During digestion, you might experience digestive problems that feature constipation, stomach problems, and general pains. This may prompt a person to look for the over the counter medication to calm the problem.
So far so good, the medications on the market have been effective for most people. However, some side effects are experienced with over the counter medication.
Did you know that natural laxatives can play a great role in treating and calming digestion problems? There are many such laxatives being used worldwide and the following write up has sampled 20 natural laxatives that can help to alleviate your problem.
If you have ever experienced difficulties in your bowel movements or had indigestion, then laxatives could be a common word in your vocabulary. They are simply products taken with the aim of making movements in the bowel, making digestion easier for your body.
They can also loosen the intestinal tract to allow faster absorption of nutrients and food movement. A common condition that requires laxative treatment is constipation, which is characterized by having difficult bowel movements.
Laxatives classes are classified according to how they perform their specific roles and the following gives an analysis of the major classes of laxatives.
These promote the supply of more water that is absorbed by the stool, making it soft for easier movements.
These speed up bowel movement by stimulating the digestive system.
They mostly work in the small intestines by letting water in the intestines, thereafter encouraging movement in the bowel.
They work by coating the stool, making it easier to move stools thorough the intestine wall. With the ability of preventing moisture from escaping, they make the stool easier to move.
They work by allowing the large intestines retain water for easier digestion.
They work by moving through the body while absorbing undigested food particles and water to form stool that easily moves out.
With over the counter medication being used widely, they have serious side effects on some of the body organs, such as the kidneys, and that’s why its encouraged not to use them for a prolonged period of time.
The chemical composition of the over the counter medication comes with the highlighted side effects and therefore, using the natural laxatives may prove to be cheaper and even more effective.
Additionally, the natural laxatives, unlike the over the counter medication, have few side effects. They can also be taken anytime in your daily routine.
Top 20 Natural Laxative Sources
Berries rank among the best natural laxatives with a higher fiber content, so they are used widely, with strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries providing between 3 to 8 grams of fiber per cup. They have been proposed as the best fruit to add to drinks to help aide any digestion problem, hence quickening bowel movements.
In the prevention of chronic diseases, the American Diet Association has come up with specific recommendations for the dosage regarding women and men. It’s recommended that men should consume 38 grams per day, while women need 25 grams daily, for berries to be effective. These doses, when taken as recommended, ads bulk to the stool, which makes digestion easier.
The berries are made of two different types of fiber and these are soluble and insoluble fiber.
Another good example of soluble fiber is chia seeds, which work by absorbing water in the digestive tract and easing digestion. The insoluble type of fiber does not absorb water, but instead increases the mass of the stool, making it easier to move through the digestive track.
Simply adding berries to your diet can help ease your digestive problems.
Legumes are excellent in fiber content and some of the edible plants that are in the legume family include beans, peas, and peanuts. Legumes work by enhancing production of butyric acid. This acid acts as a natural laxative.
The different plants produce different grams of fiber per cup and this gives you a choice to pick the best legume that works for your needs. The butyric acid produced has been proven to be effective in promoting movement in the digestive tract, hence offering treatment to constipation.
This acid has also been effective in correcting disorders, such as inflammatory problems on the small intestines. This helps to prevent diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disorder, which can be dangerous health wise.
3. Chia Seeds
Soluble fiber has been greatly recommended in encouraging bowel movement. Chia seeds prove to have a high fiber content, so they are highly recommended for the treatment of digestive problems. The fibers in the chia seeds add bulk to the stool as well as encouraging your bowel movements to become more regular.
Most of the studies carried out on chia seeds suggest that an increase in the intake of chia seeds results in better digestion. Since chia seeds contain highly soluble fiber in every ounce, it’s a great deal for any person who need to take less but would still like great results. The chia seeds absorb water, forming a gel that aids in the movement of your stool.
This is a product from fermented milk and it features probiotics, which are a bacterium that has a variety of benefits to the body. Apart from improving the body’s immunity, it also works in aiding digestion by making it easier for the bowel movements to move.
The probiotics can be consumed with other foods, and this will aid in fastening the movement in the intestines, as well as causing regularity. The product adds moisture to the stool, which makes it easy to move along the digestive tract.
A study that was carried out in 2014 showed that taking this as a natural laxative resulted in easy bowel movements for the targeted participants, proving it to be an effective way to solve digestion problems.
These contain both soluble and non-soluble fibers that promote bowel movements. Its estimated that a table spoon of flaxseeds provide 2 grams of insoluble fiber and a gram of soluble fiber.
The flaxseeds are rated to have a high omega content, which make them a good laxative when it comes to digestion. It also provides nutrients to the body. Other than constipation, the flaxseeds have a treatment function in case of diarrhea.
Research from 2015 revealed that flaxseed oil also aides in the digestion process, as well as reducing diarrhea in guinea pigs.
This laxative is natural and easily extracted. You will note that most of the over the counter medication actually contain senna products and have been singled out as one of the best treatments for digestive issues.
The plant contains sennoside, which works well to treat constipation. The compound works by improving the movement in the digestive tract as well as fastening the stool for easy passage. They also work to allow the large intestines to absorb more fluid for digestion.
7. Leafy Greens
These are healthier products compared to other substances. In the same way that spinach and kale provides extra vitamins, leafy greens also work to provide vitamins for better functioning of the body. The leaves work in improving regularity as well as blocking constipation.
The presence of magnesium in leafy greens aids in water absorption to the digestion tract, making it easy for digestion to occur and also prevents constipation.
Among the studies conducted on food nutrition, it was observed that the low intake of magnesium results into digestion problems and therefore, for proper digestion, one should eat foods high in magnesium, such as leafy greens.
8. Castor Oil
This oil is produced from castor seeds and its history of usage is long. Castor oil is one product that is well known worldwide for its health benefits. The laxative effect comes from the release of ricinoleic acid, which works to bring out its laxative function.
To ensure this acid is working for digestion improvement, there is an activation of a receptor in the stomach that promotes bowel movement, as well as preventing indigestion.
Studies conducted proved that castor oil is effective in ensuring regularity in digestion, softening stool, and improving the general digestive system.
Apples have been known to have a high fiber content and this makes them the most popular natural laxative worldwide. They also contain pectin, which works to fasten the movements in the bowel. Additionally, this laxative has the ability to increase the amount of bacteria in the body, which promotes digestion.
An experiment done on rats that were given apples and then later on given an over the counter constipation product found out that the rats didn’t suffer with constipation as the apple fiber prevented constipation. This happened by the laxative increasing stool frequency as well as improving movements in the gut.
10. Olive Oil
Among the laxatives that provide coating in the digestive tract, olive oil has been found to be one of the most effective. The coating ability allows easy movement of the stool, as well as digestion in the large intestines. The small intestines are also stimulated to speed up the movement for digesting food.
When constipation happens, the presence of olive oil slows down the effect of constipation, hence easing your stomach pains.
Results from studies that were conducted showed that when olive oil was pared up with another natural laxative, such as when it was paired with magnesium hydroxide, the outcome was perfect for the user.
This laxative is rich in compound sennoside A, and this compound assists in regulating bowel movements as well as improving the digestion tract
. It also decreases the levels of other compounds in the body that absorb water during digestion, allowing for proper digestion to occur. The intestines are also softened with the increase in water, which makes it an effective laxative.
The laxative also contains fiber that promotes digestion as well as enables bowel movements.
12. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has been widely used in the treatment of various diseases. This also includes digestive problems where a gel made from the Aloe Vera plant is administered together with other products to improve digestion.
The compound formed works by drawing water into the intestines and this process improves how the small and large intestines both work in the digestion progress.
This will soften the stool and make its movement easier, stopping constipation. The studies conducted have confirmed the effectiveness of Aloe Vera as a laxative to be more beneficial in reduction of digestion problems as well as certain stomach problems.
13. Oat Bran
This is a great choice for a natural laxative. It is derived from the oat bran's outer layer and has both the solubility and insoluble aspects of fiber. A small quantity of oat bran brings out larger amount of fiber, making it a great product for a digestion aide.
Studies conducted have given oat bran laxative an upper hand in constipation treatment as compared to hospital medications. It was found to work well in stopping constipation and the subjects that tested these products immediately stopped using over the counter medication.
Prunes have also been widely used as natural laxatives throughout history because the composition of prunes includes both the proper acids and fiber. The acid component is called sorbitol. Since the absorption of sorbitol is poor, it acts as a water absorbing agent, drawing water into the intestines for easy digestion and stool movements.
Research shows that this laxative is better when compared to other natural laxatives and that its compounds work faster. This has made it one of the most popular natural remedies used worldwide.
This fruit has given out results to show aspects of laxative contents, which is why it is widely used as a laxative product. The amount of fiber in this product makes it highly valued as compared to other laxatives. For instance, the fiber content in kiwifruit alone covers fully the daily recommended dosage of 21 grams.
Kiwifruit features both soluble and insoluble fiber and the presence of pectin substance makes it a recommended natural laxative.
The kiwifruit functions well in making bowel movements work better, improving digestion as well as stool movement. When considering the effects of kiwifruit, a four week study conducted showed that the fruit aided in alleviation of constipation as well as speeding up digestive movements in the gut.
16. Sugar Substitutes
Several types of sugars that are derived naturally have been found to be effective as far as digestion is concerned. Sugar derived from the intake of milk goes directly to the large intestine, where it absorbs water into the colon for easy digestion.
Other types of sugars derived from chewing gums have also been effective in water absorbing, promoting easy digestion.
17. Magnesium Citrate
This is a natural product easily found over the counter. It’s a widely used laxative since it features more benefits, as compared to its counterparts you can purchase over the counter. Magnesium citrate as a laxative has been found to be effective in treating constipation as well as lubricating the gut for easy digestion.
Magnesium citrate is great as a laxative because it absorbs water easily after consumption, drawing water into the intestines for easy use. The gut therefore has the ability to digest food and work on a formula of transporting it easily through the gut, making digestion easier.
If you combine with other laxatives, the magnesium citrate laxative has been proven to be as effective as the natural colon cleaning process.
Since it has been categorized as a powerful laxative on the market, it has attracted more users who feel its effects almost as soon as the doses are taken.
Coffee is a common drink that should not only be enjoyed as refreshment but also as an effective laxative. Coffee contains caffeine and most of the individuals who drink coffee feel the need to visit the bathroom more often.
Coffee has effects on gastrin as it is released just after consumption of food. Gastrin leads to the creation of gastric acid that breaks down food particles. Gastrin is also effective in the movement of intestinal muscles and this aids in the general relaxation of the gut tract, making digestion easier.
In a recent study, individuals were given coffee and the control group was given a decaffeinated drink. Results showed levels of gastrin in the group that was given coffee to be higher than the group that received the decaffeinated drink. This meant that the rate of stimulation in their digestion was faster in the ones who had taken coffee as compared to the control group.
Psyllium is a laxative derived from natural plantago ovate plant. It is made to relieve constipation due to its high fiber content. The laxative is highly recommended, as it works much faster in relieving digestion problems as compared to other natural remedies.
The soluble part of this laxative absorbs water, making a gel that softens the stool, hence making it easier to pass.
Research done on the effectiveness of this laxative showed that among the participants who took part in the experiment, most of them found this natural laxative to be more efficient than the over the counter prescription.
Drinking water is highly recommended for staying hydrated. The high level of water in the body keeps the body cool and also assists in digestion. This makes water a natural laxative, as it ensures the colon is soft and well lubricated for easy digestion.
A recent study revealed that subjects that were well hydrated had no problems when it came to digestion, as compared to the control group that experienced digestion problems and difficulties in passing stool. Therefore, it’s recommended to drink plenty of water to aide in digestion.
Top 20 Natural Laxatives Final Verdict
If you want to remain healthy, then you need to take care of your digestive tract. The outlined laxatives are easy to find and offer a sure way of keeping your digestive tract at its best level possible.
If you eat healthy and take the right laxatives, then you will probably avoid digestive problems.