulation. Ginger, like licorice, is a synergist when combined with other herbs. Ginger root can also be used to clean the stomach, according to University of Maryland Medical Centre which talks of the benefits of ginger rhizome.

#17 Milk Thistle

This herb is botanically known as Silybum marianum. It revives the liver and aids in digestion. This bitter digestive herb is a flowering plant belonging to the daisy family. It has been used for years as a herb for digestion and liver issues. It can treat several liver problems and diseases due to liver-protective actions. Milk thistle in medieval times was also counted as a strong herb.

This herb boosts liver functionality and detoxifies the organ due to flavonoid called silymarin. This maintains the health of liver cells and cuts down on toxins. It is a digestive bitter tonic action herb, which promotes healthy bile juice secretion in the liver. It is also used for maintaining a healthy liver and relieving upset stomach or indigestion besides easing constipation.

#18 Artichoke

Artichoke is known as Cynara scolymus in Latin. This herb is associated with a Greek legend revolving around how Greek god Zeus turned Cynara, a maiden into a thistle thereby creating the artichoke plant. The artichoke has been used medically as a digestive herb since the emergence of the Roman empire. Also a part of the daisy family, artichoke can grow up to 6 feet in height. This herb has many health benefits as documented by Aristotle, the Greek philosopher's students.

Used as a potent liver tonic, it has restorative powers for boosting liver health. It is one of the strongest herbs for digestion, regulating the flow of bile leading to better digestion and breaking down food and liquids effectively. This herb also strengthens the liver and kidney functionalities. The main ingredient of the artichoke is cynarin.

High levels of cynarin were found in leaves and these improve appetite and digestion. The bitterness has a stimulating impact on the liver and boosts a cooling action. As a top digestive herb, it alleviates the symptoms of IBS and cures constipation, nausea, bloating and pain in the stomach. Research has shown how digestive herbs like artichoke also regulate cholesterol. Artichoke can be taken in the form of tablets and tinctures, too.

#19 Spearmint

Another herb which helps in digestion, it also minimizes and soothes stomach aches. This herb can be used to brew tea by combining the ingredients with two tablespoons of this herb freshly chopped. Apart from constipation, this herb also regulates the stomach, relieves acidity and settles nausea.

#20 Marshmallow Root

This is a herb which is botanically known as Althaea officinalis. Marshmallow root is wonderful because it contains mucilage constituents. Mucilage is a gel-type substance that attracts water to them form a viscous fluid. It helps to coat and soothe the mucal membranes in the digestive tract. This makes it great for ending heartburn, curing irritable bowel syndrome and warding off constipation due to stomach dryness, Marshmallow root also soothes stomach inflammation. It makes it wonderful for healing ulcerative colitis, peptic ulcers, and gastritis.

This gentle herb is perfect for soothing inflammation along the GI tract. Because the roots of this herb contain sticky and sweet polysaccharide mucilage, it can be perfect for nourishing and restoring gut health. Mucilage further acts as a gentle laxative and wards off discomfort linked with inflammation-oriented conditions like diverticulitis, gastritis, ulcers, and IBS.

This herb works best when taken in the form of cold infusions as against hot tea because the long chain polysaccharides making up the mucilage and its healing properties should not be burnt. For best results, add one to two tablespoons of Marshmallow root to a cup of cold or room temperature water. The mixture should soak till the liquid becomes thick. Then one should strain and enjoy this drink. It is a safe, delicious herb which can be used easily in the form of tea or powder. It works as an enema too.

#21 Peppermint

Known botanically as Mentha piperita, Peppermint is wonderful for soothing herbs. It has digestive qualities and a refreshing taste, making it perfect for warding off stomach issues. It also has antispasmodic properties and relieves spasm and pain in stomach aches, colic, IBS, indigestion and of course, constipation. With respect to stomach and gut health, peppermint is rich in tannins that protect the lining of the gut.

This aids in fighting Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. It's also a good herb to grow. Greek doctor Dioscorides used to have peppermint regularly. It is popular with modern herbalists as well, who see peppermint as a herb for healing the stomach and warding off digestive colic, gas, bloating and sluggish digestion. It is used as a gastrointestinal aid to relax the muscles of the GI tract and stimulate bile flow.

This herb for digestion is said to relieve stomach aches and cure diarrhea. It also cures irritable bowel syndrome, as volatile oils in the herb ease bloating, spasms and cramps. Peppermint can be taken in the form of infusions or hot concoction of herbs and boiling water. It can also be used to make peppermint tea using tea bags sold commercially. Peppermint can also be used as an enteric coated capsule for relieving IBS.

#22 Plantain

Plantain includes Plantago major or minor. This herbal plant is generally overlooked in everyday life. But plantain is not just any plant. It is a powerful medicinal plant. Plantago major or Greater Plantain is wonderful for gut health because it counters irritation and inflammation in the bowels and tummy. It can be used to combat stomach infections like diarrhea, colitis, gastritis, and numerous stomach infections. It is an amazing wound healing agent, aiding in the repair of damaged mucosal tissue, such as the gut wall. Another fact about plantain is that its seeds can be used as a bulk laxative.

#23 Turmeric

Also known as Curcuma longa, Turmeric is a potent herb for curing the gut. It aids in the basic stomach functions of digestion, metabolism, and absorption of nutrients, but also does more complex work. Turmeric aids the intestinal flora and preserves gut health. For this reason, it helps the gut to recover after opting for antibiotics.

Turmeric further soothes the gut mucosa and helps to protect the gut when there is excessive acid formation. It also reduces infection risks for gastritis and ulcers besides lowering blood sugar levels. Turmeric is a potent herb for warding off an upset stomach as it soothes the stomach through anti-inflammatory properties. It treats digestive and reproductive disorders as well. It is used to cleanse the body of toxins and parasites that lead to constipation and flatulence.

#24 Lemon Balm

Also known botanically as Melissa officinalis, this herb is perfect for healing a nervous stomach. With this plant, specific alkaloids in the GI tract's nerve receptors can help in reducing gut inflammation and digestive distress. Lemon balm also has the ability to relax smooth muscles, ease muscular spasms across the entire gut and reduce ab pain.

This herb belongs to the mint family and is perfect for managing stomach and anxiety related issues. It facilitates better digestion and calmer states. Lemon balm also detoxifies the spleen, kidneys, and liver. It works to cure a nervous or sensitive stomach. It also functions well as a carminative herb to cure indigestion, flatulence, colic or irritable bowel syndrome.

#25 Angelica

Last but not least is Angelica archangelica, the master herb or the archangel among plants. This is a warming herb with distinct aromas and every part of the herb works medicinally. While the root is most effective, tea infusion of either roots or seeds can relieve appetite concerns, ward off flatulence, and boost kidney function.

This plant is a strong bitter and carminative herb. Volatile oils called terpenes in it exert antispasmodic effects, relieving intestinal spasms, gastric ulcers, indigestion and more. Free radical damage due to oxidative stress is also eliminated through the use of this herb, which has potent antioxidants. This relieves inflammation in the gut as well.

Conclusion

Thus, these herbs have a lot of powerful properties that make them useful for warding off constipation. Having gut ailments and stomach problems is not just painful or embarrassing, it can also be a serious medical problem, So, do opt for these powerful herbs and ward off problems.

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