Chronic Constipation is the inability of an individual or animal to have regular bowel movements and eliminate waste materials from the body.
There are varied causes of constipation:
- Inadequate intake of fiber-rich foods is one of them.
- Excessive consumption of dairy products, processed foods, fast foods.
- The neglect of water for other fluids such as coffee mineral drinks, beer etc. Nothing is quite like water. It is the only substance that the body cannot conveniently do without. Be sure to drink lots of water during the day!
Why is it so important to have regular bowel movements?
The colon is the most important route for our bodies waste to travel in order to exit the body. If that fecal matter stays in the body too long the toxins in it can start being re-absorbed through the walls of the colon – back into your body!
In Ayurvedic medicine the colon is the seat of Vata. Vata’s main function is its involvement with the nervous system. Almost without exception people who are of nervous disposition or who “bury” their emotions will be found to have colon (Vata) imbalances as well!
One other supposed factor – although still debatable – is the lack of exercise. While this is strictly open to debate and may not really be a core factor in chronic constipation, it really doesn’t do anyone any harm to indulge in some form of exercise. A mere walk around the block can trigger bowel movements.
In times past, when someone had chronic constipation, the first thing they thought of is either using enemas or laxatives to help relieve them of the constipation. However, research has proven over the years that while laxatives are highly effective in the short term, they can have long term adverse effects.
For example, people who become so used to using laxatives usually end up having to rely on them for bowel movements. This is because the colon muscles simply refuse to contract, (gets lazy) and cause the normal bowel movements.
Luckily though, because of research, we are finding that herbal alternatives are preferable, have longer lasting positive effects, and more importantly, no – or very few – side effects!
The normal fruits we previously avoided are becoming really useful in helping to treat constipation and making us feel healthier and live longer. In the next paragraph and beyond, we’ll be looking at the various natural herbal remedies available for our day-to-day consumption.
- Mangos . This fruit is very popular in Africa. It works wonders in the treatment of constipation. It has never failed anyone who has used it as a natural remedy for constipation. Unfortunately, it is not available in this part of the world as it is a fruit found only in the tropics. One in the morning and last thing at night, and you have yourself an easy bowel movement. You might want to note it in case you travel to Africa some day.
- Eat a medium-sized pear at breakfast or after dinner. It has been said that it is an effective home remedy in relieving constipation
- Eat guava with the seeds. Take two on a daily basis. It helps with bowel evacuation. Be careful if you suffer from Diverticular disease! The pips could lodge in the little Diverticular sacs in the colon, cause inflammation which leads to infection, and Diverticulitis. (more on this in another article)
- In terms of herbs, I love Natures Way Cascara It’s not habit forming, and after taking 1-4 pills or capsules – depending on the severity of the constipation – you should have a nice easy bowel movement in 6 – 8 hours. It is usually bended with something like Cinnamon which helps prevent cramps.
- Another excellent “partner” for Cascara is Psyllium Husk 500mg, 500 Capsules . It’s not the easiest thing to take in “powder form” as it swells almost immediately on contact with water but the one I recommend above is in capsules – much nicer! Its important to drink lots of water with and after taking it.
- Psyllium seed helps the stool to stay moist and adds bulk.