10 Home Remedies for Constipation & How to Use Them

Anyone who has been constipated at least once in his/her life knows exactly how much of a struggle this condition can be.

Constipation, in fact, results in 2.5 million doctor visits and 92,000 hospitalizations in a year [1].

A condition described by Mayo Clinic as “infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools”, constipation can interfere with daily tasks.

Some of the common symptoms associated with this problem include abdominal discomfort, rectal bleeding and physiological distress, reports Medicine Net.

Fortunately, there are natural home remedies that can resolve this issue right away.

1. Olive Oil

Many believe that olive oil is one of the world’s healthiest cooking oils.

This oil, which is loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids, is a staple in the Mediterranean diet.

With this, olive oil is said to help in reducing risk of heart disease, maintaining proper levels of blood sugar and cholesterol, and warding off type 2 diabetes and other diseases.

Apart from vitamins and minerals that contribute to health and wellness, its phenolic compounds also produce antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties [2].

Not only that, it’s also an effective natural laxative that can help treat constipation, as reported in various studies [3, 4].

Researchers from Brazil conducted a double-blind controlled trial evaluating the effects of olive oil on 50 patients with constipation [4].

The participants were randomized to receive either olive oil, mineral oil, or flaxseed oil [4].

Outcome of the experiment showed that olive oil worked in reducing symptoms of constipation [4].

Its efficacy was similar to those of mineral oil and flaxseed oil [4].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine the two ingredients.
  • Take this mixture in the morning on an empty stomach.
  • Do this everyday for one week.

2. Prune Juice

A classic remedy for constipation, prune juice is the go-to solution for people who find it hard to pass stools.

In a 2007 study published in the Nutrition Research Journal, 54 participants with constipation were given 125 milliliters of prune juice for two weeks [5].

Results show that stool consistency, difficulty of excretion, and fecal frequency all improved in a matter of weeks [5].

This supports the claim that prune juice has mild laxative effects, and can efficiently treat mild constipation [5].

Several other studies echo these findings, saying that the high dietary fiber in prune juice helps alleviate constipation, particularly among elderly patients [6, 7, 8].

A total of 51 adults consumed 50 grams of prunes and 200 milliliters of prune juice daily for four weeks in addition to their typical diet [7].

Positive changes were recorded by the time the clinical trial was over, showing great improvement in the overall symptoms of constipation [7].

This has led the researchers to promote prunes and prune products in the alleviation of this common health issue [7].

The use of prune juice resulted in a total savings of $44,000 in laxative drugs [6].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 glasses of prune juice

Recommended Directions:

  • Drink a glass of prune juice on an empty stomach when you wake up.
  • Drink another glass before going to bed at night.

3. Fennel Seeds

A highly valued medicinal plant, fennel is recognized for its anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and gastroprotective properties, among many others [9].

That’s because this herb is rich not only in dietary fiber but also in essential nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium and phytonutrients.

Its seeds, meanwhile, are a popular remedy for constipation, as they’ve been found to promote the “peristaltic motion” in the intestines, helping cleanse the bowels more efficiently [10].

They also help as a natural laxative, preventing and treating constipation [10].

If you want quick and safe solution for your constipation problem, this is one of those that that surely work.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of fennel seeds
  • 1 cup of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  • Dry roast fennel seeds.
  • Grind roasted seeds to turn them into powder.
  • Add one-half teaspoon of fennel seed powder in a cup of warm water.
  • Drink this daily for one week.

4. Spinach

It’s true that spinach is one of the world’s healthiest vegetables.

Abundant in vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and copper, it surely does a fantastic job promoting overall health and wellness.

Among the numerous therapeutic properties of spinach, constipation relief is one of them.

This vegetable belongs to the list of top herbal remedies that act as natural laxative and used for constipation [11].

It’s most probably due to the vegetable’s high amount of fiber, which promote digestion and easy passage of stools.

In addition, since it is rich in nutrients, it can also do so much in improving digestive health [12].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 glass of raw spinach juice
  • 1 half glass of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Dilute spinach juice in water.
  • Drink the solution twice a day for three to five days.

5. Figs

Since the ancient times, figs have been used as a source of food and medicine [13].

They’ve always been highly prized for their numerous contributions to human health [13].

High in fiber, minerals, water and natural sugars, they are considered a potent remedy for constipation [14].

Their laxative effects were confirmed in an experiment conducted by Korean scientists who administered fig paste in 15 beagles induced with constipation [14].

The treatment did not alter the dogs’ usual feed and water intake or body weight and blood test results [14].

This shows that not only are figs effective in treating constipation, they also have no side effects [14].

A 2012 study, meanwhile, indicates the figs can be a practical treatment and preventive method even for chronic cases of constipation [15].

This too was done on animal subjects induced with constipation through loperamide [15].

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 figs
  • 3 almonds
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Soak almonds and figs in water overnight.
  • Grind the ingredients and turn them into powder.
  • Eat one tablespoon of this mixture at night before sleeping.

6. Molasses

Molasses refers to the syrupy by-product in sugar cane production.

It is also commonly used for loosening stools in patients with constipation.

There are many fascinating benefits that have been linked to molasses, including stress reduction, healthy skin, cancer prevention, and maintenance of proper blood sugar levels.

Various studies also confirm that molasses is both safe and effective as treatment for this common condition [16, 17, 18].

In one of these studies, 500 patients who suffer from constipation and abdominal pain were given milk and molasses [17].

This natural intervention proved to be highly effective in resolving constipation with a success rate of 88 percent [17].

This rate varied depending on the amount of molasses given [17].

Findings reveal that not only was molasses effective, it was also generally safe, with only a few minimal side effects reported [17].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 tablespoons of molasses
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine the two ingredients.
  • Eat this mixture in the morning before eating anything.
  • Do this three times a week.

7. Castor Oil

Castor oil has been highly revered for its medicinal value from the early years to the modern times [19].

It works as a natural antifungal and antibacterial, and is replete with many essential nutrients including vitamin E, ricinoleic acid and omega fatty acids.

A 2002 study published in the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics shows that castor oil has a “laxative effect” that includes inhibiting the absorption of water in the intestine and stimulating the motor function to promote bowel movement [20].

A dosage of 30 to 60 milliliters was enough to produce “effective catharsis” in only a matter of hours [20].

It’s no wonder this oil has been used for many years to treat mild to chronic cases of constipation.

It’s also commonly employed for bowel preparation prior to surgical and diagnostic procedures [20].

Yes, it causes abdominal cramping, which might turn you off from using this remedy.

However, keep in mind that it does work, and it does not have harmful side effects as long as proper procedure for application is followed.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of castor oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Take castor oil on an empty stomach for two to three days.

8. Flaxseed

Here’s a common problem by those who use constipation remedies: sometimes, they end up having a diarrhea!

That’s because when consumed in amounts more than recommended, laxatives can make the stool too soft.

If you don’t want this to happen to you, it would be a good idea to make use of flaxseed.

Flaxseed is one of the few remedies that has dual efficacy for both diarrhea and constipation [21].

Research findings published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine indicate that flaxseed can promote release of stools after regular consumption [22].

What makes it effective as a remedy for constipation is its high fiber and antioxidant content [23].

Since flaxseeds abound in nutritional compounds, you’ll also be strengthening your immune resistance with this remedy.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of flaxseed
  • 1 glass of water
  • 1 cup of flaxseeds

Recommended Directions:

  • Soak flaxseed in water for three hours.
  • Drink solution at night before going to sleep.
  • Repeat everyday for two to three days.
  • Consume a cup of flaxseeds or more throughout the day.

9. Honey

Honey won’t be hailed as the “golden liquid” for no reason.

This substance, which is a by-product of bees, contains many amazing nutrients and benefits for the health.

A popular remedy for various diseases, honey is also a viable solution for infrequent bowel movement.

Studies have shown that honey serves as a natural laxative, and can therefore help resolve constipation [24, 25].

In 1995, a team of scientists from Greece evaluated the effects of honey in different doses and a placebo in 20 individuals [24].

After 10 hours, most of the volunteers who consume honey reported having loose stools [24].

Similar findings were obtained from a study that was conducted in China in 2009, which used potato honey juice in treating chronic cases of constipation [25].

It also helps that honey is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and can therefore, improve overall health [26].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 glass of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Add honey and lemon juice to water.
  • Mix well.
  • Drink every morning before eating anything.
  • Use this remedy three times a week.
  • You can also consume pure and raw honey in the morning before you eat anything.

10. Yogurt

Yogurt is made by fermenting milk.

This food product is highly nutritious, as it is packed with calcium, potassium, protein and other important nutrients that can keep you in top health.

If you’re having problems due to constipation, you may also want to try including more yogurt into your diet.

Many studies have been done to verify the efficacy of yogurt as treatment for constipation [27, 28, 29, 30, 31].

Scientists from Seoul, Korea did a double-blind controlled trial on 42 individuals with constipation [31].

These participants were asked to include yogurt in their daily diet [31].

Results revealed that yogurt increased the frequency of bowel movements, softened the stools, and improved straining [31].

The participants reported satisfactory improvement in their condition [31].

Probiotics in yogurt were found to have a positive impact in the intestinal function [27].

Researchers agree that this is a safe and effective way to get bowels moving.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 cups of yogurt

Recommended Directions:

  • Eat yogurt throughout the day.
  • Do this for one to two weeks.

Constipation can be annoying, uncomfortable and painful.

Relieve yourself of this problem using these proven natural remedies.