Constipation means different things to different people. For many people, it simply means infrequent stools. Constipation means hard stools, difficulty passing stools or a sense of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement. The cause of each of these “types” of constipation probably is different, and the approach to each should be tailored to the specific type of constipation.
The most common causes of constipation are a poor diet, stress or the lack of exercise and fresh air. Constipation not only leads to a general feeling of malaise but because the body becomes toxic can actually cause or exacerbate many ailments, including thumping headaches, spots, and hypertension, hear burn, catarrh, arthritis and rheumatism. It can also make you enormously bad tempered. The simplest answer is to ensure that you eat a high-fiber diet including fresh fruit and vegetables, particularly apples, pears and strong green stuffs, plenty of live yogurt and drink lots of fresh water. Cut down on refined foods, red meat, coffee and tea. Particularly avoid convenience and junk foods.
The oldest and simplest suggestions for a regular movement of the bowels varied from taking a glass of cold water morning and night, conversely, taking a hot drink and a pipe-full of tobacco after breakfast. Cold baths daily vied in popularity with the 15-second icy cold sits bath, whilst gentler souls fell back on the old standby of a spoonful of honey each morning or the ever-faithful ‘apple a day’. Genteel nursery nurses and sterner nannies resorted to the well – tried rose petal jelly or home – made syrup of figs, both of which were preferable to chewing the searing mustard leaf or inflicting the enema of red hot chilly pepper seeds.
Home Remedies for Constipation:
Rose Petal Jelly
- 100 g (4oz) white rose petals
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons clear honey
- 450g (11b) white cane sugar
- 150 ml (1/2 pint) water
Cut the base from the petals and discard them. Place all the ingredients except the petals in a stainless steel pan with a heavy base and leave to stand without heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the rose petals and heat very gently then continue to cook in this very slow fashion, stirring constantly, until the petals appear to dissolve. Allow the mixture to cool a little before potting. Seal when cold, what you will have is a wobbly syrup with transparent pieces of petal floating in it. Taken by the teaspoon it is a gentle laxative and it is also an effective remedy for tonsillitis.
* Elderflower tea deliciously perfumed, it probably does more to make a fractious child feel cosseted and relax.
* Peach blossom drink One teaspoon of dried peach blossoms infused in a cup of boiling milk and drunk twice daily has got to be far more acceptable to a child than some things.
* Liquorices sweets these are effective but make sure that tooth are well brushed afterwards.
* Castor oil and orange juice one tablespoon of each mixed together and taken at night is better than liquid paraffin or cascara.
* Olive oil one teaspoon of olive oil or any good vegetable oil taken each morning will lubricate the system.
* Bran Two teaspoons daily may at first have a dramatic effect but taken every morning, sprinkled on cereal, will ensure a regular movement. Small children may be given a little on the tip of a spoon.
* Blackstrap molasses Full of vitamin B, take it in milk, Fruit juice or water.
* Honey and hot water Use in the proportions of 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of hot water.
* Lemon and honey squeeze the juice of ½ lemons into hot water with a pinch of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of honey.
* Slippery Elm Mix the powdered bark to a drink with warm water and honey.
* Iceland moss Sip the water from gently cooked Iceland moss.
Diet and Drink
* Prunes and figs as tradition relates, both these dried fruits have amazingly laxative properties and are delicious eaten as they are. However, if you wish to cook them place them in a deep bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to stand overnight. Drink liquid and eat fruit first thing in the morning.
* Rhubarb Stew with honey then eats or drinks the juice from the cooked fruit every morning.
* Baked potato in its jacket Eaten plain, including the skin, this will relieve constipation and is also remarkably effective in easing migraine.
* Apples As well as taking the popular ‘apple a day’ uses them in salads and desserts. The following is a particularly good recipe as horseradish has a cleansing and purifying effect on the system.
Besides diet changes, making a few lifestyle changes can also give you relief from constipation. It’s important to engage in daily exercise and reserve enough time to have a bowel movement. In addition, the urge to have a bowel movement should not be ignored.