Regular bowel movements are important for removing toxins from the body and can affect all areas of our body and health. It is estimated that 90% of all diseases and imbalance in the body stem from a clogged or unclean intestinal tract. The number of healthy bowel movements will be different from person to person because of how unique we all are. Some people go three times a day, after each meal, and if it goes down to once a day, they are constipated. Still another may have a daily BM and another, every other day. It’s important to discover what your “regular” is so you can be aware if you need to do some work in getting the bowels moving and those toxins out.
Symptoms of constipation can range all over the place, since this is a toxic build up condition in the body which can manifest as all kinds of disease. I will just list a few of the more common signs of toxic build up and blockage:
- Pain in the abdominal area (this can be real intense)
- Difficulty passing stools, infrequent passing of stools, or diarrhea
- Strong body odor, bad breath, and strong smelling gas
- Coated tongue (toxins trying to be released from the body)
Main causes of constipation are poor diet (processed, refined foods and fried foods) and stress. Others can be a lack of exercise, not drinking enough water, eating too much meat or dairy, not eating enough fiber, withholding the urge to go, pharmaceutical and antibiotic use and abuse of laxatives
Here is a list of many remedies to see what might work with your body. Remember each of us have a unique design and what works for one may not work for another. I always pray for direction on what will work for me personally because God is the one who designed us and He knows what will work for us as an individual. With that said every person will benefit from diet and lifestyle changes, which is where you should start and then move on from there.
- Eat only whole foods, avoiding anything processed or refined.
- Avoid dairy, cheese and meat until the bowels are cleared and then introduce slowly to see how you feel. These should be consumed sparingly as part of a balanced diet. Cultured dairy, such as kefir and plain yogurt, are fine and may also help the condition because of the probiotics.
- In addition to the above, other constipating foods to avoid; oatmeal and other “pasty” cereals, pasta, fried foods and doughy foods.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Some causes of constipation are not enough fluid. Avoid soda, processed drinks and concentrated juices. Include lots of purified or distilled water and fresh juices.
- Chew your food thoroughly. Do not swallow until the food is like a paste.
- Eat small, light meals, avoid heavy and large meals.
- Get moving. Exercise. Yoga is especially good for getting the bowels moving. Other great ones are walking, jogging, climbing, dancing and swimming.
- Pay attention to how you feel after you eat something and avoid those items that seem to trigger the condition.
- Fiber Flush (The Prime): 1 teaspoon each of ground flaxseed and psyllium seed powder, stir together and add some water then drink quickly before the psyllium powder turns gelatinous. Take this as often as you feel but always every night before bed and with a glass of water afterward.
- Laxative Gruel (Dr. Christopher): 3 parts each of flaxseed, psyllium seed, licorice root powder, marshmallow root powder, and comfrey root powder. 1 part lobelia, powder. A gruel is made by boiling water and slowly pouring over the herbs while stirring until a paste is formed. Sweeten with raw honey.
- Bowel Balls: 2 cups finely chopped dried fruit (raisins, prunes, peaches, apples, dates and/or figs), 1 oz. powdered flax seed, 1 oz. powdered licorice root, 1 oz. powdered slippery elm bark. Stir together and add enough raw honey or blackstrap molasses to form into balls. Roll in something powdered to coat and prevent stickiness (arrowroot, coconut flour, powdered flax seed, etc.) Eat as you feel needed.
- Abdomen Massage: Use any of the essential oils below alone, in combination or one of the DIY blends. Drop 3-5 drops of essential oil into a teaspoon of carrier oil or herbal infused oil (I like St. Johns Wort or Calendula) and begin at the bottom left side of the abdomen and massage in a circular, clockwise motion.
- Heating Pad: Just having heat on the abdomen can bring relief of pain and aid the body in moving the bowel. I like to apply the heat right after the abdomen massage.
- Warming Compress: Use any of the essential oils below alone, in combination or one of the DIY blends. Fill a bowl with hot water, add several drops of essential oil along with 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil, etc.). Soak a washcloth in the water mixture, then squeeze out excess water and place over abdomen. Insulate with plastic wrap and can even place a heating pad over that, keep on until the cloth cools to body temperature. Repeat several times. Alternatively you can make a tea with any of the herbs listed and use that to soak the washcloth in.
- Fresh, ripe fruit of all varieties
- Papaya fruit or enzyme tablets
- Unsulphered dried fruit, especially prunes and figs
- Raw fibrous vegetables
- Green leafy vegetables
- Whole grains
- Cultured foods rich in probiotics; kefir, yogurt, kraut, ginger beer, etc.
There are many herbs that can aid in moving the bowels, some are quite potent so I like to use a blend of herbs that all work together in Dr. Christopher's Lower Bowel Formula. The other herbs listed will aid in digestion, kill of harmful bacteria and sooth the digestive tract as things get moving. They are also good for relieving some of the symptoms that come with constipation such as pain and gas.
- Dr. Christopher’s Lower Bowel Formula
- Triphala, Indian formula used in Ayurveda
- Raspberry leaf and alfalfa aid in detoxifying the body, these can be made into tea
- Heal All Herbal Blend
- Warm chamomile tea with raw honey is soothing and pain relieving for side affects associated with constipation
- Annie’s Autumn Spice Tea Blend or Bulk Herb Store’s Creamy Pumpkin Pie Blend
- Cumin seed, coriander seed, fennel seed in equal parts, make as a decoction (from The Prime)
- Teas using the following herbs, alone or in combination: fennel seed, dill seed, catnip, any of the mints, ginger, and chamomile.
Use singly or combine together.
- Juniper and pine
- Orange, lemon and tangerine
- Spearmint and Peppermint
- Black pepper
- Anise seed
- Digestive blend from your favorite company
- 3 drops orange, 2 drops fennel, 2 drops carrot seed in 1 tsp. of carrier
- 5 drops spearmint, 5 drops pine, 5 drops rosemary in 2 Tbsp. of carrier
- 6 drops each of orange, tangerine, and spearmint
- 15 drops cedarwood, 10 drops lemon, 5 drops, peppermint in 2 oz. carrier oil. Use as a massage oil and massage abdomen 3 times a day.