Ask anyone who deals with it, and they’ll be quick to tell how annoying constipation can be! The blame can be put on a combination of an unhealthy lifestyle and wrong eating habits. When there’s a lack of fiber in your diet, it is likely to take a toll on your gut health, and therefore impact your poop habits. Some natural stool softeners can come to your rescue!
Not many would know but fibers are of two kinds: soluble and insoluble. The soluble fibers absorb the liquid, turning it into a gel-like substance that helps the poop make its way out of the intestines. On the other hand, insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool, giving it the ultimate exit push from the body.
Constipation can cause you to battle hard, dry stools, and even abdominal pain. Additionally, you may also be troubled by bloating.
A lot of people immediately turn to Isabgol husk to get relief from constipation, or even to modern innovations such as a squatty potty! But it turns out that our kitchens are equipped with some natural stool softeners too! Did you know that aloe vera, olive oil, castor oil, chia seeds and flax seeds are some natural ways to soften your stool? At least that’s what my mom says!
5 natural stool softeners to relieve constipation
1. Aloe vera juice
Aloe vera, which is considered a boon for hair and skin health, can also come handy for your poop problems. Use aloe vera juice, which is prepared from the leaves of aloe vera plant, to get relief from a likely inflammation in the digestive system.
How to use it: Drink 2 teaspoons of aloe vera juice mixed with 2 teaspoons of water every morning. Make sure you do this on an empty stomach.
If you can’t take it raw, you can try adding aloe vera juice as part of a smoothie or add it to another juice. However, there’s a word of caution! Avoid using aloe vera without purifying it, as it can lead to digestive issues.
2. Olive oil
According to a study in the Journal of Renal Nutrition, the use of olive oil can bring relief for people fighting constipation. It can act like a lubricant to help the poop slide out rather than leave you in a struggle.
How to use it: Well, just take a tablespoon of olive oil on an empty stomach. You could even add a teaspoon of flaxseed oil to it!
3. Chia seeds
These teeny-weeny seeds are huge on health benefits. Apart from regulating your cholesterol levels, these can be one of the best stool softeners! The fiber content in chia seeds make them gut-friendly.
How to use it: Simply take a tablespoon of chia seeds and soak them in half a cup of water. You don’t need to soak them for too long. In fact, you can eat it within a few minutes.
4. Flax seeds
Flax seeds are high in fibre which leads to improved bowel movements. My mom says that ground flax seeds, instead of whole flax seeds can be more beneficial as a cure for constipation. What’s more? Apart from giving you much-needed relief from constipation, it may also help you decrease your weight, as well as regulate your glycemic and lipid levels.
How to use it: The simplest way to use flax seeds for constipation would be to put 4 teaspoons of it in half a cup of water. Give it a few minutes before eating it with a spoon. You could also add ground flax seed to your glass of fruit juice and milk, or even your bowl of cereals.
5. Castor oil
A 2011 study on the effect of castor oil on constipation in the elderly, it was deduced that it can reduce straining during your poop session, and improve thee feeling of a clean intestine after a bowel movement.
How to use it: Drink 1 tablespoon of castor oil at any time of the day.
It can also be taken by mixing it in any fruit juice.
However, pregnant women, breastfeeding moms and children below 2 years of age, should avoid this.
Well, now that you know about these stool softeners, try adding them to your diet could keep your poop troubles away! However, it would be best to consult your doctor in case you have a nagging constipation problem.