Constipation is not just an uncomfortable feeling, but rather a real and pervasive condition that costs the population a great deal of money and discomfort. Here we will take a look at natural remedies and essential oils for constipation relief.
What is Constipation and Who is Likely to Have It?
Worldwide, constipation affects about one in every six individuals on a regular basis. On average, women are more likely to be constipated than men, and the elderly are more likely to experience constipation than younger individuals. In the United States, this condition is responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in for treatment each year.
The majority of individuals who experience constipation fall into the category of “functionally constipated.” This means they have to strain at least 25 to 30 percent of the time to allow their stool to fully exit their body. At least ¼ of their stool is usually hard, making it difficult for it to exit the body.
In those who suffer from functional constipation, it is uncommon for them to have soft or loose stool without using some type of laxative. Many of these individuals will find that they go three or more days a week without being able to defecate. Some of them may even find that it is painful when they try to use the toilet. Anyone who has some or all of these symptoms when trying to defecate are considered constipated.
How Often Should I Be Having a Bowel Movement?
This is a question that’s heavily debated, but generally, it is believed that anyone who has one or more bowel movements a day that can be completed without strain or pain is having sufficient bowel movements to remain healthy. According to government statistics, anyone who has less than three bowel movements a week is considered constipated. It is important to alleviate constipation because it is often a precursor to many conditions.
The digestive system is specifically designed to break down food so that the body can receive nutrients and discard waste through bowel movements. When the body is not working properly, this waste material is not discarded and can potentially be absorbed by the body. This can have a negative, leading to illness.
Natural Remedies for Alleviating Constipation
It is not always a complicated concoction of ingredients that are required to alleviate constipation. One of the simplest things you can do is to make sure that you’re drinking enough water every day. The average person is chronically dehydrated, which reduces the body’s natural ability to eliminate waste. Water is a necessary component of the waste removal process in the body. Without enough water, the body can’t do what it needs to in order to effectively and painlessly remove waste through bowel movements.
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Though the modern recommended diet today seems to push for low-fat options, good-quality fats are a necessary component of good and regular bowel movements. When you eat good-quality fats, then the gallbladder secretes bile into the small intestine, which, in turn, helps the body break down fats and other toxins that are then removed from the body through bowel movements. Not eating enough good-quality fat means that the gallbladder is unable to produce sufficient bile for this process to work smoothly.
Squatting is a natural movement that produces bowel movements. Because of this, many cultures around the world squat rather than sit when using the toilet. The squatting actually helps the body have a better bowel movement.
7 Essential Oils for Eliminating Constipation
Ginger Essential Oil
This oil helps relieve tension in the bowel which may be preventing bowel movement. Ginger essential oil also soothes the stomach and stimulates the digestive system. Try MONQ’s relieve blend that contains ginger to help soothe aches and discomfort. To use this oil for relieving constipation, make a cup of ginger tea and add in a few drops of this essential oil.
Usually, it is necessary to drink this tea a couple of times a day over the course of a few days to experience its effects. After doing so, most will find that their stomach feels better and they can successfully complete a normal bowel movement.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is considered antispasmodic, meaning it effectively relieves muscle tension and reduces inflammation, which can be some of the reasons an individual is not having bowel movements. Adding a couple of drops of this oil into a large glass of warm water and drinking this mix in the morning and again in the evening is a great way to relieve constipation.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil is considered one of the best in alleviating constipation. It has a number of components that improve digestive function and soothe any inflammation in the body.
Black Pepper Essential Oil
Black pepper essential oil not only reduces inflammation but can kick-start the digestive system. It specifically helps prevent a buildup of waste and reduces gassiness in the stomach. This makes it a great natural remedy for constipation.
Marjoram Essential Oil
This oil also helps improve digestive function. It is not recommended that you use this too often, however. Place a few drops of this oil into hot steaming water, and then place a towel over your head and the bowl. Breathe in the steam for constipation relief.
Basil Essential Oil
Sweet basil has been used in traditional medicine to relieve upset stomachs and to reduce gas. It also helps reduce the pain of constipation. Place a few drops in a bowl of hot water and breathe in the steam, or place a few drops in the bath.
Rosemary Essential Oil
This treatment works a little different than the others in that it improves the circulation of the gut. It also helps the body make normal contractions in its muscle movements when making bowel movements. Place a few drops of this oil into a cup of herbal tea and drink it. It can also be used topically when diluted with a carrier oil and massaged onto the stomach area.
Safety and Precautions
It is important to understand that some essential oils are potentially hazardous when ingested. Additionally, some essential oils can lead to allergic reactions in some individuals. Therefore, it is always recommended that you take them with caution and consult with a healthcare professional before use.
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