10 Natural Remedies for Constipation

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on

If you’re like most people, you have probably experienced uncomfortable bloating and constipation found out for yourself just how debilitating they can be. Constipation is merely a symptom with an underlying issue. By approaching the root cause, it is possible to relieve constipation before it starts. When constipation happens, you can save time and money by utilizing natural remedies, many of which you probably have around the house. Before you run to the pharmacy, give these 10 natural remedies for constipation a try.

1. Water

It may seem simple, but keeping hydrated facilitates digestion and supports muscle function. When the body receives enough water, the digestive system can process nutrients and move wastes along smoothly. Bowel muscles are also more efficient and are able to keep things moving. The question is: how much water is enough? If you feel thirsty, that’s one indication that you should probably take a sip. If you’re feeling a little backed-up, try 8 to 16 ounces every two hours. Generally speaking, you should divide your body weight in half, take that number and drink the same amount of water (in ounces). If you weigh 150 pounds, then you should drink 75 ounces per day. You may need to alter this based on your activity level.

2. Prune Juice and Prunes

I bet you probably expected this one. Prunes are high in fiber and sorbitol, a carbohydrate the body digests slowly. As the fiber and sorbitol move along the intestines, they collect water which softens fecal matter. Start with an 8 oz glass of prune juice or 2 or 3 prunes. Give them a little time to work before trying more. Too much fiber and sorbitol can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

3. Coffee

This morning brew does more than wake you up. Coffee — particularly dark-roast coffee — stimulates digestion and contains fiber, oil, and water, all of which help keep the bowels moving. A cup or two will do the trick. As a diuretic, more than a couple cups may make for too many trips to the bathroom. Plus, the excessive caffeine may cause nervous symptoms. Choose organic and fair-trade varieties when choosing coffee.

4. Olive Oil

Take a tablespoon of olive oil before eating breakfast in the morning. As a nutrient-dense oil, it stimulates the digestive tract. It also lubricates the bowels and provides antioxidant protection at the same time.

5. Probiotics

Yogurt and kefir make for an excellent breakfast, whether it’s consumed as is or mixed with your favorite breakfast cereal or grain-free granola. The probiotic strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium encourage healthy bowels which translates to easier evacuation. Increased frequency, better stool consistency, and a reduced digestive transit time have all been observed with individuals who consume probiotics. [1]

6. Beans

Rich in fiber, a meal containing beans shares many similar benefits as one containing prunes. The fiber keeps stool soft, and the protein has added benefits for growth and repair of bodily tissues. Beans also possess nutrients essential for muscle health and function. For many people, beans may be easier to incorporate into their daily meal plans than prunes.

7. Magnesium-Rich Foods

Magnesium is essential to muscle health and peristalsis, or the movement of food along the digestive tract. Low magnesium consumption has been associated with increased incidence of constipation. [2] Adequate magnesium intake directs water to the bowels, keeping the stool soft and easier to move. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, nuts, and fish are high in magnesium.

8. Baking Soda and Warm Water

Mix one teaspoon of baking soda in a quarter cup of warm water. Supposedly, this mixture is said to relieve pain and pressure associated with constipation, and the bicarbonate is believed to reduce the symptoms associated with heartburn. The quicker you finish drinking, the better it seems to work.

9. Exercise

Movement encourages muscle health and stimulates digestion, so going for a walk after eating may help get things moving. For cases of occasional constipation, pelvic floor exercises have proven more effective than laxatives. [3] Yoga, pilates, and even running may encourage the movement of wastes along the intestinal tract.

10. Herbs

Flax seed, psyllium, and fenugreek are generally the herbs recommended to start with when it comes to fighting constipation. These are easier on the stomach and fall under the category of bulk laxatives. Purgative herbs such as senna, aloe, and buckthorn are also effective when it comes to constipation; but remember, these herbs are meant for short-term use. [4]

Have you tried any of these natural methods for constipation? How did they work for you? Let us know what worked in the comments!

References (4)
  1. Dimidi E, Christodoulides S, Fragkos KC, Scott SM, Whelan K. The effect of probiotics on functional constipation in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Aug 6. pii: ajcn.089151.
  2. Murakami K1, Sasaki S, Okubo H, Takahashi Y, Hosoi Y, Itabashi M; Freshmen in Dietetic Courses Study II Group. Association between dietary fiber, water and magnesium intake and functional constipation among young Japanese women. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;61(5):616-22.
  3. Ba-Bai-Ke-Re MM, Wen NR, Hu YL, Zhao L, Tuxun T, Husaiyin A, Sailai Y, Abulimiti A, Wang YH, Yang P. Biofeedback-guided pelvic floor exercise therapy for obstructive defecation: An effective alternative. World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Jul 21;20(27):9162-9. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i27.9162.
  4. Foster M, Hunter D, Samman S. Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S. Evaluation of the Nutritional and Metabolic Effects of Aloe vera. Herbal Medicine. Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press; 2011. Chapter 3.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Diana Gwinn

    Excellent natural ways to treat constipation.

  • james

    What about the Old Fashioned Enema. It’fast, simple, and gets good results?

  • A good ol’ clyster will work too, yes.

  • Kino

    Allergic reactions are the underlying cause of constipation. During an allergic response the brain activated the immune system and not the digestive system, This means no peristalsis, the contractions of the intestine. No peristalsis means no movement in the gut, or constipation.

  • Trina Yap

    thanks!!!!

  • MARYJANEWONG

    I was also facing such prob recently with my LO and am looking for constipation remedy for him. now only i knw becoming a mother is not simple. alot of responsibility. For past 2 weeks he’s been having bloated stomach and constipated so badly. Anyone has any formula that can prevent constipation for children???

  • Trina Yap

    thanks for sharing….

  • SY Kang

    Actually you can try the remedies mentioned above. Usually I let my son to drink more water in order to soften the stool and easy to pass. I also bring him do some simple exercise because movements are able to stimulate digestion. You should try.

  • Apa Guna

    I have
    been trying lots of different kinds of traditional remedies are not working. At the end, my
    kid is in the hosoital. Better seek for
    a proper remedy and dont simply try.

  • Cupidlove Chia

    I think you should switch to Mamil from your recent milk formula brand because the ingredients in Mamil can help to prevent constipation for children. Last time my son used to have this issues, when I switched to Mamil, it really works and I can see difference within 7 days. Btww, Mamil don’t contains sucrose(sugar) and contains high level of DHA so it is really suitable for children.

  • halleyleong9938

    My child also faced constipation prob before when he was little. and someone also did ask me to switch to Mamil and then after few weeks later his bowel is pretty smooth and no longer face such prob anymore. Indeed Mamil can help to prevent constipation in children. cheers!

  • johnliew

    I think enfamil is pretty good for me in terms of keeping my DS away from constipation but not sure what ingredients inside that helps in that. But i also heard Mamil is pretty good in preventing constipation, also its is less sweeter compared to enfamil. Gonna try it out one day…

  • Dominic Uee

    A basic constipation remedy would be let ur LO drink more water if u all are willing to be slightly hardworking abit as responsible parents, u can adopt a healthier lifestyle for ur LO which make them drink more water la. save more time comparing all milk formula.

  • Mandy Yap

    Constipation issue is common for children because of their eating habits. Most children reject to take vegetables but like to take fried food. My children also always eat fried food until constipation, tried to applied a few remedies from others blog still no working and also applied others remedies that heard from my friend. Still no sign of getting better. Finally decided to sent her to clinic and seek for advise from doctor. Imho, I think seeking remedies from experienced people is one of the best choice. So, a little advise for parents please do not simply try any remedies to your children.

  • demeises

    just used formula milk to prevent my kid’s constipation. i’ve used mamil. after a weeks, my kid back to normal and can poo easily. his stool became softener. i think maybe cause of mamil ingredients. it contained many good bacteria which is good for digest system. mamil also contained no sugar and high level of dha. so i’m suggested u to try out for mamil.

  • lita ola

    trust me mamil really works. i’m suggested to u. it is because mamil contained prebiotics oligosaccharide that helps maintain a good intestinal environment for kids. it’s suitable for all ages of kids. if u don’t believe, can try out for free sample first. email mamil and ask for it. mamil will given free sample to u

  • Aaron Wong

    Out of so many brands. I think Mamil is one of the best brand in preventing constipation while others formula milk is focusing more on development and nutrition.

  • Alessandra Goh

    Mamil is really effective in preventing constipation. I feed my children with Mamil as well. The result shown less than 2 weeks. Bowel movement increased, having back a good appetite and softer stool. Already one year, I have feed my children with Mamil and I am really satisfied. I highly recommend you to try it out.

  • Annie Tong

    you could try giving them more vege and fruit especially banana! And remember to drink more water kayyy. I think it could help to prevent constipation. Hope it will help. =)

  • Kaytie Ho

    I have the similar issue over my kid as well.. In fact, I tried alot of method but still the same. Until my SIL recommended Mamil for my kid, I can see improvement on her because Mamil ingredients can softer stools and increase good bacteria fro kids. Now my kid can poopoo easily..

  • Alessandra Goh

    Banana contain the highest sugar among the fruits. I think Mamil is still suitable because it is sugar free formula milk.

  • MemYing Babe

    hmm.. i see there’s alot comparison between S26 and Mamil. But as a smart user and also experienced mother i would go for Mamil because it’s way less sweeter. It’s healthier to consume things which is less sweet! works for all range of age!

  • Lily Isabelle

    Thanks Dr. Edward for share such nice post about some natural remedies for cure constipation. In my opinion using these natural remedy is best way to get control over disease without harming natural health. Apart from that with help of modern technology now there are some natural medicines like “Lean N Clean®” is available in markets which showing good result on curing this constipation.

  • Val

    Is there a relation between stomach cramp and constipation?

  • Gail

    I have been on opioid pain medication for 20 years. Constipation goes occasionally become a problem. Using harsh laxatives is not acceptable. I recently discovered that showing two leaves of center immediately relieves it today Bout of constipation. I recommend it highly for short-term use


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