Why use natural laxatives?
The prolonged use of chemical laxatives (either pills or capsules) can make the user addicted to them and drug dependent on these laxatives for a bowel movement. They can also cause serious (often irreversible) physical damage to one’s liver and kidneys. That’s why many people prefer to use natural laxatives that are far safer and have fewer, if any, side effects.
What are natural laxatives?
In simple words, natural laxatives are foods and herbs that, when eaten, help in relieving constipation. They also prevent or cure gastro-intestinal problems. Besides their natural laxative properties these foods and herbs also have a lot of nutritional benefits. Best of all, unlike the chemical laxatives, they usually do not have any harmful side effects!
Where can you get natural laxatives?
There are two main types of natural laxatives: herbs and foods. They can be obtained in a health food store or in the health food section of your local grocery store. Some can even be purchased online.
There’s a variety to choose from such as:
- Aloe gel- more information
- Aloe vera
- Buckthorn bark
- Cascara sagrada
- Cassia pulp
- Dandelion leaves
- Guar gum
- Psyllium husk and seeds
- Senna pods
- Turkey rhubarb
How do herbs work?
These are usually made into herbal teas and they work by stimulating the muscle contractions (or peristalsis) within the large intestines and colon thereby helping the easy passage of food particles and other waste materials during the bowel movement.
An additional benefit is that using herbal teas helps in having a healthy gastro-intestinal tract, thereby aiding the digestive process.
Are herbal laxatives safe?
Like everything else, these herbs should be used in moderation as there’s a risk of dehydration, loss of water and vital minerals, etc. through overuse of laxatives.
There’s an unbelievably large variety to choose from here: almonds, apple juice, apricots, artichokes, asparagus, avocadoes, bananas, beetroot, berries (such as blueberries, strawberries, bilberries, cranberries, blackberries), broccoli, Brussels’ sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cherries, chick peas, chicken broth (preferably canned), chicory, chocolate, coconut milk, coffee, corn, dates, endive, figs, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, garlic, grapefruits, grapes, guavas, honey, horseradish, hot tea with lemon, kale, kiwi fruits, licorice, mandarins, mangoes, melons, molasses, olives, oranges, papayas, parsley, peaches, pears, persimmons, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, soybeans, spices (such as cayenne pepper, turmeric, ginger), spinach, tomatoes, turnips, walnuts, watercress, etc., the list just goes on and on!
How do food laxatives help?
These foods, (mainly fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc.) should be eaten regularly as they not only act as a food laxative, but they also provide a host of vitamins and minerals that will enable your body to be in excellent health. These laxatives also provide a lot of fiber (whether soluble or insoluble) that helps relieve the problems associated with troublesome bowel movements.
What are the advantages of natural laxatives?
Not only are natural laxatives safer than chemical ones, whether herbs or foods, they are also less expensive. They also don’t have the dangerous side effects (whether short term or long term) usually associated with artificial laxatives.