A variety of health issues can arise from bowel irregularity; for this reason, it’s best to regularly evacuate the colon. The accumulation of fecal matter in the bowel creates an ideal environment for parasites and bacteria to proliferate. This can create or further exacerbate bowel issues such as diarrhea, constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis. Constipation can increase your chances of developing candida, an overgrowth of yeast. Additionally, some parasites, such as roundworm, can contribute to intestinal blockage due to their size. While pharmaceutical laxatives are commonly sought out to remedy constipation, they can be harsh on the colon, create dependency, decrease the colon’s ability to contract, deplete the body of minerals and damage the nerves, muscles and tissues of the colon. The following three herbs can be used as remedies for constipation and can also help keep the bowels regular.
1. Aloe Vera
The outer leaf of the aloe vera plant contains strong laxative properties. Constipation can be remedied by blending a small piece of aloe, spiky tips removed, and drinking the juice once a day. The clear gel, found inside the aloe leaf, may help promote bowel regularity and may also be used to remedy constipation. The inner portion of the aloe leaf is milder and generally safer to use than the outer part of the leaf that contains the strong laxative compounds. Adverse side effects have been reported when using the outer portion of the leaf, so try using the inside portion first. Aloe can also help soothe and repair stomach ulcers, damaged intestinal tissue and inflammation.
Ginger is an antiseptic, mild laxative and a stimulant. It promotes bowel regularity by improving digestion and stimulating the muscles of the bowel to move matter along. Its mild laxative properties make ginger a great herbal remedy for constipation. The amount of ginger consumed can be increased to create a slightly stronger laxative effect, in cases of constipation, without the negative side effects of pharmaceuticals. Ginger also strengthens the stomach, aids digestion and stimulates appetite, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. According to a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, ginger reduced markers of colon inflammation and “may have potential as a colon cancer prevention agent.” The study showed that 2 grams of ginger extract daily, over a period of 28 days, was able to reduce pro-eicosanoids in the colon. Keep bowel movements regular and improve digestion by drinking 2 teaspoons (1 gram) of freshly grated or powdered ginger in 8 ounces of hot water. In times of constipation, drink 2 to 3 cups of ginger tea per day.