Constipation can have many causes, so it can be hard to pinpoint and resolve. The average American today has a 96-hour transit time from the mouth to the other end, meaning they carry four days worth of waste in their colon. This can lead to major discomfort and reabsorption of the toxins that are sitting in the bowels.
Ideally, a healthy colon produces 2-3 bowel movements per day.
Getting to this point can be a long process of trial and error to find a
good balance of nutrition, movement, hydration and stress relief.
Before you get frustrated and reach for over-the-counter drugs, which
can have unsavoury side effects, try these helpful herbal teas instead.
has long been a traditional remedy for stomach upsets, nausea and
vomiting. The main beneficial constituent is menthol, which supports the
intestinal muscles to function smoothly and helps dispel gas.
Fennel is antispasmodic, meaning it helps relax the muscles of the
intestines and colon to keep things moving through. Fennel is commonly
used for constipation, colic and gas pains. Just crush 1–2 teaspoons of
fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle, add to 2 cups of boiled water and
allow to steep, covered, for 5–10 minutes.
Chamomile contains tryptophan, which is an effective relaxant. This
calms the digestive system and can act as a mild laxative. It’s
interesting to note that constipation is often a physiological response
to a heightened emotional state. In this way, chamomile’s relaxing
properties also have a good chance of remedying constipation indirectly
by alleviating stress and anxiety.
and burdock both stimulate bile release from the liver and gallbladder.
This helps carry digestive enzymes into the digestive tract, stimulates
peristalsis and promotes the breakdown of fats and oils.
Dandelion is considered more helpful for “flaccid” or “lazy”
constipation, which results from weak peristaltic action of the
intestinal muscles and colon. These are the muscles that should provide a
smooth, rolling squeeze to help waste move along. If this action is
weak, dandelion root can be helpful.
On the contrary, if constipation is the “spastic” type resulting from
tension and stress, this means the muscles need to be relaxed. Herbs
like chamomile and peppermint are more helpful for this condition.
Burdock root contains lignans, bitter principles, inulin (resistant
starch), mucilage, sulphur and organic acids. This potent mixture helps
increase bile secretion from the gallbladder. With this support, the
body is better able to digest fatty and oily foods and use them
effectively for various biological functions.
If stools are dry and difficult to pass, burdock is a good choice,
since breaking down fats will help bring moisture into the stool.
Marshmallow root is described as “demulcent,” which means it provides
lubrication in the colon and calms inflammation. It has been used as a
treatment for constipation in traditional medicine for centuries.
Try these potent remedies from nature next time you’re experiencing
slowed digestion and toxicity. If nothing else, they will nourish and
hydrate the body to resolve constipation on its own, without harmful
side effects or creating dependency.
-The Alternative Daily