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Home Remedies for Constipation

Reviewed by Dr. Revée “Ray” Barbour
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Constipation is a very common digestive disorder that affects people of all ages.

Constipation is medically defined as having three or fewer bowel movements in a week. In case of severe constipation, it reduces to less than one bowel movement in a week.

It is caused by difficulty in passing stools mostly because the colon has absorbed more water from the food in the colon, making the stools very dry and hard. This may even lead a person to strain too much to empty the excessively hard stools.

Other symptoms are a bloated abdomen, stomach ache, abdominal cramps, nausea, abnormally small or large stools, acidity, loss of appetite, bad breath, headache, depression, acne, and mouth ulcers.

constipation diagram

Some of the main causes of constipation are a poor diet with low fiber intake, insufficient water intake, irregular defecation habit, lack of physical activity, pregnancy, aging, changes in routine, weakness of abdominal muscles, hemorrhoids, stress, intake of certain medications, laxative abuse, and certain disease conditions.

This problem can be very frustrating aside from causing discomfort. There are many home remedies to enhance the functionality of your digestive system and treat constipation. These remedies are very easy to follow and very powerful.

home remedies for constipation

Here are the top 10 home remedies for constipation.

1. Lemons

Lemons are always handy at home not just to make food tangy or lemonade, but also for many emergency medicinal purposes like weight loss, skin care, proper digestion, eye care, peptic ulcers, respiratory disorders, etc.

lemons for constipation

Lemons, or more specifically the juice from lemons, can treat constipation. This is one of the simplest and most effective treatments that you can try at home.

lemon home remedy for constipationThe flavonoids present in lemon oil stimulate the digestive system and increase the secretion of digestive juices, bile, and acids, and gets things moving. The surplus acids from lemon help clear the excretory system by washing and cleaning the digestive tract. The fiber content of lemon helps ease constipation (1).

  • Extract the juice of half a lemon and add it to a glass of warm water. You can also add a pinch of rock salt or one-half teaspoon of table salt and a little honey to it. Drink this nutritious lemon water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. You can also drink a glass of this tasty drink in the evening. Follow this remedy daily to treat constipation within a few days.
  • Alternatively, take 1 or 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice along with a pinch of salt daily for a few days to get relief from constipation and cleanse your system.

2. Figs

Figs are very high in fiber and act as a natural laxative. Figs are rich in anthocyanins and polyphenols (2).

figs for constipation

It is used in traditional medicine for gastrointestinal and inflammatory disorders. Those suffering from chronic constipation should include figs in their diet. For the treatment of constipation, both fresh and dried figs can be used.

When fresh figs are available, eat them with their skin on. The skin contains most of the fiber and calcium. Fig paste has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment against constipation in animal models (3, 4).

  1. Take two to three almonds and dried figs.
  2. Soak them in water for a few hours.
  3. Peel the almonds and grind the ingredients.
  4. Take this paste with one tablespoon of honey at night.

3. Castor Oil

Being a stimulant laxative, castor oil stimulates the small and large intestines and improves the bowel movement.

castor oil for constipation

The chemical constituents of castor oil are flavonoids, fatty acids, amino acids, terpenoids, phenolic compounds, phytosterols, etc. These compounds are responsible for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects.

Different parts of the castor plant are used for medicinal applications like abdominal disorders, arthritis, muscle pain, constipation etc (5). Castor oil should be taken only for severe cases of constipation. In fact, castor oil also benefits skin and hair care and is used in the cosmetic industry.

Simply swallow one to two teaspoons of this beneficial castor oil on an empty stomach. To improve the taste, you can take it with a fruit juice like orange juice. Within a few hours, you will notice a huge improvement in your condition.

Note: Castor oil can be toxic when taken in large doses. It can cause abdominal cramping when stimulating a bowel movement. You must not repeat this remedy for a prolonged period as it can cause side effects.

4. Honey

Honey is highly beneficial in relieving constipation as it acts as a mild laxative.

honey for constipation

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1995 has reported that the laxative effect of honey observed in healthy volunteers is due to the incomplete absorption of fructose in the body (6).

You can have it daily to prevent as well as treat constipation. Raw, organic, local honey is the most preferred honey.

  • Consume two teaspoons of honey three times a day.
  • You can also mix one tablespoon each of honey and lemon juice in a glass of warm water. Drink it every morning on an empty stomach.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of honey with ½ or 1 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Take it 15 to 30 minutes before meals in order to prepare the digestive system for digestion.

5. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds have many medicinal properties and are one of the richest plant sources of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

flaxseeds for constipation

They are also high in phenols, vitamins including vitamin E and K, minerals like magnesium and potassium. Flaxseeds have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and also act as demulcents.

A paper published in 2015 revealed the dual action of flaxseeds as an effective treatment for constipation and diarrhea (7). The laxative property of flaxseeds can be very useful in curing mild to very serious cases of constipation.

  • Grind 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds in a coffee grinder. Mix the powdered flax seed with 1-2 cups of water and allow it to rest for 15 minutes before drinking. Drink the water daily before going to bed. In the morning, your bowel movement will be much better.
  • Alternatively, you can simply eat two to three tablespoons of ground flaxseeds with a glass of water.

Note: When you eat flaxseeds, please drink a lot of water as it can cause abdominal discomfort.

6. Prunes

Prunes or dried plums are widely accepted as a remedy for constipation in traditional medicine.

prunes for constipation

This is assumed to be due to the high fiber content of 6 gram/100 gram. The insoluble and soluble fibers present in prunes increase the bulk and water content of stools induce digestive secretions and bowel movement.

The sugar alcohol sorbitol and other phenols which are present in prunes are poorly absorbed by the small intestine and have a laxative effect (8). So eat prunes regularly if you suffer from a tendency of constipation.

A random trial study done and published in 2011 concluded that prunes were safe, palatable, and more effective than the current standard psyllium therapy (9).

  • Have 1-2 plums daily if you don’t have prunes or have 3 to 4 prunes daily.
  • Blend 2-3 prunes in some warm flax or almond milk and drink at night for extra fiber and relief from constipation.
  • Take 3-4 chopped prunes and have it with a cup whipped yogurt daily.

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72 thoughts on “Home Remedies for Constipation”

    1. Bananas help me and drink alot of water, and I notice if you put walking into your everyday life that helps also, I mean you have to walk like a mall, or a big store

  1. I have had problems all of my life with constipation. Now that I’m older (62) and on several medications including cholesterol lowering meds and psychiatric meds which make my problem worse, I occastionally have to resort to laxatives. I drink a lot of oxegenated filtered water every day. I would like to know if there are vegetable and fruit smoothies I can make myself, I think this would be helpful. Can you help me with this?

    1. Dear Sir,
      I have just posted my personal experience, kindly read it. I am sure it will help you.
      By the way extra virgin olive oil is cholestrol free and good for health, secondly fiber husk can reduce cholestrol. Even then consult your physician first before using it.
      God bless you with good health. (amen)

      1. First of all stop eating things made of white flour, deep fried, sugar and too salty/spicy.
        Soak 2 figs, 6- 7 black currents and 2 dried apricots in water at night and add some hot water before drinking empty stomach in a sitting position. Keep drinking home made green tea all day. You can make it with fennel, cumin seeds, oregano , cardamom, fenugreek, basil, lime etc. Avoid drinking cold drinks and caffeine.
        Eat supper at least 3 hours before going to bed . Drink green soups or juices. Kale, spinach, broccoli, carrots, any green vegetables, beetroot etc. Stretching and breathing exercises are very important to stay healthy.

        1. Please tell me in detail that what should we do afterr soaking that figs black current and dry apricot, I didn’t understand that thing that add some hot water before drinking empty stomach , please explain. That thing in detail ….

      1. I had a 74 year old lady and a very good friend tell me that is i eat Yogurt regular every day thatvis all i would need. Guess what that’s all i need.My husband drinks lemon juice water every day and he goes regular every day. Hope this helps .

    2. Hello, I was in the same boat as you. My solution was:
      – every morning I drink 250ml alkaline water with 2 teaspoons of apple cider
      – everyday I drink 1.5l of alkaline water.
      Alkaline water I found at the fruit and vegetable market. But, if you cannot find it, normal water will do the job too. I believe that the secret is too drink enough water. Cheers 🙂

    3. I had opioded induced constipation and began to take medication. It was just another pill and chemical in my system so I tried several natural alternatives. I finally came up with a natural solutions that I would like to share with the world because it was so exciting. I’ll start by sharing it with you. I have one bowl of fiber one original cereal (which are the ones that look like little sticks and have 14 grams of fiber).there are many fiber one cereals but this is the only one with 14 grams of fiber and the only one that works. Mix flax seeds, fruit and I like to add another type of granola or cereal because I really don’t love the taste of the fiber one alone. Good luck I hope it works for you the way it does for me.

  2. Acute/Chronic Constipation

    I was suffering from constipation for about 25-30 years. I tried all my best but my problem was getting worst day by day. I had no feeling of bowl moment and I was unable pass stool for 5-6 days without using laxatives. I pray to the GOD a lot. One day it came to my mind, I am using it and by the grace of GOD it helps me a lot. It is very simple and easy. Here it is for everyone.

    1. One tea spoon (1 ts) extra virgin olive oil in the morning with empty stomach.
    2. One table spoon (1 tbs) of fiber husk keep in plain water for 5 minutes and then drink it, (after 1 hour of extra virgin olive oil.)

    That’s it…….
    You may apply this everyday or until you need it.
    You can have your regular meal after one or two hours. Obviously drinking more fluid, using more fiber and eating fresh vegetable and fruits helps.

    I hope it will help all of you.
    Best Wishes for your good health.

      1. Fiber husk is natural product, normally called “EESABAGHOL CHILKA” in sub continent, very useful for constipation & cholesterol, better to take with hot milk twice a day.Hopefully it will be beneficial for all such needy friends.

  3. Having bowel movements daily (using poopdoc of course), enough fiber in the diet, probiotics and at least 2 quarts of water a day makes an astronomical difference in health.

    1. Hi Ive had problems in bowel moving too, One that really helps me is praying to God.. And by His grace I am healed.. Please ask for God’s healing nothing is impossible to Him.

  4. I have tried everything. My constipation isnt nearly as bad as it use to be, but I ALWAYS have a bottle of magnesium citrate on hand. It comes in flavors and can be bought at drug stores and sometimes Dollar Store for about $1.50 bottle. I will drind 1/2 bottle before bed and will go with ease come morning with no cramping etc. I dont depend on this but if I havent went for 2 days then I will drink it. It beats getting impacted!

  5. I am suffering constipation due to the pain killers I am on containing codine. I have started taking 3 figs daily in the morning and a cup of herbal tea containing senokot at night. So far results not good andI am having to take a laxative once a week which is very painful and inhibiting. I will start the lemon in warm water that you suggest, alongside what I am already taking, and if that does not help I will try your other suggestions as I am really suffering and I do not want to take purchases laxatives. I want to be taking natural remedies. Thank you

    1. My dad needs to take a lot of medication. Because of that he suffers from constipation. The doctors gave him all kind of medication to solve that problem. A friend gave him the tip to eat a kiwi every morning on an empty stomach. Since he eats them daily, his constipation problem is solved.

  6. I find that eating just a few pieces of sugar free candy helps. The candy makes me have a good soft bowel movement. I get a good relief. Its best on an empty stomach.

    1. Sugar free foods that have artificial sweeteners in them are terrible for you. They may help your constipation but will cause other problems long-term. Anything that isn’t natural from the earth is, of course, not good for you. Eat fruits and vegetables.

    1. ie Chicken Pox
      Potassium “condis crystals ‘ at chemist To make a purple bath use 1/4 teaspoon will soon turn brown but gives relief

  7. Remember simple formula
    Har wo cheez jis ka mazaaz TAR GARM hai wo Qabz Qusa hai e.g. figs,mangoes, pakoray, paalak etc.
    Har wo cheez jis ka mazaz THANDA/KHUSK hai wo Qabz karti hai e.g. khatti cheezein, eggs, try fruits, etc.

  8. What about a person with Celiac Disease, I have a very touchy, sensitive digestive system, diet is quite limited, negligent, dairy, eggs, no harsh spices, limited course foods! I have to be extra careful about what I consume. Always checking labels and packaging or I suffer terrible colon spasms.

  9. Hi, if anyone have problem of constipation, then please try Prunes( Kala Manuka). Take 12-15 Prunes and soak it in 1 cup water whole night, in the early morning after brush eat whole soaked prunes and drink remaining water. Prunes are very helpful for constipation.
    But you have to continue this remedies, for continue minimum eight days. it is definitely work. also regular intake of prunes reduce your acidity, pitta problem, increase your hemoglobin also

  10. I am suffering constipation..i just eat foods that rich in fiber..more water intake..i also try rice water every morning..and it helps a lot…

  11. My daughter is 8 years old, has always had constipation problems since she was baby… But now it is getting worse due to the amount medication she is taking. For asma and allergies. 6 medication a day… I’ve tryed the prunes worked for a while. She drinks a lot of water. I buy her the fiber bars and fiber gummies.. I don’t want to try lax. On her to little… I’m going to try the pappayas… Hopefully she likes….

  12. I ve tried almost everything, all this is happening to me because I eat a big amount of tiger and now I m paying for it , it s been the third day of hell suffering, pain , I even fainted two times I tried laxative and even the magnignisum citrate but no help because the tiger nut tured out to be like small rocks in my…..

    1. Guava contains a huge amount of iron. Too much iron will cause constipation.
      Guava will not relief your constipation, it will make it worst.

  13. Hi! Maybe your daughter canot digest milk and glutten. I suffered for many years with constipation since I was a kid. I came to find out that I canot digest milk and wheat (Glutten) Am off it and I fell much much better. And my constipation problem is over.

  14. One Table spoon of Apple cider vinegar , followed by teaspoon of honey to put the throat at ease. After five minutes , pain free at last , cheaply.

  15. Chewing food is food very important to deal with constipation. Also drink four glasses of water early morning in empty stomach and sit of vajrasan. half lemon squeezed and one spoon honey in to water will be added advantage

  16. Soak 30 dry fruit in little water at night next day grind that dry fruit with that water and drink it in an empty stomach am sure it s a remedy for constipation

  17. I am fun of reading home remedy tips, it educate me and i can use it personally most esp. to my family

  18. Constipation can be and is painful, however you can manage it even when you have to take medications daily like I do. First thing in the morning, eat a handful or two of raw vegetables that contains fiber,(you need this to start the process of a smoother bowel movement). I eat raw spinach and a whole slice apple or baked apples, drink plenty of water. Second cut back, eat small portions of meats and breads cakes, pies, pastry. Do your best to stay away from junk foods!.

    Try to drink lemon water add a table or teaspoon of lemon or lime juice to a 8 ounce cup or glass of water at least twice a day. Do not use fruit juice, soda, etc. as a substitute for water. If you drink coffee or tea like I do everyday double your water consumption. If your urine is clear daily that an indication that you are drinking plenty of water check with your doctor if you’re taking meds.
    Third make sure that 75% of your food consumption contain fibrous foods, again drink plenty of water; it helps to move the waste in your colon. Eat fiber before bedtime orange, figs, apples, grapes, spinach, kale, drink plenty of water. Finally stick with this formula on the average it works!

  19. Okay, I’ll try to explain as the best as I can. Hope you guys can understand!
    My DD Farah turned 5 this yr. In fact, she always had irregular bowel movements since birth. As parent, we tried lots of different things such as getting her more fiber, water and even Chinese herbs. Along the way and the best that we could ever get was 1-2 times a week. Well every once in awhile it will take up to few days to one week for her to have a Bowel Movement. But this last time it has been 10 days,and we are worried!!!!
    Someone do suggest me to try out formula milk with many Pre-biotics. Will it works?

    1. Cut dates and prunes into small pieces ,add water and boil them . Boil till it becomes thick jam . Eat 1 or 2 spoons daily . May God bless her.

  20. 1)try boiled apples ,high in fibre
    stay on 1 day boiled apple diet in chronic cases
    2) spinach is good bowel stimulator
    3)pineapple juice is very laxative
    4)hot milk with extra sugar cleans ur bowel
    5)roasted hirda in ghee n powderd
    if taken I teaspoon with lukeworm water works wonders

  21. Chia pudding, 1 cup almond milk, 3TBSP chia seeds, 1 tsp vanilla, stir, refrigerate over night. In the morning stir again, refrigerate a little more, eat with berries. Works like a charm.

  22. I had this problem. Tried everything–bran, lemon juice, teas, prunes, oatmeal, on and on! For me, the ONLY thing that worked is oranges. I now eat a large orange every day. The combination of the Vitamon C and its fiber must be what my body needs. Also helpful is drinking warm water throughout the day, but the orange is the key…

  23. Thanks everyone for the great ideas. I had abdominal surgery 5 days ago and still haven’t had a bowel movement. I finally found a recipe for castor oil and warm milk. I just took it so will update on its effectiveness. Update tomorrow. Good luck to all of you. Constipation is a serious problem and can cause alot of problems.

  24. 1 handful of fresh pecans or pecans that are just picked, cracked, picked out and frozen, every morning in oatmeal, I eat the oats uncooked with milk, honey and some fruit in it, bananas,blueberries,strawberries, pineapple or what fruit you like. I use the
    fruit to have verity. They can be fresh or frozen. And they add nutrition, a bonus. I don’t know if the pecans you get in the store will do, I pick mine, crack, and pick them
    out right away, within a week, and freeze them.

  25. thank you for this information, cause sometimes i feel constipated and idon’t know which food is better to eat to solve my problem about my constipation.

  26. I’m trying lemon an honey…going to store today..maybe vinegar/salt. C what happens. I like flax seeds too…great in salads. Thanks for all tips ..good variety

  27. Hello! I struggled with constipation for a long time until I discovered one simple remedy and I am so happy I found it and I wanted to make sure to share it with people so this is why I’m commenting. 🙂 Drink 2 to 3 glasses of iced or really cold water when you wake up in the morning.This will work for etreme cases. I hope this simple easy remedy works for all of you and you share with others.❤

  28. Thank you very much to you That your information regarding constipation is really very useful for me & other people. It is very good information for all, People don’t know some time basic thing what we use for constipation from your blog we are getting useful information.

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