Constipation
Natural Remedies

Home Remedies for Constipation

| Modified on Nov 29, 2022
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Apple Cider Vinegar Remedy.

Constipation can be an acute or chronic problem. Natural remedies can often be useful for either type of constipation. It is crucial to relieve constipation and then figure out the root cause of constipation to prevent it.

Solving a chronic constipation problem will often solve other health issues and the general feeling of well being experienced when one's digestion is regular.

Natural Remedies for Constipation

Below are the top home treatments for constipation, according to Earth Clinic readers.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a necessary nutrient. Increasing your daily magnesium intake may solve your constipation problem, as well as other health conditions! There are many ways to improve your magnesium intake. You can read more about that on this page.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of our most versatile remedies, and it is just as useful for treating constipation. Apple cider vinegar helps reestablish a balanced pH in the body while supplementing essential nutrients like magnesium to restore regularity. Read feedback from Earth Clinic readers about ACV for constipation here.

Sea Salt Cleanse

Sea salt can be used to relieve constipation, usually within hours. This remedy requires only a high-quality salt, some pure water, and close proximity to the restroom.

What Causes Constipation?

There may be many contributing factors to constipation. You will need to evaluate your own situation and experiment with different solutions to figure out how to keep your system regular.

Dehydration

Inadequate water intake is a common cause of constipation. Your body needs plenty of pure water to work well. If you do not have enough water, hard, dry stools can result. You should be drinking plenty of water or herbal tea daily - about 1/2 your body weight, in ounces each day. Soda pop, energy drinks, and milk do not count towards this amount. Adding a small pinch of salt, a splash of lemon juice or a capful of apple cider vinegar will increase the health value of the water you drink.

Lack of Exercise

Lack of exercise can contribute to chronic constipation. Try taking the stairs instead of an elevator. Jump on a rebounder while watching television. Take a walk in the sunshine during your lunch break. Play frisbee with your children or neighbors.

Medication Side Effects

Check the side effects of your medications. Some medications, including pain medication, blood pressure medication, cold medications, and antidepressants, can cause constipation. Ask your doctor about alternatives to your current prescription if you think this may be contributing to your constipation problem.

Poor Positioning

Modern toilets do not put the body in the most favorable position for evacuation. A step stool for your feet when you are using the bathroom can help with this problem.

Stress

Stress can bring your digestive system to a halt. Travel, a change in diet, lack of sleep, and different water can contribute to a slow down of your digestive system. For this cause, magnesium may be the solution. It relaxes the body and the colon.

Poor Diet

Modern diets contribute significantly to the common problem of chronic constipation. Fast foods, processed foods, excessive dairy consumption can and do cause constipation in many people. Sometimes adding one or two specific foods to your diet can improve the situation significantly. Others will find that a significant overhaul of the diet is needed to correct constipation and companion health problems. Even the popular high protein/low carb diets that have helped many with chronic health problems have a side effect of constipation.

Constipation Relieving Foods

Try adding one or more of the following foods to your diet and see if it brings you relief:

  • raisins
  • prunes
  • watermelon
  • oat bran
  • seaweed
  • beets
  • cucumber
  • oatmeal
  • cabbage
  • legumes (chickpeas, pinto beans, black beans)

In general, fruits and vegetables are a help to constipation. Meats, processed foods, and dairy products, especially in large amounts, tend to be constipating.

As aforementioned, water is critical. Other helpful liquids for constipation are juices, including apple juice, apple cider, and prune juice. Even coffee in moderation can be beneficial for constipation.

Symptoms of Constipation

Constipation is usually defined as dry, hard, and infrequent bowel movements. Infrequent bowel movements are uncomfortable, but they can also cause secondary health problems, including hemorrhoids. Because regular bowel movements help eliminate toxins and waste, infrequent bowel movements mean that the toxins and waste are remaining in the body.

There are many home treatments to effectively relieve constipation. You likely have many of these home remedies in the kitchen right now.

See topics on the sidebar for an incredible number of natural constipation remedies and positive responses from our audience. These folk remedies can help address everything from constipation pain and tenderness in the abdomen to the toxic whole-health effects that can result from a case of severe constipation.




Acidophilus

1 User Review
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Posted by Lydia (Miami, FL) on 12/06/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I have been constipated for the past thirteen years due to meds and my years of suffering from anorexia and especially bulimia. I only eat healthy food and I HAVE tried everthing and wasted a lot of money to help my situation between doctors' visits, medicines and supplements. Lately the thing that is proving to be helpful is acidophilus (in the millions), All brand fiber cereal (I find it delicious) and magnesium (750mg/day) I have accepted mine as a hopeless case; however, this may help somebody out there!


Acupressure

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Posted by Natural in NY (NY) on 03/30/2021
5 out of 5 stars

I did not really Susan's post about acupressure on the arm from 2008 would work for me, but decided to give it a try. When I first pressed on the spot on my left arm, I could feel something in my stomach area. That was encouraging and so I kept switching back and forth for a bit. I still did not think it would actually work. However, within about 10 to 15 minutes from starting, I had the result I was looking for! I highly doubt this was by chance. To be fair, I did lightly massage my abdomen just below my belly button once. However, I really think it was the points on the arms described by Susan. I also was not sure I had the spots right and just kept rubbing in the general area, trying to cover enough ground to get it to work. I guess you don't have to be perfect. Thank you Susan and earthclinic!


Acupressure
Posted by Mary Beth (Pittsburgh) on 02/06/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Constipation (and probably diarrhea too) better with acupressure

Large Intestine

The poster originally used "sedation" of the large intestine to reduce constipation, but "tonifying" may help with the opposite problem, diarrhea.

Tonifying:

On the right side, press lightly (a nickel's weight worth) on the outer side of the elbow crease (i.e., the thumb side) AND if manageable, also press a "body hand width" at a spot below the kneecap bone.

A body-hand-width for the person-who-posted means about one inch, measuring from the middle of the edge of the palm of the hand to an opposite spot on the non-palm side.

Press these two spots at the same time for one minute.

Then on the left, press on the same points for another minute.

Then do the second set of points:

On the right side, press a point in the hollow side of the thumb side of the wrist crease on the non-palm side of the hand. (This point is between the hand and the lower arm bone.)

At the SAME TIME, press in at the depression that is on the little finger side of the hand, moving up the side of the hand, over a little bump of the wrist bone. I found this spot by starting at the part of the lower arm bone near the hand, then moving upward toward the little finger, by sliding upward, over that bump in the wrist bone. I used two fingers, to make sure I had the right spot. Hold these for thirty seconds.

Do the same again on the left side.

I only had to do this two times on my bladder meridian, to stop being incontinent. It has not been completely foolproof, as my disease has progressed, but mostly it has freed me from the potty substantially.

Sedation:

It is important that I also tell you how to sedate your large intestine. This practice was very useful to relieve my constipation.

Also, if you over-tonify, your meridian/muscle can get too tight, so I had better tell you how to loosen it.

To sedate, on the right side, you'll want to press a point on the right hand -- and, if you are flexible enough, ideally you can also, at the same time, press the other point on your right foot. I can JUST do this: but if it is difficult, do one point at a time, starting with the points on the right, then do the same points on the left.

It really does not matter if you do the right points first, and then the left. But you are supposed to do all the right hand points, at one time, then all the left hand points at one time.

Use your left hand to press a point that seems to be close to the knuckle of your pointing finger, at the bottom of the finger, and on the side of the finger that is closest to the thumb. AT THE SAME TIME, use your right index finger (since it is still NOT doing anything) to press on the point on the side of your foot, just a smidgen down the foot from where the toe meets the foot. Hold this at a "nickel's weight" for one minute.

Then do the left side the same way.

The second set of points is the same as the points for tonifying, copied and pasted from above:

On the right side, press a point in the hollow side of the thumb side of the wrist crease on the non-palm side of the hand. (This point is between the hand and the lower arm bone.)

At the SAME TIME, press in at the depression that is on the little finger side of the hand, moving up the side of the hand, over a little bump of the wrist bone. I found this spot by starting at the part of the lower arm bone near the hand, then moving upward toward the little finger, by sliding upward, over that bump in the wrist bone. I used two fingers, to make sure I had the right spot. Hold these for thirty seconds.

Do the same again on the left side.

This remedy worked for the poster in two days later -- and she has been "loose" ever since!

The poster used the pictures and descriptions from "Touch for Health" by John and Matthew Thie -- and "Energy Medicine" by Donna Eden.


Acupressure
Posted by Susan (Atlanta, Georgia, USA) on 11/27/2008
5 out of 5 stars

For constipation, I use an acupressure point in the arm. The point is found when you bend the arm - for example, place your right hand on your left shoulder. At the bend of the elbow, use your left hand to locate the acupressure point about halfway between the crease of the bend and the bone. Massage that point for about 15 seconds, then switch to the other arm. Back and forth. I also do this while standing. Usually works within 10 to 15 minutes at most. Also, I have cut out wheat and all gluten grains. I did not think I had a gluten problem but found out that I have that sensitivity.


Acupressure
Posted by Susan (Atlanta, Georgia, USA) on 11/27/2008
5 out of 5 stars

For constipation, I use an acupressure point in the arm. The point is found when you bend the arm - for example, place your right hand on your left shoulder. At the bend of the elbow, use your left hand to locate the acupressure point about halfway between the crease of the bend and the bone. Massage that point for about 15 seconds, then switch to the other arm. Back and forth. I also do this while standing. Usually works within 10 to 15 minutes at most. Also, I have cut out wheat and all gluten grains. I did not think I had a gluten problem but found out that I have that sensitivity.

Replied by Lee
(Durban, South Africa)
03/12/2013

Hi! Could you please explain a bit more clearly where this acupressure point on the arm is?

Replied by Stan
(Las Vegas, Nv)
10/04/2013

I found the accupressure spot you're looking for. When you put your right hand on your left shoulder, use your left hand and there's a hollow spot just above your right elbow. You'll know when you've found it because there's a sharp pain if you do have a constipation problem.

Replied by Cheri
(South West Tx)
02/13/2016
5 out of 5 stars

a million thanks to you for the explanation on where to do the accupressure. people - IT WORKS.

I have a family member w/chronic constipation due to medication and most times things are working as I give flax seed, good yogurt, steel cut oatmeal, etc etc BUT sometimes the elimination is delayed I guess you'd say.

WELL, simply doing this right/left, twice had the results. What a relief to know this and not have to resort to other attempts with the milk of magnesium etc.

Replied by David
(Utah)
05/11/2022

If anyone needs more help finding the area, the acupressure point is called 'Large Intestine 11' or 'LI 11'. Do a search for either of those terms and you can find images and/or videos showing where it is located.


Acupressure
Posted by Donna (Aspen, CO)
5 out of 5 stars

Every morning, before you get out of bed -- rub your tummy with your fist, not too hard, gently, but make an impression, only for about 10 seconds. It may take two mornings of rubbing, but you'll never be constipated again.

Replied by Boomer
(Edmonton, Ab)
11/03/2009

Make sure if you rub your stomache that you do it in a clockwise motion. Rubbing counter clockwise can result in increased constipation and can cause problems with your intestines.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Vitamin C

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Posted by Nita (Mineola, Tx) on 03/04/2020
5 out of 5 stars

For Constipation:

2 Tbs of Bragg apple cider vinegar, 1 packet of Emergent C, half glass of water, every morning for years now. Works.


Baked Apples

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Posted by Nat (Brooklyn, NY) on 01/18/2022
5 out of 5 stars

For several days in a row, eating a diet of mostly, or only, baked apples can help for cleansing the body and for relieving constipation.

The apples should be eaten with the peel. (Before baking, they can be scrubbed a bit with a food wash or even dish soap, and then rinsed well, to lessen preservatives on the peel, since the peel should be eaten.) The apples, Cortland cooking apples, can be baked with olive oil drizzled onto the apples and also some spices such as nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon, but without added sugar. Since cinnamon can be constipating for some people only a pinch or so should be added per apple.

The apples can be baked at around 425 degrees Fahrenheit, for about an hour and a half or more. If the apples are baked until the inside starts to caramelize and turn brown, the apples will be sweet even though no sugar was added. (Even regular apple sauce can be simmered very slowly for several hours without added water or sugar. If the apples are good quality cooking apples, such as Cortland apples, the applesauce will be sweet.)

In the writings of the psychic, Edgar Cayce, we find reference to an apple diet. That is, eating only apples for three days, prepared any which way, after which one is to sip a quarter of a half cup of (hot) olive oil for body cleansing.

For many people, the Cayce apple diet is a hard program to follow.

A modified, mostly apple diet is easy to follow and satisfying. While such a program may not be as effective as a total apple diet, it is easy to try out.

One should start eating the baked apples in the morning and if in the evening one feels the need for other food one can eat a small amount of light food such as a few spoonful's of small curd cottage cheese and maybe some hot water with blackstrap molasses with some spices, and a bit of milk (a small amount, such as an eighth or a quarter teaspoon, of salt, added to the molasses drink makes it taste better), or one can drink a tea with some honey in it. Throughout the day, if one feels the need, one can also drink molasses with hot water, or coffee, or tea.


Baking Soda

3 User Reviews
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Posted by Nat (Brooklyn, NY) on 12/30/2021
5 out of 5 stars

It was mentioned somewhere that taking a little (maybe a teaspoon or a bit more) of baking soda (Bicarbonate of Soda) in about an ounce of water (others recommend in a little lemon juice) on an empty stomach, and not eating for a short while after, helps for emptying the bowels.

The baking soda/water remedy should probably not be used regularly, but rather only on an occasional basis.

It is important, generally, to wait for some urge to go before using a laxative or suppository, in order to prevent the natural urge, a vital body function, from disappearing.

Replied by Katzie
(Canada)
01/02/2022

I have found that one big bowl of buttery popcorn (w/salt & vinegar shaker seasoning, ! ), and a big bottle of water at night works every single time the next day. Happy munching!

Replied by winful
(Alberta, Canada)
11/26/2022
5 out of 5 stars

Hi Nat,

I'm using 1/2-1 tsp baking soda every morning on an empty stomach and wait about an hour before eating. Now, after a lifetime of constipation, I finally have quick relief... Baking soda doesn't raise blood pressure as some believe and it's ok to take every day, in fact, it's beneficial to do so!


Baking Soda
Posted by John (Greenport, New York, Usa) on 09/16/2010
5 out of 5 stars

For chronic constipation, it helps to drink a glass of water mixed with a teaspoon of pure baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) before bed every night. Be sure it's pure baking soda (no aluminum).


Baking Soda, Borax

1 User Review
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Posted by Andrea C (Cardiff, Wales) on 05/15/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I eat a good diet, of organic produce drink distilled water. no amount of laxatives did n e thing for the constipation caused by my meds cept' made me feel toxic! yesterday i started the bicarb/lemon juice [alkalizing tonic] as sir ted suggested. this morning i got up at 4am as i couldn't sleep drank a half pint of distilled water from a litre wth 1/8 teaspoon bicarb the same amount of of borax dechahydratate mixed together in the same litre. hoorah! talk about colonic irrigation!!! 2 hours later i was queen of the porcerlain throne!!! amazing! the gas waste all came away rapidly with no pain to my hemorrhoids or agonising anal fissures! hope this helps someone else love ANDREA C X X X


Bay Leaf Tea

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Posted by sara (the beacges) on 11/29/2022
5 out of 5 stars

I have recently started drinking a tea...for lack of a better word, of boiling water and bay leaves with lemon juice, I keep it on warm all day in a teapot and sip it all day, I was doing it as an immune boost and wonders never cease. It has relieved my chronic lazy bowel and I now have perfect BMs.


Bentonite Clay

4 User Reviews
5 star (2) 
  50%
1 star (1) 
  25%
(1) 
  25%


Posted by Vladimir (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) on 12/31/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Hi. I started taking Bentonite Clay after reading about it on the internet and especially on http://www.eytonsearth.org/ I don't know whether it is because of it or because of the other supplements I take but I am less constipated and sleep better. I also believe it contains many minerals and they're natural (not processed). I am taking a table spoon of a very dense Bentonite Clay and water solution every night before going to bed. I would recommend it. It would be also interesting to hear other people's experiences with Bentonite Clay.

Replied by Joyce
(Glasgow, Scotland)
03/29/2008
1 out of 5 stars

Warning

I digested Psyllium and Bentonite clay for a colon cleanse. This was to ruin my whole life and caused immediate gastritis and triggered rosacea/rhinophyma. The onset of syptoms were abrum, immediate and extremely severe. I now have blepharitis and meibominaitis as a result. I was very stupid and digesting this product has ruined my whole life. DO NOT TAKE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Replied by Ken
(Cendtnnial, Co.)
05/22/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I used the Psyllium and Bentonite shakes With Paragone at the same time for colon cleanse for 3 mo. It was quite amazing. Although You must take Vitamins and Liquid minerals with it because it sucks everything out. Bentonite absorbs 90x it's weight in toxins. 2Tbs of Psy. and 1 Tbs of Bent. in 12oz. of water at bed time. No other medication or Vitamins within 2 hrs. before or after, since they won't be absorbed with the shake. Also you must take Acidophilus to replace the healthy bacteria in youe colon or you may have major problems. Neem oil may help the Rosacea.

Replied by Clare
(Uk)
06/30/2011

I've started taking B&P shakes and think its making me a little constipated. Not badly but as its drawing out toxins, I don't want anything stuck there, if you know what I mean!

Joyce, I'd be interested to know how much you took. Everyone, I'd be interested to know just how much you should take, there's so many different 'recipes' around.

Also, did the bentonite actually CURE yr constipation? I've read it can cause it, what can you take to best alievate it? I've read on here about other constipation cures and started ACV just now so hopefully by tomorrow.... :)

Replied by Nursecaitlin
(Boston, Massachusetts Usa)
10/23/2012
0 out of 5 stars

I've worked with dialysis patients for years and bentonite clay has come up many times. It destroys your kidneys over a few years. The clay sticks to the inside of your nephrons. As the kidney disease advances (slowly) the nephrologist will ask you to allow them to perform a kidney biopsy, it is at this time that it is discovered that clay, acual clay, is stuck inside the millions of tiny nephrons in each kidney. Although you may see positive results, kidney disease, and evenually dialysis, is the end result.


Bentonite Clay, Chia Seeds

2 User Reviews
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Posted by Tanya (Connecticut) on 09/03/2020
5 out of 5 stars

Chronic Constipation

Sometime ago I came across a recipe that I dont recall the amount just the ingredients. I guess at the amounts. Filtered water, (12 oz-16oz) bentonite clay 2tbls, chia seeds 2tbls, psyllium husks 2tbls, flaxseed or flax meal 2 tbls, juice of 1/2 fresh lemon. Place in a blender or pulverize.

Drink quickly because it will congeal. Prepare and drink 3 times per day. Drink plenty of water through out the day. Like take your weight divide it by 2 and drink this amount in ounces of water /day. It takes a day or so to work but once it does, it will make you clean, inside.

Replied by Hazel
(Ky)
09/05/2020

You use 2 tablespoons of clay in the mixture and take that in one sitting? Clay can be constipating and I fear this amount could even cause a blockage for sensitive or compromised individuals.

I have used as little as 1/4 teaspoon daily with positive and measurable detox results.

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)
09/06/2020
5 out of 5 stars

Hazel, you are very right! What we used to do in the heyday of clay was to mix one spoon (not important the size) with a glass of water. Then let it sit overnight. Then take a few spoonfuls of the WATER - without disturbing the clay on the bottom.


Brazil Nuts

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Posted by Ninegps (Atlanta, Ga.) on 02/02/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I have suffered from constipation for many many years throughout much of my 40s fore sure. I am stunned that Earth Clinic does not have Brazil Nuts as the number one remedy for constipation. I have tried apple cider vinegar I use magnesium on a regular basis and they do not work for me. I have a very clean diet I eat lots of fruit and vegetables and high fiber every day. I do not, however, drink as much water as I should. One day I was watching a physician show on a major television networks and one of the doctors said that we must have a balanced amount of selenium in our diet. Who knew? He mentioned Brazil nuts. I immediately went to Whole Foods and grabbed a bag. They work but you must be careful about how many you consume. They can be toxic. I only eat 3 a day.



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