6 Remedies to Keep You Regular

Bowel health is not what you would call a water cooler topic of conversation. Waste elimination is a private matter and often a private struggle for many people.

Professional opinions vary on how many bowel movements an adult should have, ranging from three a day to three a week.  I believe if you are not having at least one or two healthy bowel movements a day, you may be suffering from constipation. If this becomes the norm, you may be suffering from chronic constipation or your lack of regular elimination may be the symptom of another condition.

Related: Natural Remedies for Constipation

Backed-up bowels are not uncommon and can be caused by numerous factors. Insufficient insoluble fiber in the diet and not drinking enough water are the most common reasons people become constipated. The good news is that these are easy to fix by drinking more water and eating more high fiber foods like vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, berries and whole grains (unless the constipation is a symptom of Crohn’s or Colitis in which case additional fiber could make the condition worse). Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can also cause constipation, as can lack of exercise and the use of medications like pain killers.  Temporary health changes like pregnancy can also result in temporary constipation.

If you have ruled out any underlying medical condition (or pregnancy), are eating plenty of fibrous foods and drinking lots of water and are still not regular, here are some simple remedies to help boost your bowel function.

Probiotics

Take a full-spectrum probiotic supplement twice a day and well-spaced from meals (try when you first wake up and when you are about to go to bed). These good bacteria are needed to manufacture healthy nutrients in the intestines, increase the absorption of vitamins and control the proliferation of harmful bacteria. Don’t be fooled by the commercials on television pushing yogurt and other processed foods as probiotic-rich solutions to your health issues. Most of these products have insufficient quantities and varieties of living cultures to do much good. A great alternative is to add fermented and cultured foods to your diet.

Magnesium

This mineral is an effective and gentle laxative that increases the water content in stools to support elimination. Most people eat a magnesium-deficient diet which is easily corrected by adding dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, pumpkin and sesame seeds, cashews and almonds, legumes and also replacing red meat with sustainably-harvested fish like albacore tuna. A high-quality calcium-magnesium supplement (400 mg of each mineral) is a good addition to your diet as well.

Related: Are You Deficient in Magnesium?

Aloe Vera

You don’t hear as much about aloe vera today, but the juice of this plant has been used for millennia to not only treat ulcerations in the digestive tract but to stimulate the elimination of fecal matter from intestines. A quarter cup of sugar-free, preservative–free aloe vera juice twice daily will help keep you regular.

Licorice Root

This medicinal herb tastes like many of the candies that bear its name, but don’t possess its therapeutic properties. Licorice root reduces inflammation in the intestines and helps eliminate waste. As an added bonus, a cup of licorice tea can help boost you when you are experiencing both emotional and physical stress. The herb is also available in tincture form. Individuals with high blood pressure or kidney failure, as well as people taking heart medication, should avoid licorice. Follow package instructions for the product you choose.

Yoga to Go

The yoga posture known as Apanasana is a simple and effective way to support intestinal cleansing and support the elimination of toxins. Throughout the day, take a moment to stretch out on your back with your legs extended and arms down at your sides. Slowly lift your legs and bend your knees, drawing them toward your chest with your feet together and toes pointed away from you. Keeping your knees together over your chest, wrap your arms around your legs and hold for at least 20 seconds. Gently roll to your left and hold for 20 seconds and then roll to your right and hold for the same amount of time. Repeat the entire process at least three times and then relax on your back with your feet extended.

Conduct a Colon Cleanse

A good colon cleanse delivers on the promise. And, while there are many on the market, most rely on harsh herbs that will keep you on stand-by near the bathroom. Instead, choose an all-natural approach with high fiber foods and proven herbs that help remove build-up in your intestines.

The vast majority of people suffering from constipation can rid themselves of the problem (and the waste!) in a matter of days with a few simple lifestyle changes. If you don’t see improvements after trying these tips and dietary changes, you may want to consult a qualified medical professional to determine if the constipation is a symptom of an underlying health condition. However, most people will feel both regular and renewed.

 

Related:
Fermented Foods Will Make You (And Your Stomach) Happier
Health Benefits of Tempeh (and Easy Recipe)

Adapted with permission from Weekend Wonder Detox:  Quick Cleanses to Strengthen Your Body and Enhance Your Beauty by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, ROHP.

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news World’s Healthiest News, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include the upcoming book: : Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty & Cooking.

 

348 comments

Jim V
Jim Vabout a month ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome Sabout a month ago

thanks for sharing.

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Marija M
Marija Mabout a month ago

tks for sharing

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Margie F
Margie Fabout a month ago

Thank you for the simple solutions.

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Carl R
Carl Rabout a month ago

Thanks!!!

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Shailja Mukhtyar
Shailja Mukhtyarabout a month ago

walking/ water/ vegies/ yoga/ exercise/ fiber, occasional prunes/ mom-
simple solutions... and be done w/ the bathroom in 30 seconds!!

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Veronica-Mae soar
Veronica-Mae soar1 months ago

you should avoid the licorice if you have high blood pressure.

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Julie Pham
Julie Pham1 months ago

Thanks

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Janis K
Janis K1 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Elena Poensgen
Elena P1 months ago

Thank you

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