Effective Home Remedies to Help Relieve Constipation

Constipation is a painfully embarrassing condition, but our first instinct—rather than consulting a medical professional or talking to a friend about natural remedies—is to skulk out and purchase an over-the-counter laxative. You don’t have to waste money on drugs or suffer embarrassment for long. The good news is that many natural remedies that you already have at home will get you back to a “regular” morning routine.

Here are 15 home remedies to relieve constipation…

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1. Honey

Honey is known for its mild laxative benefits. If you’re constipated, try taking one tablespoon three times a day. You can take it alone, but it’s much nicer in a warm cup of tea or just hot water with a bit of lemon.

2. Beans

Beans, bean, aren’t just good for the old ticker…they also prevent constipation. Many associate beans and legumes with gas, however, the more you eat them; the less gas you’ll experience. Plus, you can really mix up your dishes with an array of pinto, red, black, lima, navy, or garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas) for a great source of daily fiber.

3. Coffee

Did you know that it’s the bitterness in your morning cup of Joe that actually stimulates your digestive tract and sends you to the bathroom shortly after you drink it?

4. Fiber

Kick starting your day off the day with a bowl of high-fiber bran cereal will kick start your digestive system due to fiber’s ability to add bulk to stool. Just be careful if your just introducing fiber to your diet, you could experience a lot of painful gas, bloat, and stomach cramps so begin with small servings of morning oatmeal or another fiber-rich cereal—or sprinkle some barley flakes on your lunchtime soup or stew.

5. Cut the Processed Foods

Focus more on foods and recipes that contain whole grains—and less on those that contain refined flour. Bump up your fiber intake by swapping brown for white rice and whole wheat bread for white breads in your family lunches.

6. Eat Your Veggies

Introduce a bounty of fresh and frozen veggies to your daily meals—fiber-rich sources include sweet potatoes, corn, peas, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower. If you’re not a veggie lover, chop them finely or puree them and add them to sauces, soups, and stews.

7. Apples

An apple a day isn’t just good for your grill; it can also help prevent constipation. The same goes for a glass of apple juice or apple cider, just like apples, all three act as natural laxatives after a meal.

8. Prunes

Prunes are my grandmother’s home remedy to relieve constipation—and for good reason. Prunes are extremely rich in fiber and dihydroxyphenyl isatin, a compound that stimulates the colon!

9. Raisins

The dried up grape is also extremely high in fiber as well as tartaric acid, which has a laxative effect on the digestive systems. Eat a handful of raisins daily with meals (i.e., sprinkled on cereal) or after meals.

10. Rhubarb

Rhubarb acts as a natural laxative due to its stringy consistency. Plus, you can prepare it so many yummy ways—stew it and serve it sweetened with honey on yogurt or oatmeal, bake it in a pie, or puree it in a morning smoothie.

11. Blackstrap Molasses

Much like honey, a few tablespoons of blackstrap molasses before going to bed will help relieve constipation by morning. However, keep in mind that molasses is very in calories and it tastes very pungent, so you don’t want to use it regularly.

12. Seeds

Sprinkled on salads, soups, and side dishes, or consumed in paste or dip form (i.e., tahini), sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds provide the roughage the body needs to bulk up stool and soften food waste in the intestines, which make bowel movements gentler on the body.

13. Oil Up

Vegetable oils like olive oil, sunflower oil, and soy oil actually lubricate the intestines and make elimination go more smoothly. Try mixing a tablespoon of your favorite oil with herbs, a bit of lemon juice, and some red wine vinegar and use it as a salad dressing or bread dip.

14. Exercise

Physical activity not only helps you burn off unwanted calories; it also encourages bowel regularity. Think of it this way—an active person will have active bowels, while a lazy person will have lazy bowels. When it comes to staying regular, even a daily walk can get everything on track.

15. Drink Water

Hydration is good for your health in general, but now you can add regularity to the list of benefits as well. Consuming at least eight glasses of water a day helps to lubricate the intestines so that the bowels function more efficiently.


Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.