Home remedies to cure constipation

Constipation is an uncomfortable feeling and can lead to colon cancer.
An unhealthy lifestyle, lack of a balanced diet and a diet rich in refined or artificial food can cause constipation. Nutritionist, Neelanjana Singh from Heinz Nutri Life Clinic and Dr Nripen Saikia, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist with Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute share some home remedies that promise to cure constipation.
When it comes to food, Neelanjana Singh, Nutritionist with Heinz Nutri Life Clinic from Delhi informs us that constipation does not only affect the elderly. She says, “One may be surprised to learn that a majority of the stomach ache complaints associated with children in the age group of 1 to 18 years is related to constipation. Faulty diets are a major cause of constipation. Keeping this in mind, here are a few home remedies to cure constipation.
Raisins( Monakka) are a very effective cure for constipation. The recipe for this is as follows:
Take 10 to 12 pieces of Monakka (wash, slit open and remove seeds) and boil in milk. Consume the raisins that have been boiled in milk, followed by the milk as well. This should be followed for three consecutive days.
Triphala is yet another tried and tested remedy for constipation.
Take approximately 1 tsp (4-5 g) of triphala powder with a glass of warm water or warm milk just before bedtime. This recipe is very helpful in relieving constipation.
Consume approximately 1 tsp of safflower (karadi) seeds along with 6 almonds (with skin) and 1 tbsp of honey to help ease constipation. The famous Unani laxative Twarishe Qhurtum incorporates these seeds in its list of ingredients.
Isabgol ( Ispaghula) seeds are very helpful in relieving constipation. The best way to ingest isabgol is to soak 10g or 2 tbsp of the husk in a glass of warm milk for about 5 to 10 minutes. Soaking the ispagulla will cause a jelly like thickening of the milk which is essential for effective therapy. This should ideally be consumed at bedtime.
Linseed or Flaxseed should be powdered and added to chapatti flour or to porridge to get rid of constipation. Approximately 2 tsp of the powder should be taken once or twice a day as required.
In addition to the above, the incorporation of certain fruits such as apricots (Khubani) and wood apple (bael) in your daily diet will help get rid of constipation.
Dr Nripen Saikia, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist with Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute, New Delhi says, “A person who says, “I am constipated” is either conscious of an unpleasant sensation related to bowel movements or believes that the bowel function is abnormal.”
Symptoms of constipation
To medically say that someone is constipated at least two or more of the following should be present for 12 weeks in the last 12 months: Straining, hard stool, feeling that you have not excreted completely, sensation of anorectal obstruction/blockage, less than three motions per week.
Causes of constipation
Constipation is generally caused by one’s lifestyle, drugs, endocrine and metabolic, neurological and psychological conditions. Management of constipation: Depends on identifying the most likely cause. Try to find out the possible cause and treat it accordingly.
These are a few tips which can be followed at home
Life style changes
Diet: Inadequate fibre is one of most important cause of constipation, so a high fibre diet is recommended. We can increase our fibre intake by incorporating plenty of green leafy vegetables, salads, fruits and cereals.
Wheat bran 20 gm/day will increase your average daily stool weight by approximately 30-60gm a day
Avoid excess red meat
Drink at least 2-3 litres of water per day
Life style changes
Regular exercise: Either isometric or isotonic exercise is good (you can jog, run or simply practice yoga).
Bulk forming laxatives are the most popular laxatives and are easily available.
Wheat fibre: Concentrated wheat husk, can be taken (one to three sachets) daily as each sachet contains around 3.5 gm of fibre.
Ispaghula (Psyllium): Available as suspension, granules and powder. Suspensions which are popular need to be drunk quickly before the husk absorbs water. Granules can be dissolved in half a glass of water and can be swallowed at once.
There are other forms of laxatives such as senna, castor OIL , bisacodyl and sodium picosulfate, which should not be used regularly. Enemas and suppositories should be avoided at home as they can injure the rectum.