Many factors can cause constipation – stress, diet, traveling, lack of movement/exercise, etc… Here’s how to treat constipation naturally to maintain healthy bowels.
1. Increase your fiber
Here are some surprising foods to add to your diet that are high in fiber and great constipation home remedies.
(per 1 oz = dietary fiber 10 g)
This amazing seed is fiber rich! In one serving, it fulfills ⅓ of the recommended daily total dietary fiber intake (25 to 30 grams a day). Chia seeds absorb approximately 10 times their volume in water and expand in the stomach (gelatin-like substance) when eaten. This aids in feeling satiated more quickly and helps to move through the intestines.
Sprinkle some chia seeds in your yogurt, on a salad or even a little in your soup.
Try this easy Breakfast Chia Seed Pudding. Eat for breakfast, a snack or even dessert!
- 1 banana
- 1 ½ cups of milk (or milk alternative)
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- ⅓ cup chia seeds
- 1 TBS cocoa powder (for a chocolate version, optional)
Combine all ingredients in blender. Pour mixture into a jar and store in the fridge for awhile.
Once thick and pudding-like, garnish with your favorite topping(s): berries, banana, coconut flakes, mini-chocolate chips, or even a few nuts. You can find many versions of ‘pudding’ recipes online. Have fun with exploring different flavors!
(per 1 cup chopped = dietary fiber 12 g)
‘Brownie’ Bites — I found this dessert online a couple years ago and have since adapted it.
- ½ cup of dates, pitted (about 5-6)
- ¾ cup walnuts, raw
- ⅛ cup cocoa powder
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
Mix ingredients in a blender. Scoop mix into a bowl. Roll into 1” size balls. Roll in cocoa powder, for coating (optional)
Other quick high fiber foods
Here’s how to treat constipation naturally with other high fiber foods.
- Split peas (per 1 cup cooked = dietary fiber 16 g)
- Avocado (per 1 cup, sliced = dietary fiber 10 g)
- Blackberries (per cup = dietary fiber 7.6 g)
- Raspberries (per cup = dietary fiber 8 g)
2. Self-Abdominal Massage
Clockwise to ‘unwind’ the bowels. Counter-clockwise to ‘wind’ up the bowels. Find a quiet place to rest for 10-20 minutes and perform these self-massage massage treatments. Check out some other surprising massage therapy benefits.
You should not use abdominal massage if you are pregnant or have an abdominal hernia-hiatus. Umbilical or inguinal massage can be used, but with care. Ask your acupuncturist, doctor or nurse if you are unsure about how to treat constipation naturally or any of the above.
3. Castor oil + heat treatment
Another self-treatment is an abdominal treatment with castor oil + heat. Castor oil is an incredible oil! It is anti-inflammatory, boosts circulation, relieves constipation, improves immune system and more! Apply a small amount (a little goes a long way) to your abdominal area. Place a thin washcloth or hand towel on top, followed by a heating pad. Relax for 20-30 minutes.
*Note, castor oil is a very potent oil and should be used topically and NOT internally, unless prescribed by your physician.
4. Teas to help move
Lemon juice water
Here’s how to treat constipation naturally with a morning ritual. Squeeze ½ lemon into room temp (or hot) tea or water and drink. This mixture helps stimulate/regulate the liver’s normal function. In Chinese medicine, the liver is in charge of moving qi/energy throughout the entire body. Check out these other Chinese nutrition therapies.
Green tea is used by many people as a constipation home remedy. Green tea gets Qi/energy moving to treat a constipated stomach, and it helps move areas of stagnation throughout the body.
5. Move your body!
When you feel ‘stuck’ and things are not flowing properly, move your body! Go out for a brisk walk. Take a pilates or yoga class. Whatever your favorite form of activity is…go do it. Besides, the activity will:
- Calm the mind and relieve stress & tension
- Massage the internal organs (including the intestines, to promote a healthy bowel movement)
- Promote circulation throughout the body
- Benefit & strengthen the heart
If you’re ready to get moving, check out our basic stretching routine!