Constipation: herbs that help intestinal transit

Constipation: herbs that help intestinal transit

What causes constipation

An increase in stress , a change in routine, a sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy and unbalanced diet (poor in fiber ) are all factors that can cause constipation , a disorder (not a disease) that can arise due to various organic or functional alterations of the intestine . Some pathologies can also indirectly interfere with intestinal function, such as intestinal bacteria , hypothyroidism, diabetes , pelvic floor muscle problemsor rectal. Generally, when a person suffers from constipation, there is a delay or insufficiency and difficulty in evacuating stools , which have a particular consistency ( hard, caprine or ribbon-like ). However, these are subjective sensations that often vary from person to person, in the entity of the episodes and in the duration of the symptoms.

When your bowel movements aren’t smooth, over-the-counter laxatives can provide relief from constipation, but they can also cause side effects. That’s why many people choose natural solutions such as essential oils to rub on the abdomen, herbs , or fermented foods rich in probiotics such as sauerkraut , kimchi and kombucha , kefir , cucumber , miso and  yogurt .

However, there are differences between prebiotics and probiotics .

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Essential oils to relieve constipation

Six essential oils which, when massaged into the abdominal and pelvic area, can promote the expulsion of stools :

1. Fennel

Fennel has a phytotherapeutic compound consisting of essential oils that can help intestinal transit. Several clinical studies have shown that this essential oil has laxative effects and has antispasmodic properties that can relieve abdominal cramps .

2. Ginger

Ginger helps counteract the formation of bloating and gas and increases gastrointestinal mobility, also relieving abdominal pain.

3. Peppermint

Peppermint, with its monoterpene compounds , has been shown to be beneficial in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Peppermint oil contains L- menthol , which can relieve digestive tract cramps .

4. Chamomile

Chamomile has also shown promise in relieving IBS symptoms such as bloating and abdominal pain . Suitable to be taken both as an infusion or decoction , and massaged as an essential oil.

Also belonging to the same family as chamomile is Santolina , which has a strong anti – inflammatory power .

5. Rosemary

Rosemary essential oil aromatherapy combined with abdominal massage has been shown to relieve constipation

6. Lemon

Lemon oil was combined with rosemary for one of the studies on constipation and abdominal massage.

How to use essential oils for constipation

The best way to use  essential oils  for constipation is to dilute a few drops of your chosen essential oil in a  carrier oil  such as jojoba , sweet almond , or argan oil and use it to give an abdominal massage. During the massage, experts recommend breathing deeply to inhale the scent and thus have an aromatherapeutic effect. The indicated quantity is: 10-20 drops. (For children, stick to 3-6 drops.) How to massage: Along the entire length of the colon
with circular movements clockwise and counterclockwise for about 5-10 minutes. Before applying to a larger area, it’s always a good idea to test the oil on a small patch of skin to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction .

Herbs that help intestinal transit

If the essential oils are indicated for external application, some medicinal and aromatic herbs , in decoction or herbal tea, are able to relieve the symptoms of constipation , regulate intestinal transit and stimulate normal evacuation.

  • Psyllium. The seeds of this plant are rich in mucilages useful for stimulating the production of stools with a softer consistency. How to take them: leave one or two tablespoons of psyllium seeds to rest in warm water for about 10 minutes and then drink them together with water, upon waking or before going to sleep .
  • Buckthorn . The bark of this plant, dried, has beneficial properties and promotes intestinal transit. It has a direct laxative action on the intestine and stimulates the production of bile . How to take it: a decoction is prepared with two-three tablespoons of bark powder dissolved in 2 liters of water. After boiling for 15 minutes, it is left to rest for a few hours before drinking .
  • Rosemary. Rosemary acts in case of temporary, non-chronic or habitual constipation. How to take it: use the leaves in an infusion , putting a spoonful of leaves for each cup of boiling water, leaving it to infuse for 10 minutes. The hot infusion should be drunk just after meals.
  • Linen. Flax seeds have an effective laxative, emollient and anti-inflammatory action . They are prepared by pouring two tablespoons of seeds into a cup of water and then leaving them to soak for 7-8 hours. Drink in the evening or in the morning on an empty stomach .
  • Manna. Suitable for children because of its very pleasant taste . It is a mild laxative to be dissolved in hot water or in an herbal tea of ​​5 to 15 grams.


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