Quick Cures for Constipation

how to cure constipation

What is it about when things get “backed up” inside that has the power to make us feel everything from under the weather to downright crazy?  Constipation can sideline even the strongest healthiest person.  It’s just no fun. 

Conventional wisdom would have us reaching for the All-Bran or Fiberall, Metamucil or Ex-Lax, or, if we have fallen for more natural alternatives, psyllium husk or senna which is pure fiber and an herbal bowel stimulator that can cause more problems in the long run than it helps.

We are brainwashed to believe fiber is our friend; that whole grains and loads of high cellulose green vegetables (as raw as possible) are the only paths to regularity and health.  These claims also go steps too far in heralding the benefits of fiber to achieving great skin, lower cholesterol and a healthier heart.

Bear in mind insoluble fiber like those in whole grains, unripe fruits and the peels of some fruits like apples, and cellulose rich raw dark green leafy vegetables are actually quite indigestible and the fiber, regardless of the nutrient content, is actually quite non-nutritive not to mention these insoluble fibers can actually bind to essential minerals such as zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron and make absorption of these vital nutrients impossible. Soluble fiber found in some low ground vegetables and ripe fruits (and even in oats, though those should be soaked well to reduce antinutrients) can be helpful to bowel health as they bind with water to  form a gel like substance and help carry waste like endotoxin out of the body.

We are also are made to believe that constipation is an illness.  The fact of the matter is, it’s only a symptom that something isn’t right.  The wrong fiber might even be part of the problem.  In fact, one of the biggest causes for constipation is inflammation where the wall of the intestine swells and can become thicker which creates a constricted channel for waste to pass through.

{For more information on this read The Fiber Myth}

Constipation is a sign that perhaps our diet isn’t right or even our metabolism and digestion is somehow impaired. It can even be a symptom of low stomach acid.  Whatever the reasons behind it, it’s never fun.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know how to ‘get moving’ and ditch the grit for good?

Well, today’s your lucky day.

It’s probably no surprise diet is key in banishing constipation for good.  Eating enough healthy saturated fat such as nourishing coconut oil and grass fed butter or ghee speeds up metabolism which cuts down on transit time which makes healing digestion much easier.  In fact, eating a little healthy saturated fat with every meal can increase intestinal motility which increases assimilation of nutrients.

Replace starchy foods (especially with grains) with ripe fruits and fruit juices along with non-starchy vegetables like cucumber, green pepper, fennel, and other low ground vegetables along with root vegetables such as turnip, kohlrabi, celeriac, beetroot and potato.  Make sure your potatoes are rinsed and soaked before cooking to eliminate as much starch as possible if you are constipated.

Raw honey and other natural sugars nourish the thyroid which, in turn increases a sluggish metabolism.

One of my favorite ways to not only ease constipation but to rid the body of excess estrogen and endotoxin is eating a carrot salad or even simply a carrot or two every day. Carrots have a special kind of fiber which binds to excess hormones and endotoxin and carries them into and through the digestive tract without the  “sticks and twigs” damage that grains tend to do on the GI tract.

{For more information on how carrots help the body see Balance Your Body with a Carrot a Day}

Many people, when constipated, reach for harsh chemical laxatives or even natural ones like psyllium (which is soluble fiber but, since it is ground into powder to be consumed, can be too much for the intenstine to handle and can cause bacteria to give off gas which causes discomfort) and senna root, which, when overused (and overuse is easy to do if used more than once a week) can cause the bowel to become lazy affecting peristalsis which can exacerbate acute constipation and lead to chronic constipation.

Aged cascara sagrada powder is a natural laxative that has anti-inflammatory properties (which, again, is a major cause of constipation) and is considered a stimulant laxative as it stimulates peristalsis (which is the contraction the intestinal tract makes to push waste through the bowel and out the body).

Cascara Sagrada has many positive effects on the body other than being a natural laxative.  It contains a compound called Emodin (also found in Aloe Vera) which has been shown to be antibacterial, antiviral, and, as I said, anti-inflammatory.  It helps heal leaky gut, can prevent urinary stones, and, because of its anti-inflammatory principles, it can lower elevated serotonin levels which can help treat depression and enhance memory.  It also has the ability to carry excess estrogen and endotoxin out of the body so it is particularly useful for estrogen dominance issues.  I often use this in my own practice for women with both constipation and estrogen dominance issues in addition to the carrot salad which can pull excess estrogen from the body quickly.

Magnesium can be really helpful for a myriad of issues such as insomnia, hypoglycemia (it is key in regulation of blood sugar issues), and abnormal heart rhythm and is essential for bone health as 50% of bone is made up of magnesium. It is also necessary for protein synthesis and is needed to utilize fat soluble vitamin activators like Vitamin D.

It is a star in helping with constipation as it aids the intestines in absorbing water which increases peristalsis which, as you know, helps move waste through the bowels.  I recommend, first and foremost, topical use of magnesium in the form of magnesium citrate flake baths and magnesium oil rubbed into sore muscles and even on the abdomen.  The skin absorbs magnesium extremely well making it my number one preference in quelling any deficiency.

If additional magnesium is needed I recommend a magnesium citrate powder like Natural Vitality’s Natural Calm 2-4 teaspoons in the evening as a good starting point.  It is a safe and effective supplement that I give to each of my 9 month old  triplets!

Constipation does not have to be a chronic problem.  A little caution on listening to the dietary dogma (that is just plain WRONG) goes a long way and eating a digestible diet that calms the intestinal tract will have you regular in no time.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Mina says

    Ah,you are a mind reader..I learned ALOT. Before reading your article i was searching for a herb that can actualy bind to excess estrogen(i had in my mind this theory )when i reached that line in your article I just freezed!so funny> well,I did some other researches in Persian herbal or ancient medicine actually i saw these and many other herbs to help as a laxative.Thank you SO MUCH.Cant wait to go out and try to find this herb and Magnesium oil.
    I have such a difficult time finding sea salt and coconut oil here !

  2. jen says

    What amount of the Cascara Sagrada powder do you use to counteract Estrogen dominance? I am struggling with this and would love to try the powder to see if it helps!

    • thedetoxdiva says

      There is no way of knowing EXACTLY without knowing the whole picture. It is, quite literally, based on the individual and I do not give this to all of my clients, and definitely not the first thing out the gate.

  3. Mina says

    Ahh,feel so frustrated!I need brand NEW recipies to get ideas and make new dishes .what is the name of this diet….”real food” ?Where can i find some good practical recipes to plan my daily dishes and change this hectic dull way of eating which is doing me so harm than any good.any ideas?there are TOO many recipes out there n confusing since only few of them turn out good or fits my taste or i can find ingredients where i live.where should i start from?

    • thedetoxdiva says

      Ah the Real Food Reset is all mine and it is for clients. I understand the frustration of finding new recipes. Use the parameters I have given you and have fun with it.

  4. Mina says

    By saying “real food” I meant to know the name of this kind of eating system ,I will try ,Its great you are always there ,thank you.
    Another thing,I was wondering why i see no trace of “Aloe Vera” In your posts or your approaches while that also is considered as a miracle not to mention “SUPERFOOD” ,being beneficial for everything…Why is that ?
    Also regarding constipation and inflamation in intestines and digestive system its suggested to drink it as smoothie.(sometimes increasing VItC to 2000-3000 )to banish the constipation.What do you think about it?

    • thedetoxdiva says

      Look, let me stop you there. There’s no NAME to my kind of eating system. It’s not a system. It’s eating REAL food. Also, please please please stop asking me about superfoods and why I don’t recommend them. While I use aloe for many things I do not tout it as a cure all nor do I tout ANYTHING except for MAYBE gelatin as a cure all. Mina, I have to say, you aren’t off to a very good start as a nutritionist if you can’t think for yourself believing every little bit of hype that comes your way… there are NO curealls. There are NO superfoods that you can eat every day and miraculously have balanced health. There are MANY things you can eat rotating that help you achieve balance.

  5. Mina says

    yeah i absolutely agree.I wrote ITS KNOWN as a miracle or being beneficial for everything(not that i believe it to be like that),just was wondering how do you use Aloe in your routines and sharing a remedy for constipation. ;-)

    • thedetoxdiva says

      I have never used or prescribed aloe for constipation. I have aloe growing in my house, use it for burns, occasionally in the summer use it in smoothies, but don’t work into my real food routine.

    • thedetoxdiva says

      Oh and PS. It is TOUTED as a miracle…. So is coconut oil, maca root, spirulina and cacao….It doesn’t make it true.

    • thedetoxdiva says

      Oh and I should remind you, the same Emodin that is present in Cascara Sagrada is present in aloe. That might make it why it is so effective.

  6. Mina says

    Thank you so much ,JAcqueline at times I feel you respond with a hidden anger or impatience ,I understand how annoying it can be to respond every single repeated questions and whats more trying to go against the mainstream dogmas and changing those lets say “facts” in people..But as a COACH and someone that I give my body and whole being to ,I expect to be treated with more patiance and welcoming.THat is actually apart of your job ..I dont wanna disrespect you at all,u are definitly so dear to me thats why im writing to you. But WE or let say I ,am even less than a beginner in such path of healing(lets say just like you were sick days looking for healing ) and every step we take although is so useless for YOU being in your TODAY stage is HUGE for us in my path of learning.Well,regarding reminding me times that I “shouldnt” start that nutrition ,I believe I know where I am going and no one can judge because he/she doesnt know the whole scenario and also we go and study to LEARN if i knew those info simply there was no need of studying or asking !
    Im sorry if I ve annoyed you by asking you questions (and at times you get me wrong ,I just wanted your view on that certain item only to learn) .Thank you so much.:)

    • thedetoxdiva says

      I guess my frustration is the way you phrase some of your questions. I am a coach for my clients and expect my clients to ask questions but you have a tendency to ask questions as to why I don’t feature something on my blog. That, in my view, is self-explanatory. If it’s not on my blog it is a)because it is not something I have gotten to writing about and, since I do have triplets and a whole other life away from The Detox Diva, I think that’s a fair assumption that sometimes you will have to wait to see if it will be featured. I am not in the habit of taking “requests” of what goes on my blog. OR b) It is not something I feel is important enough to put out there. Take, for example, “WHY have you not included more about aloe…..?” Well, you can get information about aloe everywhere on the web… Since I don’t recommend my clients pop supplements by the droves when real food is a better healer then why would I recommend aloe as a “superfood”?? I have fallen into the trap MANY times myself of superfoods and there are a few supplements I do like that contain some well placed herbs but I am not even religious about taking them…. Since I don’t believe that one should be “taking” any type of food, save for maybe gelatin, every day, why would I recommend aloe as a MIRACLE when I don’t even tout coconut oil as a miracle. Coconut oil is a healthy fat and aloe has many uses but neither is a magic bullet. People are looking for magic bullets. I give a LOT of information in my posts, Mina but I am not going to address the whys and hows of every fad out there. I am sure you understand this. And I meant what I said to you the other day about not being a nutritionist if you are going to have strong reactions to every “new” fad out there. Being a nutritionist requires a steel stomach. It requires a LOT of thought and a LOT of training. I think you will be a fine nutritionist but think of this as my way of shaking you and telling you to “wake up” and not make the same mistakes I did when I was new to nutrition or even not so new and buying into fads like I have in the not so distant future. I expect you to use your mind and, in the course of YOUR OWN research, understand when there are ulterior motives for saying aloe is a miracle, for example, because they want to sell you aloe capsules. Be better than the hype!

  7. Emily says

    So now im confused…Should we take Caskara or not?i suppose its being suggested by you in some special cases.How should we decide if it fits us or not?

    • thedetoxdiva says

      Cascara, if being used for constipation, should be used if dietary changes do not right the problem within a few weeks and, even then, when being used for constipation, should be used in moderation.

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