Constipation is so common among us, that the image of someone sitting on the toilet, reading a book, requires no explanation. We use the book (or magazine or newspaper) to help us relax and patiently await an often drawn out, painstaking process that is meant to take only minutes. Whenever our elimination processes require hours, and even days of excessive effort, with minimal returns, we are officially constipated!
Regularity affords us smooth moving, daily moving eliminations that are effortless and pain-free. A natural, healing pathway does exist for us to experience relief and regularity. Not the temporary relief of over-the-counter and prescription laxatives, but long term, effective and sustained relief and digestive health.
Laxatives do More Harm than Good
Whenever our digestive systems are congested and not working properly, we do need to help out by cleansing our colons. So often, over the counter laxatives are used to assist; yet, they do more harm than good. Laxative sales top the annual sales of digestive remedies at $900 million, and yet, constipation is one of the most common chronic digestive problem. There is a natural alternative healing process available, which brings relief for constipation while it simultaneously heals your digestive system.
Herbal Laxative Tea
To begin the process, enemas and herbal laxative teas work well to clear out the digestive system. Dandelion tea is a mild laxative that detoxifies the liver, purifies the blood and helps to increase peristalsis (the muscular contractions in the intestines). Since the health of the liver influences the flow of body fluids and regulates peristalsis, dandelion tea is a very helpful remedy.
Licorice tea is also a mild laxative and a demulcent which provides a thin mucilaginous coating to the intestinal lining that is helpful to the elimination process. Flax seeds and their oils also have demulcent properties and gently cleanse your colon while boosting your nutrition with essential fatty acids.
Removing Waste Toxins
Some stronger herbal laxatives are Cascara Sagrada and Senna, which should be combined with mint and fennel for a gripe-free experience. Blood purifying teas are a good follow up, due to the fact that constipation causes the prolonged storage of waste in the intestinal tract and the waste toxins re-enter our bloodstream, causing the blood to become toxic as well. This toxic blood can circulate throughout the body causing other ailments.
Once the blockages are cleared from the intestines and blood purification is underway, we can definitely relieve constipation in the way we eat and drink. Adequate water intake is really essential.
When body fluid and/or blood fluid is low, too much fluid is drawn out of the food in the intestines, creating dryness-constipation.
Healing With Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford
Increase Your Water Intake
Drinking eight or more glasses of water daily helps maintain our body fluids. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables also increases the water content in our diet. A powerful health booster is making water the first thing we consume each morning, A warm glass of lemon water, directly afterwards, will gently stimulate a refreshing morning elimination.
Fruits and Vegetables for ‘Flushing Prowess’
Including certain foods in our diet can give us continual movement of waste from our bodies. Why not enjoy our recovery?! Eating fruits is a fun and delicious way to stay regular. Fruit pectin is our friend. Fruits most noted for their flushing prowess are apples, pears, prunes and apricots. Eating dried apricots is like eating candy! Iron-filled grapes and raisins are deliciously helpful too.
Cucumbers are a juicy vegetable that add to our body fluids and are rich in silicon and vitamin E. Broccoli is succulent and juicy as well with its power-packed Brassica nutrients. Beets are my personal favorites! They lubricate the intestines, purify the blood and support liver functions.
Avoid Refined, Processed Foods
Refined, processed foods are really hard on the digestion and should be avoided. Replacing refined, processed foods and oils with fresh, unrefined foods and oils will work wonders in improving digestive health.
Proper Food Combining
The manner in which we eat foods also makes a difference. Improper food combining can halt digestion. Fermented and putrefied foods breed unhealthy bacteria that override our natural, good bacteria in our intestines; then, digestion stops and the waste is stuck there, unable to complete the process. Learning and instituting proper food combining is a major way to keep constipation at bay. A few essential tips are: eat fruit alone, never mix proteins and starches in the same meal, and do not drink while eating – it dilutes the digestive enzymes.
Exercise is Essential
An essential link in the healing process is rejuvenating movement and exercise. Exercise helps us feel alive and light and increases our mobility. A sedentary lifestyle leads to a sluggish body and poor digestion. With physical activity, apart from the other well known benefits, excesses in the liver are burnt off resulting in an improved fluid metabolism.
There are fun ways to get active, like walking briskly, dancing, swimming and playing sports. It is amazing how once we begin to stretch and strengthen our bodies, it is really like a breath of fresh air. It helps us overcome constipation and a host of other illnesses as well.
Add Probiotics to Your Diet
Sometimes we need help in this healing process. It is a proven fact that age, illness, stress, medicines and drugs all have deteriorating effects on the amount of digestive enzymes and healthy bacteria that inhabit our intestinal tract. When they are lacking or absent, digestion is inadequate and constipation can ensue. Adding digestive enzymes and probiotic supplements to your diet will help equip your system to function healthfully.
There is no need to settle for the temporary relief of store bought laxatives that with prolonged use, tend to exacerbate the problem. There is a sure path to relief and regularity using natural, tried and proven remedies; and we can even enjoy the journey!
Andrea Phillips writes on an array of topics like Health and Nutrition, Organic Agriculture, and Relationships, to name a few. She has also written for a publishing company in Washington, DC, and an organic agricultural newsletter in Israel.