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Your Pathway to Natural Health
Natural & Herbal Remedies Blog
Constipation
What Is Constipation?

Regular bowel movements are essential for health. However, since normal bowel patterns vary considerably from person to person, constipation is a relative term. Not everyone, for example, has a bowel movement every day. Similarly, stool consistency can vary widely and still be normal. Some healthy people generally have soft or near-runny stools, while others have firm stools, but no difficulty in passing them. Constipation then can be thought of as the decrease in frequency of bowel movements or increase in consistency of the stool, relative to what it usually is.
Frangula
Frangula, or Buckthorn, is also known as Purging Buckthorn, thanks to its purging action on the bowel. The anthraquinone glycoside and tannin content of the dried bark exerts a mild laxative effect without causing irritation, safely treating constipation.

Frangula tends to soften faecal matter, thus making bowel movements easier and improving haemorrhoids (piles).

Those with chronic constipation may need to use Frangula for a relatively long period of time to re-establish regular bowel movements, but fortunately the herb is quite suitable for long term use.

Tincture: 10 to 20 drops once in the evening.
Tea: 1 teaspoon for 1 cup of boiling water, drink once in the evening.


Senna
Senna is excellent for stubborn constipation and liver problems. Chinese Senna (Cassia tora) and American Senna (Cassia marilandica) have similar properties.

Use 1 teaspoon of leaves or root in 1 cup of boiling water, to be taken in the evening.


Aloe Ferox
Aloe Ferox is a well known medicinal herb native to South Africa. Aloe Ferox has been used for medicinal purposes from as early as 1500BC in Ancient Egypt. Aloe juice (also known as aloe latex or aloe soap) is a yellow, bitter liquid derived from the outer layer of the aloe leaf. It contains substances that, when taken by mouth, have strong laxative effects.  Recent research and studies have shown Aloe to be particularly effective in promoting healthy digestion and routine, healthy stools.


Flax Seed
Also known as linseed, flax seed is beneficial in the treatment of a large number of conditions. The seeds taken whole exert a laxative effect. Flax is also very beneficial for soothing inflamed intestinal linings and in supporting liver function.

Nutritionally, Flax contains all of the essential amino-acids; vitamins E, A, C, D, B1 and B2; minerals potassium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium; etc. Most important however are the oils in Flax, which contain the essential unsaturated linoleic and linolenic acids. The essential fatty acids of Flax are needed by all cells in the body and improve the oxygen supply to the cells. They are also used in the production of prostaglandins.

Take 1 to 3 tablespoons of whole seeds with water in the evening. Can also be sprinkled over salad or cereal. If you prefer ground seeds, take 3 tablespoons 3 times daily with a glass of water. If using the flax oil,   1 to 2 tablespoons 3 times daily is recommended.


Passion Flower
Passiflora Incarnata (Passion Flower) may be helpful in combination with one of the other herbs mentioned here. It is not a laxative in its own right, but does promote gentle muscle relaxation of the bowel wall. It's main action however is to help relieve emotional worries which are often associated with digestive complaints and upsets. Passiflora is a safe and effective natural calmative, helping to lessen common nervous tension - often implicated in people suffering from common bowel irregularity and other digestive complaints. The usual dose is 4 - 8 g daily or as an infusion of 2 grams in 150 ml of water, 3 - 4 times daily.
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Disclaimer: The material on this website is not intended for diagnosing, prescribing or for the treatment of any disease. If you require diagnosing, prescribing or treatment of any disease you are advised to consult your doctor or a health care professional.
Causes of Constipation

Occasional non-recurrent and non-persistent constipation is usually caused by diet (lack of fiber or too much processed foods and caffeine), lack of exercise, temporary emotional upsets, or drinking insufficient liquids.

Other causes of constipation include diseases of the bowel (such as irritable bowel syndrome), pregnancy, certain medical conditions (like an underactive thyroid or cystic fibrosis), mental health problems (such as depression), neurological diseases, or certain medications. More serious causes, like colon cancer, are much less common.

Those suffering from long term constipation may find that faecal matter becomes harder and drier the longer it is retained inside the gut, making it more difficult to expel. Treatment before this stage is recommended.

Treatment for Constipation

It is a good idea to start treatment by drinking plenty of water (8 glasses a day) - this will help to promote waste removal. Eating high fibre fruits and vegetables (especially fruits with skin such as apples and pears) will go a long way to naturally encourage bowel movement. Fibre relieves constipation by adding bulk to stool and speeding its transit through the digestive tract. Psyllium (seed or husks) and oat bran are examples of products high in soluble fibre. Prunes have long been considered a natural treatment for constipation

Herbalists and naturopaths from cultures all over the world have used traditional medicine for centuries to treat constipation and promote bowel movements naturally. In more recent times, research has confirmed this traditional wisdom.

There are now various published clinical studies demonstrating the ability of a range of herbs to loosen stools and encourage healthy adequate bowel movements, keeping the body regular.


Natural Home Remedies
Natural Commercial Remedies
Natural Moves
The herbs used in Natural Moves promote healthy digestion and also act as an effective liver tonic, therefore safely addressing backed-up bowels without the risk of upsetting fluid balance in the body, mineral content in the body or risk of dependency.

Natural Moves can be used as part of a gentle detox program to safely cleanse and flush out the system and as a natural stool softener in times of sporadic hardened stools - thus supporting the body’s natural ability to remove toxins and waste by-products, without harmful side effects and without harsh laxatives.   
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“If you try any product, try this one! I don't have a problem every day, but because I don't get much exercise and my diet is not always the very best, I do sometimes have a problem. Natural Moves really helps!” -Hannah G.