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How To Relieve Constipation Naturally

What is Constipation?

Constipation is one of the most common digestive complaints in the United States. The normal frequency of bowel movements varies widely from person to person, from once or more a day to three times a week. In general, however, you are likely constipated if you pass a hard, dry stool less than three times a week.

Constipation can also make you feel bloated and uncomfortable and you may find yourself straining during bowel movements.

Although constipation can affect anyone, it’s more common in women and in people over age 65.  It also tends to occur during pregnancy, after childbirth or surgery, with certain medications such as opioid pain relievers, and with some conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

Natural Remedies for Constipation

1) Fiber

A diet low in fiber may play a role in constipation. Insoluble fiber, which passes through the body almost unchanged, gives stools bulk and a soft texture, making them easier to pass.

Foods that are high in insoluble fiber include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Try wheat bran, brown rice, or whole grain bread.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the intestines. Prunes and figs can be added to breakfast or eaten as a snack.

Another option is to sprinkle one teaspoon of ground flaxseeds over any meal. They can be found in packages at the health food store or some grocery stores. They have a mild, nutty taste.

Fiber supplements are also available, the most popular being psyllium husk supplements such as Metamucil.

Add fiber to your diet gradually to avoid bloating and gas. Also, be sure to drink enough water otherwise fiber can have the opposite effect and be constipating.

2) Fluids

Making sure you drink enough fluids such as water may help some people with constipation. Fluids make bowel movements softer and easier to pass.

Watch your consumption of alcoholic beverages and caffeinated beverages such as coffee and cola drinks, which can be dehydrating.

3) Stimulant Laxatives

Many herbal laxatives and “dieter’s teas” are called stimulant laxatives, or anthranoid laxatives. They include herbs such as:

  • Cascara sagrada
  • Rhubarb
  • Aloe
  • Senna
  • Buckthorn

Some of these herbs, such as senna, are approved as over-the-counter treatments for constipation. Although they are meant to be short-term treatments, in reality, people can become dependent on them and use them for weeks, months, or even years at a time in order to have a daily bowel movement.

They should not be used for longer than a week unless under medical supervision. Prolonged use may cause the bowels to lose the ability to move on their own, and has been linked to chronic diarrhea, potassium depletion leading to muscle weakness and potentially dangerous irregular heart rhythms, and kidney or liver impairment.

4) Probiotics

Probiotics, such as lactobacillus acidophilus, are live microbial organisms that are naturally present in the digestive tract. Some of the ways they are thought to promote health include suppressing the growth of potentially harmful bacteria, improving immune function, enhancing the protective barrier of the digestive tract, and helping to produce vitamin K.

There is some preliminary evidence that probiotic supplements may improve constipation. For example, one study looked at the effect of a probiotic beverage containing a strain of beneficial bacteria called Lactobacillus casei Shirota (65 milliliters a day) or a placebo in people with chronic constipation. The probiotic drink resulted in significant improvement in severity of constipation and stool consistency.

Another study examined the effectiveness of another strain of probiotics on constipation in children and found no effect. Eighty four children between two and 16 years of age with constipation took lactulose (a laxative) plus a probiotic supplement containing lactobacillus GG or lactulose alone. After 12 and 24 weeks, lactobacillus was not more effective than lactulose alone at treating constipation.

5) Acupressure

Acupressure is a traditional healing practice that involves the application of finger pressure to specific acupuncture points on the body.

A point that is often recommended by acupuncturists for constipation is Large Intestine 4. Although it hasn’t been studied for constipation, it is a simple home remedy that may work for some people. The point is at the highest spot of the muscle between the thumb and index finger when they are brought close together. Caution: do not use this point if you are pregnant.

With your thumb or middle finger at a 90 degree angle to the skin, apply gradually increasing pressure. Hold for three minutes. The pressure should not be painful or uncomfortable.

6) Magnesium

A deficiency of the mineral magnesium may contribute to constipation. Magnesium is found naturally in foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains and in supplements.

Magnesium is needed for normal muscle function, including intestinal muscles. One recent study examined the intake of magnesium with constipation in 3835 women. Low magnesium intake was associated with constipation.

Other Tips

  • Engage in regular physical activity. Not getting enough physical activity can lead to constipation.
  • Don’t put off the urge. The longer you delay when the urge to have a bowel movement strikes, the more water gets absorbed from stool and the harder it becomes to have a bowel movement.

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

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10 Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger has been used as a natural remedy for many ailments for centuries. Now, science is catching up and researchers around the world are finding that ginger works wonders in the treatment of everything from cancer to migraines. Here are ten health benefits of this powerful herb.

Ovarian Cancer Treatment
Ginger may be powerful weapon in the treatment of ovarian cancer. A study conducted at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that ginger powder induces cell death in all ovarian cancer cells to which it was applied.

Colon Cancer Prevention
A study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells.

Morning Sickness
A review of several studies has concluded that ginger is just as effective as vitamin B6 in the treatment of morning sickness.

Motion Sickness Remedy
Ginger has been shown to be an effective remedy for the nausea associated with motion sickness.

Reduces Pain and Inflammation
One study showed that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful natural painkiller.

Heartburn Relief
Ginger has long been used as a natural heartburn remedy. It is most often taken in the form of tea for this purpose.

Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment
Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and the flu. Many people also find ginger to be helpful in the case of stomach flus or food poisoning, which is not surprising given the positive effects ginger has upon the digestive tract.

Migraine Relief
Research has shown that ginger may provide migraine relief due to its ability to stop prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels.

Menstrual Cramp Relief
In Chinese medicine, ginger tea with brown sugar is used in the treatment of menstrual cramps.

Prevention of Diabetic Nephropathy
A study done on diabetic rats found that those rats given ginger had a reduced incidence of diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage).

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HOME REMEDIES FOR DARK CIRCLES UNDER EYES

Home Remedies for Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

Under eye dark circles is the most common thing that can be seen in almost every individual. Around nine out of ten people have dark circles under the eyes.

Causes of Dark Circles

The various causes of the dark circles under eyes are:

Age: With the preceding age the skin becomes thinner and the veins under the eyes become more prominent.

  • Fatigue / Lack of Sleep
  • Stress or depression
  • Nutrient deficiency – lack of balanced diet can cause various deficiencies in the body and ultimately the under eye circles
  • Hyper pigmentation
  • Excess use of drugs and medicines

Home Remedies for Dark Circles

Apply a paste made from a teaspoon of tomato juice, half teaspoon lemon juice, a pinch of turmeric powder and a pinch of gramflour. Keep it for 10 minutes. This is very effective and one of the famous home remedies for dark circles under eyes.

Eight hours of sleep is necessary and recommended for all. Everyone needs a different amount of time for sleep, there are average times for men women and children, however you will need to gage your own time. Once you have When you sleep this amount of time you won’ have dark circles

Apply cucumber or potato juice on the eyes with cotton balls. This is a very useful dark circles remedy.

Apply a mixture of lemon and tomato juice on the dark circles twice a day.

Application of used cold tea bag will soothe the eyes and cure dark circles of the eyes.

Drink tomato juice with some mint leaves, lemon juice and salt. This is a good diet for dark circles.

Drinking good amount of water also helps in lightening the dark circles under the eyes.

To reduce the puffiness and dark circles of the eyes apply freezed cucumber juice.

Dr Akilah’s Personal FavoriteAlmond oil is considered best in removing the dark circles. Massage the area with the oil at night before going to bed. Massage with almond oil under and around eyes at bed time daily for 3 weeks. This is effective in reducing dark circles around eyes and is also one of the good natural remedies for dark circles under eyes.

Application of cream with vitamin E and C also helps in reducing the dark circles.

Apply crushed mint leaves under the eyes for 20 minutes. This is a very effective dark circles cure.

If you like Yoga – Sarvangasana is the best yoga posture to reduce puffiness and dark circles of the eyes and it should be performed daily. Among yogic kriyas Jal Neti is the most beneficial and should be done 5 times a week.

Eat vegetables and fruits that are rich in vitamin E for healthy eyes.

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