The Best Natural Laxatives for Constipation

When I become constipated, I usually have a work deadline approaching or a change in routine. Sometimes life gets busy, and I realise it's been three days since I pooped! In this guide I will show you all the best natural laxatives you can drink when you feel constipated. 

Several natural juices and oils have laxative properties if it's challenging to pass poop, such as prune, apple, or pear juices. If a warm drink is what you prefer, marshmallow root and Fenugreek teas can also help return your bowels to normal and keep you hydrated.

We will examine a wide range of natural laxatives that you can drink. But first, we will look at the symptoms of constipation.

You could try a natural laxative if you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms:

  • Passing stools less than three times a week
  • Straining to poop
  • Hard or lumpy stools
  • Feeling that you have left some poop behind.
  • A general feeling that you are blocked

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Juices and water can soften your stools

It makes sense to drink fluids to soften our stools when we are backed up. Quite often, our poop becomes hard and lumpy, and this can make you feel like you have not completely emptied your bowel. Juice and water are both effective treatments.

Having adequate fluid intake is vital to prevent and treat constipation. The recommended amount of water for a healthy adult is 8 – 9 cups per day. There are also fruit juices such as prune, apple and pear, which can act as natural laxatives and soften your hard, stubborn stools.

Water can help relieve constipation

Water is the life force that keeps our bodies healthy. Without water, we would very quickly become dehydrated, and constipation is one of the signs that you are not drinking enough.

Water keeps food moving through your colon. When absorbed through the walls of your small intestine, it moves waste products into the large intestine, eventually pushing them out. Water also maintains a smooth and flexible colon.

When should I have water to relieve constipation?

When you wake in the morning, have a glass of water before breakfast or your first coffee/tea. If you are exercising on a warm day, sipping water throughout the day becomes even more critical.

    The Australian Government Health Direct website also recommends you drink water before you feel thirsty regularly throughout the day.

    A squeeze of lemon, which is also a natural laxative, can benefit your body while making water taste good.

    Prune juice can keep your bowel movements regular

    I remember my grandmother saying that prune juice could cure a stubborn bowel! The sweet and syrupy liquid of prunes is a common home remedy for the treatment of constipation.

    Prune juice contains the active ingredient dihydroxy phenyl isatin. This compound is what causes bowel contractions and makes you want to go.

    Prune juice also contains soluble fibre, which is the excellent fibre that keeps food moving through your intestine and out through your bowel. Soluble fibre slows the absorption of sugars and increases the size of your stool.

    This study found that prunes were superior to psyllium for improving poop frequency.

    When should I drink prune juice for constipation?

    To get the best results and relieve constipation fast, you should drink prune juice first thing in the morning – up to 200 ml (or around half a cup). If you feel like you need some extra laxative action, follow it up with a second-half cup after a heavy meal to help get things moving.

    Always look for 100% prune juice and avoid added sugar.

    Apple juice can make you poop

    For a gentle laxative, apple juice is perfect. Juice from apples is sweet and tasty, and it is also a safe laxative for children.

    The active ingredient in apples, pectin, is known for its laxative effect. Pectin is a soluble dietary fibre that can absorb water in your intestine and normalise stools.

    This study shows how subjects were given pectin supplements, and the results showed that the pectin made waste move faster through the colon and alleviated constipation.

    Pear juice can make you poop immediately

    Pear juice is also a mild laxative that can make you poop as soon as possible.

    The active ingredient in pear juice is sorbitol. Sorbitol is an osmotic laxative that draws water from your intestine like the pectin in apples. Sorbitol causes your stools to soften and move more quickly through your colon.

    How should I drink apple and pear juice to make me poop?

    • Drink juice in the morning – up to 200ml
    • Increase intake over a few days to allow your body to adjust
    • 100% apple and pear juice are preferable over-processed juice
    • Try not to drink too much as both juices can cause diarrhoea.

      Summary

      If you drink nothing else, water is essential for the functioning of your intestines and preventing you from becoming constipated. However, some fruit juices such as pear, apple, and prune act as natural laxatives. When consumed in small amounts, they can keep your bowels clear and treat or prevent constipation.

      Coconut oil and olive oil can ease your constipation

      There is something exotic about the smell of coconut oil in a drink or smoothy, or you may prefer the Mediterranean flavour that olive oil can add. Both oils can ease constipation.

      Olive oil and coconut oil are known as 'healthy oils', and you can add them to your drinks to ease constipation naturally. You can use olive oil in small doses to keep food moving through your intestine. Coconut oil can lubricate the bowel and encourage pooping.

      Olive oil can speed up the colonic movement

      The active ingredient in olive oil is oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid. Oleic acid can speed up colonic movement, according to this study. Olive oil has many amazing health benefits, including lowering sugar levels that surpass its mild laxative properties. It also has the advantage of being a safe treatment tolerated well by most people.

      Coconut oil can help with constipation

      Coconut oil is a delicious addition to any drink or smoothie to treat constipation naturally. The active ingredients are medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), which can lubricate your intestines and help move food through your body. Coconut oil may increase your metabolism, which is another way to move food quickly through your gut.

      How can I use coconut oil and olive oil in drinks?

      • Have a teaspoon of coconut or olive oil when you wake up.
      • Put a teaspoon of coconut oil in your coffee or hot chocolate for a creamy aftertaste.
      • Coconut oil or olive oil in a smoothie or juice is delicious.
      • Extra virgin (pure) coconut oil and olive oils are preferable.

      Summary

      Both olive oil and coconut oil have health benefits that outweigh their gentle laxative properties. When taken in their pure form and added to juice or smoothies, these oils can speed up the movement of food and waste through the intestine.

      The best detox teas for constipation

      If a hot drink is more to your taste, a natural tea may be just the tonic you are seeking. Tea has long been a choice made by many to detox and treat constipation.

      Teas such as marshmallow root, fenugreek and ginger tea have properties that can facilitate healthy bowel functions. You can use them as part of detox due to a build-up of toxins or harmful bacteria caused by constipation.

      Marshmallow root tea can detox your colon

      Marshmallow root tea sounds sweet, but it is, in fact, a fibrous root that has detox properties.

      The fibrous extracts, Althaea officinalis, swell and absorb water from your intestine. This fibre softens and pushes waste from the colon removing toxins. The fibres can break up mucus in your bowel and kill harmful bacteria resulting in a total cleanse.

      Fenugreek tea can give your intestines a cleanse

      Fenugreek Tea is often recommended as a natural treatment for constipation. Like some other treatments we have talked about, Fenugreek contains soluble fibre.

      According to this study, Fenugreek tea can reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels while acting as a mild bulk-forming laxative. To find out more about how fenugreek can aid in weight loss, read this article.

      How do you use ginger for constipation?

      Ginger tea is a warming drink that could help you with constipation.

      When your lower intestines are under pressure from a backup of poop, you may feel uncomfortable or experience low-level pain. You may also have pressure on your intestine from overeating, resulting in constipation.

      In addition to being a treatment for nausea, ginger tea can decrease the pressure on your intestine and help you poop. This 2018 study shows how ginger helps with subjects' bowel movements and gastrointestinal disorders.

      Ginger was also found to be a harmless treatment even for pregnant women. To read more information about ginger's unique digestive properties, read these articles.

      Summary

      Drinking a variety of natural teas such as Fenugreek, ginger or marshmallow root can help to detox your colon to treat or prevent constipation. The teas we have discussed can help rid your colon of harmful bacteria.

      Other Natural Colon Cleansing Teas

      When it comes to teas with natural cleansing properties, there is a range of different teas and blends available to help you detox your colon.

      Many teas are available with the same laxative and detox properties as those discussed. The advantage of using teas to cleanse your colon is that you can do it at home, and they have other properties which can benefit your overall health.

      These teas may help you to cleanse your colon naturally.

      • Dandelion can serve as a laxative to increase bowel movements
      • Green tea is antioxidant-rich tea with detox properties
      • Liquorice root has laxative properties and can cleanse your colon and blood
      • Senna is an effective treatment for constipation
      • Peppermint is a muscle relaxant to help smooth the way and cleanse your colon

        For a delicious combination of the teas listed above with the added taste of apple and fennel, blended tea, Organic Digestive Tea Cinnamon Garden can aid digestion and promote a healthy colon while tasting amazing.

        For further information about teas that can help you poop and are suitable for your digestion, check out these articles:

        Summary

        Some other teas that can help cleanse your colon and assist with constipation are dandelion, green tea, liquorice root, senna and peppermint. Other alternatives include specially blended teas made for digestive and gut issues or Australian native tea.

        Things to avoid when constipated

        You may feel a bit poorly when you are constipated. When we feel unwell due to colon or digestive issues, there are some things we should avoid to maintain well-being.

        Avoiding overeating, in general, is a good tip for anyone suffering from constipation. When we overeat, anything including high fibre food, we can make our constipation symptoms worse instead of better. There are some drinks you should also avoid.

        Things to avoid when you are constipated can include:

        • Overeating fibre - overloading with fibre from fruit and vegetables can cause excess bloating and gas.
        • Overeating cheese – cheese is known to cause constipation
        • Fizzy drinks – carbonated drinks may feel like they are doing some good, but they will only make you more bloated
        • High fat, high carb foods – if you feel clogged up, these foods will make you feel worse.
        • Chocolate – foods high in sugar can make your constipation worse.
        • Alcohol – drinking alcohol will not make you feel better; in fact, it could further prohibit your bowel movements.

        Bloating and gas are symptoms of constipation. If you want some more advice on how to relieve this uncomfortable symptom, you can read some more in the following article:

        Summary

        Avoiding overeating is essential when you are constipated. Certain foods and beverages, including those high in fat or sugar, can make you feel more clogged up than you did before. Even overeating fibre can give you excess bloating and gas.

        Other ways to relieve constipation

        As with all health complaints, there is more than one way to relieve symptoms of constipation. We have discussed the natural drinks to give us a laxative effect. Now let's look at some other ways we can help you poop.

        Regular exercise, some foods and medications can help to relieve constipation. Another way to encourage yourself to poop more is to learn some new toileting habits. If you develop regular practices, you may become more frequent in your bowel movements.

        Did you know?

        Did you know that it takes 12 - 48 hours for food to travel from one end of your digestive tract to your anus? Your colon comprises three parts: small intestine, colon (large intestine) and rectum. Your colon is around 1.5m long, so the food has a long way to travel. As it travels through your colon, bile breaks it down, which is the cause of the brown colour when poop comes out.

        Here are some ways you can help the contents of your stomach reach their destination on time:

        • Exercise regularly – a brisk walk or a swim can make you feel good and help with your stubborn bowels
        • Eat small meals or drink juices – even though you may feel bloated, it is essential to eat or drink something, even if it is only in liquid form.
        • Sit on the toilet – while this may sound like the obvious solution. Sitting at the same time each day can change your habits for the better and have you pooping again.
        • Medication- over the counter laxatives can be effective if you have tried other ways to clear your bowels.
        • Massage – Regular massage of your abdomen can help you to release built-up gases and poop
        • Yoga poses – some poses can be beneficial to move things along

        Summary

        Your colon sometimes needs some extra help to move the contents of your stomach through to the toilet. Exercise regularly, eat small meals, have an abdominal massage and start developing some new toilet habits are other ways to ease your constipation.

        What clears up constipation fast?

        If your constipation is caused by a change in routine or a busy life schedule and not a more serious ongoing complaint, there are several ways to clear up your constipation fast.

        When we feel backed up and can't poop, we would all love a quick solution to get on with our lives. Quick fixes range from having a beverage to taking a fibre supplement.

        Try one of these quick remedies to make your bowels move again.

        1. Brew and sip a cup of ginger tea
        2. Drink ghee and milk before bed
        3. Try fresh lemon squeezed into a large glass of water and drink
        4. Drink a small cup of prune juice in the morning
        5. Go for a brisk walk or jog
        6. Try some yoga poses
        7. Take a fibre supplement – psyllium
        8. Taken an over-the-counter laxative stimulant
        9. Try an enema
        10. Take a magnesium supplement

        If you think that stress is causing you to feel constipated, there is evidence to suggest that this could be possible. Find out more about this issue and how you can safely and naturally clear your bowels in the following articles:

        Summary

        There are a few quick solutions to help ease constipation. They include sipping ginger tea, drinking a cup of prune juice or trying some yoga poses. If you prefer to take supplements, psyllium or magnesium could help move things along. If you are not squeamish, an enema could help, or an over-the-counter laxative could be an easy fix.

        Conclusion

        Finding a natural laxative that you can drink is not difficult. It is the best way to consume a laxative because it helps you to remain hydrated, which is a priority when you are having trouble pooping.

        Constipation is more common than you think. While it's not something everyone talks about, you can bet it's something we all think and worry about. Whether you choose to drink fibre-rich juices or a cup of Fenugreek tea, you can be assured that you are not only easing your poop along but are also providing your body with a host of additional benefits.

        Next time you get busy and forget to poop, know that there are many ways you can get through this, and you are not alone. Your bowel may seem to have a mind of its own, but it's your mind that can keep things regular by taking time out to make sure that your body has what it needs to avoid constipation. Happy pooping!