Herbal Remedies for Constipation

The term Constipation refers to hard or infrequent stools, or difficulty in passing stools. Constipation also involves pain during passage of bowel movements. Constipation is a relative term, as normal bowel pattern vary from one person to another.

Causes “ Constipation occurs due to various reasons, such as low-fiber diet, inadequate fluid intake, lack of physical activity, or by suppressing the urge to defecate. Stress and traveling or weather conditions, could also contribute constipation or changes in bowel pattern.

Certain medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis, under-active thyroid, irritable bowel syndrome, pregnancy, neurological diseases, depression, colon cancer could also cause constipation. In Children, constipation occur when they suppress the urge to defecate, or due to the fear of potty training or toilet training.

Herbal remedies “ Use of herbs are an ancient approach to strengthen the body and treat symptoms. However, herbs should be taken with care only under the supervision of an expert practitioner in the field of herbal medicine.

Aloe (Aloe vera, Aloe ferox, Aloe barbadensis) “ Aloe juice which is also known as aloe soap or latex is a bitter liquid that is yellowish in color and derived from outer layer of the aloe leaf , which contains substances that have a strong laxative effect. However, aloe latex, inspite of being a powerful laxative, is not very frequently used, as it induces painful cramping. Herbal laxatives that are gentler from the same plant family such as Senna or Cascara for instance are recommended.

Other herbs “ The other herbs that are traditionally used to treat general digestive disorders or for constipation are Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale), Dong guai (Angelica sinensis), Burdock root (Arctium lappa/ Arctium tomentosum), Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) or Ginger (Zingiber Officinale).

However, as the research is still on, about the effectiveness of these herbs in treating constipation, one should consult a trained health professional before using these herbs.