Constipation is among the most widespread gastrointestinal health problems among people living in the US. The condition affects about 42 million citizens in the country. A constipated person usually has less than 3 bowel movements within 7 days. Constipation is also characterized by dry and hard stool that make it difficult to empty your bowels through the normal process. Making some changes to your diet can help to relieve the problem. You can also relieve constipation by using certain herbal medicines.
Aloe Juice is not only for Sunburns
Aloe latex, which is also known as aloe juice, can help in the treatment of constipation. Aloe juice is a yellowish and bitter liquid extracted from the outer layer of aloe leaves. This herb is a very powerful stimulant laxative. Just like any other stimulant laxative, aloe juice works by causing an irritation on your intestinal wall lining. It stimulates the muscle contractions necessary to push stool through the intestines. Aloe juice is likely to cause pain and cramps in the abdomen because it is an extremely powerful liquid. In this regard, it is advisable to use gentle herbal laxatives before trying aloe juice.
Using Senna for a Short Time
The FDA has approved Senna as an effective nonprescription laxative for the treatment of constipation. This herb has been used to cure hemorrhoids and bowel syndromes. It also helps in emptying bowels before a person undergoes diagnostic tests like colonoscopy. The herb has chemicals known as sennosides. These chemicals irritate the bowel lining causing a laxative feeling. Senna should be taken orally to treat constipation. However, this herb should be used for a short time. It is not advisable to use it for a long time. Using the herb for a prolonged duration can cause several health problems such as electrolyte imbalance, liver impairment, laxative dependence, and muscle weakness.
Treating Constipation with Cascara Bark
Cascara bark is also known as cascara sagrada. This herb works the same way as senna, but the effects are slightly mild. Cascara bark consists of anthraquinones, the substances that form its color, as well as the laxative effect. Upon consuming this herb, certain anthraquinones known as cascarosides interact with bacteria in the colon. The result of this reaction is the stimulation of bowel movements. Cascara bark can be found in ordinary retail shops in the form of tablets and capsules. It is also available in liquid form.
People suffering from intestinal blockage, abdominal pain, and bowel disease are warned against using this herb.
Treating Constipation with Flaxseed
Flaxseed is derived from an annual plant known as flax plant. This herb has large quantities of fiber, which make it an effective treatment for constipation. Flaxseed is a bulk-forming herb unlike other herbs such as cascara bark, senna, and aloe juice. This characteristic enables the herb to absorb water into your intestines. Consequently, the stool softens and increases in size, which makes it easy to empty your bowels. It is important to note that flaxseed is not the same as flaxseed oil and that the latter is not a remedy for constipation.